Author Archives: Anne-Marie Fawcett

About Anne-Marie Fawcett

Ownership of this site has now been transferred from Joan P Smith to Anne-Marie Fawcett. Whilst the Owner always uses her best endeavours to ensure the information on this website is accurate and complete, errors may from time to time occur. The Owner will not be held responsible for the consequence of such errors but will make efforts, where possible, to make corrections. Wherever possible it is advisable to consult the source material. E & O E. May 2022



Around 1969 the old Burial Ground at Dimple Well, The Green, Ossett (formerly Radley Street) was bought by a builder.

According to eye witness accounts, the remains of those from the Dimple Well Burial Ground were removed and taken in a flat bed truck to the Zion Burial Ground at Gawthorpe. They were then placed in a mass pit without ceremony or marker. The burial ground at Gawthorpe is now in private ownership and horses graze between the gravestones which stand on this land.

Zion Burial Ground 2016
Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett


1Samuel Mitchell2nd March 1835
 Martha Mitchell30th March 1840
2Nancy Riley20th May 1837
3Elizabeth Butterfield20th May 1837
4William Ellis9th December 1826
 Joseph Ellis6th March 1828
 Hephzibah Ellis8th April 1830
 Henry Ellis24th January 1838
5Thomas Saxton2nd February 1822
 Robert Saxton27th January 1828
 Nancy Saxton11th October 1840
 Eliza Saxton9th September 1884
6Robert Saxton16th May 1849
 Susannah Saxton6th February 1859
7Susannah Saxton6th December 1859
 Benjamin Saxton8th May 1888
8Mary Ellis12th June 1840
 Joshua Ellis2nd November 1852
9Hannah Scott19th October 1811
 Charles Scott13th January 1826
 Martha Scott19th May 1853
 Mary Scott29th August 1833
10Thomas Mitchell17th November 1830
11Joshua Mitchell30th September 1828
 Enoch Mitchell4th December 1829
12Mary Mitchell14th December 1828
 Thomas Mitchell18th November 1829
 Martha Mitchell30th August 1844
13George Pickard7th March 1852
 Sarah Pickard14th May 1857
14Hannah Walshaw23rd.April 1837
15Philip Dews7th March 1861
16Mary Moss11th February 1851
17John Archer1st November 1822
18Sarah Wilson23rd September 1834
 John Wilson23rd January 1848
 Nancy Wilson2nd January 1843
19Nancy Grace16th February 1841
20Frederick Mitchell Briggs8th March 1850
21Seth Mitchell14th October 1839
22Joseph Mitchell13th January 1835
 2 children in infancy 
 Nancy Mitchell2nd September 1838
23Hannah Mitchell27th November 1845
 Nathan Mitchell10th August 1870
24James Briggs10th August 1839
 Mary Ann Briggs28th May 1840
25Henry Kenyon Ambler18th August 1877
26Grace Wilby4th December 1821
 Judith Scott14th May 1830
 Frances Wilby22nd February 1848
27Eliza Ward23rd March 1883
 Henry Herbert Ward5th October 1862
28F. W.Clegg7th August 1844
 Mark Clegg23rd March 1849
 Jemima Clegg13th June 1867
29Ann Mitchell13th March 1827
 Samuel Mitchell18th March 1833
 Sarah Mitchell7th July 1836
 David Mitchell18th March 1885
30Philip Oakes16th November 1853
 Thomas Edwin Oakes28th October 1881
31Jane Oakes31st Januaryl837
 Charles Oakes14th June 1837
32Nathan Oakes21st April 1830
 Benjamin Oakes22nd April 1828
 Edward Oakes4th April 1836
 Benjamin Oakes25th February 1846
 Nancy Oakes29th December 1860
33Nancy Ellis13th August 1874
 Philip Ellis7th January 1878
 Emily Jane Ellis4th November 1892
 Eli Ellis26th April 1894
34Samuel Oakes27th May 1851
 Nancy Oakes19th January 1851
 Jane Oakes27th June 1855
 Alice Oakes18th May 1858
 Benjamin Oakes23rd April 1851
35Joshua Briggs4th November 1858
 Hannah Briggs29th January 1874
36? CharlesMay 1858
37Susannah Clegg1st February 1865
 Emma Clegg14th July 1861
38Mary Brook26th July 1857
 Thomas Brook8th August 1857
39Hannah Archer2nd August 1852
 Abraham Archer21st January 1867
40Philip Brook1st August 1855
 Eli Brook28th March 1856
 Simon Brook9th June 1850
 Sophia Brook28th August 1862
 Harriett Brook14th August 1876
 J.C. Brook27th May 1885
41Francis Giggal18th May 1856
 Mary Giggal15th May 1887
42Harriett Jenkinson13th November 1871
 Joseph Jenkinson10th February 1873
43Joseph Haigh11th October 1864
 Sarah Haigh30th April 1900
44Elizabeth Audsley18th November 1830
 Mary Audsley29th December 1819
 Hannah, Martha, Isaac & Ann   – In infancy 
 Joseph Audsley4th February 1862
 Sarah Dews8th January 1889
45John Audsley13th December 1830
 Joseph Audsley27th July 1859
46Benjamin Banes11th March 1830
 Martha Banes12th July 1833
47Margaret Giggal1st March 1830
 David Giggal16th April 1835
48Millicent Ellis8th May 1847
49Sarah Ellis29th March 1834
 Samuel Ellis7th April 1846
 Mary Ellis24th April 1856
 Ann Bennett10th July 1852
 Mary Ellis24th April 1856
 Philip Ellis17th July 1877
50Thomas Pawson4th February 1837
 4 children in infancy 
 Rachel Pawson17th December 1865
51Joshua Moss11th July1830
 George Moss26th May 1872
52Benjamin Mitchell22nd June 1844
53John Boothroyd30th December 1862
 Susannah Boothroyd20th June 1876
55Jabez Radley 
 Hannah Radley2nd October?
 Jabez Radley23rd March 18?
 Martha Radley17th August 1871
 George Radley23rd February 1896
56George Saxton21st June 1865
 Martha Saxton19th November 1882
57Mark Pickard7th July 1865
58Hannah Pickard25th April 1862
 Andrew Pickard18th September 1890
 Hannah Pickard29th June 1891
59George Pickard10th June 1892
 David Pickard6th July 1882
 David Pickard (Jnr)17th February 1878
60Sarah ClaftonFebruary 1859
 ? Clafton12th April 1859
61Mary Ellis24th April l853
 John William Ellis18th May 1863
62Susan Ely1st June 1853
63Elizabeth Ely9th November 1851
 Martha Ely19th June 1853
 Thomas ?11th June 1879
64Edmund Dews7th July 1829
 John Archer17th July 1852
 Ann Dews12th May 1855
 John Archer17th July 1832

 Information courtesy of Lawrence Son & Thorp (Solicitors) Ossett

(Supplied by the late Jean Crabtree)


Spurr. A well known name in Ossett.

Robert Spurr was born in 1801 to Job and Hannah(née Sugden) of Streetside, Ossett. He was christened at Holy Trinity Church on February 22 that same year.

I was going to tell you how and where Robert lived and worked. But then I thought – let’s hear it from the man himself. The following is his account of his life and is offered here as it was written.

“Dear Brethren and Relatives, I take this opportunity to write the following lines for your instruction. When I was a child I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man in 1822 I did not put away childish things; I still continued child like with little things, in stead of improving and strenthing my mind by scholership.

I walked from street to street, from field to field, seeking plesure but found very little. My wages was very small. I seldom had any money or very little in my pocket – so I went on from year to year untill 1824. Then I got married to Miss [Nancy] Dewhirst.

I then found I had been very foolish for I soon began to learn the cares of the world.

My wages been so very small, at Spring I went to work with Brother William out of doors. It was a very rainy, wet summer so we made very little money. So I thought I would try some thing else. I began to be a fancy weaver and, been a new work to me, I missed my way and made no thing of it. Then my Wife was taken very ill, and in 50 weeks after we was married. She Died in 1825, leaving me with one son a few weeks old when she Died – that is, our Joshua. My Mother [Hannah] and Sister Betty then took the charge of him. He was a very feeble Boy, but with great care he was brought up with them at a very easy cost untill he was over eleven years of age. So I had to sell part of my goods and go live with Father and Mother.

I then began to work for Brother John.

In December 1825 Wakefield Bank broke [‘The bank which went bankrupt was that of Wentworth, Chaloner, Rish-worth and Company. It was a London banking-house which had banks at York and Bradford, as well as at Wakefield. The fact that from the beginning of December wages could not be paid with that banking-house’s notes had immediate local repercussions] and there was a Great fall in the trade, so I and Brother David went on a tramp. We walked to Liverpool and back but we never got one bit of work. Some time after that I got work at Hunslet for a short time. Then I went to work at Leeds but I was very unwell and had to go home again. After that I went with Father [Job Spurr] and Brother James to work out of doors, but I soon took the typhus fever and for some weeks was very ill. When just recovering from that complaint I was seized with another long and bitter complaint which kept me in prison for 12 months. I could not go in search of work all that 12 months. Then my clothing was all worn out, so I sold 2 chares to buy a new hat. This was hard for me. My heart was fit to break – and while I am writing, I feel the smart of it.

I then went off with a very heavy heart to seek work.

I worked 3 months at Gildersome, making mens’ boots at 2s. per pair. After that, I came to work for Brother John again for some short time. But I wished again to try my weel of fortune else where, so I went to work at Leeds, up at Bank [The district known as Bank was the area approximately where Saxton Gardens estate in Leeds is today] and lived with Brother David but I slept at another place. I had not been there long before my master removed to Meanwood and all the shopmen went with them in number. This was a very pleasant place and I enjoyed the working days very well. It is a very healthy country in that land scape. There was parks, woods and groves. It was full of beauty. But when Sunday after noon came I was left alone because my shop mates went to the pub lick house to enjoy them selves. But I could not do that and support my self and my son.

My Master was very poor and liked his drop of ale, and he had very little money and little work, so when I had been there 18 months I had to leave 50s. of my wages in his hands and go work at Rodley. Rodley is a little place, built near the water side, where trading vessels is passing up and down. After I had been there a few weeks I went to Meanwood for my 50s., but there was nothing for me. After that, I went to Leeds and got a sommons for my money. When the day of trial came, I only got 20s. And bit by bit, after a long time, I got it all but a few Shillings.

In this Rodley shop there was 11 men in number. We had plenty of work and plenty of pastimes, such as sing, dance and drink, and all kinds of folly from morning till night. So time passed away when at our work very well-except that profane swearing that I never did practice, nor did I like to hear it. But when Sunday came I found it was all vanity and vexation of spirit. All my shop mates went to their own homes and I was left alone.

When sitting by the water side one sabbath day in a very solitary or retire place, under a green tree where no human eye could see me nor a voice could I hear, I thought of old Ossett, my parents and Brethren – how happy they all was, and I had been for some years a miserable man. Then I thought I would end it all by putting my self into the water and there have a watery grave. But I moved off for time to think of it.

Soon after that, the bailiff came with a writ for my master. Then his Lanlord came and sold his cattle and all his farming stock; and his Brother-in-law took a house at Leeds new road end, and I went with them. This house and shop was very small and every thing was very unpleasant to me. Then I thought I would leave them and try to get work in some other place.

Providence guided me to Bramley in August 1831. I then began to work for Mr. R. Pickard. [Ralph Pickard is mentioned in several Leeds Directories as a boot and shoe maker]. He was a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Church but as I did not like that creed I never went with them. The shop men here was 6 in number. I soon found they were sober, hard working men. This was a great change for me. In the 2 last mentioned shops we had dreadfull oaths and bitter cursing day by day. Here we all did sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs. I had more comfort than I ever had at any previous shop for some years, and every Saturday morning I got my wage, from the first week to the last – this was what I never had in all my life! This put joy and happiness in to my heart more than all the vanity and folly I ever had.

Then one of my shop mates and my self began to go to the Baptist ChapeI. I thought it very strange when I saw men and women go down into the water, and the Minister in the water Baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. But I heard them preach the word of truth-and reading for my self in the book, I found it to be true – so I went along with them, hoping to be in heaven with them. I believe that creed to be according to the new testament and generally agreed with their doctrines such as original sin, regeneration by grace, Baptizam and the Lord Suppor, free justification and adoption, the final perseverance of real believers, the eternal happiness of the rigteous and so on. But I did not very well like my lodgin house because he was a very drunken man, so I went to live with Wm Dearden.[ William Dearden was a fellow-member at Bramley Zion and his name appears on “The Roll”, the oldest surviving membership register of that church] He was a shoe-maker and a follower of Christ. His Wife was not very well. She got worse and worse, so a woman did often come in to help her. It was Miss [Mary] Marshall. I soon found she was, like my self, living in lodgens, with out Father and Mother, Sister or Brother, and so was I in Bramley.

So we thought one house would do for us both and, as soon has we got ready, we went to Leeds parish Church in 1833. Then she came to live with me and in 5 weeks after, Dearden’s Wife died, leaving him one little Boy. So we had to stop there and do all the work of the house, rent free. My Wife had the care of his Boy and the house work and to bind his shoes, so she had work enough. But in due time she gave birth to a little Girl – this is our Nancy – in 1834.Then she had another little Girl in 1835 – her name was Eliza. While living here we were very comfortable and got some goods for house keeping and saved 9 or 10 pounds in a money club.

As our familey was on the increase we wished to try our fortune in some other way. So after working for Mr. R. Pickard 5 years, I left him to commence business in 1836. So we then took a new house and removed into it. Then I went to Ossett to fetch my son, Joshua. When he got to Bramley he was full of trouble because he had no one to play with. But that soon left him because he got some play mates and after that he learned to be a shoemaker.

On the 26 of June George was born. We have now 3 small children. The first born was 2 years and 24 weeks old, besides our son Joshua. And business was all to learn and the trade all to get. I tried to open a small shoe shop and we soon began to get work and for a fue months we got on has well as could be expected. But we soon had a death also in this year – Oct 22 1836. It was Eliza.

In 1837 there was a general down fall in trade. The cloth trade was all most at a stand. And the people having so little work, we got very little money. My Wife took in some washing but when my work was ready the people got a good bit of it with out money which kept us very poor. Our shop was broken down and we lost all we had. Then we got into debt and had to struggle hard to get on.

We had also a birth in this year – Sep 16. His name was John, but he died in 3 weeks after. And all the money we could raise was 18d., so we had to get the grave made and a coffin on strap. Soon after they both came for some boots for that money, so we got them paid off. When Christmas was coming on, I spent all the money we could get to make up boots for the people, expecting to have a good return. But on December the 24 all the money that came into our house was 1s. for all our labour. So my Wife went to make her market and spent it all [Mary used the shilling to purchase as much as she could on the best terms possible], so on Christmas day we was as clear from money as a toad is from feathers. Our table was very scanty; we had plenty of poverty, because the people was feasting on our money.

And so we was from year to year, working and trying to get our bread day by day. In 1838 Sarah ann was born – Nov 21. And in 1841 the house we live in now was to be let. We wanted to have it, but how can we pay our rent off and take another house? I had to enter into a £6 money club and I had to go and buy the first share to enable me to pay my rent. It was sold by auction – I gave for it 27s. So I just got all the rent and left the house. We then entered our new house with all our debt. We have all the £6 club and intrest to pay, besides all other debts. This was a great burden.

And when Lydia was about one year old she fell sick and my poor Wife had to carry her in her arms to Leeds Infirmary and back. And then she died – May 22 1842, aged 18 months. But Hannah Maria was born – Aug 31 1842 – which made up the number again.

Hoping to see that day when we should owe no man any thing, we tried to open a small shoe shop 2 or 3 times, but we had to break down because we had the club to pay and other debts. Docter bills been very heavy for us to pay, they fetched it from us in boots. Or we paid it in cash. This kept us very poor. We had to work hard and live on a low diet for many years. But we went on, until March 25 1845 – then Cyrus was born. He was a very fine boy but in a short time his health gave way. He was like a tender plant for 18 months and then he got into good health again.

In 1847 the price of flour was very high – up to 4s. per stone. This made our trade very poor. But before the close of the year the price was reduced to about 2s. 6d. per stone. And on the 25 of December our Joshua got married and left us and followed shoemaking for many years.

We are left with 5 Children and no one to work but my self and my Wife. We laboured to get them food and raiment has well as we could, looking for that day when our Children would be able to help us. Cyrus was a strong boy, a Child of hope. We was looking to him to ade us in old age. But he fell sick and in March 12 1851 he died of a few days’ sickness. This great Change filled all our hearts with sorrow more than all the poverty we ever had. But I am very thankful and can say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is with in me.” It would have been worse if my Children had been fatherless and my Wife a widow. But God knoweth our frame. He remembereth that we are but dust.

Now our Children is working and helping us, and the trade is better. Now we can get food and raiment as well as any other working man. And the time is come that we have paid all our debts and owest no man any thing. I have seen men live in poverty and die in debt. Some has goon into the poor house to live and die there. Some have goon from door to door beggin their bread. Some has goon out to work and was brought home dead – and many such things. So I have reason to thank God and take courage, for none of these things has yet come upon me.

After our debts was all paid, we then went on from time to time, trying to make a pair of boots now and then to get another shop, untill we had got 40 pairs of boots and shoes. We got a friend for the loan of £5 and paid it back at 10d. per month. Then we began to raise our shop, and our Joshua began to work for us. Our trade began to increase. Our minds was more at rest. Our famley was 6 in number. We was all pooling one way, getting along very well. Our health was good; our days was happy – Sundays and week days; our home was plesant; our gains was slowly on the increase – up to 1861.

This winter there was a very strong storm of frost and snow, so my Wife was confined in bed until spring. Then she got into better health and was able to do her work again. But on August 9 1862 she was taken ill with the Cholera and a very deal of cramp which had her more then 20 hours. This affiiction was so strong she never got the right strength of her body any more, and with all the means we could use she still continued unwell all winter.

In November our Nancy got married and left us, and in February 1863 our Sarah Ann got married and left us. So then we had to manage our busness and our affliction as well as we could. But we were just able to get our living and bear the expence with out geting into debt. In this way we went on from time to time until act 29 1864. Then she took to her bed and was never up one whole day and was only drest 2 or 3 times for 17 months. When she had sufferd much, night and day, more or less for 5 years, on the 24 of March 1866 she departed this life, aged 66. She boor her afflictions with patience and was willing to depart.

Our son George got married 4 weeks before the death of his Mother, so now you will see I am left with only one Daughter, that is Hannah Maria. She works at the Sowing Machine and follows the work of the house. So we are as well as anyone can expect. But I find my mind has been very much at wander for some time. I think my best way will be to take the advice of Soloman. He says there is nothing better for a man then he should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labour. It is the gift of God, for that his is portion while in this life. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certan we shall take nothing out. But has we are sent into this world to work for our daily bread in the sweat of our face untill we return to the ground, we must be content to do has well as we can while we are able to.


Now you will see I have been more then 40 years in the Wilderness. During this time there has been many a heavy storm in life. After I left Ossett I went from town to town, from shop to shop, working for different men and living and lodgin with other men for near ten years. Some times it was very unpleasant to me. Then I got married to a poor hard working woman. She was faithfull to her trust. We were united to gether near 34 years before she Died.

During our pass through life we have had births and deaths, times of sickness and of health; we have been in poverty and in plenty; we have had poor trade and good trade. But I do not remember at any time putting a price upon my goods to extortion from a customer that which was not right. I have often had two little for my labour that I might have a good conscience, beliving it would be better for us at the end.

We have had 8 Children [as well as Joshua] but lost 4 of them by Death. So now, as a working man, I think after all my poverty, if anyone has reason to be thankfull, it is me. For there is a deal of people in poverty and in debt, but all my debts is paid and all my Children is sober hard working Children (and I hope they are all resting on the faith of the Gospel of Christ).

And now I find my health is giving way and the time is fast coming that this place which knows me now will soon know me no more for ever. So when I have run the race and finished my course, you may all come then and see the end. R. Spurr”Bramley Leeds June 27 1867

Robert Spurr died two years later, aged 68.


From the Ossett Observer

A new branch of Ossett Cooperative Society was erected on Junction Lane at a cost of £800. It was opened by the president Mr SE Langley. Samuel Edwin Langley and his brother John ran a mungo and shoddy business from Langley’s Mill which once stood on Dale Street, next to the Horse and Jockey.In the 1960s the mill was taken over by Northfield Industrial Fabrications

Work was begun on Ossett Corporation’s Pildacre Waterworks on January 18th.

Albert Illingworth of Ossett Spa, farmer and fellmonger, died suddenly in a tram car between Horbury and Wakefield. He was 68.

Out of 89 samples of beer tested by the Inland Revenue, 61 were either adulterated or illegal.

MARCH 1923
14 Dearden Street was sold at auction for £440.

MARCH 1923
In view of the probability of the construction of a new road leading off Station Road near the Drill Hall, it was suggested that the town’s War Memorial should be erected opposite to the entrance to that road. Herbert Harrop offered to give the necessary land.

MARCH 1878
The old church school on Dale Street(erected in 1816 for use as a CofE Sunday School and to commemorate the signing of peace after the Battle of Waterloo) was sold at auction for £540 to the trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel.

APRIL 1923
Ossett ladies raised £25 toward the restoration of the “Seven Sisters” window at York Minster.

APRIL 1878
Corner stones of an enlargement of the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Ossett Common were laid on Good Friday April 9th.

MAY 1923
Plans for 47 houses in Warneford Avenue were approved by Ossett Town Council.

MAY 1898
A local man won a wager of £1 by drinking half a gallon of beer in 8 seconds.

MAY 1878
Ossett Local Board decided to set up a system to regularly empty ash pits. One tenant had told the chairman that an ash heap had been going for 10 years!

MAY 1898
Two shops on Bank Street occupied by Messrs Nichols (draper) and Wallace (grocer)realised £1,325 at auction.

JUNE 1878
Four cottages at Ossett Streetside with yards and gardens (460 square yards in total) were sold for £420.

JUNE 1878
Ossett Local Board decided that the handle be taken off the town’s pump on the old church site.

JUNE 1898
There was a record entry (1,128) for Ossett Agricultural Show, held on the football field near the station on June 11th.

JUNE 1923
Close to 1000 people took an excursion to London on June 19th. It was organised by the Chambers of Trade, Ossett, Dewsbury, Batley and Birstall.

JUNE 1878
Joseph Brook, woollen extractor, bought 6,352 Square yards of land on the North side of the GN Station, Ossett, at auction for £650.

JULY 1878
The greater part of Ossett Feast found new grounds. The former site – the old church ground and Bank Street and Dale Street – was let as a whole to a Batley man.

JULY 1898
Ossett Mechanics Institute (founded in 1850) and Technical School (established 1885) were transferred to Ossett Corporation on July 1st. The foundation stone of the building in Station Road was laid in August 1889 by Joshua Wilson of Leeds. The building was opened the following year by Swire Smith on behalf of the Clothworkers’ Company.

