Background Information



Cadastral MapRef 1-1607
A land ownership map

CadoganRef 1-C58
A peach-shaped teapot without a lid. They were held upside-down and filled at the base. A tube from the base prevented the contents from spilling when it stood upright

Caen stoneRef 1-2477
A type of limestone found near the city of Caen in north-west France. It is suitable for carving and used in several local buildings – often the font and pulpit – including

See All Souls' Church, Haley Hill, Lightcliffe Congregational Church, Copley Parish Church, St John Methodist Church, Prescott Street, St John the Divine, Thorpe, St Matthew's Church, Lightcliffe, Sowerby Parish Church and Holywell Green Congregational Church

CaitiffRef 1-C111
Aka Caitive. A cripple or a helpless person

CalamancoRef 1-2927
Aka Calimanco, Callimanco. A plain or glossy, twilled woollen cloth – sometimes part silk or goat hair – woven so as to appear chequered on one side.

Records for Akroyd's mill show that they produced the fabric in 1798

Calamity waterRef 1-2006
A euphemistic term for gin

Calder keelRef 1-2890
A canal boat which was 57 feet long, shorter than the standard 70 foot narrow-boats. These were used on the Calder & Hebble.

The Huddersfield Broad Canal was designed for the boats. The Huddersfield Narrow Canal was built for the standard 70 feet x 7 feet narrow boats. Only the special, short Yorkshire Narrowboats could work on both canals

This & associated entries use material contributed by Andrew Lamin

Calder Registration DistrictRef 1-1303
The Calder Registration District was a part of the West Riding.

It was created on 1st April 1938, and included

It was abolished in 1974 when the area was incorporated into Calderdale and Bradford

Calendar ReformRef 1-570
In Saxon times, the year began on 25th December.

When England adopted the Julian calendar around 1190, the first day of the year was 25th March – the Feast of the Annunciation or Lady Day – and the last day of the year was 24th March.

An Act of Parliament – Chesterfield Act [1750] – changed the calendar so that the year was to run according to the Gregorian calendar and the new year was to begin on 1st January.

For this reason, dates often quote the year in both forms for dates between 1st January and 24th March for years before 1752 – for example February 12th 1719/20 – this is known as double-dating

The change from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian involved an adjustment of 11 days and took place in September 1752, when Wednesday 2nd September 1752 was followed by Thursday 14th September 1752.

This prompted riots by people demanding "give us back our 11 days"

See Quaker dates

This & associated entries use material contributed by Joanne Backhouse

CalenderRef 1-183
A machine with heavy heated rollers to press, to smooth, to close the intersection between the yarns, to glaze cloth, or to give it a wavy appearance

CalenderingRef 1-338
The process of passing cloth between heavy rollers to smooth and flatten the fabric

CalentureRef 1-526
A fever

CalicoRef 1-1188
A plain woven fabric made from unbleached cotton

See Tierer

California Gold RushRef 1-462
This was triggered on 24th January 1848 when James W. Marshall found a gold nugget in the American river whilst he was working at John Sutter's saw mill at Coloma, California.

Those men who rushed to California to work as miners and merchants in 1849 were known as Forty-niners.

The activity had subsided by 1852.

See Gold Rush and Klondike Gold Rush

CalimancoRef 1-418
Aka Calamanco. A type of cloth – a glossy woollen fabric – which was produced locally

Call UpRef 1-1202
The process of summoning people to report for active military service in time of war.

See Derby Scheme and Reserve

CallimancoeRef 1-137
A type of worsted cloth

CalomelRef 1-2633
Mercurous chloride which was used as a purgative

CalseyRef 1-C48
Alternative spelling of causey

CambletRef 1-C71
Also Camlet

CambricRef 1-1216
Aka Chambray. A lightweight cotton fabric. Named for the town of Cambrai, near Lille

CamletRef 1-1395
Or Camblet.

A fabric made from combinations of silk, cotton and/or wool.

Originally an expensive fabric of eastern origin, and possibly of angora wool.

See John Edward Shaw

CancerRef 1-35
Any of more than 100 diseases in which malignant cells reproduce to form tumours. The trigger agents – carcinogens – include chemicals such as those found in fumes and smoke, asbestos dust, and many industrial chemicals.

Many of these are industrial diseases.

See Asbestos, Cape Insulation Limited, John Clay, William Greenwood, Industrial disease, Mesothelioma and Dr Samuel Threapland

CandleRef 1-1938
Candles – made of Beeswax, mutton-fat and tallow – and rushlights were the main form of domestic lighting in the Middle Ages.

The number produced from a pound of wax was used to name the candles; thus eight candles weighed 8 to a pound, twenties weighed 20 to a pound, and so on.

Hour candles marked down the length of the candle were used as clocks to tell the time. A nail might be stuck in so that, when the candle burnt down and released the nail, it fell to the ground to wake the sleeper – a simple alarm clock [and a light sleeper?].

A candle tax was imposed in the early 18th century.

See Dip, Flat candle, Short sixes and Tallow chandler

Candle auctionRef 1-C16
An auction which continued until a candle burnt down to a pin which had been stuck into the candle by the auctioneer

Candle slideRef 1-C63
A small wooden slide designed to carry a candlestick

CantRef 1-C24
A secret language or code used by criminals

CantoonRef 1-2903
A type of fustian cloth

Cap moneyRef 1-C80
In 1512, Parliament banned the import of foreign caps into England. In 1571, a law required woollen caps to be worn on Sundays and holy days. This was to promote the English woollen industry. A fine of 3/4d was imposed for anyone not observing the law. This was repealed in 1598

Capital offenceRef 1-C120
A criminal offence for which the death penalty could be enforced

Capital punishmentRef 1-C114
See Death penalty

CapuchinRef 1-C36
A cloak – often with a hood – worn in mediæval times

Car Drivers' LicencesRef 1-778
In 1903, the council granted Car Drivers Licences to the following people

  1. John Crossley Wright
  2. John Herbert Lacy Baldwin
  3. Bernard William Clay
  4. James Harold Clay
  5. Charles Wheatley Crossley
  6. Herbert Morrison
  7. Fred Whittaker Thomas
  8. Edward Crossley
  9. Walter Greaves
  10. Donald Sagar
  11. William Watson
  12. James Rhodes
  13. Edgar Smith
  14. William Armitage Drake
  15. Florence Mary Wavell

The numbers are those assigned to the licence.