Several wells in Ossett were ordered to be filled in. They included those at Healey Lane, Giggal Hill, Storrs Hill and Emerson’s Well.

Ossett Common Rovers AFC acquired a new ground, “The Ten Acre” off Station Road.

Alfred Frudd of The Green raised a choir of 41 to take part in the Cooperative Festival at Crystal Palace on August 20th.

When a house in Wesley Street was entered during the night the intruder boiled the kettle, made tea, ate half a loaf with plenty of butter and drank all the milk. On leaving he took with him boot brushes and polish which, after using, he left in a nearby field.

A spirit licence was granted to the Great Northern (Thorn Tree). It was stated it had been used as a beer house for more than 60 years. The licensee has added a three stall stable, with a large band room over.

For four jobs as lamplighters there were 25 applicants. The job paid 13 shillings a week.

A butcher’s shop, stable, six cottages and vacant land in Dale Street, occupied by David Nettleton and others were bought by David Lucas for £760.

When Gawthorpe Hall, formerly the property of the Rowley family, was offered for sale the first bid was £200. It was sold for £500 to Mr Whittle of Dewsbury.

An oak tablet was unveiled by Major GS Mill, RAMC at Healey Mission Rooms in memory of the men of the district who fell in the Great War.

An Ossett cattle dealer was fined for driving a bull on the highway and not having it secured by a ring and a rope.

The trustees of the Pickard Scholarships recommended that the trust be transferred to Ossett Corporation and the income appropriated so as to provide each year two scholarships of £15 a year each instead of one of £30.

Bethel Chapel, Flushdyke celebrated its diamond jubilee. The work was begun by Helen Haigh who worked at Tolson’s Mill and the first permanent home was the “Foss ‘Oil”, a cottage near the mill.

Work began on the building of the Gunson Almshouses on Wakefield Road.

A curious accident led to the death of an Ossett pork butcher. Whilst adjusting his sausage machine, which was working by horse power, the horse started unexpectedly and the man lost two of his fingers. His death was caused by tetanus.


Patrick Brontë (1777-1861) was the father of Branwell, Charlotte, Emily and Anne. Apparently, his daughters weren’t the only ones in the family to be gifted authors as Patrick also enjoyed writing.

He wrote two small volumes of poetry and two short stories; one a tale of Irish life and the other entitled “The Art of Becoming Rich and Happy”.

But did you know that he had a connection to Ossett?

Whilst curate at Dewsbury, between 1809 and 1811,he was the officiating minister at various weddings, baptisms and funerals of Ossett folk, all of which took place at Dewsbury Parish Church.

One such wedding was that of an Ossett couple – James Oldroyd and Maria Dews who, with their children, eventually emigrated to America. Their grandchildren sold James and Maria’s marriage certificate, which was written by Patrick Brontë. It realised $7,000!

A plan of Flushdyke dated 1771. Click to enlarge it.

Look how close Haigh’s Longlands was to the Workhouse. From the richest to the poorest in a few hundred steps. Just across the way is Whitaker’s House. I like the bit with the Chapel on it. Long since demolished, this is the site of the original Holy Trinity and it stood in the Market Place, about where the War Memorial is now. This was also the site of the Pickard Memorial Fountain.

I wonder what the dispute was about. You’ll notice that one of the defendants is Joseph Ingham.The Inghams are one of the oldest recorded families in Ossett, dating back at least to the time of the English Civil War. The earliest recorded Ossett Ingham is William Ingham (1615-1670) who was a felt maker, yeoman and Ossett landowner.

Descended from this same Ossett family are the Joshua Inghams of Blake Hall and the third Joshua Ingham of this line (1802-1866) was to employ Anne Brontë, who wrote the partly biographical novel “Agnes Grey” in 1847, describing her somewhat difficult time at Blake Hall as a Governess to the Ingham’s two eldest children, Cunliffe and Mary. Master Tom, the brat-from-hell was actually (Joshua) Cunliffe Ingham and his precocious sister, Miss Mary Ann, was really his younger sibling Mary Ingham. In the novel, Blake Hall became Wellwood House and the Inghams, the Bloomfields. However, the Inghams, dissatisfied with their children’s progress, dismissed Anne Brontë within a year. The Brontës were also regular visitors to Longlands House at Flushdyke.

Born in 1797, Elizabeth Firth was the godmother of Anne Brontë who was born in 1820 in Thornton, Bradford where Elizabeth lived. Patrick Brontë became curate in the village in 1815 and Elizabeth soon became great friends with him and his wife Maria. Five years later the Brontës moved to Haworth where, when Anne was just a year old, her mother Maria died of uterine cancer.

In December 1821 Patrick Brontë proposed marriage to Elizabeth Firth but she declined his offer.

Patrick Brontë had spent large sums of money on medical care for his dying wife and ran up significant debts in the process. Elizabeth Firth was among the friends who cleared his debts. She made further contributions throughout the lives of all the Brontës, regularly sending them gifts and she paid for the eldest Brontë daughters to attend the exclusive Crofton Hall School, where she herself had attended.

Built by Joshua Wilson (1706 -1778) of Pontefract in about 1750, the hall was demolished in 1981.

From the age of fifteen, Elizabeth kept a diary, detailing her daily activities. From 1815 onwards her diary became full of the Brontës: for example on November 6 1817: ‘I went to Bradford with Mr Brontë. The Princess Charlotte of Wales died.’

These diaries have survived and whilst they don’t go into too much detail they do show the relationship between the Firth and Brontë family. Included in Elizabeth’s diaries are her visits to Ossett and particularly Longlands, the home of the Haigh family.

Longlands photograph courtesy of Jennifer Duckett
and Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA)

6 Apr Miss Clarke married Mr Charles Stokes. I dined at Longlands

18 Apr We came to Longlands

24 Apr Miss Outhwaite came to Longlands

29 Apr We walked to Gawthrop

1 May We drank tea at Low Laithes

3 May Called at Low Laithes

10 May We called at Low Laithes. Mr & Mrs Kilvington called here

13 May My Papa and Mr Bronte went to Wakefield to vote for Mr Scott. Stopped all night at Longlands. (The election was for a registrar for the West Riding. Scott, the Tory candidate, withdrew on the following Friday when it became clear he could not win.)

25 Aug Went to Longlands

7 Sep Miss Hannah Haigh came

9 Sep Mr Joshua Haigh came

19 Sep Came to Longlands. Doctor and Miss Alexander came to tea.

20 Sep Mrs Nettleton and Mr Wheatley to dinner

26 Sept My Papa came for me to go to Longlands at ten in the morning. My Mama was there.

13 Dec My Papa and I went to Longlands

14 Dec Mr Walker dined at Mr Haigh’s

Elizabeth Firth’s diaries have been preserved, and are now in the Sheffield University archives. A transcription of the diaries can also be read online.

Regency Reads

In 1688 John Haigh of Thornhill bought land at Longlands and it remained in the Haigh family until 1857 when Ann, the last of the five Misses Haigh, died. The estate was then left to *Charles Wheatley, cousin of the Misses Haigh, who rented out the property. When he died in 1900 he left Longlands to his cousin Eleanor Steele. Eleanor died ten years later and left Longlands to her son and three daughters.

In 1929 Mr Crook bought Longlands and in 1969 he sold 3 acres to Milner Development Ltd for Industrial Development. In 1971 Mr Crook died and the hall and remaining land was purchased by Milner Development Ltd. Longlands was demolished shortly after.

The demolition of Longlands.
Photo: Ruth Nettleton

One of the Brave

Hugh Noel Conway Davies was the curate of Holy Trinity Church from 1933 to 1936. His role would have been to support the vicar who, at that time, was Rev George Herbert Marshall DSO., the chaplain who officiated at the funeral of the Red Baron.

Hugh, who was known as Noel, was born in Llanfynydd, Flintshire in December 1892. Noel’s father was Rev William Taliesin Davies, a clergyman from Caernarvon. Noel’s mother, 37 year old Marie, passed away eighteen months later, just a few weeks after the birth of her sixth child. Maria’s cousin, Martha Garlick, moved into The Rectory in Llanfynydd to care for the young, grieving family.

The 1911 census shows that, by the age of 18, Noel was a student at Kelham Hall in Nottingham which, for 70 years, became home to an Anglican order of monks, gaining its impressive domed chapel. Originally this was where the Society of the Sacred Mission prepared students for missionary service. When Noel attended the college they trained clergy for the Church of England. Noel went on to study medicine at Liverpool University.

By September 1 1915 Noel was serving in France as Private HNC Davies 3856, 12th Battalion Royal Fusiliers. He rose to the rank of Corporal and was next attached to the 29th Battalion London Regiment. Serving as a doctor’s medical assistant, Noel was in charge of 30 stretcher bearers. These brave men went over the tops of the trenches unarmed, carrying a stretcher and medical supplies.

The Church Family newspaper of Friday 9 March 1917 reported how Noel had been awarded the Military Medal + bar. Instituted in March 1916, this medal was awarded to non-commissioned officers (NCOs) and men of the British Army for acts of bravery during World War I. The addition of the bar indicates a further act of bravery.

On one occasion Noel was responsible for saving the life of a sergeant and several other men of his Company who had been buried in their dug out; digging them out whilst under enemy fire. Another time he went out into “No Man’s Land” and attended to the wounded, bringing them in whilst again under fire. Finally, while his Company was under fire in the trenches, a call came in to say some of their men were struggling to keep hold of a vantage point. They had to move or suffer the consequences but to do so meant leaving behind their wounded. Noel asked for volunteers to help him to bring them back and five went with him and brought them away. Three of those who volunteered were wounded and two were killed. Not only was Noel awarded the Military Medal but he was also offered a commission which he refused. One can only imagine the pain he must have felt at the loss of the lives of those men who volunteered on his request.

As far as I can tell, the record of Noel’s military service has not survived. About 60% of service records were damaged or destroyed in September 1940 when the War Office in London was bombed. I have managed to find Noel on the Medal Rolls Index and the Service Medal & Award Rolls. He was awarded the Victory & British Medals and the 1914-15 Star. Worn together, these medals became known as “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred”.

In 1924 Noel married Ruby Williams in Pembroke and by 1932 they had arrived in Yorkshire. Noel was ordained as a deacon at Wakefield Cathedral in May 1932 and in June the following year he was ordained as a priest. In January 1936 he left Ossett having accepted the living at St Peter’s at Hartshead where he stayed for the next 20 years.

Noel had a deep interest in history and recorded the history of St Peter’s Church and its links with the Brontës. Reverend Patrick Brontë, father of the famous literary sisters, was incumbent at St Peter’s between 1810 and 1815. Rev Brontë was also incumbent at Dewsbury Parish Church, giving him a connection to Ossett as many of our townsfolk were christened, married or buried there by him.

Noel also made recordings of the history of Robin Hood and this was even broadcast in America. It is said by some that Robin Hood cut his last arrows from a yew tree in the churchyard of St Peter’s, the dead trunk of which can still be seen standing there today.

In 1956 Noel left Yorkshire when he became the Vicar of St Katherine’s in Teversal, Nottingham. He died in 1959 and is buried in the churchyard there.

Wednesday 04 February 1959
Halifax Evening Courier



The Love Where You Live Awards are a community-wide celebration of people who make this a district to be proud of and they become more successful every year. A great deal of hard work has been going on across the district to make our communities better places to live and local people are at the heart of this.

Wakefield and District Housing

I’m very proud to say that our Facebook group, Ossett Through Ages (OTTA) has won the first prize in the ‘Digital in the Community’ category after the public voted in their thousands.

I want to be sure that all our members know how grateful I am for their support and contributions over the last seven years.

OTTA started in 2015 as a place to share old photos and memories. Whilst this is still an integral part of our group, we have evolved into so much more. Facebook has given us a digital platform that enables us to come together, from all corners of the globe, as a community. And what a community we are!

I’m told that mine was the reaction of the night. That’s because we were up against some tough competition and I was expecting to have my dinner and go home! I’m humbled that the public chose OTTA. Thank you to everyone who voted.

This award means the world to me as I truly do Love Where I Live.


Anne-Marie Fawcett November 2022


Author: Brian Smith

This book is reproduced here with the kind permission of the family of the author. It is offered with additional information sourced from Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA)

Anne-Marie Fawcett October 2022


Of course, everyone knows that pubs were just drinking dives, where the drinkers drank to excess and came out singing wildly or staggering in the gutter. Well, there were a few like that, but mostly they were quickly closed down by the police and the Licensing Authorities.

For the most part, pubs were meeting places where men (few women in days gone by) could get a drink of beer and meet socially with their workmates and the older, retired men. They could smoke their pipes and perhaps play dominoes – for fun only – because if the landlord found that they had staked 2d. for the winner, he would throw them out for gambling on his licensed premises.

However, there was much more to pubs than that. Just think about it. They were generally much larger than the nearby housing, because they usually had one large room downstairs and a number of smaller rooms, whilst upstairs they had their own accommodation plus a number of bedrooms available for visitors and travellers. They had facilities for catering for their guests, or for providing meals for large groups – for example – on Easter Monday 1870 about 100 persons sat down for an excellent dinner at the Royal Hotel.

In ancient times The King used to travel the country and held Court to right any wrongs, or to inquire into unusual happenings. Later the King appointed “Crowners” to act for him as if he were present, to make enquiries into such circumstances. The Crowner was a very important person, and this importance stayed even though his name transformed over time to “Coroner”. He was required to travel to the locality of any unusual death, where (depending upon the distance) he stayed at a local hotel or at a pub if those were the largest premises available. He also made use of the large downstairs room for the Inquest, whilst at breaks in the proceedings there was food and drink on hand for witnesses, etc.

The large room was also used when sales or auctions of property took place. In a political sense it would have been used for a meeting of the Dewsbury Working Mens Conservative Association held at the Cooper’s Arms in 1867. Following the formation of a Liberal Registration Association in Ossett, it held its first meeting at the Cock & Bottle in March 1869. The fortnightly meetings of the Board of Surveyors were held in the Cock & Bottle Inn in 1867. When Ossett adopted the Local Government Act in 1870 the Local Board held its meetings at the Cooper’s Arms, whilst the Board of Health meetings were held at the Royal Hotel.

Some of the local hostelries had stabling for a dozen horses, some of which were available for hire. However, I have been unable to find any true “Coaching Inns” locally. These were situated in larger towns like Leeds, Wakefield and Halifax. An Inn in Wakefield claimed it had stabling for 200 horses. As early as 1866 Gamwell Cudworth was advertising the availability of a Cab at a moments notice from the Bull’s Head Inn.

As you can see, there was rather more going on in pubs than just drinking the acceptable local beverage.

Brian Smith


The site of the Beehive, Gawthorpe
Photo: Anne-Marie 2017

At the century-old Beehive Inn situated in Gawthorpe the following incident took place one day in 1963. Reggie Sedgewick and Amos Clapham, a local coal merchant and president of the Maypole Committee, were enjoying some well-earned liquid refreshment whilst standing at the bar lost in their own thoughts. Suddenly in burst Lewis Hartley in a somewhat exuberant mood. On seeing the other two he slapped Reggie heartily on the back and said: ”Ba gum lad tha’ looks buggered!”

Whether because of the force of the blow or because of the words that accompanied it, Reggie was just a little put out.‘ ’ Ah’m as fit as thee’’ he told Lewis, ‘’an’ if tha’ dun’t believe me gerra a bagga coil on thi back an ‘ah’ll get one on mine an ‘ah’ll race thee to t’ top o’ t’ wood !’’ ( Coil, let me explain is Yorkshire speak for coal ).

While Lewis digested the implications of this challenge Fred Hirst, Secretary of the Gawthorpe Maypole Committee ( and not a man to let a good idea go to waste) raised a cautioning hand. ” ‘Owd on a minute,’’ said Fred – and there was something in his voice that made them all listen. ‘Aven’t we been looking fer some’at to do on Easter Monday? If we’re gonna ‘ave a race let’s ‘ave it then. Let’s ‘ave a coil race from Barracks t’ Maypole.’’( The Barracks being the more common name given by the locals to The Royal Oak Public House )Thus was born The World Coal Carrying Championships!

Gawthorpe Maypole Committee


The Boot & Shoe c1900 courtesy of Julie Guilfoyle
Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett 2019

Dating back to at least 1866, The Boot & Shoe was originally a beer house. What’s the difference between a Beer House and a Public House? Fully licensed pubs were regulated by local magistrates, who had the power to grant or revoke licenses. Beer houses were controlled by the excise department.

Legal beer houses and beer shops were introduced by the 1830 Beer Act, which was introduced by the government who were keen to promote the drinking of beer instead of spirits. Especially gin which was, originally, the drink of sailors. The craze for gin swept across much of England during the first half of the 18th century. Prior to the Act, beer was taxed – despite the fact that it was safer to drink than water! The Act abolished the beer tax.

Many shopkeepers sold beer alongside their shop wares. Imagine going to the butchers for your shinned beef and being able to buy a jug of warm beer to drink with it. Hmm …

In 1869, control of beer house licensing was given to magistrates and they set about closing as many as they could. Many were closed due to their poor facilities, some having started as just a room or two in a house or shop. But beer houses didn’t disappear overnight. It actually took more than 100 years to close them all. In 1910 almost a third of pubs were beer houses. By 1950 it was a fifth. A few hundred still remained by the time they were abolished in 1980.

In 1961 landlady, Kate Mugglestone, successfully applied for an All Liquors Licence and The Boot & Shoe became a fully licensed Public House.

Anne-Marie Fawcett


At Healey there was a large mill complex which utilised the water power available from the River Calder. After weaving, the woollen cloth had to be “fulled” or “milled”. This entailed pounding the wet cloth with water powered wooden hammers, a skilled job. The cloth was then attached to tenter frames by tenter- hooks. Suspended on these frames the cloth dried and shrinkage was controlled. John Gawthorp, a Cloth Miller, born at Horbury Bridge, moved to Healey in the early-1840’s with his wife and 4 children, and took over a beerhouse (Miller’s Arms). The 1851 census lists John Gawthorp (40), Sarah (39), born at Healey, John (20), William (17), Sarah (15), Ann (12), Joseph (8), Caroline (5), Squire (2) and Catherine (1 month). On the 1861 census John Gawthorpe is shown as an Innkeeper (Miller’s Arms), whilst his son John is a Cloth Fuller employing 5 men. William has become the licensee of the Victoria Hotel in Manor Road. In 1871 John Snr is back as a Cloth Fuller and John Jnr has taken over the Miller’s Arms. Then in 1872 William left the Victoria and went to live in Wakefield. In 1873 John Snr died and Sarah, his widow, became both the owner and licensee of the Victoria, but only for one year. In the 1881 census Sarah is living in Greatfield Road with John Henry (15), her grandson, a solicitor’s clerk. By 1877 John Jnr had died and his widow, Jane Gawthorpe, had taken the license of the Miller’s Arms. This Inn was subsequently sold in 1881, and John Duffin became the licensee.

Brian Smith

Photos of the Miller’s Arms at Healey, late summer 1985. Clark’s Brewery bought this and reopened it in early November 1985 as Boon’s End (the brewery held a competition to find a name for it). The first landlord of Boons End was Ben Cooper, who moved across from Henry Boons in Wakefield.

Neville Ashby
The Brewers Pride.
Photo: Neville Ashby 2019

The Duffin family came to Ossett in 1880 as itinerant licensees. The census of 1881 records John Duffin (36), Innkeeper, born Wintersett, Ann (31) born Barnsley, whilst their children had been born at Woolley, Brampton and Dewsbury. Living with them were two of Ann’s brothers, named Waterton from Barnsley, and a servant from Doncaster. They stayed at the Miller’s Arms for 10 years, and then in 1890 moved to the Cross Keys, which at that time was in Alverthorpe with Thornes. John Duffin stayed there until 1903. On the 1881 census the children were only given initials, but on the 1891 census for Alverthorpe cum Thornes the whole family is detailed – and note the different birthplaces. John Duffin (46), Innkeeper and Farmer, born at Wragby, Ann Selina (41), Barnsley, William Henry (20), Woolley, Ann Selina (16) Wath on Dearne, George William (14) Rawmarsh, John William (14) Rawmarsh, Edwin Scholey (12) Dewsbury and Percy (3) Ossett. With them were Ann Waterton (76), Mother-in-Law, and George (43) her son, both from Barnsley. In 1897 Ann Selina Duffin took over the Commercial, Dewsbury Road, and stayed there for 12 years. Is this the mother, who would be 47, or the daughter who would be 22? William Henry took over the Cross Keys from his father in 1903, but only stayed for one year. In 1933 Edwin Scholey Duffin moved to the Commercial, until 1935.

Brian Smith
Published: Friday 14 August 1874
Newspaper: Huddersfield Chronicle

The case was resumed and a verdict was given for the plaintiff on all the issues. I can’t help wonder if Squire Gawthorpe received his extra £50! (Anne-Marie)

A detailed biography of the life and tragically premature death of Reginald Earnshaw is available here



Since Brian produced his book I’ve discovered evidence that proves his theory was correct. The British Oak was indeed renamed The Station Hotel. He was only a few years out – the name changed on March 7 1898.AMF 2022



The name George Pawson first appears in the records of The Bull’s Head (Town), (“Town” being the former name of Bank Street), as the licensee from 1842 to 1850. On the 1851 Census it shows that he was born at Mirfield and is aged 37. His wife Elizabeth aged 34 was born in Ossett and they have two children living with them, Sarah 14, and Emma 6. Their son, Thomas, was a visitor staying with his grandmother Sarah Illingworth, widow, aged 61, a rag sorter, living at Town. From 1853 Mrs Illingworth was known to be the proprietor of a beerhouse called The Globe (Town), on the opposite side to the Bull’s Head. In the 1861 Census she was aged 71 years and when she retired in 1867 she would be 77. By 1851 George Pawson had moved from the Bull’s Head to take over The George (Town) and remained there until 1854. In the 1853 White’s Trade Directory he is listed as a Rag Dealer and Publican. In the 1861 Census his family had increased and there was now Thomas (22), Emma (16), Mary Elizabeth (9), John D (6) and Benjamin (2). In the 1861 Kelly’s Trade Directory Thomas is listed as a Rag Dealer. As shown in the 1871 Census the family has moved to The New Inn on Back Lane (subsequently Prospect Road) and only John and Benjamin remain at home. George Pawson had built this Inn, but Station Road was not to be developed until 1888. Vehicular access to the railway station was via New Street, and the New Inn was hoping to attract trade from this source. Perhaps initially the trade did not come up to expectations, and his wife is working as a Cloth Burler. Son Thomas is a lodger at the Hare & Hounds. By 1881 both George and his wife are dead. Thomas Pawson (42) had been widowed and is living in Jubb’s Yard (to the rear of the New Inn), and is a General Dealer. With him is Benjamin (22) who is a General Carrier. In 1891 Thomas is a Wagonette Proprietor living at Quarry House, Leeds Road End (Gawthorpe), with his nephews and nieces, the Wilson’s. Benjamin (32) has married Mary (31) and they have 5 children, George William (7), Bernard (5), Lillian (3), Roland (2) and Clara (1).