See Car Registration

This & associated entries use material contributed by Alan Longbottom

Car RegistrationRef 1-777
In December 1903, the council granted Motor Car Registration numbers to the following people

  1. John Crossley Wright
  2. John Herbert Lacy Baldwin
  3. Charles Clay
  4. Charles Clay
  5. Charles Wheatley Crossley
  6. Fred Whittaker Thomas
  7. Edward Crossley
  8. Donald Sagar
  9. James Rhodes
  10. Edgar Smith
  11. William Armitage Drake
  12. Florence Mary Wavell

The numbers are those assigned to the car.

See Car registration letters, Car Drivers Licences and Motor Cycle Registrations

This & associated entries use material contributed by Alan Longbottom

Car registrationsRef 1-C2
The first motor vehicle registration plate A1 was given to Earl Russell's Napier car in 1904.

See CP and JX

CarbonisingRef 1-158
A process of recovering wool from mixed materials by treating it with acid – or acid gas – to destroy the cotton and cellulose material. The process was developed around 1850.

The work was carried out by a carboniser.

The recovered wool – called extract – was used in low-quality textiles

Card clothingRef 1-427
The wires which are used to make cards. These were usually produced in strips which were then fixed to a flexible – usually leather – backing for the cylinders in carding machines.

In 1834, James Walton patented a rubber/woven fabric backing for card clothing.

See English Card Clothing Company

Carder's coughRef 1-29
A bronchial disease caused by the dust produced by the carding machine.

See Byssinosis and Industrial disease

CardinalRef 1-C59
A woman's cloak. This was originally of scarlet cloth with a hood

CardingRef 1-208
Also scribbling.

A stage in the cloth-making process at which the matted woollen fleece was untangled and the fibres teased into a mass of fibres, which are then condensed to produce slivers. Short strands were carded, long strands were combed.

The name comes from the Latin carduus [a thistle].

The job was originally done using the large prickly heads of the teasel plant fixed in wooden frames.

Later, these were replaced by the more durable cards, which were about 12 inches by 5 inches and resembled hand-brushes or table-tennis bats studded with iron pins. The roll of wool produced at this stage was known as a rolag. The person who carried out this work was known as a carder or a fettler.

The process of manufacturing the card is done by a card maker.

In a later development, a single card – the stock card – was suspended from the ceiling.

The process was mechanised in the late 18th century by Lewis Paul, Daniel Bourne, and Richard Arkwright.

Because the teasel plant was used, the process was also known as teaselling or tazelling.

A carder is the worker who feeds the laps into the machine, keeps it clean, and removes full cans of sliver. The dust produced by the machine gave rise to a bronchial disease known as Carder's cough.

See Barber Family, J. Bullough, Card Clothing, Crosrol Limited, T' Darblin' 'Oil, Clifton, Edward Fairburn & Sons, Frizing, Garnetting, Gig mill, William Lister, Neps, Piecer, Raising, Tumming, James Walton and John Whiteley & Sons

Carling peasRef 1-1971
Grey, dried peas served on Carling Sunday.

The peas were soaked in water, seasoned with salt and vinegar, and fried

Carling SundayRef 1-1957
Aka Passion Sunday when it was customary for women to serve carling peas at dinner

CarolRef 1-C33
A song or hymn celebrating Christmas

Carpet industryRef 1-345
Several local firms were involved in the manufacture of carpets, employing thousands of people by 1900

See Industry, Northern Carpet Trades Union and Type of Carpet

CarrRef 1-629
Used in place names – such as Alegar well, Broad Carr, Stainland, Burley Carr, Carr House, Luddendenfoot, Carr Well, Luddenden, and Till Carr - the word comes from the Old Norse kjarr and means level, boggy area on a hillside or marshy woodland or shrubland, usually away from a river or stream and fed by water rising to the surface.

See Byrehmley and Carr surname

Carriage taxRef 1-C55
A tax on carriages was imposed in 1747

CarsayRef 1-C68
See Kersey

CarseyRef 1-C94
A form of the word kersey

Cart-tail floggingRef 1-C35
See Flogging

CartageRef 1-C60
The mediæval obligation to provide horses or mules for use by the king

Carter's breadRef 1-1020
The cheapest sort of bread made with a mixture of rye and wheat

Cartes de VisiteRef 1-376
Abbr: CDV. A small photograph mounted on a card measuring about 2½ ins by 4 ins. These were introduced in France around 1854 and became very popular. There might be an advertisement for the photographer or the studio printed on the back.

See J. Alexander

CartloadRef 1-932
Aka Load

CartularyRef 1-C56
Aka Chartulary. A collection of records, a register or book recording the landowner's possessions, usually associated with churches and monasteries. It may also belong to a specific family or institution.

The name was also used for the person who kept the register and the place where the register was kept

CartwheelRef 1-C84
A large copper coin issued by George III. These were infeasibly large as they had to contain their own value in copper

CartwrightRef 1-1619
Someone who makes carts or wagons.

See Wainwright

CarucageRef 1-897
A tax on the carucate which was imposed by Richard I in 1198

CarucateRef 1-894
A unit of land in the Danelaw – also called a ploughland – which was equivalent to the land which an eight-ox plough-team could cultivate in a year – around 120 acres, but sometimes as much as 180 acres. A carucate is divided into eight bovates.

It is used in Domesday Book as a measure of liability for taxation – see Carucage.

The word is derived from the Latin caruca [a plough].

In southern and western parts of England, outside Danelaw, the term hide was used

Carved stone headRef 1-508
There are several examples of carved stone human heads – aka Celtic heads – in the district, including

These are said to be associated with pre-Christian tradition and were believed to protect the building and its occupants. They may also commemorate deaths which occurred during construction.

See Stony Gaze

This & associated entries use material contributed by Kai Roberts

CashmarieRef 1-C27
A dealer in fish, often carrying the fish from the port for sale in inland towns

Cat stoneRef 1-1133
A heavy stone with a depression on the upper side. This was filled with milk as a gift to a boggart

CatalepsyRef 1-875
Seizures or trances

CatarrhRef 1-877
A general term used in the 19th century to describe illnesses which covered symptoms such as a cold, stomach complaints, a sore throat, a cough, laryngitis, and difficulty in breathing

Cathedral recordRef 1-2791
A document recording land, tithes, property and endowments belonging to the Dean and Chapter of a cathedral. They contain dates and details of alterations to the cathedral, and are often on parchment and written in Latin. A Glebe Terrier holds details of a parish church's property

CatherineRef 1-1171
This element is used in the placenames Catherine Slack, Lightcliffe & Catherine Slack, Queensbury.

Question: Does anyone know the origin and/or the meaning of the element?

Is it really just the name of a woman? or is it a form of a verb such as wuthering? (possibly) cattering?