In 1894 he became licensee of the Cock and Bottle, followed by his wife from 1915 to 1917. The Pawsons were the first people in town to acquire a horse drawn Hansom Cab and later a motor taxi cab. They kept a number of horses in their livery stables at this Inn and catered for funerals, weddings and other events requiring transport. They also had a butchery business in Bank Street. Benjamin’s son Roland acquired and began to operate a taxi before 1914, but disposed of it when the War broke out. His other son Bernard became the licensee of the Globe from 1920 to 1922, transferring to the Horse and Jockey and remaining there until 1948.

Brian Smith


Photo: Steve Mitchell
View from Ventnor Way 2016



Mr. Jacob Clay, landlord of the Old Carpenters’ Arms, Ossett, applied to the Bench to allow him to make an alteration in his premises, which he said were in the centre of the village. At present they were not large enough to accommodate his customers, and he wished to add a large dining room, which would be done by breaking a door through one of his present rooms.— The Justices thought no objection could be taken to the application made by Mr. Clay, but they thought it would be advisable for Superintendent Airton to view the place before the request was granted.

Dewsbury Chronicle and West Riding Advertiser
Saturday 28 August 1869
AMF 2023
Published: Saturday 06 September 1879
Newspaper: Ossett Observer
AMF 2023
The cottages are visible in the background of an Ossett Carnival from 1920

Over the door to The Carpenter’s Arms
Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett 2020

It is widely believed that the inscription says “HIM 1768”. But what does that mean? It was common practice for builders, or the owners of a building, to have their names inscribed above the door.
So, who was “MH”? Who was “IH”?

Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett 2020

“MH” is quite straightforward. Martha Land was born on August 31 1718. On March 29 1741 she married John Harrop. MH = Martha Harrop.

John Harrop, born on February 1 1707, built the pub in 1768. So it must say “JH” and not “IH” as initially believed. Initially!

The alphabet is one of the first things we learn. The 26 letter alphabet that we know today first started to take shape in the 16th century but it wasn’t until the end of the 18th century that the alphabet we recognise actually began to be more commonly used. And, whilst “Z” may be the last letter alphabetically, the last letter added to our alphabet was actually “J”.

Script designed by the Romans was widely recognised and used throughout the medieval period and into the early 18th century. If you think about it, there are still Roman fonts in use today. The Roman alphabet looked pretty similar to our modern one, but had no “J” or “U”. Instead their places were filled by “I” and “V” respectively.

Therefore “IH” = “JH” = John Harrop. John was a carpenter which is how the pub got its original name of The Carpenters Arms. We know it now as Bistro 42.

In 2020 a Blue Plaque was commissioned for this pub (financed by one of the then owners Simon Oakes) and I admit that I don’t know why it hasn’t yet been installed. Maybe one day it will be …

Anne-Marie Fawcett

On January 1 1945 John Smith’s Tadcaster Brewery, who then owned The Old Carpenters Arms, gave permission to the licensee Tom Ellis to install an advertising board, measuring 21ft ×12ft, on the wall of the adjoining shop.  The board can be seen in these photos from the 1960s. Photographer unknown.


The Edwardian era at the start of the 20th century was just about the heyday of the public house. There were more of them throughout the country than there had ever been. They were open for long hours, some only closing for 3 or 4 hours during the night. Men could get a pint of “breakfast” on their way to work, or on coming out of work at lunchtime. This could have been a help for those working in dry, dusty mills, or in foundries, or doing other hot and heavy work.

However, with the coming of War in 1914 there was the realisation that matters had to be tightened-up.

More machinery was in use than ever before – with the risk of injury if the morning beer affected ones responses. Additionally, particularly for those on munitions work, a fuddled mistake could mean the death of many workers.

Consequently, in 1915, the hours for the sale of intoxicating liquor were drastically reduced. Additionally, “treating” was immediately prohibited, no one could buy a drink for anyone else – except where a meal was involved and a drink was paid for within the bill. The “long pull” was also prohibited, not more than the quantity of liquor asked for must be supplied There was also provision made for the further dilution of spirits – whisky, brandy, rum to be 35 degrees underproof, and gin 45 degrees underproof.

There had already been restrictions on Sunday opening, but the “bona fide” (good faith i.e.genuine) traveller could get liquid refreshment at appropriate hostelries, so a long journey was catered for. However, some looseness had crept unto the system, and a person travelling from Gawthorpe to Horbury could claim to be a “bona fide” traveller as he passed through Ossett, hopefully getting a drink or two in Ossett. Restrictions were brought in which strictly applied to the “bona fide” traveller – so severe that in effect he now disappeared altogether.

Every licensed premises or club was obliged to exhibit the restricting Order.

Brian Smith


Gamwell Cudworth

The 1851 census tells us that Gamwell Cudworth (16) is the second of nine children belonging to John (47) and Mary (46), living at the top end of Wesley Street. Gamwell is a Factory Boy, whilst his father is a Wool Slubber. In the 1861 census Gamwell (26) is now a Woollen Spinner married to Hannah (24), living at Streetside and they have two children, Mary E. (4) and John W. (1). By 1865 he was at the Bull’s Head (Town) where he remains until he takes over the Commercial on Dewsbury Road, near the bottom of Dale Street. The 1871 census tells us that there is now another child – Emma (4). At the Commercial there was considerable stabling, which no doubt was well used because the Inn was on the main route from Wakefield to Halifax, which developed on a similar course to the Roman Road at Streetside – (“Street” often being given to a Roman Road, e.g. “Watling Street”). The stabling at the Commercial was not demolished until the 1980’s, to make room for a children’s playground.

By the time of the 1881 census Gamwell (46) is widowed and listed as a Cab Proprietor. His daughter Emma (14) is still at home, and he has three domestic servants, Ann Huby (23), Martha Huby (21) and Ann Senior (11), all from Darrington. There is also Charles Austwick (19) a Cab Driver from Riccall. Mary E. (24), his eldest daughter has married Sam Mitchell (28) a Rag Merchant and they are living in Ellis Yard. With them is John W. (21) her brother who is a Painter.

The business of Cab Proprietor appears to be thriving and he inserts an advertisment in the Ossett Observer of 9th October 1886:-

IMPORTANT NOTICE CABS, WAGONETTES AND OPEN CARRIAGES For long and short journeys are always to be had at the Undersigned Also, HEARSES AND MOURNING COACHES Funeral Orders attended to with Promptness and Punctuality GAMWELL CUDWORTH COMMERCIAL HOTEL, OSSETT

When the Railway first came to Ossett, the station was accessed from New Street. As the Township became prosperous in the 1880’s through the Rag Trade and the development of Mungo and Shoddy, Ossett felt it was worthy of a larger station building. The Great Northern Railway Company agreed to erect the station and the bridge, but the Local Board had to construct the new access road, which would be parallel to New Street.

Joseph Brook, a Mill Owner with entrepreneurial skills, decided that the road should have handsome buildings and he set about acquiring land to carry out his vision. In 1885 he purchased from Charles Wheatley the Cock and Bottle, occupied by Mary Fisher, and 2700 sq yards of land stretching from the Market Place to Prospect Road. He only wanted the land, so in 1890 he sold the Cock and Bottle to Gamwell Cudworth through a mortgage. Soon after this deal was completed Gamwell Cudworth died. In 1891 the mortgage was transferred to Ann Huby – his Executrix – and was then repossessed by Joseph Brook. Had Gamwell, aged 56, had ideas to transfer his business to a more central position in the Market Place? Ann Huby took over the Commercial from 1890 until 1891.

Brian Smith


According to an old Ossett Observer Samuel Hartley was the last landlord of the Traveller’s and the first landlord of the ADJACENT Commercial. The 1861 Census records Samuel Hartley aged 48, at the Traveller’s Inn, not only as landlord but also as a brick and tile maker employing five men and two boys. Samuel, said to be a gigantic fellow, lived here with his wife, Ann 49, and their five daughters – Mary Ann 26 a dressmaker, Charlotte 24 and Elizabeth 17 both burlers (one that removes loose threads, knots and other imperfections from cloth), Susannah 15 and Emma 10 both at school – and their grandson, four year old Samuel Hartley. Sadly, another daughter, Rose Ann, died the previous year at the age of 18. Two more children, Henry and Ellen, had left home in 1855 when they each married.

In 1863 Samuel Hartley ordered this “loving cup” to be made. Eight inches tall and five and a half inches in diameter, with an immaculate finish, the cup was a deep blue and white. Nobody appears to know why he had it made. The cup was passed down through the family and in 1931, just before his marriage to Jessie Lunn, it was given to Mr Samuel Hartley Longbottom, the great grandson of Samuel Hartley. Samuel and Jessie lived at Glenallen, 105 Dale Street and for more than fifty years, it stood on a shelf in the hallway of their home. Notice the errors on the cup? “Travellars”. Though he offered no theory, Mr Longbottom was convinced this was deliberate, that the inn was in fact The Travellars. Another error, “Ossitt”. His explanation for this? “Who doesn’t pronounce it that way?!” Fair enough! So, were there ever two pubs adjacent to each other – The Traveller’s Rest /The Travellars and The Commercial. Or are they one and the same? Also … what happened to the cup?

Anne-Marie Fawcett
The former Commercial, Dewsbury Road is now apartments.
Photo: Steve Wilson 2017


The Commercial, Horbury Road can be seen on the far right.
This blended image was created for Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA) by Julian Gallagher.


This photo by Neville Ashby, taken in 2012, shows how The Coopers looked beneath the render.
Anne-Marie captured this image of the converted pub in 2017.
Robert Fereday Lumb married Gertrude Gibson in 1929.
They were the licensees of The Coopers Arms.
Photo courtesy of Robert Harrison, their grandson.




Up to the mid-1700’s in Ossett, as in most small towns and villages throughout the country, the production of beer for the family was women’s work. They were evidently well qualified for this task with their work of cleanliness in looking after the house or farm; watching over the hens and chickens, which often had barley strewn to them; cooking; and the baking of bread both of which require heating in their process, and the bread required a knowledge of yeast. Because of the heating (and indeed boiling) process in the production of beer, it was found to be a safer drink than either water or milk – which were the other main drinks, especially for women and children.

The beer produced had a relatively short ‘life’, i.e. up to about a fortnight, so it became a routine continuing process, with the yeast being carried forward brew to brew. The other ingredients were local grown barley, which was started germinating, then heated (malted) and crushed, and then covered with boiling water. When this liquid (the wort) cooled then the yeast could be added. This yeast fed off the natural sugar in the barley to produce the alcohol content of the beer. Extra water was added to produce a second fermentation of “small” beer – usually for women and children, or for the breakfast drink.

A later refinement was the purchase of ready malted barley, available in Ossett from the end of Dearden Street where there was a farm house and malt kiln, the latter being kept by Dicky Walshaw who tried to beat his competitors – selling 22 lbs per stroke, for 5/-, instead of the usual 20 lbs. The beer was stored in Barrels (strictly in casks – because a barrel is just one size of cask, holding 36 gallons of beer – 288 pints). Other cask sizes were the Pin (4½ gals – 36 pints); the Firkin (9 gals – 72 pints); the Kilderkin (18 gals – 144 pints); and the Hogshead (54 gals – 432 pints).

Whilst “home brew” could continue to be made untaxed, the government found that it could raise funds by licensing certain premises for the production and sale of beer, together with the sale of food, and some of the earliest pubs in Ossett had brew-houses within their premises. Licenced Victuallers only could sell this beer and food. The “Carpenter’s Arms” (1768) and the “Cock and Bottle” (1771) were in the right position for early development, being close to the Church, whilst nearby in Little Townend another old pub was the “Cooper’s Arms” (1818, or a bit earlier). Good food was provided, the various premises becoming food and drink meeting places for the conduct of business, inquests, parties, and the development of Ossett when the Local Board had to use various pub premises for its meetings.

Many of Ossett’s pubs started as “beerhouses” after 1830, when householders could start selling beer and cider for a licence fee of only two guineas (£2. 2s. 0d or £2.10p). This was mainly as a result of the government of the day attempting to reduce the great consumption of gin. Certainly in London it was no exaggeration that on gin one could be “Drunk for a penny, dead drunk for twopence”. The specialist brewers, like Tetley in Leeds, were supplying their local areas from the 1770’s, and had started adding hops to the beer to extend its life. Subsequently, they bought out many of the “houses” which they were supplying, and these became ‘tied’ houses for that beer only. However, in Ossett, most of the “houses” were independent, and local beer brewing continued right up to the 1890’s. More varieties of beer became readily available – Pale Ale, Barley Wine, Porter, although Lager (which was available in the 1880’s) did not catch the public palate until the 1950’s – and only then perhaps because the Military Services had been drinking it on the Continent at the end of the War.

Brian Smith


Bagatelle coin from Neville Ashby’s collection.

It was dusk when we came out of the Fleece – lighting up time (do they still say that?). We took a few photos – ‘someone’ picked some of the daffodils that were growing through the fence of a factory nearby, and we sauntered along Spa Street to The Little Bull where we had a few more pints… then we all set off again, past where Pigeon Harry used to live…. down past where Chinaman used to shout at us when we were kids… we walked under the Motorway, up Bellyache Hill beside where the Burning Mountain once stood, and home …

By: Vyvyan Green




Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett 2020

Photos: Julie Rooney courtesy of Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA)


Janet Marshall donated this original photo of her great, great grandmother
Jane Hallas and family outside The George.


The first mention of William Hallas, a miner (22) comes in the 1821 census, and he has a wife Mary (24). By the next available census in 1841 William (43) is listed as a Publican and Coal Miner, along with his wife Mary (43) and their servant Jane Smith (23). In 1851 he describes himself as a Gentleman and ex- Coal Master. The public house at which he was licensee from 1837 to before 1851 was the George (Town), and William and Mary retired to a house on the opposite side of the George yard, and are still alive at the time of the 1861 census. Replacing him was George Pawson (who transferred from the Bull’s Head) and remained at the George until 1866. Also on the 1861 census appears another William Hallas (35) coal miner, with a wife Jane (43), both born in Ossett, and a daughter Mary Elizabeth (8), born at Stanley, all now living at Back Lane (Ventnor Way). Is this William and Mary’s son? He was born in 1826 so does not appear on the 1821 census, and would have been 15 by the 1841 census, yet he was not living in Ossett at that time. Had he become too interested in their servant Jane Smith and been sent away? Neither was he in Ossett for the 1851 census. Had they been in exile at Stanley? In 1866 William became licensee of the George, and in 1872 is known to be the Owner, but he dies at an early age. From his tombstone in Ossett Parish Church graveyard we know that he died on the 6th May 1873, aged 47 years, and it reads:-

He was a tender father and a husband kind

Great is the loss to those who are left behind.

This toilsome world I’ve left behind

A glorious crown I hope to find

Farewell dear wife and children dear I am not dead, but sleeping here.

As I am now, so you must be

Therefore prepare to follow me.

In 1873 Jane Hallas became both the Owner and Licensee of the George. About this time her daughter Mary married Joseph Hellawell, a Millwright, who was born at the Bull’s Head. They had a daughter, Ann, born 1875, and another Mary Jane Hallas (Hellawell) in 1877, whose mother Mary Hellawell died as a result of giving birth to this daughter. Joseph and the two girls moved into the George so that Jane could help looking after the children. In 1879 Joseph became manager of the Inn, but only for 6 months. The Hallas’s owned the strip of land from Dale Street (previously Town) through to Back Lane. Behind the Inn was a building which the Pawson’s had used for a Rag Warehouse, and outside the back door of the Inn was a large well. Jane Hallas converted the ground floor to a Wash House with large wooden mangles where people took their washing. The upstairs room was used for meetings, and regularly for Band Rehearsals. Jane Hallas survived her husband by 20 years and died 1st February 1893, aged 74 years. Joseph Hellawell took over the George until 1898. His daughter Ann married Ezra Firth of Fawcett and Firth, Healey Mills, whilst Mary Jane Hallas Hellawell married Thomas W. Wilson, later to become the Town Clerk of Ossett. The latter built a brick house, fronting on to Back Lane, and named it Ventnor House. It was demolished when the Ring Road was created and Back Lane became Ventnor Way.

Brian Smith

Photos c1960: Ray Smith courtesy of Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA)

Are you able to identify anyone? Get in touch if you are!


Looking at the Town Hall in the distance I think the first photo is from around 1905/6. The Town Hall was officially opened in 1908 and it looks to still be under construction in this photo. The second photo is thought to be from 1950s.

From 1888-1895 The Globe was owned by the executors of William Gartside. In 1839 he was the owner of the land upon which The Globe stood. The following is a little about Wiliam Gartside and the mystery of Healey House.

Healey House was built for William Gartside who was a drysalter and, at one time, was the owner of a colliery and many acres of land in Ossett. A drysalter dealt in chemicals such as glue, varnish and dye. William’s business was highly successful and concentrated on producing dyes for wool. The land on which the pinfold now stands had also belonged to William Gartside. On April 17 1871 Ossett Board of Health agreed to exchange the original pinfold of 144 square yards for William Gartside’s plot adjacent to the West Well (120 square yards). It was agreed that he would pay £50 towards the building of a new pinfold – it was to be 3 yards high with pitch faced walls.The census returns of 1851, 1861 and 1871 record William as being resident at Dewsbury Lane. Prior to this, the road was called Oxley Lane. By 1876 it had been given the name that we’re more familiar with:- Wesley Street.

Wesley House was built in the early 1870s for William Gartside but he only lived there briefly. Probably because he had another house built. Ossett mungo manufacturer and Ossett’s first mayor, Edward Clay purchased the Wesley House estate and the Clay family have now lived there for over 100 years.

It wasn’t only the road which had several changes of name. The house did too. Whilst we know it now as ”Dundalk House”(or ”Dundalk Court”), before this it was called ”Dunkeld”. As you might know, Dundalk is in Ireland, whilst Dunkeld is in Scotland. When William Gartside lived there, he gave his new home the name:- ”Healey House”. There are those who believe that this house was actually at Healey and I can see why as, in 1864, William had built his extensive dyeworks on the site of Healey new canal. But I wasnt convinced so I did a little more research.

William Gartside died in November 1876 and was buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard. On the burial register his address was ”Healey House”. William’s obituary in the Ossett Observer stated that he died at home on Wesley Street. At Healey House then?

But why Dunkeld?

By 1881(and possibly earlier) Healey House was a doctor’s surgery occupied by 35 year old Dr John Greaves Wiseman. Dr Wiseman, whose father William Wood Wiseman, was also a doctor, was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1867 and appears to have begun his career at Guy’s Hospital in London. The 1871 census records him at Dearden Street. This would then imply that the doctor’s practice was established at Dunkeld between 1871 and 1881. Using the electoral role I learned that, in 1891, keeping his surgery on Wesley Street, Dr Wiseman moved to Wakefield Road, not far from The Red Lion. This move was no doubt prompted by the arrival that year of Dr George Symers Mill who came to Ossett as an assistant to Dr Wiseman.

Dr Mill was born in 1865 in Arbroath in Scotland, just a few miles away from Dunkeld which is on the north bank of the River Tay. I suspect it was a favourite place of Dr Mill; described as the “Gateway to the Highlands”, I can’t fault him. Dr Mill moved into Healey House. He married Alice Mary Harrop of Green House, The Green at Holy Trinity Church in September 1897 and their only child, Constance, was born the following year.

When Dr Wiseman retired, Dr Symers succeeded him and, by 1905, the house had been renamed Dunkeld. Dr Wiseman died in 1934. He was 88. His address on his probate record is “Stranraer”, St Peter’s Road, Middlesex. Seems he too dreamed of Scotland. Dr Mill became the first School Medical Officer in Ossett, and for 26 years was on the honorary medical staff at Dewsbury and District Hospital. He served, with the rank of major, in the 4th battalion King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry and was associated with the Territorials for many years. He also conducted classes for the St John Ambulance Association which was founded in 1877. During WW1, at the age of 51, Dr Mill served in France with the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC). Wounded, he returned home and later took charge of the medical division of Staincliffe War Hospital. When he died, at the age of 59 in January 1925, his funeral was held at Holy Trinity Church. It was filled to capacity by the general public, which his obituary stated “was a striking testament to the esteem and respect in which the doctor was held”.

Five months after the death of her father, Constance married Dr William Simpson. Dr Simpson had qualified in 1923 and, after a brief spell in Obstetrics at the Royal Maternity and Women’s Hospital in Glasgow, he moved to Ossett to work with Constance’s father at Dunkeld. Following in his father in law’s footsteps, Dr Simpson became the School Medical Officer for Ossett and was involved with the St John Ambulance Association. Like his father in law, he also held a position at Dewsbury and District Hospital. By 1927 Dr Simpson was joined at Dunkeld by the newly qualified Dr William Donald Mitton. By 1939 the Simpsons had left Ossett for Preston where Dr Simpson worked as an obstetric surgeon. Dr Mitton was by this time running the practice at Dunkeld.

During WW2 Dr Simpson joined the RAMC (just like his father in law had done in WW1). In 1944 he died from a heart attack which he suffered whilst on active service in Jamaica. He is one of 47 Commonwealth service personnel, who lost their lives in WW2, buried at Kingston (Up Park Camp) Military Cemetery, Jamaica.

Dr Mitton continued to work at Dunkeld until his death, in Switzerland in 1964, at the age of 62. Dr Mitton’s wife, Helen, died in early 1998 and, in that same year, an application was submitted to WMDC for development of the house and land. What became of the house in those intervening years? I believe Dr Mitton had a partner, Dr Cole. Did he continue to practice out of Dunkeld? As for Dundalk … Would you believe it is thought to have been a simple administrative error! A misinterpretation? A typo? I wonder if that’s correct … Could be. Or maybe someone was dreaming of Ireland. Who knows … At least four generations of doctors passed through this house.

Anne-Marie Fawcett October 2020


Saturday 28 August 1869

Saturday 23 April 1870


The Hammer and Stithy Public House, Wakefield Road, Streetside in the 1950s.
Painted by Douglas Brammer.


Keepers of Ale houses did their own brewing and water had to be fetched from the well in barrels. Jack Berry regularly took his barrel to the West Well to fill and nearly as often as he did so he had to return home – explaining that he had left ‘t bung ‘oil at home.

Jack Berry
Hare & Hounds
1847 – 1871

Also known as The Old Hare and Hounds

I found this in the Leeds Intelligencer dated Monday 15 January 1816 AMF
I found this in the Huddersfield Daily Chronicle dated Tuesday 25 August 1874 – AMF


Photo: Neville Ashby 1987
Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett 2022

The census taken in 1931 was destroyed during World War Two and no census was carried out in 1941 due to the ongoing conflict. The 1939 Register was taken on September 29, due to the onset of the war, with the purpose of producing National Identity Cards.

Union Street wraps around The Horse & Jockey and I was recently inspired to use the 1939 Register to take a look at some of the former residents of this area of Dale Street. Union Street still exists today but has changed beyond almost all recognition. Let’s have a walk around and see who was there in 1939.

At number 1 Union Street we meet Agnes Murray and her husband Joseph, a dyer’s labourer. Agnes had lived at Radley Street, another place which no longer exists as it was demolished in the ’50s for the Dimple Well development. Joseph grew up just over the road, on Victoria Street which was also demolished. Agnes and Joseph married in 1920 and the first of their two children was named after Agnes’s mother, Annie Dews, who also lived with them in 1939. At the age of 18 their daughter Annie Murray was a rag sorter, something else she had in common with her grandmother, and also her mother.

At number 2 Union Street we find George William Wrigley. In 1902 George, aged 28, married 34 year old Lydia Ann Dews at Holy Trinity Church. For many years George Wrigley was employed in the textile mills as a rag carboniser, using the gas from sulphuric acid to clean dirty rags. Lydia, whose father Benjamin Dews was a blacksmith at Great Field, had been a rag sorter since she was old enough to work and she continued to work after her marriage. Shop assistant Mary Hepworth lived with the Wrigleys in 1939, but moved to Barnsley the following year when she married Lister Douglas. Lydia Wrigley died in the same year. George stayed at Union Street until he died in 1948.

Number 3 Union Street was the home of the Kilburn family. Elizabeth Wilburn and George Kilburn married in 1897 in Dewsbury and lived at Batley in the early years of their marriage. By 1911 they were living at Binks’ Yard, Dale Street with their two children, Marion and Cecil. In 1939 Marion was 25 and working as a blanket weaver, described as “heavy work”. Marion never married and eventually moved to Dewsbury. However, when she died in 1979 she was returned to Ossett and buried at Holy Trinity Church. The 1939 Register records 23 year old Cecil Vincent Kilburn as a “public service operator” and a volunteer Air Raid Warden. By 1951, still living at 3 Union Street, Cecil owned a taxi business. At the time of his death in 1986, Cecil was living at 122 Towngate and his home on Union Street was long gone.

In 1939 number 4 Union Street was home to David and Mary Moss. They married in 1901 and in 1902 their daughter Gertrude was born. David had worked underground in a Morley coal mine but by 1939 his occupation is described as “general clerk in a cotton cutting machine men’s ? – government work”. A bit of a far cry from the coal face but what could it mean and where could it have been?The next house recorded on the register is number 8, where Fred and Louisa Farnhill lived. Fred was a timekeeper at a builder’s, responsible for keeping a record of the starting and finishing times of the labourers. After their marriage in 1901, they lived at Wheatroyd Terrace and Fred worked as a warehouseman. As a younger man he lived on Dale Street and was a firework maker, probably at the nearby Riley’s Firework factory. It’s not too difficult to imagine that this could be where Fred and Louisa met as the 1901 census states that Louisa lived on Dale Street and was employed as a “pyrotechnic”. Fancier title, same job. I went back a little further to 1891 and found that Louisa, with her family the Jacksons, was then resident at Dale Street, next to the Horse & Jockey. Next to the Jacksons in 1891 is Frederick Spurr and his family and their address is Printing Office Yard, Dale Street. I think this could be where the Ossett Observer had its printing office. I’m dead chuffed as we’ve been trying to work out its location for a few years! On the other side of the pub is Ellis’s Yard with Spurr’s Yard just around the corner.

Back to the 1939 Register and next up is The Horse & Jockey itself and the innkeeper is Bernard Pawson. His wife Annie (Lightfoot), from Thornhill, lost THREE brothers during WW1 – Ernest 1916, Arthur 1917 and Arnold 1917 and her sister, Elizabeth, also died in 1917. Bernard Pawson, aged 53, was an experienced innkeeper, having kept The Globe which was on Bank Street. When the licence for The Globe expired in December 1922, it was transferred to The Horse & Jockey where Bernard and Annie stayed until 1948.

Number 5 Union Street is next on the register. Here we have widowed Mary Ann Gawtrey (Tinker) and her son 17 year old Leonard who is employed as an errand boy at a hardware store. On Christmas Day 1916 Mary Ann, aged 35, had married 33 year old miner William Gawtrey at St Peter’s Church in Horbury. Sounds romantic doesnt it? Yet, in reality, it was most likely one of the few days off that they both had. When William was 12 his mother, Kezia Gawtrey, died at Wakefield Lunatic Hospital (later Stanley Royd) having been admitted in 1896 for threatening to kill her husband and children. Looking back through the census returns I learned that, prior to her marriage, Mary Ann Tinker had worked in a rag mill. I also learned that she was one of 15 children. Tragically 11 of her siblings didn’t survive childhood. Mary Ann was to suffer her own tragedy with the death of her first child, William, whose birth and subsequent death were both registered in January 1918. A second son, Cyril, was born the following year and Leonard arrived in 1922. Life is all too often cruel though and Cyril died at the age of six. More tragedy awaited Mary Ann with the death of her husband William in 1935.

At number 6 we have Rebecca Baines (Law), her husband Harry and their son 26 year old Donald. Harry spent his working life down one pit or another and, in 1939, both he and Donald were employed at a local colliery, probably Northfield. The 1911 census tells us that they are another couple who lost a child in infancy. Sadly that wasn’t the end of their troubles as their son, Stanley, died in 1928, aged just 16. He worked for Northfield Colliery Co and had been off work for six weeks after bumping his head several times on the low ceiling of the pit. Dr La Touche diagnosed middle ear disease and he was admitted to Dewsbury Hospital and died there. However, it was discovered that the cause of Stanley’s death was an abscess on his brain, due to the disease, and was not caused by bumping his head at work.

The final house on Union Street is number 7 and living here in 1939 are Emma and Albert Rawson. In March 1905 Emma Clapham married miner Walter Rawson at St Andrew’s Church in Wakefield. Emma was born on December 23 1884 – the same day I had my daughter (though much later of course!) and I couldn’t help thinking about how different those two births would be. Emma’s first child, May was born in March 1904, and Walter Joseph arrived in 1910. As you might suspect there was a child born between May and Walter Joseph, but he/she didn’t survive. Albert was born in 1924 and the gap in ages between the two boys makes me wonder if there were more children who died in infancy. The family first lived at Dragon Yard which was at Kirkgate in Wakefield but by 1939 they were divided. May married Thomas Hartley in 1929 and in 1939 they were living on the relatively new estate at Lupset. Walter Joseph married Ida Tolson in 1930 and by 1939 he was making a living as a motor driver and living, with Ida, at 99 Wakefield Road, in the Cross Keys area of Flushdyke. But where was Emma’s husband, Walter? It would seem that Walter was living at 49 Belle Vue Road, Agbrigg with widowed Alice Butterworth and her 17 year old son Raymond.

I took a walk around Union Street. I’d have loved to have called into the Horse & Jockey and asked the regulars what they remember of it before it was mostly demolished. It,was closed so instead I just stood a while and tried to imagine it as it must have been in 1939.

Anne-Marie Fawcett 2021


Have you ever noticed this gravestone?

It lays in the churchyard at Holy Trinity. I’ve always been intrigued by the date of Martha’s death. February 31st 1898?? I was also curious about the presence of three people with three different surnames. So I set about trying to satisfy my curiosity. Let’s begin with Dan Craven.

Dan Craven was born at Armley and was the brother of Martha Godley. In 1871, at the age of 27, Dan was living on Dale Street and was employed as a woollen spinner. He was recorded as “unmarried”. Living with him, recorded as a lodger, was 34 year old Elizabeth Milner and her two children; George, aged 10 and Mary, aged four. Elizabeth was recorded as “married”. Dan and Elizabeth married in 1874 and in 1881 they were still at Dale Street. George has the surname “Milner” whilst his sister Mary is “Craven”. What of Elizabeth’s previous husband? In 1853 18 year old Elizabeth Smith, the daughter of stone mason Richard Smith, married Eli Milner, a clothier, at All Saint’s Church, Dewsbury. In 1853 they had a daughter, Mary Jane. Their son George was born in 1860. According to the records, Elizabeth Smith and Elizabeth Milner are the same person. During my research over the years I’ve come across many families where children have been given the same/similar name. The death of a child might be one of the reasons. Less common, might be remarriage and the birth of another child. So then, could this be the case here? Complicated isn’t it?Dan Craven died on April 6th 1913.

Daniel Overend was born at Ossett Streetside in October 1837, the youngest child of John and Hannah née Spurr. In case you want to check if they’re “your” Spurrs, Hannah’s parents were William Spurr and Ann Bedford. John’s parents were Isaac Overend and Mary Speight. Familiar local names. John and Hannah had five other children besides Daniel; Sarah (1823-1897) who married Seth Squires in July 1849 and lived at Greaves Mill Yard; Samuel (1825-1874) who married Emma Wood in May 1847 and they also lived at Greaves Mill Yard (Samuel was a stone mason) ; Mary Ann (1830-1915) who married John Howroyd in March 1854 and lived at Streetside (John was a weaver) ; Mahlah (1833-1867) who never married and lived with her parents; Isaac (1835-1878) who married Anne Mitchell on Christmas Day 1862 and lived on Owl Lane (Isaac was a warehouseman). John, Hannah and most of their children, were buried in the graveyard of Holy Trinity Church.

Daniel Overend married Martha Craven on July 22 1860 at All Saint’s Church, Dewsbury. After their marriage they lived with Martha’s family on Pildacre Lane. The census actually records their address as Pildacre Acre. Was this the error of a distracted enumerator or is there such a place? With the exception of Maria, Martha’s mother who had the job of looking after her family of ten, Daniel and the Cravens were all employed in a local woollen mill. Less than five years after their marriage, Daniel died. He was 27. Martha married for the second time on July 15th 1869 at All Saint’s Church, Dewsbury. Her second husband, Richard Godley (b June 1844), was one of 14 children born to William and Sarah (née Heaton). In 1851 the family were living at 103 Storrs Hill. William was a mason and the older children were all employed in the local mills. Sarah died in 1855 when her youngest child, Heaton, was only four. She and William had been married for 27 years. William married twice more. In January 1858, at the age of 54, he married 53 year old Mary Blakebrough at St James’s, Thornes. Mary died in October 1861. At this time William Godley was still a stone mason and was also the licensee of The Quiet Woman at 28 Storrs Hill Road. In March 1862 William married widow, Lydia Townsend née Glover. In August 1850, at the age of 18, Lydia had married her first husband, George Townsend. They had a daughter together; Ann, born in June 1854. In 1872 Lydia and William had a son together – Arthur. Arthur’s son, Thomas Pyrah Godley, is one of the Ossett Fallen. You can read his biography here.

As we can see from her gravestone, Martha Godley (was Overend née Craven) died in 1898. But the date on the stone says February 31st. How could this have happened? Her husband, Richard Godley was a master stone mason! Was it an error? Or was it deliberate? By the time of Martha’s death, she and Richard had been married for almost 30 years. Perhaps it was a way for Richard to cope with his grief? If the date of Martha’s death didn’t exist then how could it be remembered? I don’t suppose we’ll ever know. Martha actually died on February 28 1898 from “carcinoma of stomach”. Stomach cancer. Cancer treatment in the 19th century consisted of diet, bloodletting and laxatives. Surgery was also used to treat cancer but was extremely painful and had a poor prognosis. One can hardly imagine Martha’s suffering; and that of those closest to her. By 1901 Richard Godley was a boarder in the Rotherham home of iron turner, Charles Bagshaw and his wife Elizabeth. Maybe Richard had moved here with the hope of leaving behind his sad memories of Ossett. I’ve found no further trace of Richard Godley, husband of Martha. One mystery solved and another one created? What could have become of him?

Anne-Marie Fawcett


Extract from details held at the W.Y.A.S. Registry of Deeds, Wakefield. 1.1874 706 269 301

A Memorial of a certain Indenture made the first day of January One thousand eight hundred and seventy four Between Joseph Ashton of Flush Dyke in the Parish of Dewsbury in the said County of York Machine Maker and Broker of the one part and Robert Charles Whitworth and Joseph Whitworth of Heckmondwike in the parish of Birstall in the said County Common Brewers of the other part Of and concerning All those three cottages or dwellinghouses (one of which Cottages is occupied as an Inn and formerly known by the sign of the “Colliers Arms” afterwards by the sign of the “King William the fourth” but now called the “Little Bull” Brewhouse Stable and outbuildings thereto belonging with the garden or parcel of enclosed Ground thereto adjoining and parcel of allotted land sometime since laid thereto situate and being at or on Ossett Common in the Township of Ossett in the parish of Dewsbury aforesaid containing altogether by survey three roods and nineteen perches be the same more or less bounded by the Road there called Teal Town Road etc. etc.

Brian Smith


This image by Julian Gallagher was created for Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA),using two images from two different eras (1960s and 2010s). The Mason’s is now The Tap and the bridge across the road was demolished c1967.

Tombstone tourist, cemetery enthusiast, cemetery tourist, grave hunter, graver, taphophile. All words used to describe an individual who has a passion for graveyards, cemeteries, epitaphs, gravestone rubbing, photography, and the history of deaths. Some say William Shakespeare and Edgar Allen Poe were taphophiles. It would seem I’m in good company then.

This is one of my favourite gravestones at Trinity Church. Saying that, I have many favourites! See Joan’s plan of this graveyard, along with photos of ALL the headstones, here

Before becoming the landlord of the Mason’s Arms in 1920, Arthur Beck had been a miner. A coal hewer in fact; a digger. A tough job! One of ten children, he lived at Howroyd’s Yard, Gawthorpe. Neighbours of the family were Alfred Howroyd, John Cudworth, David Broadhead, Edwin Wormald, Sarah Casson, Benjamin Cooper, Martha Sharpe, and Henry Wilby.

When he was 24 Arthur married 20 year old Annie Ibbottson on July 7 1888 at Holy Trinity Church. Annie was born at Sandy Lane, Horbury Bridge. Her father Richard was also a miner. Perhaps that’s how she and Arthur met. At the beginning of their marriage they lived with Annie’s family on Wakefield Road. There were ten of them in total. They went on to have four children together. Later, they moved to Church Street. As their family grew, they moved again, this time to Intake Lane.

When Arthur died in 1923 Annie became the licensee of the Mason’s Arms. There appears to be no further record of Annie except that she was relieved as licensee in 1926 by William Tafferton Fozzard. Mary Flower was the licensee at the Mason’s 1930-33.

Anne-Marie Fawcett


Outside the Old Malt Shovel, Haggs Hill c1923. The man in the derby hat and a watch chain, in the centre of the group of men, is Bertie Percy Dickens.

Bertie Percy Dickens (seen in the photo above) was 48 years old when he enlisted in the Royal Engineers with service number 600713 in September 1918. That year, during the last months of the war, the Military Service Act raised the age limit to 51; prior to this Act only men aged between 18 and 41 could become soldiers.

Before the war Bertie worked for the General Post Office (GPO)as a telegraphist. The GPO made a significantly important contribution to the British defence and military programmes and the Signals Service of the Royal Engineers was recruited heavily from GPO staff, growing from around 6,000 men in 1914 to upward of 70,000 by 1918. Almost 9,000 of the GPO staff who had joined up never returned home.

However, Bertie did return to his family and his home at Roundwood. His eldest son 22 year old Percy, a miner at Roundwood Colliery, sadly did not. Private Percy Dickens 51262 7th East Yorkshire Regiment, died of wounds on October 25 1918. Sixteen days before the Armistice was signed. He is buried at Mont Huon Military Cemetery Le Treport. The personal inscription on his CWGC headstone was chosen by his father and reads: ONLY THOSE WHO HAVE LOVED AND LOST CAN UNDERSTAND WAR’S BITTER COST. In 1920 Private Percy Dickens’ Service medals were delivered to his father at Eastwood’s Buildings.

On September 27 1941 the Ossett Observer carried a report about the death of Bertie Percy Dickens while on active service during WW2 as a fire-watcher:



At Ossett Town Hall on Thursday, Mr. C.J. Haworth (coroner) investigated the circumstances attending the death of Bertie Percy Dickens (70), 3 Eastwood Buildings, Wakefield Road, Ossett, who passed away suddenly on Monday night.

Charles Dickens, 4 Eastwood Buildings, screen foreman at Roundwood Colliery, said his father, who was a healthy man, had been a fire-watcher at the colliery for the past nine months. He went to his fire-watching duties as normal at 8:45 on Monday night and at about 9:20 he (witness) was fetched to the colliery by the engineer, and found his father lying against the engine house corner. He was alive, but did not speak. He was carried into the fire-watchers’ hut, and Dr. Coad was sent for. On the doctor’s advice he was conveyed to his home, which was nearby, and passed away at 11:30 that same night.


John Arthur Dickenson, 22, Hope Street, Ossett, winding engineman at Roundwood Colliery, said that about 8:50 p.m. on Monday, he saw Dickens coming to his work as a fire-watcher, and noticed him stopping to examine the office windows with his lamp before clocking in. He asked if Dickens was keeping well, and he replied “middling”, but the impression given to him by his tone of voice was that he was not quite normal. Witness went across to the other engine room, and when returning, about 15 minutes later, he found Dickens lying on the ground, apparently in a state of collapse. Being unable to rouse him, he sent for Dickens’s son, and the old man was moved into the hut.

Dr. Coad said he arrived at the hut shortly before 10 p.m., and after examining the man, decided that he should be removed home. He was unconscious and his breathing was heavy and stertorous. He had since made a post-mortem examination and found cerebral haemorrhage. There were slight abrasions on the temple, and each shin, but these had nothing to do with the cause of death, which was purely natural. The other organs of the body were very healthy.


A member of the family raised a point as to the face abrasion, and Dickenson recalled, stated in reply to the coroner that Dickens would no doubt scrape the wall as he fell on to the ground. In answer to the coroner, Dr. Coad said he was quite of the opinion that the fall was due to the haemorrhage and not the haemorrhage to the fall. It was probable that the tone of speech of speech referred to by Dickenson was premonitory to the seizure. A verdict that he died from a cerebral haemorrhage or natural causes was recorded.

Mr. Dickens, who had lived at Roundwood for 35 years, was very well known and much respected. A native of Burton-on-Trent, he came to this district as a telephone fitter in the Wakefield area of the General Post Office, retiring about ten years ago. For the past nine months he had been employed as a fire-watcher at Roundwood Colliery. He leaves a widow, two sons and three daughters, with whom much sympathy is felt. The funeral took place at Alverthorpe Church yesterday.

Percy Dickens and Bertie Percy Dickens died as a result of their service to their country. Neither of them are remembered at The Ossett War Memorial and have been denied their place there by the Ossett War Memorial Group which is a self elected group comprising of the three Ward 11 councillors.

There’s a biography of these men here



Photos from Brendan Hughes.



Extract from details held at the W.Y.A.S. Registry of Deeds, Wakefield. 2.10.1893 32 920 438

Registered at 1.30 in the afternoon 2.10.1893 A Conveyance dated the 2nd day of October 1893 Parties George Morris of 24 Hanson Terrace Primrose Hill Wakefield Post Office Clerk James Blakey of Mark Street Wakefield Tailor Clothier and Alice Walton the wife of John Walton of Berners Street Wakefield of the one part and Beverley Brothers Limited (being a company incorporated under the Companies Acts 1862 and 1886 and carrying on business in Wakefield as Common Brewers and Wines & Spirits Merchants) of the other.

All that plot of land situate at Ossett Low Common in the said City extending in length 13 yards and 2 feet and in breadth 11 yards and containing in the whole 150 1/9 superficial square yards or thereabouts and bounded Westward by the Public Road leading to Ossett aforesaid Southward by land formerly belonging to John Mitchell but now or late to Joseph Thornes and Eastward and Northward by property now or late belonging to Joshua Wilby and also all that building standing on the said plot of land or some part thereof formerly used as a chapel or Meeting House and School Room but many years ago converted into a Beerhouse and called or commonly known by the name or sign of the Prince of Wales and now in the occupation of the Company or their under tenant.

Brian Smith


Harry Cudworth was a Gawthorpe lad, born in 1870 and raised in the village. Throughout his formative years, Harry and his family lived at Howroyd’s Yard, Pepper Alley and High Street. Whilst still at school, Harry began his working life in the mills but later worked underground in a local coal mine. In June 1902 he married Emma Fitton at Wakefield Cathedral and their daughter was born later that year. Emma had been a servant at The Mount, the home of widowed Ellen Hanson and her daughter Julia. Ellen was the widow of George Hanson, the Mayor of Ossett 1892-93.

Harry, Emma and their daughter lived at Bridle Lane and then, in 1924, Harry became the licensee of The Railway Hotel at Flushdyke. The pub was originally named The Old Halfway House but in 1861 Joseph Ashton became the licensee and set about refurbishing it from a beer house into a splendid hotel. Flushdyke Railway opened in 1862 so what better name for Joseph’s “new” hostelry than The Railway Hotel. By 1941 the station at Flushdyke had closed and with it went a lot of the pub’s trade. By 1948 the once smart hotel was in a sorry state, being propped up by stout wooden beams.

The winter of 1947 was particularly harsh and the severe weather caused extensive damage to the hotel when the land around it began to subside. A huge crack appeared in its front wall and travelled the full length of all three storeys. The inside wall between the kitchen and the tap room became twisted and cracked in many places, none of the doors fit properly and customers often struggled to get in or out as the door to the street was practically impossible to open. The sitting room on the first floor was situated over the tap room and some of the cracks between the windows and walls were so wide that daylight could be seen through them. The walls of the staircase were also badly cracked and one side was held together by a large nail.

Living in this almost derelict state was the 84 year old licensee: Harry Cudworth and his wife Emma. Not surprisingly, the conditions were making them ill and Harry was desperate to give up the pub and move to a private house.

In 1954 the licensee was Edwin Tomlinson and on February 14th of that year he was fined when his wife Minnie sold beer to Horace Dews outside of licensing hours. Perhaps Horace was hoping to woo his wife, Joan. It was Valentine’s Day after all. Horace and Joan lived at Phillip’s Hill. I’ve never heard of Phillip’s Hill before but according to the 1939 Register it was on Wakefield Road, next door to the Railway Hotel. Rachel

In 1941, Horace Dews had been awarded the George Medal. Horace’s niece, Pauline, says that it was only at his funeral that his friends learned of Horace’s bravery and his medal when they heard that Horace had “GC” after his name. It would seem then that Horace wasn’t awarded the George Medal but the George Cross. The George Cross is granted when the degree of risk of death is over 90%. NINETY PERCENT. Let that sink in. I’m still trying to comprehend it.