Catholic Emancipation Act [1829]Ref 1-2849
Abolished earlier legislation and enabled Catholics in Britain to participate in public and political life, allowing them to serve as members of lay corporations, to sit in Parliament, to worship freely, to vote at elections and to hold property unconditionally

CatholicismRef 1-2617

Catrigg'dRef 1-2497
A term to describe a piece of which had been left for too long a time in the stocks of a fulling mill, and riggs have been caused in the fabric

Catslide roofRef 1-3027
A roof over the main hall and extension(s) of a building, and which is steeper near the ridge, and shallower near the eaves, as in an aisled barn where the section over the aisle is the shallower.

A catslide dormer has a roof which is a shallower pitched section of the main roof

Cattle farmingRef 1-2495
Cattle and sheep were – and still are – farmed throughout the district.

See Cheese and Pastoral farming

Cattle plagueRef 1-1959
In the winter of 1319-1320, there was an outbreak of murrain, known as cattle plague.

On outbreak was reported at Warley in February 1867.

See Anthrax, Black Bane and Withens Clough

CaudleRef 1-C46
A drink of warm ale or wine mixed with bread or gruel, eggs, sugar, and spices – often given to invalids

Caudle CupRef 1-C66
A two-handled drinking mug, often with a lid. They were popular in the 17th and 18th centuries

CaulRef 1-C119
The membrane – or veil – which surrounds a fœtus. It may cover the face of a new-born baby. It is believed to protect against drowning. These were often sold to sailors for protection

CavaliersRef 1-C70
Aka Royalists

CellarRef 1-45
An underground room used for storage. Cellar housing appeared in the 19th century

Cellar dwellingRef 1-46
Housing comprising a basement or cellar, usually within a back-to-back or blind back house, which was rented as a separate dwelling entirely below ground and with no windows. Typically, the houses were 8 ft below street level, and would comprise 2 rooms: the living room with a window on to the street, and a window-less bedroom behind.

These were common in the West Riding. In 1851, there were 318 cellar dwellings in Halifax and 958 people living in them. In 1857, there were 485 cellar dwellings in Halifax and 1,450 occupants.

Such housing was over-crowded, and used by the very poor and elderly, and by Irish workers.

Such housing was particularly dangerous in those areas – such as the Upper Calder Valley – which were liable to flood.

See Back-to-earth housing

Celtic languagesRef 1-722
The Cornish, Manx, Welsh, Irish Gaelic and Scottish Gaelic languages are spoken in the western fringes of Britain, and are descended from the language which was spoken across Europe in prehistoric times.

These should not be confused with Old English

Cemeteries, Graveyards & Burial GroundsRef 1-1096

Cemetery recordsRef 1-C42
Caretakers may have kept records of the names and death dates of those buried. There may also be maps of the graves and their locations within the cemetery or churchyard

CensusRef 1-504
In the UK, these have been carried out every 10 years.

After 1841, they contained more detail, including the names of everyone in each household.

The copies of the census returns held by the Public Record Office are identified by a number of the form

RG n / 1234

the number n represents the year that the census was taken, and will be one of

7 ==> 1841
8 ==> 1851
9 ==> 1861
10 ==> 1871
11 ==> 1881
12 ==> 1891
13 ==> 1901

Many census returns for Halifax 1861 appear to be missing.

Census returns for 1911, are one page per household, and are clearly labelled with the year

A population count was carried out in 1939, but there was no census in 1941 on account of World War II.

Irish census returns only survive from 1901, earlier data having been destroyed.

See Ages on census returns, Civil Registration, Register [1939] and USA Census 1890

This & associated entries use material contributed by Carole Edwards Caruso

CentalRef 1-C28
A unit of weight equal to 100 pounds = 45·36 kg

CeorlRef 1-1723
From the 7th century, this was the lowest class of freeman. This was anglicised as churl

Certificate of FreedomRef 1-587
A document which stated that a transported convict's sentence had been served. This was usually given to convicts with a 7, 10 or 14 year sentence

This & associated entries use material contributed by Jen Watson

CessRef 1-C67
A tax

CesspitRef 1-C21
A pit in which human waste was deposited.

See Night soil

Chafing dishRef 1-C22
A container – or brazier – filled with charcoal to keep food and drink warm at the table. This could be made of earthenware or metal

ChainRef 1-1694
A unit of measurement = 22 yards = 100 links = 4 rods = 1/10th furlongs = 1/80th mile = 66 feet.

The unit is still retained in the length of a cricket pitch, and an area of land measuring one chain by one furlong is one acre

Chain barRef 1-C47
A toll-gate was often controlled by a barrier or a chain

Chain-gangRef 1-2255
A number of convicts joined together by fetters

Chain horsesRef 1-3013
Horses which were hired out in order to help pull coaches up steep hills

ChainsRef 1-1524
In mediæval times, the dead bodies of those accused of crimes were hung in chains, and later inside an iron cage. The body was first immersed in a vat of boiling pitch.

Many bodies – such as those of the Coiners Matthew Normington and Robert Thomas – were suspended in chains on Beacon Hill where they could be seen by the local populace.

See Punishment

ChaldronRef 1-1413
A unit of capacity and volume equal to 36 bushels = 1,309·2696 litres

ChaldronRef 1-C26
A unit of weight used for coal. The actual weight varies regionally: a London chaldron = 25·5 cwt, a Newcastle chaldron = 53 cwt

ChaliceRef 1-C106
A gold or silver goblet, or other vessel, in which the wine is held during mass

ChalybeateRef 1-328
Containing iron. There are many local chalybeate springs and wells, including Cragg Vale Spa and Swift Cross Spa, Soyland

Champion landRef 1-C64
Land on which cereals were grown

ChancelRef 1-1248
The eastern end of a church – originally the sanctuary – separated from the nave by the rood screen containing the choir and main altar. In mediæval times, the chancel belonged to the lord of the manor, whilst the nave and the tower belonged to the people of the parish.

The rector was responsible for the maintenance of the chancel which was his private part of the church, whilst the laity were responsible for the nave

See Apse, Crossing, Rood screen, Sacristy, Transept and Vestry

ChancelingRef 1-1730
A word used to denote an Illegitimate child

Change-ringingRef 1-C52
An English bell-ringing technique in which the bells are rung one after another, the sequence changing at each cycle

ChantryRef 1-155
A donation or endowment – usually of land – of which the income would ensure that masses were said in the parish church or a chapel for the souls of the donor and his family. The first chantries were in the late 13th century.

Chantry priests were appointed solely to deal with this function.

They were discontinued in 1547.

A Lady Chapel is a chantry chapel in a parish church dedicated to St Mary.