There was a succession of six more licensees after Harry which would indicate that the Railway Hotel limped on for another 14 years. The licence was eventually forfeited in 1962 when the owners gave notice to cease trading. Also in 1962 Harry Cudworth passed away only six months after his wife. His dream of a home had come true and he and Emma lived their final years at 22 Denholm Drive. Harry died at the age of 92 and was buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard with his Emma.

Anne-Marie Fawcett


Walker’s Mill in 1928. You can see Church Street to the top and the Red Lion to the bottom.
Source: Britain from Above


2017. Photo: Anne-Marie Fawcett



Where was the ‘Saw Inn’?
This photo shows the grave stone of John Kay in the yard of Dewsbury parish church. In 1823 he was an inn keeper in Ossett.
On 8th July 1824 there was an auction at the Cooper’s Arms (the house of John Kay) of another un-named public house.
The 1851 census shows the Coopers Arms as being on Back Lane (the old name for Prospect Road, one of two back lanes in the town). The previous census had the address as Kaye Lane. Kaye Lane is an older name for Intake Lane.
At some point in its history the Coopers Arms was rebuilt next to the original inn’s premises, which was an old cottage.
The ‘Saw Inn’ is listed in Baines’ Directory Of The West Riding in 1822, with John Kay as landlord.
I’m looking for evidence to support the theory that the Saw Inn was at the top of Intake Lane, next to the pub we remember as the Coopers Arms. The map is dated 1850.

Neville Ashby



In September 1911 the Ossett Observer reported that property at The Spa was up for auction. Unfortunately there was little interest and all lots were withdrawn from sale.

For a grass field of just under four acres, only £55 was offered. For The Spa Inn and two cottages, the total rental of which was £45, the only bid was £400. For a dwelling house and shop with five cottages on Spa Road, total rental £40 and four cottages with vacant land, let at £21 there were no bids at all.

Anne-Marie Fawcett


I discovered a snippet in an old newspaper which told of the death of Newman Summerscales of Westgate, Wakefield. The headline declared him to be a “Wakefield War Victim”. I was intrigued. So I did a little digging.

Born in 1877 and baptised at St Michael and All Angels, Thornhill on December 8 1877, Newman Summerscales was the eldest son of Lee and his wife Emma (Pye) who had married at Darton Parish Church on April 16 1876. The 1881 census tells us that, at the age of four, Newman lived at Edge Road in Thornhill. His dad, 28 year old Lee, was a coal miner and his mum, 25 year old Emma, stayed at home to look after her husband and their children. Newman had an older sister; Annie born in 1874 – and baptised with Newman in 1877, and two younger siblings; Lily, born in 1879 and Charles, born in 1880.

When the 1891 census was taken, the family were living at Top Row, Woolley where Lee Summerscales was an under manager at a local colliery. Newman, aged 14, was a pit boy. From this census we can see that Newman’s sister, eight year old Eunice, was the first of six Summerscales children to be born in Woolley – George was born in 1884, Violet in 1887, Thomas Gilbert in 1888 (died in 1891) and Ralph in 1890. Another son, Tom Horace, was born in Woolley in 1892. From this information, we might conclude that the family had moved there in around 1883. By 1897 the family had moved to Calder Grove, Crigglestone.

Emma Summerscales was 16 when she gave birth to her first child; she was 42 when she gave birth to her last. Herbert was born at Calder Grove on August 9 1899 and he was little more than a year old when Emma died in the winter of 1900. In 1901 Lee Summerscales was still living at Calder Grove with seven of his children – his daughter Annie had left home when she married Cliff Chappel in October 1897. Newman left the following year when he married Alice Robinson of Horbury. Annie and Newman didn’t move far – they both set up home at Calder Grove.

In 1902, Lee Summerscales married widow Sarah Ann Green and together they had a son, Archie, who was born in Ossett in 1903 and baptised the following year. The address entered on Archie’s baptism record is “Ossett Spa”. In 1910 Lee became a publican and, with his second wife Sarah and their family, lived at The Little Bull on Teale Street.

Lee died on April 12 1911 and Sarah took over as licensee until 1914. At the time of her death, 30 years later, Sarah lived at Moxon Place on the relatively new Lupset estate.

The Spa Inn was only a short walk from The Little Bull and this is where, in 1911, Newman and his wife Alice lived with their children Ernest, born at Calder Grove in February 1901, and Marion, born in Mapplewell in July 1906. Newman is recorded as a “miner and innkeeper”.

In May 1913 Newman Summerscales moved on from Ossett and became the licensee of The White Hart at Westgate End, Wakefield. Tragedy struck only weeks later when Alice Summerscales died after she fell down the stairs and fractured her skull. A verdict of “accidental death” was returned at the inquest. In November Charles Summerscales, Newman’s brother, took over as the licensee. The pub stayed in the Summerscales family until 1943.

In October 1914, just weeks after Britain declared war on Germany, 37 year old Newman Summerscales volunteered and joined the 4th Btn King’s Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI). On August 15 1915 Corporal N Summerscales 3067 embarked for France as a part of the British Expeditionary Force. As far as I can tell, Newman’s service record hasn’t survived. Almost 60% of all British service records were destroyed by the Luftwaffe during WWll. His medal card still survives and from this we know his regiment, his rank, when he embarked for France and the medals he was awarded. Newman received the Victory & British medals and the 1915 Star. The card also tells us that Newman was later transferred to the Notts & Derby Regiment and held the rank of Lance Sergeant with the service number 203187. A lance sergeant was paid the same as a corporal but wore the insignia of a sergeant. This was how corporals were tested for possible promotion. Newman later became Acting Sergeant.

In 1917 Newman was injured in battle and was discharged from service on September 20 1918. He was 41 years old.

Newman married Charlotte Scarth Ashton in the winter of 1920. Charlotte, who was baptised at the Wellhouse Chapel, Mirfield on November 10 1872, was the daughter of William Ashton and his wife Charlotte (Clayton). By 1901 the Ashton’s were running a grocer’s shop near to The White Hart at Westgate Common. The shop had been in Charlotte Clayton’s family since at least 1851 as this is where she lived with her maternal aunt Charlotte and her husband, William Scarth, who was a flour dealer. The 1911 census gives us a little more detailed information and tells us that William Ashton was by now a widower, living at 53 Westgate End, just a few doors away from The White Hart. His occupation was that of sub postmaster and news vendor. I think we might easily conclude that William was still in the same house and shop as he was in 1901.

On the 1911 census, Charlotte Scarth Ashton is recorded elsewhere. At this time, at the age of 38, she lived alone at 1 Ashton’s Yard, Westgate End and worked as an assistant to her father.

In 1927 Newman’s daughter, Marion, married Harry Mills, a grocer from Sharlston. The address given by Marion, and recorded in the marriage registry, was: The White Hart Inn. Newman’s occupation is recorded as “miner (retired)”.

On December 29 1933 a short announcement was made in the Leeds Mercury. WAKEFIELD WAR VICTIM “Death from cerebral hemorrhage following atheroma, accelerated by war service” was the verdict at a Leeds inquest on Newman Summerscales (56), of Westgate, Wakefield, who died at the Ministry of Pensions Hospital, Leeds, on Friday.

The hospital was established in WW1 to care for the many limbless service personnel who returned from the trenches. Newman’s wounds received in battle had subsequently meant the amputation of his right leg. Newman’s brother, 34 year old George Summerscales, died on May 27 1918 in a German hospital whilst a prisoner of war. He is remembered at the War Memorial in Ossett’s Market Place. Newman Summerscales did not die in battle, nor as a captive in enemy hands. But, according to the inquest held in 1933, his death was “accelerated by war service”.

The Ossett War Memorial Group has denied Newman Summerscales a place at the Ossett War Memorial. He is one of eight men who meet the criteria for inclusion yet have been rejected by this self elected group made up of three Ossett Ward 11 councillors. Their rejection is based on information supplied to them by one advisor who, historically, has been known to make errors when researching the Ossett Fallen.

Anne-Marie Fawcett



Ossett Observer, Aug 8th 1964: The licensee of the Station Hotel, Mr Sutcliffe, has renamed it ‘The Tawny Owl’. There is no significance in the name, he says “I just made it up”. He was also responsible earlier for the Great Northern Hotel changing its name to The Thorn Tree.

Neville Ashby

The story of Luke Greenwood, Yorkshire county cricketer and pub landlord of Ossett.

Luke Greenwood was a renowned cricketer in the Yorkshire County team in the 1860s and 70s. He later became a publican in Ossett, first at the New Inn (Tawny Owl) and then at the Carpenters Arms.

He was born on June 13 1834 at Cowms, Lepton, and baptised on 8th June 1835 at Kirkheaton. He was the son of Richard Greenwood, a fancy weaver, and his wife Grace
In 1841 he was living at Chapel Row, Lepton, with his parents and siblings Sarah, Job and John Thomas. It appears that their father Richard taught them the trade of ‘fancy weaving’. This would be done by someone skilled enough to weave complex patterns as opposed to a plain weaver who wove only plain cloth. In 1851 the family were all still living at Chapel Row, and now Luke (16), Sarah (27) and John Thomas (18) are all ‘fancy weavers’. Unfortunately their father had died early in 1850.

In 1861 The family were living at Cowms in the parish of Kirkheaton, still fancy weavers but Luke was also following his cricketing interests. (Now living next door to him was his brother Job. Their son Andrew, who was 13 in 1861,would go on to play for Yorkshire from 1869 until 1880.)

In an interview in around 1897, Luke described how he had entered the world of professional cricket: “I saw an advertisement in the papers, that a young man was wanted as a bowler by the Duke Of Sutherland in Staffordshire. I answered the advertisement, and got the appointment. That was in 1858, and I remained there for four seasons. I then went to Lord Lichfield’s, about 18 miles further away, and subsequently to Broughton, Manchester, the latter engagement being the result of my play in a match against the Broughton club. Roger Iddison was engaged at Broughton at the same time, and I was there when he went to Australia. Being drafted into county and English cricket, I did not take club engagements afterwards, but fulfilled coaching appointments in the Spring of each year at Winchester, Rugby, Stoneyhurst, Dublin University and so on.”

On 28th May 1866 Luke Greenwood was a member of the All England Eleven team which came to Ossett to play a three day match in a field adjoining the railway line. The team they played against was made up of 22 local cricketers, and it may have been this match where Luke first came to Ossett and gained an affection for the place after staying a couple of nights. A few weeks later he was married to Amelia Jessop at Kirkheaton parish church on 25th June 1866. Amelia was also from Lepton, the daughter of coal miner John Jessop.

In 1871 Luke and Amelia had their own home at Common End, Lepton, and two children, John Herbert (2) and Polly (9 months). Amelia had now also taken up the occupation of fancy weaving. However Luke’s cricketing career was soon to take second place, as by around 1877 they had taken the New Inn, Ossett. (Later re-named the Station Hotel, then the Tawny Owl.) They also had another daughter, 7 year old Grace.

By August 1887 Luke was at the Carpenters Arms. Apart from being a publican he had maintained his interest in cricket as well as having other passions. He often exhibited his smooth haired collie at dog shows, and in1888 he and a few friends started an annual horse show in Ossett. In 1896 he was still at the Carpenters Arms when he was declared bankrupt.

On Tuesday 3rd November 1896 he appeared before the Dewsbury bankruptcy court. He told the court he had been a professional cricketer before becoming a publican. All had been fine until 10th May 1886 when the Carpenters Arms was sold to Fernandes Brewery, Wakefield, after which date he had to take his ale from them. He blamed his failure on having to pay too much for the beer he sold, and not receiving a discount on the spirits. He believed his business had gone downhill over the past two or three years after the quality of the brewery’s beer had deteriorated. He said that to support him and his family the pub would have to take around £1000 annually. In 1894 it took £745, and since then the takings had dropped dramatically. During his time as a publican he claimed to have never once had a glass of intoxicating drink.
The local press threw their full support behind him. The Yorkshire Post claimed that he had been thrown without resources upon the charity of his relatives who were not ‘well to do’. They said that it would be a good thing for him to be employed by a cricket club as a groundsman to help him out.

In an interview with the press later in November he said he had been in the Carpenters for the last 15 or 16 years. Local cricketers had sometimes gathered there to hear something of the battles of the giants in the early days of county cricket.
In December 1896 a subscription had been raised in Huddersfield in support of Luke, and a fund had been started in Ossett. On the 12th of that month he received a purse of gold at the annual dinner of the Brighouse Cricket, Bowling & Cycling Club. In April 1897 Charles Bradley, a renowned Huddersfield athlete, raised with the help of the press £26-5-9 for him. The Yorkshire County Cricket team voted to give him a winter allowance, which he received up until his death.

In around 1899 he moved to Fountain Street in Morley, where he worked as the groundsman for Morley Cricket Club, possibly as a result of the suggestion by the Yorkshire Post earlier. His children came with him, with John Herbert finding work as a labourer in a stone quarry.

While he was living in Morley he was a familiar face at many Yorkshire cricket club matches. He walked as far as Bradford, Leeds and Huddersfield to see the team play, and when the game was over he would walk back home.

He died just after midnight on 2nd November 1909. He had a heart condition and his eyesight was failing, and he had been confined to his bed for the two weeks leading up to his death. He was buried in Kirkheaton parish churchyard, a short distance from where he grew up and developed an interest in the game which would see him remembered by many, and which would see his funeral reported in newspapers around the country.

He learned the game at Lascelles Hall, a renowned cricket nursery near his birthplace, after developing an affection from the game he played in the lanes of his childhood. Lascelles Hall Cricket Club still exists today and was founded in 1825. It is one of the oldest cricket clubs in England, and certainly the oldest in the Kirklees area.

During his cricketing career he was described as an excellent batsman and a hard hitter, as well as a straight round armed bowler. Between 1861 and 1875 he played 51 matches for Yorkshire, scoring 1006 runs, and took 85 wickets. His highest innings was 83 against Surrey in 1875 on the Bramall Lane ground in Sheffield. In 1874 Yorkshire won ten of the fourteen matches played, and Luke was the team captain. He only bowled one ‘wide’ during his whole career, and that was after a thunderstorm at The Oval. When practicing at home he had a basin full of soil buried so just the rim was showing. The object was to try and pitch the ball so it bounced within the circle of the rim.

He had many tales to tell about his career with Yorkshire. One day he was bowling against another well respected cricketer of the day, W. G. Grace. He sent the ball down towards the wicket, and Grace caught it well with his bat, sending it out of the field. There was a custom at the time that anyone finding a lost ball during a match was paid a shilling. An old lady found the ball and went across the pitch to Luke, but he said ‘nah, yon’s him that hit it, yo mun go to him for t’ brass’. She crossed over to Grace and gave him the ball, much to his amusement. He paid her the shilling.
Apart from playing with and captaining the Yorkshire team, he also played at times for Marlborough, Winchester and Rugby public schools. After his time as an active player Luke went on to umpire many matches, including the first three visits to England by the Australian team.

Neville Ashby for Ossett Through The Ages (OTTA)

An Ossett Grammar School reunion c.1975 at the Tawny Owl.
L to R Kathleen Smith, Sylvia Robinson, Marina Bentley, Jean Davis, Joyce Pickard, Alice Fielden, Nancy Richardson, Sylvia Hunter & teacher Mr Tom Clark.

Thanks to Joyce Petty (Pickard) for the photo.


The Thorn Tree probably dates back to the Beer Act of 1830 when it was a beerhouse called “The Thorn”, where the licensee brewed his or her own ale on the premises with water drawn from the town’s wells. The Fligg family were the licensees through to 1877.

No stringent or strictly applied licensing laws restricted the sale of alcoholic beverages and anyone who cared to pay excise duties could keep a beerhouse. As a result, there were many beerhouses and “stiff-shackle” shops in Ossett, the latter establishments at which “stiff-shackle”, a sort of light beer was sold at three halfpence per quart.

A popular drink, especially with women and children was called “small beer”. This beverage was made from a second brewing of the malt and hops, which had already been used once in the making of ale and, consequently, small beer was even cheaper, at three pence for a bucketful. All these varieties of beer were considerably safer to drink than much of the well water in Ossett that they had been made from. Because of the need to boil the “mash” of water, malt and hops in the process of brewing the various types of beers, any bacteria lurking in Ossett’s usually polluted well water was killed off.

In September 1874, the railway came to Ossett and the name of the Thorn was changed to the far grander “Great Northern Hotel”, presumably after the railway company. The Great Northern Hotel advertised “wines and spirits of the finest quality, billiards and good stabling”. The Great Northern Hotel was not granted a Publicans (Full) Licence until August 1878, and only then because the fully licensed house, The Hare and Hounds had ceased trading in 1873 and had been demolished in 1875. Cock fighting, prize fighting, bull baiting and dog fights were all popular pastimes in Ossett before they were prohibited by law. The Hare and Hounds in Queen Street was a centre for these “sporting” activities, although cock fighting and dog fighting were common at every public house in Ossett during the summer months. At the old Hare and Hounds, bare fist prize fighting was popular, particularly among patrons.

During WW2, the cellars of the Great Northern Hotel were designated for use as air raid shelters “for those persons caught out in the street during an air raid.” Luckily, for the residents of Ossett, apart from one air raid on September 21 1940, when a German bomber jettisoned ten high explosive bombs and a few incendiaries, the town escaped any further damage.

In April 1961, the Great Northern Hotel was renamed “The Thorn Tree Inn” after being bought out by Scottish and Newcastle Breweries.

Steve Wilson

According to Ethel Tetley, 34 The Green, which was originally known as Thorn Tree Cottage, was where some of the first cloth in Ossett was woven and then carried to Leeds on the weaver’s back. In April 1950 the Ossett Observer spoke to Mrs Tetley and she told them how the bedroom and kitchen of the almost 300 year old cottage were destroyed during a storm. At 10pm 80mph gales first tore down a lean to shed which then caused the rest to collapse. Situated in a narrow entry, the cottage was earmarked for demolition before the war. Mr Tetley, a railway shunter, was working the night shift and knew nothing of the event until he returned home. Neighbours, Mrs Vickers and Mr Dickinson were there to rescue the lady from the wreckage.

Anne-Marie Fawcett
Thorn Tree Cottage after the storm.

At the house of John Taylor, the Great Northern Hotel, Ossett cum Gawthorpe, on Friday the 7th day of July 1882 on view of the body of David Pickard, deceased.

Anne, the wife of Benjamin Illingworth of Green Mount, The Green, Ossett, overlooker in a woollen mill, says: We have been living with deceased and his sister. His wife died 5 or 6 years ago. He has been strong and healthy. He went to Leeds on Tuesday and Wednesday. He returned to dinner and then set off to the mill. He got home at night about a quarter past 8 o’clock and then had tea and smoked as usual. About ½ past 11 o’clock he came into the kitchen and talked to his sister and me. He had a glass of whisky according to his regular custom. He seemed to be cheerful and well. He was generally called up about ½ past 8 o’clock in the morning. I was with my husband when the servants said they could not wake him. My husband had gone to bed before 11 o’clock last Wednesday night and had got up about 6 o’clock yesterday morning and had come in to his breakfast about a quarter past 8 o’clock. His son, George Pickard who is 11 years old had been to deceased’s room and said that his father was fast asleep. The said Benjamin Illingworth says:I have been deceased’s foreman for the last 15 years. He was 52 years old and a woollen cloth manufacturer. About 10 o’clock last Wednesday night he walked through the kitchen and appeared to be in good health and spirits. His mill is at Horbury Bridge and his shop’s at Ossett. While I was getting my breakfast about ½ past eight o’clock yesterday morning I heard the servant calling to deceased that it was time to get up. She came into the kitchen and sent his son up to him. When he came downstairs again I went up to deceased’s room and after speaking twice I went in. Deceased was lying on his left side and straight out in bed and apparently asleep. I touched him to wake him up and then found he was dead but not cold. I did not observe that anything was disturbed. He was very industrious and had a very good business. Martha, the wife of Seth Heald of The Green, cloth handloom weaver, says:Deceased was a strong and active man. I frequently saw him. Yesternoon I helped to lay out his body which is stout and in good condition. Verdict: Found dead from natural causes.

The mill mentioned was a textile mill at Horbury Bridge, but there was also another mill in Ossett – Manor Mill where David was in partnership with Mark Wilby. Built in 1854, it was used for rag grinding and scribbling and, at one stage, employed over 200 people. When David Pickard died suddenly in July 1882 Mark Wilby carried on the business alone but by 1893 Andrew Pickard had joined him. David and Andrew were the brothers of Hannah Pickard of Green Mount, The Green, Ossett.

Anne-Marie Fawcett


In July 1962, a public notice was circulated in the town and the Ossett Observer reported that an application had been made to build a new public house at the junction of Queen’s Drive and Towngate in Ossett. The new pub was to be named The Yorkshire Hussar. However, the grant of a licence was conditional on the surrender of the existing licence for The Commercial in South Ossett (often referred to as “Jinny’s”).

The new pub was opened nearly ten years later in April 1971 and Tony Nicholson, the Yorkshire cricketer, was guest speaker at the opening. However, the pub was not named The Yorkshire Hussar, but instead The Two Brewers.

After the closure of the Two Brewers, Ben and Benjie Marshall took over the former pub and opened Malagor Fine Thai Cuisine in 2011.

The pub that never was. Early 1960s drawing of the intended ‘Yorkshire Hussar’ pub in Queens Drive. The plan was shelved and the Two Brewers was built instead. Thanks to Neville Ashby.



©️ Dave Guilfoyle 2010



SUNDRY NOTES re PUBS (from the Ossett Observer)

6 Aug 1864 Drunk & disorderly. William Kilburn was apprehended on last Thursday night by P.C. Slater for being drunk and creating a disturbance at the “Quiet Woman” public house, South Ossett.

3 Sep 1864 An inquest was held on Monday at the Old Cooper’s Arms, by T. Taylor Esq. coroner, on view of the body of James Dews. Deceased was 86 years of age, and had attempted to commit suicide the previous Thursday by cutting his throat. The jury found a verdict of “Attempt to commit suicide in a state of dotage”.

10 Sep 1864 At the Victoria Inn – a miscellaneous concert was given. The proprietor, Mr H. Smith of the Three Tuns Music Hall, Wakefield, had engaged some very good talent for the purpose.

17 Dec 1864 An interesting lecture was delivered last Saturday evening in the Lodge Rooms of the Victoria Inn, South Ossett, by Mr. T. Wood of Dewsbury, who spoke on “Robin Hood”.

25 Feb 1865 An accident of a very serious nature occurred to Mr. Walker, landlord of the Flying Horse on Saturday the 18th inst. In returning from Wakefield in his conveyance he was thrown out on to a heap of dross and very much injured about the head.

4 Mar 1865 The Conquering Heroes Club. On Tuesday the 20th anniversary of this Club was celebrated by what our informant designated (and he ought to know because he participated in the enjoyment) a most sumptuous dinner at the Cooper’s Arms Inn, provided by the worthy host Mr. Benjamin Brook. Everyone, we are informed, was delighted by the report read by the Secretary, Mr. Jonethan Clafton. It transpired that in 20 years they have only lost 4 members and that they have in hand about £110, the securities of which are held by Mr. Joseph Ellis, bookseller. Mr. George Boocock is Treasurer.

11 Mar 1865 Transfer of licence. Application was made by Mrs Jagger, widow of the late John Jagger, Royal Hotel, Ossett, for the transfer of her husband’s licence to her. Granted.

5 Aug 1865 [Printing quite faint]. The Local Government Act for Ossett. A public meeting was held on Monday at the Cock & Bottle Inn, at which a goodly number of gentlemen were present. The object of the meeting was to get up a requisition to the Church Wardens, desiring them to call a special meeting of ratepayers for the purpose of determining whether or not the town of Ossett should enjoy such advantage as other towns by the adoption of the Local Government Act, &c.

5 Aug 1865 A sale by auction at the premises of Mr. Gamwell Cudworth at the Bull’s Head Inn, Ossett, of valuable Sizeing Plant, recently the property of Mr. Simon Schofield. &c.

12 Aug 1865 At Dewsbury Court House. Transfer of licence. William Hallas applied to
the Bench to have the licence transferred from George Pawson to himself.
The magistrates asked the usual questions, which were satisfactorily
answered – and renewed the licence.

12 Aug 1865 Provisional Transfer of licence. Gamwell Cudworth of Ossett applied to the magistrates to have the licence of the Bull’s Head Inn transferred from
Simon Schofield to himself until the Brewster Sessions. Two or three
testimonials were produced by the applicant, which were deemed quite
satisfactory and their worships granted the licence.

2 Sep 1865 Selling drink during prohibited hours. John Cudworth, beerhouse keeper,
Good Samaritan Inn, Ossett Streetside, pleaded guilty to a charge of
selling drink in his house on Sunday the 27th ult., during prohibited hours.
Sgt. Bland said he visited the house at 12.15 (noon) and found several
men drinking. Defendant had been fined 3 times for similar offences in the
past 12 months. The Bench imposed a fine of 40/-+ costs.

23 Sep 1865 Annual Supper. The members of Healey Fire Brigade had their 32nd annual supper on Saturday evening last at John Gawthorpe’s The Miller’s Arms.
After the cloth was withdrawn sacred music was sung by T. Pollard who
was accompanied by his brother on the piano. After spending a pleasant
evening, the party broke up about 11 p.m.

30 Sep 1865 At Dewsbury Court, the adjourned Brewster Session the licence of the
Bull’s Head Inn, Ossett, was transferred to Gamwell Cudworth.

21 Oct 1865 The Annual Supper of the Victoria Cricket Club was held on Monday night
at Mr Jacob Clay’s, &c. (Carpenter’s Arms).

25 Nov 1865 A Special Meeting of the Ossett Board of Surveyors was held on Monday
night at the Cock & Bottle Inn.

13 Jan 1866 Inquest at the Bee Hive Inn on Edward Banks who was accidentally killed
at Low Laithes when, towards the evening, his cousin, James Aliffe discharged a
walking stick gun. Edward Banks was a native of Wiltshire, but had
relations in Ossett.

27 Jan 1866 Inquest at Carpenter’s Arms on Mary Ann Dixon, aged 3 yrs 6 mths,
daughter of Mr Isaac Dixon, who was burned when her clothes caught fire.

3 Feb 1866 An inquest held at the Fleece Inn, Horbury, before Mr T. Taylor, coroner,
on the body of Nathaniel Illingworth of South Ossett, aged 69 years. The
evidence went to show that the deceased had been at the Green Man Inn
between Ossett and Horbury sometime on Monday night, and left about
half past nine with the intention of returning home. It would seem however,
that instead of turning to the right when he left the public house, he turned
to the left and thus got on the wrong track. When he had gone a few
hundred yards from the Green Man it is supposed that he had fallen and
was unable to rise, and expired from the cold.
The Green Man became the Halfway House (Horbury).

10 Feb 1866 A sale of property took place at the Carpenter’s Arms last Monday night.

19 May 1866 On Monday, at the Police Court, Dewsbury, Andrew Wilby of Ossett Spa, ap peared for permitting gambling in his house. He was fined 20/- & costs. (Spa Inn).

18 Aug 1866 Licence to keep drunken men. At the Dewsbury Police Court on Monday, before Mr J.S. Hurst, J.H. Greenwood and W. Carr Esq,, Andrew Wilby, beerhouse keeper, Spa Inn, Ossett, was charged with permitting drunkenness in his house. &c.

1 Sep 1866 Isaac Westerman, who keeps the King William Inn, Ossett, sought at the Brewster Sessions, Dewsbury, on Monday, to get the new licence for a new and more commodious house to which he had just moved. He intended to give up the old licence.

8 Sep 1866 A cab for hire. Anyone in Ossett requiring a Cab may have one at a moment’s notice at the Bull’s Head Inn. Proprietor Mr Gamwell Cudworth.

20 Oct 1866 Nuisance Inspector. On Monday evening, Mr Thomas Harrop, late innkeeper, was elected to the office of Nuisance Inspector by the Custodians of the Poor, meeting at the Royal Hotel.

3 Nov 1866 Miners meeting. Miners on strike held a meeting at Gawthorpe on Wednesday evening at the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, at which Mr Thomas Lonsdale presided.

17 Nov 1866 The Annual Supper given by the Healey Old Mill Co. was served up at the Cooper’s Arms Inn on Saturday evening last. &c.

19 Jan 1867 Yesterday afternoon, John Wilby (54), blind basketmaker, choked himself whilst eating bread and meat at the Carpenter’s Arms. He was intoxicated at the time. Dr Frame was immediately sent for (details &c) but could not save him.

2 Feb 1867 The Railway employees supper. The servants in the employ of the Great Northern Railway Company had their annual supper on the 25th ult., at the Carpenter’s Arms Inn, to which they invited a few townsmen. A good supper was provided by Mr Jacob Clay. &c.

16 Feb 1867 Death of a child from burning. An inquest was held on Monday evening at the Weavers Inn, South Ossett, touching the death of Edward Teale, aged 1 year and 11 months, who died on the 9th inst., from injuries received by burning on the previous day.

20 Apr 1867 Ossett Board of Surveyors. The usual fortnightly meeting of this Board was held at the Cock & Bottle Inn on Wednesday night.

27 Apr 1867 The Good Intent Lodge. The Members of the above lodge (Grand United Order of Oddfellows) held their annual feast day on Easter Monday at the Hare & Hounds Inn, Ossett. A fine dinner was provided for upwards of 120 members who did ample justice to the roast beef and mutton so well served up by the host and hostess (Mr & Mrs John Berry), who gave great satisfaction as usual.

27th April 1867 Rose of Sharon Lodge. On Monday last members of the above lodge (Ancient Shepherds, Ashton Unity) celebrated their fifteenth anniversary at the house of Mr Samuel Hartley, Travellers Rest Inn, Ossett.

4 May 1867 Lecture on Sign Boards. A lecture was delivered in the Zion Room, Gawthorpe, on Monday night by the Rev. James Hall of Ossett, on public house signboards. Mr J.R. Beckett presided. The lecturer classified the different signboards under the heads of – the ludicrous, the wonderful, the terrible, and the instructive. The lecture was of both an amusing and serious character, and was listened to by the audience, which was pretty large, with marked attendance. The usual votes of thanks were passed, and at the close of the meeting a petition for the closing of public houses on Sunday was numerously signed.

4 May 1867 Report of the Gawthorpe Temperance Society.

29 Jun 1867 Dewsbury Working Mens Conservative Association. A meeting in connection with this association will be held at the house of Mr Benjamin Brooke, the Cooper’s Arms Inn, Ossett, on Thursday the 4th July next, 8 pm.

4 Jul 1867 A public house quarrel. Some few weeks ago a quarrel took place at the George Inn, Ossett, between Thomas Dews and Joshua Riley, when the former got his leg broken, and yesterday the parties appeared at the Dewsbury Police Court to have their grievances settled. Mr Breary of Dewsbury appeared for the defendant, and Mr Ibberson of Dewsbury for the complainant. When the case was called on for trial a consultation took place, and it resulted in a compromise by which the defendant was required to pay £3 and costs to the complainant.

2 Nov 1867 Sale of valuable estate at Ossett, came under the hammer at the Cooper’s Arms.

16 Nov 1867 Important to innkeepers and others. It is provided by the County Courts Act, 1868, that no action shall be brought, or be maintainable, in any Court, to recover any debt or sum of money alleged to be due in respect of the sale of any ale, porter, beer, cider or perry, which after the 1st day of January next is consumed on the premises where sold or supplied, or in respect of any money or goods lent or supplied, or of any security given for, in, or towards the obtaining of any such ale, porter, beer, cider or perry.

25 Jan 1868 Annual Supper to John Pepper & Co’s employees. The staff of this firm, together with their friends, held their annual supper on the evening of the 17th. inst. at the George Inn, Ossett.

1 Feb 1868 Various statistics of intemperance, mainly for the years 1856 – 65.

8 Feb 1868 Advert. Sale of property Ossett Street Side. To be sold by auction by Mr Wilkinson at the Flying Horse Inn, Ossett, Street Side, on the 10th day of February 1868 at 6 o’clock in the evening, 2 cottages & dwelling houses.

15 Feb 1868 Beerhouse offence at Ossett. On Monday last, at the Dewsbury Police Court before Messrs Greenwood, Firth, and Carr, Joseph Nightingale, beerhouse keeper, Ossett Spa, was charged with having 2 men in his house drunk and asleep on the 3rd instant. &c. (P.C. Fiddler made charge). [Note – this would be the “Spa Inn”.]

22 Feb 1868 Drunk and refusing to leave. At the Dewsbury Court House yesterday, Samuel Audsley appeared at the investigation of P.C. Fiddler on a charge of being drunk and refusing to leave the “Manor House” public house, South Ossett. Fined 10/- and costs. (Never heard of this one before.)

18 Apr 1868 Transgression of the Law at Ossett. At the Dewsbury Police Court yesterday, before Messrs C.H. Firth, Joshua Ellis and Mr Akroyd, Rufus Goodare was charged at the instance of P. C.’s Fiddler & Barker, with permitting drunkenness in his house, the Railway Tavern, on the 11th inst. Pleaded guilty and was fined 20/- and costs.

7 Jun 1868 A caution to unruly tiplers. On Monday last, at the Dewsbury Police Court, William Batley and Frank Thurlow were charged at the instance of Joseph Nightingale, landlord of the Spa Inn, Ossett, with being drunk and refusing to leave his house when required to do so on the 22nd May last. Batley was acquitted but Thurlow was fined 10/- plus costs.

29 Aug 1868 The Dewsbury Brewster Sessions. These unusual sessions were held on Monday. All the publicans in the district were called up, and those who had been fined in the course of the year were admonished.

12 Sep 1868 Opening a new lodge at Ossett. On Saturday evening last a somewhat unusually gay and grotesque scene was presented in the streets of Ossett by a procession of the Ancient Order of Druids. The members met at the lodge room, George Inn, at 5 o’clock, where a procession was formed which was headed by four men on horseback, and preceded by a brass band. &c. They went on to the Victoria Inn, South Ossett, where they went through the usual ceremony of opening the lodge.

1 Nov 1868 Permitting Sunday drinking at Ossett. Mr Benjamin Fothergill, Ossett Common, was charged yesterday at the Dewsbury Police-court with having his house open on Sunday last against the tenor of his licence. P.C. Fiddler gave the information. He said that he visited the house on the day in question and found four men present with glasses of ale before them. Defendant stated that they had come to pay him for some potatoes and he had given them the ale. In consideration of having kept a house for 18 years, and not being before the Bench in the whole of that time, they only fined him 10/- and costs. [Fleece Inn].

28 Nov 1868 Last night an inquest was held at the Miller’s Inn, Healey, by Mr. T. Taylor, coroner, on view of the body of Joseph Rhodes, aged 47 years. &c. The verdict was “Found drowned without any marks of violence”. 1

9 Dec 1868 Meeting of mill operatives at Ossett. On Saturday night last a meeting of mill operatives was held in the George Inn. A deputation of factory workers from Dewsbury attended to state the object of the movement, &c.

9 Jan 1869 Explosion of gas at the Cooper’s Arms, Ossett. On Thursday morning about 8 o’clock, an explosion of gas took place at Mr B. Brookes. It appears that the tap in the bar had only been partly turned off, and the gas had been escaping all night. One of the servants went in on Thursday morning with a lighted candle to draw some beer, and the gas ignited and exploded. A glass portion of the door was completely blown out, two panes of glass in the windows in the yard were blown out, the window curtains were burned and a sealed door was blown open, somewhat injuring Mr Albert Speight who was sitting upon the back-door step at the time. The girl’s face and shoulders were burned, but a beer machine and a rack of glasses were not dislocated or in any way disturbed.

13 Feb 1869 On Monday last at the Dewsbury Police Court, Rufus Roebuck Goodair, beerhouse keeper, Little Town End, Ossett, appeared on remand charged with permitting drunkenness in his house on Saturday, January 30th. The policeman found about twenty men in the taproom, and others fighting and drunk. The defendant said “Have a pint of beer, and overlook this matter”. I refused to do so. The defendant’s wife then asked me to take a cigar. I said that I did not want either a cigar or beer. Defendant was fined 40/- and the costs. [Note – “Railway Tavern”.]

20 Feb 1869 An inquest was held at the Weaver’s Arms Inn, South Ossett, on Thomas Illingworth, Victoria Street, who had burned himself to death whilst suffering delirium tremens.

27 Feb 1869 Treat to Workpeople. On Saturday night, Messrs Langley & Sons of the Bottom Field Mill, Ossett, gave an excellent treat to their workpeople, about 30 in number. A very sumptuous tea was provided at the “Travellers Inn”, where the hands were entertained, &c. The object of the treat was to celebrate the introduction of power looms into Messrs Langley’s mill.

13 Mar 1869 Formation of a Liberal Registration Association at Ossett. Ever since the General Election a Liberal Registration Association has been in process of formation, and now it is fully organised and met for the first time on Monday night last at the Cock & Bottle Inn, to start its duties. Details of officers are given.

17 Apr 1869 Long Editorial regarding the Permissive Prohibitory Liquor Bill. About a public meeting that has been held in Ossett – various people signing a petition against the Bill going through parliament. It is aimed “.. under the auspices of the United Kingdom Alliance for the supression of the liquor traffic”.

15 May 1869 An inquest was held at the Victoria Inn on Sarah Ann White, aged 17, who died on the 10th instant. It was rumoured that she had taken poison, but this was discounted by the medical examiner.

10 Jul 1869 A drunk and indecent landlord. Yesterday, Rufus Roebuck Goodare of Ossett, landlord of the Railway Tavern, appeared before the magistrates at Dewsbury on a charge of being drunk and indecent at Little Town End on July 2nd. The charge was preferred by P.C. Bartle, who said that when on duty at twenty minutes past eleven on the day in question, he heard a noise and proceeded to “Little Lane” (Lands Fold) when he found the defendant drunk and using indecent language to a woman who was passing at the time. Defendant pleaded guilty and was fined 7/6 and costs.

24 Jul 1869 At the Dewsbury Police Court on Friday week David Dews was charged by P.C. Fiddler with being drunk and refusing to leave the Weavers Inn, South Ossett, on Saturday July 10th. He was fined 7/6 and costs. On the same day William Holdsworth was charged with being drunk and riotous on the 12th July at South Ossett. He was fined 7/6 and costs. George Howgate, landlord of the Good Samaritan beerhouse, was fined 20 shillings and costs for permitting drunkenness in his house on the 11th July.

26 Aug 1869 Dewsbury Brewster Sessions. At the above Sessions held at the West Riding Police Court, Dewsbury on Tuesday last, all the licences for Ossett, both beer and spirits, were renewed with the exception of Henry Smith’s, William Ayliffe’s and Rufus Goodare’s, the latter being deferred to the adjourned Brewster Sessions on Sept. 27th.

18 Sept 1869 On Thursday Mr Taylor, honor and county coroner, held an inquest at the Little Bull Inn, Ossett Common, over the body of a coal miner, 30 years old, named Joseph Crabtree.

6 Nov 1869 Ossett Board of Surveyors had their fortnightly meeting at the Cock & Bottle Inn as usual.

13 Nov 1869 At the Dewsbury Police Court yesterday, Benjamin Siswick, Henry Brown and Edward Archer were charged with being drunk and refusing to leave the Weavers Inn, South Ossett, at two o’clock on the morning of the 6th instant. P.C. Fiddler had to be called in to eject them. They were fined 20/- and costs in each case.

20 Nov 1869 On Tuesday night, Mr T. Taylor, coroner, held an inquest at the Travellers Inn into the sudden death of Honor Mitchell, a poor old lone Irish woman who had lived in Knowles Yard, Streetside, Ossett, and who was found dead in her house on Monday morning last. Verdict of the Jury – “Died from natural causes”.

4 Dec 1869 Mention that Thomas Day was the landlord of the Spinners Arms, Chickenley Heath.

5 Feb 1870 The use of strong drink in hospital. We suppose that no-one will assert that all the strong drink used in hospitals is legitimately employed. The Lancet acknowledges that so much is left to dressers and house surgeons who have but small experience that the great advantage arises from the occasional hints of an experienced and watchful officer. Even the staff frequently continue the use of wines and spirits longer than needful, from simple ineptitude, and occasionally they order them to an extent which a little consideration would reduce. &c.

12 Mar 1870 Ossett Treat to Workpeople. Mr William Gartside’s employees were presented with 2lbs of pork each, and the men to the number of 33 were provided with a supper at the George Inn.

23 Apr 1870 An Ossett man not fit for a license. At the Dewsbury Police Court yesterday, John Briggs, keeper of a beerhouse at Ossett, was told by magistrate, Mr. Greenwood, that he is not fit to have a license, and he would remember him when he came up at Brewster Sessions. [Note – “Weavers Arms”].

23rd April 1870 Sudden death at Ossett. On Wednesday night an inquest was held by Mr T. Taylor at the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, when it was decided that Henry Heptonstall, aged 42, a labourer, died from natural causes.

23rd April 1870 Ossett Lodge Festival. The members of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows of Apollo Lodge No. 83, met on Easter Monday at Mrs Jagger’s, the Royal Hotel Inn, Ossett, to celebrate their 47th anniversary, when about 100 members sat down for an excellent dinner provided by the worthy hostess. &c.

23rd April 1870 United Order of Ancient Druids of Ossett. The fourth anniversary of the Rose of England Lodge, No 456, was celebrated on Easter Monday at the house of Mr Joseph Smith, Fleece Inn, Ossett Common, by a substantial dinner which had been prepared in first-rate style by the host. &c.

23rd April 1870 The Good Samaritan Lodge, Ossett. The annual meeting of the Good Samaritan Lodge of the Independent Order of Oddfellows, Manchester Unity, was held on Monday at the Cock & Bottle Inn, when 97 financial members dined together. &c.

23rd April 1870 Nymph Lodge No 34, United Ancient Order of Druids. The anniversary of this Lodge was held at the George Inn on Monday last, when an excellent dinner was served up by the host and hostess.

23rd April 1870 Ossett landlords beware. Edwin Woodcock, keeper of the Good Samaritan Inn, Ossett Streetside, was charged with violating the law. &c.

14 May 1870 Edwin Woodcock, keeper of the Good Samaritan Inn, Ossett, was yesterday summoned before the West Riding magistrates at Dewsbury for permitting drunkenness in his house on Sunday night last. The case however was adjourned until Monday next.

18 Jun 1870 Transfer of Licence. William Robinson applied to the West Riding magistrates at Dewsbury on Monday last for a transfer of a licence for a beerhouse in Owl Lane, Ossett, recently kept by William Cooper. Application – granted. [Note – “Royal Oak”].

18 Jun 1870 A desperate character. At the Dewsbury Police Court yesterday, William Sir, a labourer of Ossett, was charged with being drunk and disorderly at Ossett on the 14th instant. P.C. Urmston stated that defendant was drunk and disorderly in the street on Tuesday night last, and he ordered him to go away, but he went into the Hare & Hounds Inn, where he created a disturbance.

18 Jun 1870 Selling beer during prohibited hours. At the Dewsbury Police Court yesterday, William Ayliff, beerhouse keeper, Ossett, was charged with selling beer during prohibited hours. [Note – “Railway Tavern”].

30 Jul 1870 The Ossett Board of Surveyors now meet at the George Inn. 6 Aug 1870 At the Dewsbury Police Court on Monday James Hartley, Ossett, applied for a provisional transfer of the Red Lion Inn, from John William Clafton to himself. Granted.

3 Sep 1870 Horbury – “Sportsman” now to be called “Cricketer’s Arms”.

22 Oct 1870 On Monday last at the West Riding Police Court, Dewsbury, John Lockwood, landlord of The Bull Inn, Ossett, was charged with knowingly permitting drunkenness on the 11th inst.

12 Nov 1870 At the W.R. Police Court on Monday last, Joseph Wood asked for, and obtained, a transfer of the licence of the Hammer & Stithy recently kept by Sarah Jagger.

3 Dec 1870 William Birkett, Ossett, summoned for permitting drunkenness in his house, the Horse & Jockey, on the 28th ultimo. &c.

17 Dec 1870 The next General Meeting of the supporters of the Local Government Act will be held at the Royal Hotel on Monday evening next, at 8 o’clock. (Ossett ratepayers have now agreed to take up the Act, and this week are nominating for the 15 members required).

21 Jan 1871 An inquest was held yesterday morning at the Victoria Inn, South Ossett, by T. Taylor Esq on view of the body of William Brook, aged 10 weeks, son of James Brook, Dyer.

21 Jan 1871 The first Meeting of the Board of Health. The summoning officer, Mr John James Mitchell has within the last few days notified to the successful candidates that they will be required to meet on Monday evening next at the Royal Hotel.

11 Mar 1871 A long Editorial about the new Licensing Bill.

1 Apr 1871 The Local Board are going to meet at the Cooper’s Arms again for the next meeting.

1 Apr 1871 Three beggars were apprehended in Ossett, and sent to prison for 14 days from Dewsbury Police Court. One of them had in his possession a poem :-

That there business. On the liquor shop round the corner (- – – – – -) back way to the tap. The Draper and Hosier and Baker and Grocer Throw open their shop to the light of the day And need have no feeling of shame in their dealings Nor smuggle their customers out the back way. But dram shops and beer shops and some other queer shops Must darken their windows or screen with a blind That drunk degradation may shun observation With suitable inlet and outlet behind. A back door or by-door or some kind of sly door A drinking establishment never should lack Where ladies and lasses may toss off their glasses And, licking their lips, gae out at the back. The vulgar and daring whilst neighbours are staring Will bolt in the front door, or out in a crack Whilst folk of all stations who love their potations May slip round the corner and in at the back. Here early on Sundays no less than on Mondays When spies and policemen are out on the track A back door is handy for Gin Beer or Brandy Just whistle a signal and in at the back. Of wine, ale and porter, or anything shorter You need have no trouble in getting your snack If you don’t like the wide door – creep in at the side door Or, what is still better, the door at the back.