There were chantries at several local churches, including

In the upheaval of the Dissolution of the Monasteries, chantries were suppressed by the Chantries Act [1548]. At this time, some chapels – such as Coley and Lightcliffe – went out of use for a time.

See Bederoll and Dole

ChapbookRef 1-C110
A cheap and popular book published from the 16th century. They often contained stories, ballads, and moral and religious tales

ChapelryRef 1-268
As a parish is to a parish church, so a chapelry is to a chapel and was served by a chapel of ease.

The townships in the Parish of Halifax were divided into 3 ecclesiastical district: Elland Parochial Chapelry, Halifax Parochial Chapelry, and Heptonstall Parochial Chapelry.

All the townships had to pay small tithes and vicarial dues to the Vicar of Halifax. This was later abolished and replaced by the vicar's rate

ChaplainRef 1-C101
The priest in charge of a chapel

Chapman codeRef 1-C50
A standard 3-character abbreviation for the English counties

Chapter houseRef 1-C491
That part of a church or monastery which is used for meetings and administrative tasks. In Britain the chapter house is usually polygonal in shape with a slender central column supporting the roof. So called because a chapter of the rules of the house was read out aloud

CharcoalRef 1-1476
Wood – or other vegetable matter – which was burned with a restricted supply of air to produce a porous form of carbon. This is made by stacking the wood in a hole in the ground or in an earth-covered mound – see hearth – and burning it slowly over a period of several days.

Charcoal was used as a fuel, in the manufacture of gunpowder, and in blast furnaces before coke was introduced.

See Wade Wood, Luddenden

Charity apprenticeRef 1-C100
An apprentice who was supported by a bequest

Charles, Prince of WalesRef 1-C2319
[1948-] The eldest son of Elizabeth II has a close relationship with the district, and has visited the area on many occasions:

Charnel HouseRef 1-1177
As the number of interments in a churchyard or other burial ground increased, it sometimes became necessary to exhume some of the bodies to make room for further burials.

The bones were then kept in a charnel house in the Church or in a separate building

CharterRef 1-1452
A written legal document in which someone gave to another person, or group of people, the gift of land or legal rights, such as permission to hold a fair or a market. The first charters appeared in the Anglo-Saxon period and continued until the end of the mediæval period.

A charter roll was a particularly long charter which was rolled.

See Elland Charter

ChartismRef 1-110
A radical, democratic movement for political reform demanding better social and industrial conditions, mainly supported by the working classes, which flourished 1836-54.

In 1843, 58 chartists were put on trial.

Local Chartists included

They had a meetings at several local venues, including

See James Feather, Halifax Chartist Association, Hudsonites, Midgley Co-operative Industrial Society Limited, National Charter Association, National Land Company, Feargus O'Connor, The Struggles of an Old Chartist, Joseph Sutcliffe, The Friend of the People, Northern Star and Well Lane, Midgley

ChasubleRef 1-433
A cloak worn by a priest or other clergyman.

Types of chasuble include Chlamys and Planeta

ChatsRef 1-1637
A popular mediæval term for the gallows and the gibbet

ChattelRef 1-C115
Moveable property – animate and inanimate – which is not land or buildings. Typically, this included items such as furniture, livestock, jewellery.

The word comes from the French/Latin word for cattle

CheeseRef 1-1591
Because relatively few cattle were reared in the district, there is no local tradition of cheese-making such as is found in Wensleydale and the northern Yorkshire dales

CheeseRef 1-216
Aka Bobbin.

A large spool holding the warp – typically up to one pound in weight – during mechanical weaving.

A cheese winder did the work of winding the thread onto a cheese

CheminageRef 1-C103
A toll which was paid on roads through a royal forest during the time when the deer were calving

ChemiseRef 1-C14
A cotton or linen undershirt

Chemists & DruggistsRef 1-C8

ChenilleRef 1-762
Cloth made from a thick, furry cotton or synthetic yarn. It has a soft, furry surface and had been used in the production of curtains, bed coverings and tablecloths.

The name is derived from the French word for a caterpillar

ChequeRef 1-C11
The first cheque – for £400 – is dated 1659

ChesterfieldRef 1-C69
A large, button-backed sofa introduced in the late 19th century

Chetham SocietyRef 1-441
A history society established in Manchester in 1843 by a group of gentlemen

of a literary and historical turn

which included James Crossley. The aims of the Society were to promote an interest in, and access to, the rich historical material in the north-west of England.

Their first meeting was held in the library established in 1653 by the will of Humphrey Chetham.

Sometimes written Cheetham.

See Shuttleworth Accounts

This & associated entries use material contributed by Alan Longbottom

ChevageRef 1-1541
The annual payment which bondmen had to pay to the lord for the privilege of living outside the manor, or for permission to move from one manor to another, or the payment by an outsider for permission to live within the manor

Chicken breedingRef 1-359
There have been several local firms involved in the breeding of poultry.

See Finney Brothers, Industry and Thornber Brothers Limited

Chicken PoxRef 1-871
A contagious disease – common in children. Symptoms were mild fever and the formation of small blisters. This was common in the 19th century

Chief pledgeRef 1-1473
Head of a tithing group.

See Frankpledge

ChiffonierRef 1-C73
A cupboard with 2 doors and one or 2 drawers above and surmounted by shelves

Child labourRef 1-C117

Chimney TaxRef 1-431
See Hearth Tax

ChimneysRef 1-C88

Chin coughRef 1-792
A name for whooping cough

ChirurgeonRef 1-C79
An alternate spelling of surgeon

ChlamysRef 1-2687
A type of chasuble

ChoirRef 1-1490
Also quire. The part of the chancel where the service is sung, or more generally, the eastern arm of a church

Choir screenRef 1-1504
A screen, made of wood or stone, usually decorated with painting or sculpture, which separates the choir from the rest of the church.

See Rood screen

CholeraRef 1-865
An infectious and often fatal water-borne intestinal infection, caused by fæcal contamination of water and food, of which vomiting and diarrhoea are symptoms.

Some of the outbreaks were

Cholera infantum was a non-contagious form reported in children.

See Laudanum, Local Board and James Rawson

ChoreaRef 1-800
An involuntary twitching of the muscles

ChoverRef 1-C112
A metal pan or plate used for cooking over an open fire

ChrismalRef 1-C32
A white robe worn during baptism and confirmation.

A chrismal band is a white cloth tied around the head and worn for seven days after confirmation

ChrisomeRef 1-C85
A child who died within one month of birth

ChristadelphiansRef 1-C72
A Christian group established by Englishman Dr John Thomas [1805-1871]. There are many local groups

Christian saintsRef 1-C10
Information about Christian saints can be found at the links below

Christmas cardsRef 1-C23
These were introduced by Sir Henry Cole in 1843. They began as decorated sheets of paper on which messages and greetings were sent at Christmas.

The first Christmas card is said to be one sent by schoolboy William Egley in 1842

Church AleRef 1-1845
In mediæval times, barley was often given as a gift to the church. The church reeve would use the barley to brew ale and sell this to raise money for the upkeep of the church.

The church ale was a charitable fund-raising event at which ale was drunk, and which raised money for the parish church and the poor of the parish. These were held at various times, including the Whitsun Ale at Whitsuntide. Special ales were brewed at such times and sold in the church. They were abolished at the Reformation

Church MarketRef 1-2191
In the 12th and 13th centuries, markets were often held in the churchyard. The practice was banned in 1285

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day SaintsRef 1-2640
Aka Mormons, Latter-Day Saints, LDS. There are several local branches of the church.

Some local Members of the Church have included Joseph Fielding, Mary Fielding, Mercy Rachel Fielding, William Greenwood, Mercy Pitchforth, Samuel Pitchforth, Sarah Pitchforth, Phineas Tempest and William Henry Tempest

The Organisation collects genealogical records from around the world and make them available online and at their own Family History Centers.

See FHC, IGI and Pioneers of 1847

Church rateRef 1-2423
Also called Easter dues. A tax levied in every parish to support the parish church, paying for maintenance and salaries of church officials. All houses and land – owned and tenanted – were liable to a church rate.

It was unpopular amongst Catholics and Nonconformists. This was abolished in 1868 under the Compulsory Church Rates Abolition Act.

See Halifax Parochial Chapelry and Steeple Tax

ChurchwardenRef 1-2453
A church official.

In earlier times they played a civil and an ecclesiastical rôle.

See Brighouse Churchwardens, Elland Churchwardens, Halifax Churchwardens, Hipperholme Churchwardens, Rastrick Churchwardens, Stainland Churchwardens and Vermin

ChymistRef 1-C65
An old form of the word chemist

CipheringRef 1-1416
In the context of 19th century education, this referred to the teaching of arithmetic.

See Accomplishments and Working

City of BostonRef 1-25
The steamship of the Inman Line disappeared after leaving New York [on 25th January 1870] and Halifax (Nova Scotia), bound for Liverpool [28th January 1870].

The newspapers reported the vessel missing in February 1870.

There were 84 crew, 55 cabin passengers – many of them service men, Engineers & Artillery and – and 52 steerage passengers aboard.

Amongst the cabin passengers were William Alexander Wildman Orange and his family.

There were reports of a hurricane and snowstorms shortly after the ship left New York, and other vessels reported field ice and icebergs earlier than usual.

Another report alleged overloading of the vessel with bags of wheat, recording that she was 18 or 20 inches deeper in the water than the insurance allowed.

There were rumours on March 17th that a telegram from Colonel Orange reported that the vessel had arrived at Queenstown, Ireland. This proved to be a hoax. A reward of $500 was offered for the identification of the perpetrator.

No trace of the vessel was found

Civil listRef 1-1849
An annual payment to the royal family made under the Bill of Rights [1689] and introduced during the reign of George III

Civil RegistrationRef 1-460
Civil registration of births, marriages & deaths was introduced in England and Wales on 1st July 1837.

See Census

Civil ServantRef 1-C74
Someone who works for the administrative aspects of the government

Civil WarRef 1-310
The English Civil War was a series of conflicts between Charles I and the Royalists on one side, and the Parliamentarians under Oliver Cromwell on the other.

There were three phases: The First Civil War [1640-1646] The Second Civil War [1648] and The Third Civil War [1649-1651]

The traders of the Calderdale district were mostly Puritans and supported the Parliamentarians. The Parliamentarians were garrisoned at Halifax in early 1643.

After the Battle of Adwalton Moor, General Sir Francis Mackworth marched into Halifax township which was then commanded by a group of Royalists – mainly outsiders.

Heptonstall was held by 750 local Parliamentarians who knew the area. The Parliamentarians had a base at Heptonstall – since the town provided an escape route into Lancashire – and successfully fought off at least one Royalist attack at the Buttress in 1643. Many Puritans – including John Briercliffe – went to live in Lancashire.

On 4th January 1643, 2 soldiers were taken by Mackworth and hanged on a gallows near the Gibbet in Halifax for desertion.

On 22nd October 1643, there was a skirmish at Sowerby between the Royalists and the Parliamentarians.

On 23rd October 1643, there was a skirmish at The Hollins, Warley.

Shortly after the Battle of Adwalton Moor in 1643, most of Yorkshire fell into the hands of the Royalists.

On 5th January 1644, there was a skirmish at Sowerby Bridge. In January 1644, the Royalists fled Halifax before an alliance between the Parliamentarians and Scottish troops. The war in Yorkshire was soon over after the Royalists were defeated at the Battle of Marston Moor in 1644. On 28th January 1644, when Sir Francis Mackworth and the Royalists marched out of the district, ending local involvement in the Civil War.

On 1st February 1650, a Royalist prisoner from Heptonstall was nailed to the Gibbet at Halifax.

The Civil War severely disrupted the local woollen industry, and the port of Hull – occupied by the Parliamentarians and besieged by the Royalists – was closed, causing economic distress.

The Commonwealth Period – or the Protectorate – followed the Civil War.

Some local associations with the Civil War include the children of Henry Cockcroft Battle of Adwalton Moor, Blackstone Edge, Bloody Field, Siege of Bradford, Decimation, The Halifax Cavaliers & the Heptonstall Roundheads, Battle of the Hollins, Battle of Marston Moor, Old Bank, Battle of Slaughter Gap, Battle of Sowerby Bridge, Capture of Wakefield and Siege of York.

See American Civil War, Spanish Civil War and Wars of the Roses

Clapper bridgeRef 1-1486
A simple bridge with a single long flagstone spanning stone piers built into the stream or river.

Some local examples include those at Beverley Footbridge, Foster Clough Bridge, Mytholmroyd, Hebble Hole Bridge, Colden, Staups Clough and Turvin Clough

Clarendon CodeRef 1-2779
A name given to a series of 4 Acts of Parliament – including the Act of Uniformity – passed by Charles II between 1661-1665, after the Restoration, with the aim of forcing the nation to adhere to Anglican worship and to settle the religious problems of the Restoration.