Possibly composed in Sunderland, perhaps by a James Holland.

21 Apr 1871 (No doubt the week after Easter)

21 Apr 1871 The United Ancient Order of Druids. The Anniversary of the Rose of England Lodge No. 546 was celebrated on Easter Monday at the house of Mr Joseph Smith, Fleece Inn, Ossett Common. &c.

21 Apr 1871 Lodge festival. The members of the Grand United Order of Oddfellows of Apollo Lodge No. 83 met on Easter Monday at the house of Mr John Lockwood, the Bull’s Head Inn, Ossett, to celebrate their 48th Anniversary. &c.

21 Apr 1871 Nymph Lodge 34 Druids had its annual dinner on Easter Monday at the George Inn, Ossett. It was provided by the landlord, Mr William Hallas, in a most ample manner which gave every satisfaction. &c.

21 Apr 1871 The Good Intent Lodge. The annual meeting of this society was held on Easter Monday at Mr John Berry’s, where 115 members sat down to an excellent repast. &c. May 1871 It looks as though the Ossett Observer has now become part of the Temperance Movement. Very little in about pubs now, and there has just been mention of an inquest at Gawthorpe, but no mention of the house in which it was held.

8 July 1871 At the Dewsbury West Riding Police Court yesterday, Henry Briggs, the landlord of the Weaver’s Arms, was indicted by P.C. Rogers for permitting drunkenness in his house on the first instant. Defendant pleaded guilty and as he was consid ered to have kept a respectable house, he was discharged on payment of costs.

15 July 1871 A houseful of drunkards. At the West Riding Police Court, Dewsbury, yesterday, Joseph Nightingale, a beerhouse keeper at Ossett Spa, was charged by P.C.s Rogers and Hobson with permitting drunkenness on the 8th inst. The officers stated that they found 10 men and 2 women in the defendant’s house, and 10 men and one woman and the landlord were drunk. Defendant was fined 40/- and costs.[Note – Spa Inn].

29 July 1871 A sale of property was held at the Cooper’s Arms in Ossett on Thursday night week.

26 Aug 1871 Dewsbury West Riding Brewster Sessions, (which includes Ossett). Samuel Simms, who had been fined on the 30th June, 50/- and costs, for permitting drunkenness was told that he had better be cautious or his certificate would be taken away. The next person called up was William Hardy of the Spa Inn. He had not been fined, but Joseph Nightingale the previous tenant was mulcted in 40/ – and costs. Superintendent Ayrton said he had observed in an adverse statement that the Spa Inn was to be let the day after Nightingale was convicted. The fact was that as soon as the brewers found that a tenant had been fined they gave him notice to leave and looked for another person to keep the house. The chairman said that if Hardy was not extremely careful the certificate would be withdrawn altogether. It was reported to the bench that John Lockwood of the Bull’s Head Inn, Dale Street, had been fined 10/- and costs on the 7th October for permitting drunkenness. The Superintendent added that it was his first offence. The bench told him that they hoped it would be his last.

2 Sep 1871 Drunk and refusing to quit. At the Dewsbury Police Court on Monday last, Joseph Ramsden of Horbury was fined 10/- and costs for being drunk and refusing to leave the Spa Inn at Ossett Spa on the 27th ult.

14 Oct 1871 Transfer. John Chadwick applied on Friday for a provisional transfer of the Hammer & Stithy, late in the occupation of Joseph Wood. The applicant put in a strong memorial from Leeds people and also one from the Chief of the Police there.

4 Nov 1871 Quoits. Adjoining the Railway Tavern, Ossett, on Saturday last there was a quoits match for £1 a side between Henry Spedding of Ossett and a man from Chickenley. The game was won by Spedding.

7 Dec 1871 Supper of masters and men. On Friday night last the employers of power at the Temperence Mill sat down to a supper at the George Inn, along with their employees. The supper, we are informed, was all that could be desired and the evening was afterwards spent in singing songs and reciting. Mr Richard Megson occupied the chair and Mr Henry Simpson was vice-chair. The health of the host and hostess were drunk, and the company departed well satisfied with the evening’s entertainment.

16 Dec 1871 Colliers Supper. A supper of a substantial kind was provided at the George Inn, Ossett, on Saturday last in connection with the Sick and Accident Club of the colliers employed at Mr Gartside’s colliery. Thirty-six members were present. After the cloth was withdrawn, the health of the host and hostess was drunk, after which Mr Day was voted to the chair. A few appropriate remarks were made by one of the members, amongst which he said they ought all to be thankful that they were there with health and strength. After which the secretary, Mr Henry Brown, read the report, which was very favourable. They had had no accident during the past year, and had only paid £134 for sickness. Great praise was due to the managers of the colliery, Messrs T. Westwood and J. Wilkinson. The next business was the election of officers, the appointment of a committee and review rules, the auditing of the books, after which the agreeable evening was brought to a close.

15 Apr 1939 Property sale at Cock & Bottle (page 5 of th O.O).

29 Apr 1939 70 yrs ago (May 1 1869). The Beerhouses Bill which proposes a system of licensing similar to public houses, etc., passed its 2nd Reading. 6

May 1939 DEATH OF MR LEONARD BROWN, OSSETT. A local Licensee, and well-known county bowler, Mr Leonard Brown of the Millers’ Arms, Healey, Ossett died on Saturday, after a lengthy illness, age 67. He was born at the Cliffe Tree Inn, Wakefield. He came to Ossett at the age of 12 when his stepfather became landlord of the Flying Horse Inn. In 1912 Mr Brown took over the Flying Horse, but in 1914 moved to the Station Hotel, Prospect Road, Ossett, where he remained until 1931. After a short period as landlord of the Robin Hood Inn, Tadcaster, he returned to Ossett, and nine months later took over the license of the Millers’ Arms, Healey, until his death.

10.6.1939 50 yrs ago (15.6.1889). The open space in front of the Carpenter’s Arms, Ossett, was on Whit Monday the scene of a horse show, promoted by the landlord, Mr Luke Greenwood. Seven horses in the carriage class, and 14 in the draught class. Those taking part were entertained to dinner.

12.8.1939 56 years in Australia. Mr Kemp, now 78, belonged to a well-known Gawthorpe family, and his mother kept the Beehive Inn for many years.

28.10.1939 3 columns about late drinking at the Cooper’s Arms, Licensee – Robert Lumb.

2.12.1939 Public Houses – increases in rateable values – Cooper’s Arms £44 to £52; Horse & Jockey £25 to £44; Malt Shovel £122 to £230. 16.12.1939 70 yrs ago (18.12.1869). Mr Oliver Wilby presided over a meeting held at the Royal Hotel, Ossett, on Dec. 14th., at which it was decided to establish a Chamber of Commerce for Ossett. Mr J.R. Beckett was appointed secretary pro tem. 23.12.1939 Increased rateable values. Royal Hotel £60 to £72; Station £35 to £44; Cock & Bottle £45 to £48 27.1.1940 Pub Assessment reduced. Victoria £32 to £25.

Brian Smith

Ossett Pub Inventories & Valuations – Furniture, Fixtures & Fittings and Stock-in-Trade.


©️ Anne-Marie Fawcett 2020

Richard Ashton has shared with us these photos from his father’s collection. I’ve put together a little about Richard’s family and their connections to Ossett.

Richard’s great grandfather was Walter Ashton. Here he is, standing in front of his shop on Prospect Road where he was a wheelwright.


Walter was born in Wakefield in 1863 to Charles and Mary (née Giglow). On Christmas Day 1888 he married 23 year old Jane Hallas, who also lived in Wakefield. Their first son, Charles, was born in Wakefield in May the following year. A year later and the family had moved to Ossett and Stithy Street, where their second son Arthur was born. Another son, William, followed in 1893 and by the time their third son, Walter jnr, was born in 1896 they were living at Little Field. Ernest arrived in 1902 and their only daughter Nora was born in 1905.

Walter, Nora, Jane (née Hallas) and Charles Ashton.

Three of Walter’s five sons worked in the family business, which was expanded to become a vehicle body building shop, at 3 Bank Street, on the site of what is now Iceland supermarket. The Ashtons built wagons, carts and wheelbarrows for a number of Ossett businesses, including the Co-op and Langley Brothers, mungo manufacturers. In later years the Ashtons lived at 14 Church Street.

Richard’s grandfather Charles Ashton didn’t join the family business. Instead he served as an apprentice to JH Nettleton’s butchers.

Charles Ashton as an apprentice at Nettleton’s butchers, Wesley Street, Ossett

Although Charles was born in Wakefield, he was baptised at Holy Trinity Church when he was 5 years old. In October 1912 he married Beatrice Maud Lucas and they had three children. Charles went on to become the manager of the Ossett Co-op butchers department and the family lived at “Crown Lands Cottages”, Kingsway. (Crown Lands Cottages is 100 Kingsway).

Richard’s father, George, was born in Ossett. On July 15 1939, just two days after his 20th birthday, George Alfred Ashton enlisted at Pontefract “for the duration of the emergency”. George joined the Hallamshire Battalion of the York and Lancaster Regiment.

On September 3, 1939, the day Britain declared war on Germany after the invasion of Poland two days earlier, Winston Churchill was appointed First Lord of the Admiralty, returning to the old post he had left dejected after the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign of World War I; he joined the War Cabinet the next day.

Churchill had several pressing concerns before him, including the inadequate defenses of the Royal Navy’s anchorage at Scapa Flow and the shortage of destroyers, but top of the list was Norway and how to stop the Germans from using its territorial waters to gain access to the Atlantic and the convoy routes.

Churchill was still pressing the War Cabinet. His memorandum began, “The effectual stoppage of the Norwegian ore supplies to Germany ranks as a major offensive operation of the war. No other measure is open to us for many months to come which gives so good a chance of abridging the waste and destruction of the conflict, or of perhaps preventing the vast slaughter which will attend the grapple of the main armies.”

The Hallamshire Battalion were a part of Mauriceforce (Norwegian Campaign) in Norway in April 1940. Many of the photos from George Ashton’s collection were taken in Norway where he was a part of the Iceland ‘C’ Force. The campaign in Norway saw some of the first combined operations of World War ll, with naval, air and land forces cooperating in coordinated attacks.

Throughout the war, British officers referred to the country as Iceland (C) on Churchill’s orders – because, early in the war, someone had mistakenly sent a ship to Ireland instead of Iceland! By the time British forces left Iceland, in the summer of 1941, there were over 25,000 troops stationed there.

In late 1942 George was seconded to Catterick as a Signals instructor. Later he rejoined his battalion in France. A month later he was wounded and consequently discharged and sent home.

George married Doreen Tyson in 1945.

Eleven years later George and Doreen moved their family to South Africa. That must have been quite a trip – all the children were under 10 years of age and their youngest child was less than a year old. They subsequently moved to New Zealand where, in 1977, George and Doreen gained citizenship.

Although Richard Ashton lives in New Zealand, he was born at 34 Wesley Street, Ossett.

Below is a group of photos that remain unidentified. Are you able to name anyone? Please email me at:



©️ Anne-Marie Fawcett 2022

When 75 year old Joshua Pickersgill died in Australia in 1897 he had lived there for almost half a century. Joshua was born in Ossett so how did he come to spend two thirds of his life in one of the largest countries on Earth?

Joshua was born in 1822 and was christened at Holy Trinity Church. His father David Pickersgill, who was a shoemaker, died in 1826 at the age of 25, leaving his young wife Martha (née Gomersal) bereft of income. They had been married for less than seven years. Martha’s young family included George b1819 and two more sons: William b1823 and Edward b1824. Joshua and George were put to work in one of Ossett’s many textile mills.

Ten years later Martha married engineer John Lucas and in 1837 they had a daughter: Emma. John Lucas died in 1840 and, once again, Martha was left struggling to keep a roof over the heads of her family. The 1841 census records Martha Lucas living at Low Fold with her four youngest children and her mother, Fanny Gomersal. George Pickersgill, Martha’s oldest son, was recently married and had moved to Dewsbury.

(Image courtesy of Jennifer Bragg)

What’s left of Low Fold runs down the side of the Ossett United football ground.

Joshua Pickersgill married Ann Bolland (1821-1886) in 1845 at Dewsbury Parish Church. Both were residents of Ossett and Joshua was now a clothier. Ann, who was from Stanley and was the daughter of a butcher, already had a five year old son, William Bolland, whom Joshua took as his own.

After they married they lived in Horbury where Joshua worked as a weaver. They had two children: George Thomas b1846 and Elizabeth b1849. Joshua never saw the arrival of his daughter as he was convicted of theft on January 3 1849 and, due to a prior conviction for felony, was sentenced to seven years transportation. His crime? Stealing four hens from Thomas Harrop. His family were clearly hungry. At his trial Joshua pleaded guilty.


The first nine months of Joshua’s sentence were spent in solitary confinement at Wakefield Prison, before being transferred to Pentonville.

He was then sent to Portsmouth where he worked on the docks (fettered with heavy chains and overseen by armed guard) and was held on the convict hulk ‘Stirling Castle’ until he was transported to Western Australia in 1850.

The fear of incarceration in a prison hulk was an all too dreadful prospect. It must have haunted the memory of many a criminal awaiting trial, transportation or the prospect of facing a life sentence on board a prison ship. They were created following the 1776 statute which ordered that male prisoners sentenced to transportation should be put to hard labour improving the navigation of the Thames.

In 1849 the British Government authorised the conversion of Western Australia from a free settlement to a penal colony. On 9 January 1868 the convict transport Hougoumont arrived at the port of Fremantle. On board were 269 convicts, the last to be sent to Western Australia.The ship’s arrival marked the end of 80 years of continuous penal transportation to the Australian continent.

When Joshua embarked on the convict ship ‘Minden‘ for Australia he was 29 years old, and a convicted felon. By the time he arrived in Fremantle his good behaviour whilst imprisoned had earned him a conditional pardon and his ‘ticket of leave’, which allowed him to ‘live at large’. With good conduct, a convict serving a seven year term usually qualified for a ‘ticket of leave’ after four or five years, whilst those serving 14 years could expect to serve between six to eight years. ‘Lifers’ could qualify for their Conditional Pardon after 10 or 12 years. One has to wonder how Joshua earned his pardon so soon. I suppose we’ll never know. He took with him some of the money he had earned whilst incarcerated – a total of £3 and sixpence.

Back in Ossett, Ann Pickersgill was destitute and living on Parish Relief and the meagre wages of her 12 year old son William who was working as a factory boy. Joshua applied for permission to have his family join him and sought references from the two parish vicars, Rev Collins and Rev DC Neary.

After sailing from Plymouth in November 1852, Ann Pickersgill and her three children arrived in Western Australia in April 1853 on board the ‘Palestine’.

Joshua went on to own farmland in Bunbury, a new town just south of Perth founded in 1843 and named for Lieutenant Henry William St. Pierre Bunbury, who had explored the area. Over the years Joshua employed a dozen or so ‘ticket of leave’ men.

Ann and Joshua contributed to the growth of the new colony and had five more children in Australia – Martha b1854, Jane b1856, Emma b1858, Joshua b1860 and Ann b1862.

An article in The Western Australia Police Gazette an article on December 31 1880 described Joshua as 50 years old, 5′ 10″ tall, grey haired with dark complexion, round visage and sallow complection. It said that was indebted to the Bunbury Timber Company for thirty pounds. According to the Gazette there was some concern that he may have been going to leave the country and if so he was to be arrested on the ship he was on.

Ann died in 1886 and, after a fatal heart attack on May 4 1897, Joshua was buried alongside her in the East Perth Cemetery.

I’m grateful to the family of Joshua Pickersgill for relating to me some of their family history. Any errors are mine. If you have any further information you’d like to add to this story please contact me at:


Mark Jubb

Anne-Marie Fawcett July 2021

I have a thing about place names and Jubb’s Yard, just off the Market Place in Ossett town centre, has intrigued me for a few years. I eventually got around to having a look into some of the history of this place. This is what I learned.

Born in Soothill in 1815, Mark Jubb was the son of William (1776–1859) and Mary née Armitage (1786–1855) and he lived with his parents and siblings at Chickenley Lane. 

In August 1842 Mark Jubb and Mary Schorah were married at Wakefield All Saints Church (now the Cathedral). Mary was the daughter of shopkeeper Joseph Scorah and his wife Rachel (née Wilby) who lived and worked at Town End. As a younger man Mark worked as a woollen spinner but when he married Mary he gave his occupation as ‘clothier’; this might imply that he was a self-employed weaver working at home. Later Mark would be employed as a slubber in a woollen mill where he prepared wool for spinning, removing the “slubs” or imperfections in the yarn.

The Jubbs lived at ‘Town, close to the church’. Their first child, a daughter Emma, was born in 1843 and in 1845 they had a son, Edwin. It appears that Mark and Mary may have had at least six children though not all survived infancy. In May 1852 Mary Jubb gave birth to her last child, Joseph Schorah Jubb and died soon after he was born.

In April 1853 Mark Jubb married 33 year old Hannah Jubb (daughter of William Jubb and Mary Lister) a dressmaker of Hanging Heaton. They had two children together – in January 1854 Charles was born, followed a year later by Arthur. In 1861 their address was South Towngate and Mark was now a shopkeeper. Town End, Town, South Towngate or simply ‘near the church’. (This would be the original Trinity Church that once stood in the Market Place). Are they all the same place? Following the enumerators who were responsible for the census returns gives us the answer – yes they were. Could it be that Mark had taken over the business of the parents of his first wife Mary Scorah? 

By 1891 Mark Jubb was widowed again and was still living at Jubb’s Yard with only his eldest child Emma still living at home. In 1881 his son Edwin had married Mary Wilson, the daughter of woollen manufacturer James Wilson and his wife Ann née Megson of Northfield House, Field Lane (now Church Street). Joseph Scorah Jubb had taken advantage of the government funded assistant passage to Australia and set sail for New South Wales in 1884. Also in 1884, Charles Jubb had married Eliza Briggs and they moved to Dewsbury where Charles worked as a clerk for a firm of solicitors. There’s a ‘Jubb’s Arcade’ in Dewsbury. Could there be a connection? The youngest of the family, Arthur Jubb married Maud Elizabeth Nettleton in 1892. They also moved to Dewsbury where Arthur became an accountant. 

Mark Jubb died on January 6 1892. Emma Jubb never married and she continued to live at 8 Jubb’s Yard until her death in 1912. 

I’ve included below the names of those who were resident in Emma’s time. Perhaps your ancestors are among them. 

12 Tom Wilby 44 teamer (highways) Ossett Corporation worker, Mary Eliza 43 née Hampshire, daughter Ethel Josephine 6 b 8 May 1904. 2 rooms 

11 Jane Hannah Tasker 47 née Newsome widow cloth dresser for a rag merchant. Married Charles Herbert Tasker in 1885. Son Joseph White Tasker 24 dyers labourer. Daughter Louisa 18 cloth dresser. Charles Tasker died in 1901. 2 rooms 

10 Joseph Spencer 72 retired wife Selina 69 née White married 23 years. No children. 2 rooms 

9 David Mitchell 58 rag puller, wife Annie 55 née Dixon married 5 years, no children, Annie’s son John Oldroyd 14 trammer below ground, Sarah Harrison 28 boarder milliner. 4 rooms 

8 Emma Jubb 67 no occupation. 2 rooms 

7 Herbert Brown 31 journeyman bricklayer contractor, wife Emily 30 née Dews and two children Ernest 7 and Irene 4. 2 rooms 

6 William Harrison 33 journeyman joiner shopfitter, wife Sarah Hannah 32 née Dews and daughter Nellie 7. 2 rooms 

5 Fred Clayton 47 foreman rag grinder, his wife Ann 46 née Richardson, and their three children: Harry 10, Ethel 9 and Fred 6. 2 rooms

4 Walter Dews 29 journeyman joiner, wife Elizabeth Ann 29, married 3 years, son 7 months old William. 2 rooms 

3 Edward Driver 54 woollen rag merchant, wife Annie 55, son Herman 25 feeble minded at 21. 3 rooms 

2 Emma Acklam née Dawson 36 char woman and taxi driver 34 Fred Marsden. 2 rooms

1 James Smith 44 mill hand, wife Sarah née Spurr 40. Married 13 years. No children. 2 rooms – James filled in this info as ‘house and bedroom’ which I guess would imply a ‘one up, one down’.

Jubb’s Yard, Market Place 

The 200 year old terrace in Jubb’s Yard, made up of eleven houses and a shop, was demolished in April 1968. Mark Jubb is long forgotten and his yard is now a car park.


The Day School was started in 1850, the year of Denis Creighton Neary’s appointment as Curate in Charge, with a view to building up the new parish of South Ossett. It was held in a long room previously used as a weaving chamber in what were called Fawcett’s Buildings on Middle Common, when there were only footpaths where Station Road now is, Sowood Lane and Horbury Lane being little more than occupation roads and Manor Road was the one main road from Ossett to Horbury.

New Church Schools were erected in 1856–7 and opened 15th April 1857, close by the church. A pair of small cottages occupying part of the site was converted into a Schoolmaster’s House and it was to this house that Mr Joseph Cox came as Master in 1858, Miss A. Ainley (known to many later as Mrs Ben Priestley) at the same time taking charge of the infants then in the north end of the big room.


Joseph Cox, the second Mayor of Ossett from 1896 – 1897, when he visited Buckingham Palace on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Many people think that the Church of South Ossett was financed by the State – this was not so. The Ecclesiastical Committee, from which the Vicar got his stipend was only appointed by Parliament to secure the best administration of Church funds in public investment, had much the appearance of a State Department, whilst the Government Grants based on the average attendance of scholars did help to finance the school the same grants were made to others e.g. the Wesleyan School in Wesley Street, Ossett.

Joseph COX was born circa 1833 and baptised 4th Nov 1833 in Holme-upon-Spalding Moor, Yorkshire; the son of John COX, an agricultural labourer and Jane BILLINGHAM, who were married in Holme on Spalding 10th February 1829. In the 1851 census Joseph was aged 17, living with his parents, his occupation being given as a ‘scholar’! This suggests that he may have been studying whilst working, (possibly a correspondence course or even as a Pupil Teacher), but this would have not earned much, if any, money to contribute to the family of an agricultural worker. Perhaps we will never know the answer to this but he was evidently very clever and gained his qualifications to be a teacher.