Those Protestants who chose not to follow the Church of England became known as dissenters or nonconformists and were excluded from holding public office

ClaretRef 1-394
Red wine produced in Bordeaux, France

Clarion MovementRef 1-2618
The National Clarion Socialist Cycling Movement, later, the Clarion Cycling Club was a social organisation established at the end of the 19th century by Socialist journalist Robert Blatchford.

They were involved in cycling and singing

There were groups in many parts of Britain, including Halifax with the Halifax Clarion Cycling Club, & Todmorden.

Hardcastle Crags was a regular venue for their picnics and outdoor concerts which attracted more than 2,000 people to listen to choirs and speeches

ClayRef 1-468
A soft, fine-grained, malleable soil.

Locally, clay deposits are often found together with coal and sandstone strata.

See Pottery and Clay

Clay-workingRef 1-366
Deposits of clay, sand and gravels overlying the coal measures are found together, as at Elland and Ainley Top.

There were several kilns, potteries, and brickworks in the area to exploit the resource – including Allen's Brick Works, Southowram, W. T. Knowles & Sons, Kitson's and Samuel Wilkinson's

Clean Air ActsRef 1-2128
The Sanitary Act [1866] allowed local authorities to take action in cases of nuisance caused by smoke.

In 1881, a Smoke Abatement Committee was formed to address the increasing nuisance from factory chimneys in the industrialised towns and cities. In 1891, the Public Health (London) Act controlled factory emissions in the capital. In 1899, the Coal Smoke Abatement Society was founded.

The Clean Air Act [1956] introduced the concept of the smokeless zone to reduce pollution in towns and cities. Halifax introduced its first such zone in the centre of the town in October 1959, spreading outwards over the next few years.

See Devil's Cauldron and Skircoat Moor

ClerkRef 1-C6
The name was given to any member of the clergy, including the parish clerk

Clerk of the marketRef 1-1712
An official who controlled the local market, weights and measures, and market prices. He announced the start and end of trading. On market days, he attended from 10 am until sunset. From 1640, his power was restricted to the Verge – that is, within 12 miles of the residence of the Court

ClickRef 1-C96
A metal hook which was used for moving bales of wool and cotton.

See Fadge

ClippingRef 1-389
The act of cutting or filing a small amount of metal from the edge of a coin, as practised by the coiners, and using this to produce counterfeit currency.

The act was also called diminishing the coin

ClippingRef 1-C9
A ceremony held on Shrove Tuesday when parishioners held hands to form a chain around the parish to ward off evil spirits

Clocking-onRef 1-C61
At the start of the working day, mill-workers had to clock-on or clock-in, and at the end of the working day, they had to clock-out or clock-off. This enabled the managers to record their presence or absence from work, and the number of hours worked.

The workers may also have to clock-out and clock-in again at meal breaks.

Clocking was performed by various means, such as the exchange of a clocking-on token, or -later – by recording the time mechanically on a clock-card

ClogsRef 1-1234
Wooden-soled shoes – the soles traditionally made of alder wood – worn by mill-workers, colliers and others until the early part of the 20th century. The clogs had metal clog-irons nailed to the sole, and leather uppers. Latterly, the soles were made from beech, and the uppers from cow-hide or, for industrial clogs, from Indian buffalo hide.

Someone who made clogs was a clogger.

See Calderdale Clog Sundries, Walsden, Maude's Clogs, Patten and Walkley Clogs

CloseRef 1-633
A small area of permanently enclosed or fenced land, as distinct from the open field.

The element is widely used in place names

Close rollRef 1-1627
A document which recorded grants of land and privileges bestowed by the Crown on individuals, monasteries, colleges, and charities.

The documents were not intended for public inspection

Closed SiteRef 1-1194
After a period of 20 years without a request for a burial, a church could give the land back to the local authority who would tend the area.

This has happened with graveyards such as St Thomas's Church, Claremount, The burial ground has been cleared of headstones – which are now propped against the outer walls – and the whole area grassed over. They are tended by Calderdale Parks Department

This & associated entries use material contributed by Glynn Helliwell

ClothRef 1-1921
A textile which is made from wool with short staples, as distinct from worsted and stuff which use wool with long staples.

Whilst Bradford and Halifax concentrated on worsted textiles, towns such as Huddersfield and Dewsbury manufactured more cloth.

See Cloth Hall, Heptonstall Cloth Hall, Cloth-making, Clout, Farming, Cloth friezer, Halifax cloth, Halifax Cloth Hall, St Bartholomew's Cloth Fair, Perch and Printing on cloth

Cloth friezerRef 1-C40

Cloth HallRef 1-390
From the 15th century onwards, Halifax produced more cloth than any other parish in the West Riding.

The finished pieces of cloth were sold in the manufacturers' own houses, or in town buildings such as inns and pubs.

Until the opening of specialised cloth halls, cloth was sold in the general markets on fixed days of the week.

Cloth was also taken to other centres – such as the St Bartholomew's Cloth Fair and Blackwell Hall in London

A cloth hall was built at Heptonstall in 1545-1548 by the Waterhouse family of Shibden Hall and called Blackwell Hall after the London market of that name.

A hall for selling cloth – Blackwell Hall at Hall End – is mentioned in 1572, much earlier than those in neighbouring towns.

Records say that the hall measured 90 ft by 36 ft.

There were similar halls in other surrounding towns:

none of which has survived.

A Linen Hall is also mentioned in Halifax.

Halifax Piece Hall was opened in 1779

Cloth-makingRef 1-6
In 1473, Halifax produced the largest amount of cloth of any town in the West Riding: 5 times that produced by Leeds, and 8 times that of Bradford.

From the early 16th century, many small farmers took up making woollen cloth by the domestic system as the poor soil and harsh climate led to hardship, poverty and distress.

The stages of cloth-making included:

See Cloth, Dual economy and Woollen industry

Clothier's sealRef 1-1280
Manufacturers and dyers of cloth are known to attach wax seals to their cloth in the 19th century

Clothworkers' CompanyRef 1-485
A livery company. In 1528, the Fullers' Company joined the Shearmen's Company to form the Clothworkers' Company.

See Christopher Selwyn Priestley Rawson and Peter John Selwyn Rawson

CloughRef 1-597
Used in place names, such as Colden Clough and Dean Clough, this is a local word for a stream and also for a steep, narrow valley down which the stream rushes, and comes from the Old English for a valley.

The word is derived from the same roots as cleave and cleft.

Pronunciation: The word is pronounced cluff

See Water

ClubRef 1-991
The expression on the club indicates that a person is out of work and drawing benefit from a club or friendly society.

See Club houses, Funeral club, Pig club and Union Club and the individual entries for local clubs and societies

Coaching innsRef 1-C636
An inn which was used by horse-drawn coaches travelling long distances on the turnpikes and highways. These were common from the 17th to early 19th century. They were places where the horses were changed, and where passengers could rest.

There are numerous local examples: Ainley Top, Derby Bar, Rishworth, Dusty Miller, Mytholmroyd, Golden Lion, Todmorden, Nag's Head, Ainley Top, Queen Hotel, Ripponden, Red Lion, Elland, Robin Hood, Pecket Well, Royal Oak, Halifax, Star, Rastrick, Sun Inn, Lightcliffe, Triangle, Sowerby, Waggoners', Halifax, White Swan Hotel, Halifax and White Swan Inn & Posting House, Halifax

Coat of ArmsRef 1-2444
The arms which are borne by an individual are specific to that individual.

They are not associated with a specific surname.

See The Crossley family of Halifax: Arms, Edwards Family of Pye Nest: Arms, The Hanson family: Arms, The Lister family: Arms, The Murgatroyd family: Arms, The Rawson family: Arms, The Savile family: Arms, The Stansfeld family of Elland: Arms, The Stansfeld family of Sowerby: Arms, The Stansfeld family of Stansfield Hall: Arms, The Stansfield family of Ewood & Todmorden: Arms, The Sunderland family: Arms, The Sutcliffe family: Arms, The Waterhouse family: Arms, Brighouse Coat of Arms, Epitaph, Halifax Coat of Arms, Halifax Parish Church: Arms on the Ceiling, High Sunderland: Arms, Royal Arms, Todmorden Coat of Arms, Warren Shield and Yorkshire Coat of Arms

See Family Crest

This & associated entries use material contributed by Joanne Backhouse

CoatingsRef 1-136
Types of cloth which were suitable for making coats & jackets

Cobbler's MondayRef 1-C97
Aka St Monday.

A popular name for Monday in Victorian times on account of the fact that this was the day on which some self-employed took the day off work

Cobham's PlotRef 1-C121
A plot to dethrone James I and place his cousin, Arabella Stuart, on the throne. In 1609, she was imprisoned in the Tower of London when James became suspicious

CoburgRef 1-2920
A thin, single-twilled worsted cloth – mixed with cotton or silk – and twilled on one side

Cocculus IndicusRef 1-2481
The fruit of the Asian plant Anamirta cocculus. The dried fruits yield picrotoxin, a poisonous alkaloid with stimulant properties.

Like Grains of Paradise, these have been added to beer and other drinks

CockadeRef 1-C4
A ribbon worn in the hat

Cocoa housesRef 1-C122

CodicilRef 1-C49
A supplement or an addition to a will

CoffinRef 1-1436
Until the 18th century, it was usual for bodies to be carried to the grave in the parish coffin or shell, and buried in a woollen shroud without a coffin and covered with earth.

This method was cheaper than interments with a coffin.

See Naked

Coiners & coiningRef 1-383

CoinsRef 1-C17
Information about coins and coinage can be found at the links below

CoirRef 1-C90
A strong fibre produced from the husk of the coconut and used to manufacture rope and matting

Collateral relativesRef 1-C39
People who share a common ancestor but who are not descended from one another – such as cousins

Collateral sanguinityRef 1-C3
See Consanguinity

Colly birdRef 1-C45
A blackbird. The names comes from colly or coal-black.

The name is corrupted to calling bird in the 12 Days of Christmas song

ColumbariumRef 1-2620
The word has several possible meanings

  1. A niche for an urn

  2. A recess in a wall to receive the end of a rafter

  3. A dovecote

CombingRef 1-240
Process of working and straightening the raw wool during the making of cloth. Short strands were carded, long strands were combed. The long strands were used in the production of worsted cloth.

The old hand comb was called a heckle.

The process was mechanised around 1840. In 18??, George Edmund Donisthorpe developed a woolcombing machine

ComfitRef 1-C105
A type of confectionery with a nut, piece of fruit, coated and preserved with sugar

Command KitchenRef 1-728
A World War I initiative.

The first command kitchen in Halifax opened in Great Albion Street, Halifax on 1st October 1917

Commercial TravellerRef 1-1129
Aka Travelling Salesman.

See Commercial Travellers' Temperance Association and United Commercial Travellers' Association

Common ancestorRef 1-1883
An ancestor from whom 2 or more people can claim descent

Common days workRef 1-334
An emergency which affected the parish and demanded communal action, such as the great snow at Hartshead on 14th March 1717.

The call to action was made in the church.

See 10 days' work bottom and Day-work

Common landRef 1-64
A tract of open land which was used in common by inhabitants of a town or parish.

The rights of Common relate to specific properties and/or individuals giving them specific rights to do specific things on land belonging to another party. For example, the owners of specified properties might have the right to graze a defined number of sheep on a closely prescribed area of land.

See Blackledge-Ing, Enclosures, Hall-Ing, Netherfield, Southfield and Sydel-Ing

This & associated entries use material contributed by David Nortcliffe

Common LawRef 1-C25
The traditional code of law in England which dates from the middle ages and is supplemented by legal decisions made over the centuries. It is not written down in any one place.

This is distinct from the statute laws passed by Parliament

Common pastureRef 1-C109
The right to pasture animals on common land, or over common arable land after the crop has been harvested

Commonwealth PeriodRef 1-576
The Commonwealth of England – aka The Protectorate – was the period from 1652 to 1659 following the English Civil Wars when the country was under direct personal rule by Oliver Cromwell.

See Elland Parish Church Font and Halifax Parish Church Commonwealth Windows

Commonwealth War Graves CommissionRef 1-2064
Abbr: CWGC.

An organisation responsible for recording and maintaining the military graves and memorials of those who died in World War I, World War II and other conflicts.

See War Graves Photographic Project

Community ChargeRef 1-2456
A form of Poll Tax re-introduced in 1988/1989. It sparked off many riots and demonstrations until it was replaced by the property-based Council Tax in 1993

CompositionRef 1-2
In 1626, in an attempt to raise revenue independently of Parliament, Charles I revived a custom of Distraint of Knighthood, whereby anyone who derived an income of £40 or more from his land must accept a knighthood – with the concomitant fees, taxation and other expenses – or either pay a penalty of about £10, known as composition, to the Crown, or go to prison.

Around 80 local landowners chose to pay the composition, including:

Richard Barrowclough
Anthony Bentley
Christopher Bentley
Thomas Blackwood
Abraham Brigg
Abraham Brooksbank
Michael Brooksbank
John Clay
John Clay
Henry Cockcroft
Hugh Currer
John Drake
Joseph Drake
Robert Exley
Michael Foxcroft
John Lister
James Murgatroyd
James Otes
Gregory Patchett
Saville Radcliffe
Abraham Sunderland
Richard Sunderland
John Sutcliffe
George Towne
Nathaniel Waterhouse
Michael Whitley
Thomas Whitley
Joseph Wood

The total amount collected from the parish was £1,034 6/8d.