Joseph, aged 24, married Sarah ANELAY, born circa 1834 and baptised 11th January 1835 in Eastrington between July & September 1857 (registered in Howden).Sarah’s family were also agricultural labourers, and in the 1851 census she is described as a servant. Joseph evidently gained sufficient teaching experience during the next 10 years to be offered the post of Headmaster of South Ossett Christ Church School in 1859; Sarah was also installed as Schoolmistress. Perhaps she was taught by Joseph? She was an experienced needlewoman, possibly learning this skill when she worked as a servant.

Sarah COX must have been an exceptional working mother as over the next 20 yrs she produced 13 children! They were: Annie, 1858; Frederick 1859; Eleanor 1860; Lizzie 1862; Bertram 1863; Emily 1864; Mary Jane 1866; Gertrude 1868; Ernest George 1869; Harry Anelay 1872; Florence Edith 1873; Catherine Maud 1874 and Sydney 1877.This was in addition to teaching needlework in the school. How she coped with the demands of a mother, especially nursing the children through the usual childhood illnesses prevalent at that time, such as Scarletina (Rubella) Chicken Pox, Small Pox and Measles, it is hard to imagine.

In 1864 the three youngest children were very ill; two of the children died in the space of 8 days. Bertram was buried on Oct 12th aged 16 months and Lizzie on Oct 20th aged 30 months. Amazingly baby Emily aged 3 months survived. As a working mother for a time, I cannot begin to imagine how difficult and stressful this must have been!

1881 Census Joseph Cox and family living on Manor Road, Ossett

Joseph and Sarah’s daughters Annie, Emily, Mary Jane, Gertrude and Catherine Maud all followed in their parents’ footsteps and became teachers. Two of his sons Sidney and Ernest were ironmongers. His son Harry Anelay COX was a clerk but later became a Rag Merchant with large premises in Dewsbury.Mary Jane married Samuel Norman PICKARD on 17 Oct 1893 in South Ossett Christ Church and Harry Anelay COX was later known to have lived in Highfield Cottage in 1907 (former home of the author) when it was owned by Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD. He later purchased Sowood House from Lois Pickard.

Joseph Cox retired from his position as Headmaster of the school (sometimes affectionately referred to by ex pupils as ‘Cox’s College’) on 10th November 1899 after almost 40 yrs dedicated service. He helped out again in 1900 and acted as a School Manager for the next 6 yrs. He died on 17th and was buried on 21st September 1906. His wife Sarah survived him by only 8 months and was buried on the 6th May 1907. They lived on Storrs Hill Rd., Ossett and their burial services took place at Holy Trinity Church. They were both aged 72 yrs. Two very remarkable people!

Information from the South Ossett School Log Books, published in the Ossett Observer in 1986), posted on the ‘OLD OSSETT’ website by Joe HONEY, Gt. Grandchild of Joseph Cox.

The following information has been collated by Debbie Hawke-Wareham

Children of south Ossett school headmaster Joseph Cox (1833-1906) and Sarah ANELAY (1834-1907) 6 august 1857 in Wilton

  1. Charles (1857–1859) died in infancy
  2. Annie (1859–1938) m1883 Nettleton (1850-1925) 3 children, div 1896
  3. Frederic (1860–?) 
  4. Eleanor (1860–1935) spinster
  5. Lizzie (1862–1864) died in infancy from scarlet fever
  6. Bertram (1863–1864) died in infancy from scarlet fever
  7. Emily (1864–1932) m1898 Wright no children
  8. Mary Jane (1866–1950) m1893 Pickard (1867-1944) 3 children
  9. Gertrude (1867–1930) m 1893 Giggle (1873-1922) no children
  10. Ernest George (1869–1939) m1901 Andrew (1873-?) 2 children
  11. Harry Anelay (1871–1942) m1901 Moys(1876-1942) 4children
  12. Florence Edith (1872–1924)m 1899 Fawcett (1874-1940) 3 children
  13. Catherine Maude (1874–1950) spinster
  14. Sidney (1877–1937)m1909 Nettleton (1882-1964) 4 children

Unfortunately neither Joseph Cox (1833-1906) nor his wife Sarah (1834-1907) lived to be enumerated in the 1911 census when an accurate number of children born and died would have been recorded, however by careful searching local records I have located 14 children for the couple:

•1-Their first son Charles Cox was born either late in December 1857 or early January 1858 in Eastrington, Yorkshire and baptised in the local church on 10 Jan 1858.( FHL Film Number:#991066)  his parents had married on 6 Aug 1857.  Baby Charles lived a very short life and was buried on 29 Jul 1859 aged just 1 year 7 months in Christ Church, South Ossett. This gives an indication of the year that the couple moved to Ossett as early 1859.

•2-Their first daughter Annie Cox was born in 1859 in Eastrington, Yorkshire, soon after the family moved to Ossett where they were enumerated at Giggle Hill, Ossett Cum Gawthrope in 1861.  Father was already a school master as was her mother and a servant looked after the three children. The family were enumerated in Little Horton Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and domestic servant. Annie and her siblings were attending school. The family added a son to their brood before returning to Ossett cum Gawthorpe to be enumerated at Manor Road in 1881 with 10 children, Annie by now was a certified teacher at Public Eleven Plus School.  Annie married Peter Augustus Nettleton aged 23 cloth manufacturer, son of Oliver Netteleton on 22 Nov 1883 in Ossett witnessed by her father Joseph Cox and Charlotte Neary. Their son Frank Nettleton was born 6 June 1884 and baptised 24 August 1884; he died aged 2 and was buried 8 May 1886 in ChristChurch South Ossett. Their daughter Edith Nettleton b:18 March 1887 (Edith Nettleton married Thomas Philips 1910, Q3 in Penzance, Cornwall.  She died aged 74 in 1961).  Their daughter Marion was born 24 November 1889 and privately baptised 9 January 1890 at ChristChurch South Ossett.  Marion died in infancy aged 2 months and was buried 27 January 1890 Christ Church, South Ossett. In 1891 the couple and their daughter Edith lived at Intake Lane in Ossett. Annie filed for divorce in September 1895. Final Decree on 27 July 1896 for adultery coupled with cruelty claiming £5p/wk alimony for their daughter Edith. Peter was granted weekly access under the supervision of a third party. In 1901 Annie Nettleton 42 was living on own means with daughter Edith 14 at Station Road, Ossett. Edith married Thomas Philips in 1910, Annie was living with them and their baby son in Cornwall in 1911. Her estranged husband Peter Augustus Nettleton (aka Henry Newton) died on 20 October 1925 in Falmouth, Cornwall leaving effects worth £4337 5s to daughter Edith Philips (wife of Thomas Philips). Annie died in 1938.  She left her daughter Edith Philips (wife of Thomas Philips) £10 2s 2d in Probate.

•3-Frederick Cox was born (possibly) born in Giggle Hill, Ossett in 1859 and baptised on Christmas day 1859 at Christ Church, South Ossett.  The family were enumerated in Little Horton Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and a domestic servant. Frederick and his siblings were attending school.  In 1881 Frederick Cox 21 was enumerated at 47 Haymarket, London the home of  Irvine Hazlett 51 retired Colonel RA and his 3 children as one of 3 servants, all Chemists Assistants..  

Two Frederick Cox’s are suggested as disabled from or died in WW1, research show neither to be ours, however unable at this time to discover what Frederick did after Chemist assistant.

•4-Eleanor Cox was born in Giggle Hill, Ossett on 28 December 1860 and like all her siblings was baptised at Christ Church Ossett on 27 January 1861 and was enumerated for the first time at Giggle Hill with the family in 1861 aged just 3 months.  The family were enumerated in Little Horton Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and a domestic servant. Eleanor and her siblings were attending school. The family added a son to their brood before returning to Ossett cum Gawthorpe to be enumerated at Manor Road in 1881 with 10 children. Eleanor aged 20 has no occupation listed. Eleanor never married and continued to live with her parents as a mothers help in Ossett until they died in 1906 and 1907.  In 1911 Eleanor was living with her sister Maud.  Eleanor died in 1935 and is buried with her sister and parents in Holy Trinity grave yard with the headstone inscription

“In loving memory of Joseph Cox JP an ex Mayor of this town and for 49 years headmaster of South Ossett Church school and

Also of Sarah wife of the above named born 7 December 1834 died 3 May 1907

Also of Eleanor daughter of the above born 28 December 1860 died 28 January 1935

Also of Catherine Maude daughter of the above born 21 November 1874 died 26 May 1950”

Eleanor left her sister Catherine Maud Cox £175 8s 11d in probate.

•5- Lizzie Cox was born 4 Feb 1862 and baptised in ChristChurch, Ossett on 23 March 1862. Lizzie lived only 2 ½ years and died during the out break of scarlet fever in South Ossett, she was buried on 20 October 1864 in ChristChurch, South Ossett.

•6- Bertram Cox was born on 16 June 1863 and baptised on 26 July 1863 in Christ Church, South Ossett.  Bertram lived only 1 1/3 years and died during the out break of scarlet fever in South Ossett,. He was buried on 12 October 1864 at Christ Church, South Ossett just days before his sister Lizzie who was buried 20 October in the same graveyard.

•7-Emily Cox was born 9 July 1864 and baptised at Christ Church, South Ossett on 28 August 1864. The family were enumerated in Little Horton Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and a domestic servant. Emily and her siblings were attending school. The family added a son to their brood before returning to Ossett cum Gawthorpe to be enumerated at Manor Road in 1881 with 10 children; Emily by then a pupil teacher, progressing to assistant school mistress by 1891. On 9 August 1898 Emily 34 married after banns Samuel Wright 34 school master son of George Wright.  In 1901 the couple were living in Penge Surrey, Emily not showing an occupation.  The couple never had children. In 1911 Emily Wright 46 was in Mowbray Nursing Home, 51 Cintra Park, Upper Norwood for an Operation – under matron Elizabeth Hamilton 53, while her husband James Wright 47 was home alone at 27 Stodart Rd, Penge.  A quick glance at 1921 census finds Emily Wright living with her sister Mary Jane Pickard née Cox and family in Ossett. By this time Emily was probably a widow though no confirmable date of death was identified for James Wright between 1911 and 1921. Emily Wright of 61 Sowood Avenue, Ossett widow died on 15 December 1932 leaving probate to brother Harry Anelay Cox and Charles Herbert Cox, rag importers and merchants, of £2,066 17s 11d.

•8-Mary Jane Cox was born on 27 March 1866 and baptised like all her siblings at Christ Church, South Ossett on 22 April 1866. The family were enumerated in Little Horton, Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and a domestic servant. Mary Jane aged 5 and her older siblings were attending school. The family added a son to their brood before returning to Ossett cum Gawthorpe to be enumerated at Manor Road in 1881 with 10 children. Mary Jane by then a pupil teacher like her sister. By 1891 she had progressed to an assistant school mistress and was still living at home with the family. Mary Jane Cox 27 married after banns Samuel Norman Pickard 25 (1867–1944) chemist son of Alfred Hinchcliffe Pickard witnessed by Joseph Leaf and Florence Edith Cox at the same church in South Ossett. In 1901 Mary Jane and her husband Samuel, a self employed chemist and optician had moved to Station Road in Ossett with their two daughters: Mary Harriet 6 and Sara Lilian 3. By 1911, still at Station Road, Samuel (chemist and druggist employer ) and Mary Jane had completed their family of 3 daughters adding Kathleen Gertrude in 1906. A quick glance at the 1921 census finds the Pickards and their two youngest daughters living in Ossett with Mary Jane’s widowed sister Emily living with them. At the start of the war the daughters had left home and the couple now in their 70s were living at 3 Canton Villas, Bridlington.  Samuel was still working as a pharmacist and they had taken in a lodger. Samuel Norman Pickard of The Knoll, West Wells Rd, Ossett died on 2 November 1944, leaving probate to Mary Jane Pickard his widow and William Crowther Chartered Accountant effects of £4662 17s 1d. Mary Jane Pickard of 3 Canton Villas Flamborough Road, Bridlington widow died on 20 October 1950 leaving probate to all 3 daughter; Mary Harriet Cropper widow, Sarah Lilian Crowther (wife of William Crowther) and Kathleen Gertrude Rigg (Wife of George Baines Rigg) effects £4,099 7s 10d.

•9-Gertrude Cox was born on 14 April 1867 and baptised like all her siblings at Christ Church, South Ossett on 14 June 1867. The family were enumerated in Little Horton, Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and a domestic servant. Gertrude was aged 3. The family added a son to their brood before returning to Ossett cum Gawthorpe to be enumerated at Manor Road in 1881 with 10 children, Gertrude aged 13 was not listed with any occupation however by 1891 Gertrude aged 23 had also become a school mistress like her sisters with whom she was also still living at home.  On 29 July 1893 William Hainsworth Giggal 21 book keeper son of Thomas Giggle (deceased) married after banns Gertrude Cox 25, daughter of Joseph Cox, in the presence of Joseph Cox, Ernest Cox and Lizzie Nettleton. Gertrude and William never had any children, instead they travelled a lot; on 9 June 1909 they departed Liverpool on board SS Haverford arriving in Philadelphia on 20 June 1909.  In 1911 they were back at 52 Manor Road, Ossett where William Hainsworth Giggle 38 was employed as an insurance cashier and Gertrude 43 had no occupation.  On 14 October 1920 the couple departed Liverpool returning to Canada on board ” Corsican” arriving 24 October 1920. In 1916 and 1921 they were enumerated resident in Saskatchewan, Canada.  William Hainsworth Giggle of Queen Street, Horbury died on 13 February 1922 at Pinchin Creek, Alberta, Canada and left probate to Gertrude Giggle his widow effects of £1167 15s 6d. Gertrude Giggal widow of 41 McCourt St, Sydney NSW died on 17 November 1930 and is buried at Woronora Memorial Park PLOT-Ang 2B 0541.  She left probate administration with will to brother Harry Anelay Cox merchant Attorney of Catherine Maude Cox spinster effects £10 10s 7d.

10- Ernest George Cox was born 19 September 1869 and baptised on 28 November 1869 at Christ Church, South Ossett. The family were enumerated in Little Horton, Bradford in 1871 where they had just moved the 7 children and a domestic servant. Ernest George was aged 1. The family added a son to their brood before returning to Ossett cum Gawthorpe to be enumerated at Manor Road in 1881 with 10 children, Ernest George aged 11 was a scholar with his siblings.  In 1891 Ernest George was still living at home in Manor Road, Ossett and was employed as an ironmonger’s assistant but by 1898 he is recorded on the Electoral Roll as living at Storrs Hill Road, Ossett with a shop in Station Road which he maintained until 1901. In February 1901 Ernest George Cox 31 Ironmonger son of Joseph Cox retired schoolmaster married after banns Mary Andrew 28 daughter of Harry Andrew (deceased) Chemist, witnessed by Thomas Andrew and Sidney Cox.  The couple lived at Market Place Ossett, Ernest was an Ironmonger Employer. They started their family in 1903 with the arrival of a daughter Edith Mary who was baptised in October 1902 (died in 1966). In 1906 and 1907 Ernest’s parents died and each left him and his younger brothers a lump sum in probate. Shortly after his fathers death Ernest and Mary had a son who they named after his grandfather Joseph. He was born in 29 March 1907 and baptised on 25 April 1907.  In 1911 the couple and their 2 children: Edith Mary Cox 8 and Joseph Cox 4 were living at Sowood Villas, Ossett. Ernest George Cox 41 was an Ironmonger employer. The family could not be found by doing a quick search of Ossett for 1921.  Ernest George Cox of “Clovelly” Dale Street, Ossett died aged 69 and was buried at Holy Trinity on 20 June 1939. His widow Mary Cox 67 was living at 36 Dale Street, Ossett with her son Joseph Cox32 and his wife Gertrude Marrin Cox 30 (née Betts) and one child. Ernest George Cox probate was not found.  A date of death for his wife Mary was not found.

•11- Harry Anelay Cox (his mother’s maiden name was given as a middle name) was born on 1 June 1871 while his family were in Bradford. One month later the family had returned to Ossett and he was baptised at Christ Church, South Ossett on 2 July 1871. In 1881 Harry was living at Manor Road and was at school with his other siblings. In 1891 he was still at home with his parents and siblings was employed as a book keeper.  On 1 January 1901 Harry Anelay Cox 27 married after banns Olive Moys 25 daughter of William Moys witnessed by HM Cox amongst others (very poor copy source document) and the couple set up home in Sowood Lane. He became a Rag Merchant with large premises in Dewsbury. In 1906 his father Joseph Cox died and left £987 3s 8d in probate with two of his brothers. His mother Sarah Cox nee Anelay died in 1907 and left a further £769 15s to her three sons. At this time Harry Anelay COX lived in Highfield Cottage when it was owned by Alfred Hinchliffe PICKARD. He later purchased Sowood House from Lois Pickard in 1925. By 1911 Harry was established as a Rag & Mungo Merchant dealer, with 4 children; two sons Charles Herbert and, Harold  and twin daughters  Mildred and Hilda Cox and a domestic servant at Storrs Hill. Their daughter Mildred died aged 31 in 1938.  Her parents later joined her in plot T13 at the Manor Road grave yard.  In 1939 the couple and their remaining children were still at Sowood Villa, both children being signed as ARP first aid wardens and father and son both owners of woollen rag merchants business. In 1940 on the death of his sisters widower Franklin Fawcett was left a share of effects of £390 13s 8d.  Harry Anelay Cox of Sowood Villa died on 21 May 1942 and left probate to son Charles Herbert Cox rag merchant effects £19,498 4s 8d.  His wife Olive died a few months later in November 1942 and is buried with her husband and daughter in Plot T13 of Christ Church graveyard (Manor Road).  She left probate to their daughter Hilda Hepworth (wife of Ronald Gladstone Hepworth) effects of £3,693 16s 4d.

The death of Mr Harry Anelay Cox took place at his home, Sowood Villa, at the age of 70. (In a later issue he was reported as Henry Anelay Cox). One of 14 children of the late Mr Joseph Cox, who was headmaster of South Ossett CofE School for forty years, also a member of the town council, Mayor of the Borough and a Justice of the Peace. After completing his education in his father’s school he entered the office of Galaup and Patterson, rag merchants in Dewsbury. In 1902, or thereabouts, he set up in business with partners under the name of Firth, Dalley and Cox, rag merchants in Dewsbury – eventually becoming the senior director. He never aspired to public life, but devoted much of his spare time to the parish church at South Ossett. He was a member of the choir from a boy up until his death, a Sunday school teacher and superintendent, vice chairman of the church council and manager of the day school. For many years he regularly read the lessons at the Sunday service. He was a member of the Conservative Club and Vice President of Ossett Cricket Club. His hobbies were gardening and reading. The funeral service, held at South Ossett Parish Church, was conducted by Rev D Oxby Parker and was attended by a large gathering, which indicated the general esteem in which Mr Cox had been held. Due to illness, Mrs Cox (Olive, the daughter of ex Councillor William Moys) was unable to attend the interment at the church cemetery on Manor Road. Their son Harold Cox was also absent as he was, at that time, resident in Australia.

Ossett Observer May 1942.

•12-Florence Edith Cox was born 20 August 1872 and baptised like all her siblings at Christ Church, South Ossett on 22 September 1872.  In 1881 Florence was living in the family home at Manor Road at school with her other siblings. In 1891 she still at home with her parents and siblings. Florence was a mother’s help. On 17 October 1899 at Christ Church Franklin Fawcett 28 Draper, son of Joshua Swallow Fawcett, married after banns Florence Edith Cox witnessed by; Edwin Fawcett, Joseph Cox, CM Cox, Thomas J Fawcett and Joseph Walker. Their daughter Kathleen Mary was born in November 1900.  The family moved to Harrogate where Franklin was employed as a General Draper, super salesman. The family moved back to Ossett between 1904-10. In 1911 they lived at Illingworth Street, Ossett. Franklin Fawcett was employed as a Drapers Assistant and Florence Edith was at home with three daughters: Kathleen Mary, Margaret Edith, and Florence Marion. Kathleen Mary 1900 married 1926 Tom Brooksbank Haigh 1900-1973. Margaret Edith 1903–1983 spinster, Florence Marion 1909–1985 married 1936 Leslie Handley,

Florence Edith Fawcett 52 of Newfields House, 7 Horbury Road died on 6 July 1924 and was buried on 9 July 1924 at Christ Church South Ossett (Manor Road Burial Ground) plot NG N12.  She left her husband effects of £102 19s 7d in probate. Franklin Fawcett, draper, died 3 July 1940 at Staincliffe County Hospital, Dewsbury and left probate to son in law Tom Brooksbank Haigh (husband of Kathleen Mary) clerk to agricultural committee, daughter Margaret Edith Fawcett spinster and brother in law Harry Anelay Cox rag Importer effects of £390 13s 8d

•13-Catherine Maude Cox was born on 21 November 1874 and baptised like all her siblings at Christ Church, South Ossett on 27 December 1874.  In 1881 Catherine Maude was living in the family home at Manor Road and was at school with her other siblings. In 1891 she was still at home with her parents and siblings. Catherine Maude was a pupil teacher like her sisters and in 1901, still at home with parents and siblings she was employed as a school mistress.  Catherine Maude never married.  In 1911 she was living with her spinster sister, Eleanor Cox, at Clifton Cottage, Manor Road, Ossett employed by the county Council as an Elementary Teacher (assistant). A quick search of the 1921 census did not find Catherine Maude, however in 1939 she was livng alone, a retired Elementary School Teacher, at Kaleno, Sowood Lane, Ossett. Catherine Maude died on 26 May 1950 and is buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard with her parents and sister Eleanor. Catherine Maude left effects of £1901 1s 2d to nephew Charles Herbert Cox Rag importer son of her brother Harry Anelay Cox.

•14-Sidney Cox completed the family, arriving in 1877. In 1881 Sidney 4 was living in the family home at Manor Road and was at school with his other siblings. In 1891, still at home with his parents and siblings, Sidney 14 was stil in education.  By 1901, many of his siblings had left home, but he still lived at Manor Road, close to Rose Cottages,and was employed on his own account as an Ironmonger. On 29 May 1909 Sidney Cox 32 ironmonger son of Joseph Cox (d) married after banns Ellen Maria Nettleton 27 daughter of Ezra Nettleton, witnessed by Walter B Nettleton and Emily Nettleton, at Christ Church, South Ossett  Their first daughter Muriel arrived in 1910, and three more children were added to the family; Dorothy 1915–1982, Margaret 1918– and Janet 1923–1992 Sidney Cox 60 of 19 Woodfield Road, Doncaster died on15 February 1937 and was buried at ChristChurch South ossett NG plot N17 (Manor Road Burial Ground). He left effects in probate to Ellen Maria Cox widow of £546 6s 5d . Ellen Maria, otherwise Helen Maria Cox, of 68A Jenkin Road, Horbury widow died on 8 July 1964 in probate left daughter Janet Audrey Cox spinster effects £625.