See Decimation and Distraint of Knighthood

CompurgationRef 1-C15
In mediæval law, an accused person could call upon 12 people to swear to his innocence or to the truth of his statement. This was abolished in 1833

Conacher organsRef 1-1987
Peter Conacher [b 1823] was born in Scotland.

He went to Germany and became an apprentice organ builder. He returned to England and worked for organ-makers Hill & Sons and Walker & Sons in London. He came to work on an organ at Highfield Chapel, Huddersfield, and set up business in West Yorkshire in 1854. The company is still in existence today.

There are many local examples of the Company's work, including Ambler Thorn United Methodist Chapel, Halifax Union Workhouse, Gibbet Street, Lee Mount Baptist Church, Ovenden, Mount Zion Primitive Methodist Chapel, Norland, Parish Church of Saint Martin, Brighouse, Providence Independent Church, Ovenden, Saint James's United Methodist Free Church, Luddenden, Saint John the Baptist, Coley, Saint John the Evangelist, Bradshaw, Saint Matthew's Church, Northowram, Saint Thomas's Church, Greetland, Seventh Day Adventist Church, Copley, Sowerby Parish Church: Organ, United Methodist Free Church, Copley and West Vale Baptist Chapel

CondensedRef 1-1281
See Carding

ConditioningRef 1-192
A cloth-making process – such as damping and dewing – in which small quantities of moisture are added to textile materials. This is done by storing the material in a standard atmosphere or by adding small quantities of water

Cone windingRef 1-C7

ConeyRef 1-1791
A mediæval term for an adult rabbit

Confectioners & ConfectioneryRef 1-C87

ConfessandRef 1-1629
Having confessed to a crime.

See Gibbet Law

CongregationalRef 1-115
Aka Independents.

A Nonconformist branch of the Protestant Christian church – the Brownists – founded by Robert Browne in 1580

ConigerRef 1-1750
Another name for a rabbit warren

ConjugalRef 1-C118
The adjective refers to matters relating to marriage

ConnubialRef 1-C116
The adjective refers to matters relating to marriage

ConsanguinityRef 1-1850
The degree of the relationship between persons who descend from a common ancestor. A father and son are related by lineal consanguinity, uncle and nephew by collateral sanguinity.

The Latin terms consanguineo / consanguinea mean a (male) / (female) blood relative, respectively.

Transcribers of early documents most commonly give consanguineo as meaning cousin

This & associated entries use material contributed by Joanne Backhouse

ConscriptionRef 1-456
Compulsory enlistment for service in the armed forces was introduced in Britain from 1916 to 1919 (for World War I) and from 1939 (for World War II).

In 1916, only single men were drafted, but by May, married men were also included.

It ended in 1960.

See No Conscription Fellowship and Pals Battalion

Conservation AreaRef 1-2044
Conservation status seeks to preserve the historic core, architectural character and rural setting of an area. This imposes control over the demolition of buildings, minor building developments – such as porches, extensions, satellite dishes and boundary walls – and work to trees.

See Northowram

Conservation of documentsRef 1-2441
There are several websites which offer guidance about the conservation and storage of the documents and photographs which you gather in your local history and family history research.

See Archiving your material

Consistory courtRef 1-C37
A spiritual or ecclesiastical court

ConstableRef 1-1115
A parish official

See Constablewick, PC and Tithingman

ConstablewickRef 1-1554
An area in which law and order were controlled by a constable. Smaller than a parish

ConsumptionRef 1-860
A popular name for pulmonary tuberculosis, so called because of the body tissue wasting away

Continental SystemRef 1-C99
In 1807, Napoleon began a blockade to isolate Britain from the rest of Europe, this caused difficulties with exports and imports, food prices rose and the textile industry declined, leading to hardships in Britain and to the Napoleonic Wars

Continued feverRef 1-842
A fever which – unlike a remitting fever – does not remit or cease

Conventicle Act [1664]Ref 1-C20
Forbids meetings of more than five people, unless they are Anglican, on pain of fines, imprisonment, and transportation. It lapsed in 1668, and was replaced by a less punitive act in 1670. It was replaced by the Toleration Act in 1688.

See Clarendon Code

ConveyanceRef 1-C77
A deed or other legal document by which the title to property is transferred

Convict shipRef 1-1296
A ship which was used to carry transported criminals to a penal colony.

See Prison hulk

ConyRef 1-C34
Also coney. A rabbit

Co-operative MovementRef 1-63

CopRef 1-519
A package of yarn in the shape of a cigar

CopperasRef 1-152
A mineral – ferrous sulphate – used from the 16th century in tanning, ink-making, and in dyeing, producing a prussian blue colour.

It was also used in the woollen industry as a fixative when dyeing textiles, as a dye darkening agent, and a black dye.

See Copperas House, Todmorden, Copperas House, Siddal, Copperas House, Copperas Shale, Copperas Works, Siddal, Abraham Crossley and Abraham & Thomas Crossley

Copperas shaleRef 1-745
There were deposits of the mineral in the Ainley area, and this was used as a substitute for coal.

See Copperas

CopyholdRef 1-1593
A right to hold land of a manor by holding a copy of the original court roll made by the lord's steward.

When the tenant died, the land reverted to the lord who then usually transferred it to the tenant's heir. This was discontinued in 1925

CorduroyRef 1-2906
A hard-wearing, piled fustian with vertical ribs made of cotton, and other fibres. The cloth is used for clothes of all kinds, dresses, jackets, skirts, suits, slacks, sportswear, men's trousers, jackets, bedspreads, drapery, and upholstery.

The name may be French for corde du roi = cord of the king

CorfRef 1-C95
Plural corves.

A basket or tub used by a coal-miner to transport the coal around the pit

CornRef 1-1105
In addition to the obvious meaning of corn, the term referred to any cereal grain, including oats, wheat, or barley.

See Corn Laws and Multure

Corn LawsRef 1-309
A series of laws introduced between 1815 and 1846 were intended to protect British farmers and landowners against competition from cheap foreign grain imports. In practice, they increased profits for the land-owners, and increased the price of bread for the poor.

On 6th June 1783, there were riots in Halifax against similar earlier legislation – see John Saltonstall.

In 1843, Mr Ewart – standing in for Charles Wood – presented a petition for the repeal of the Corn Laws, with 7,790 signatures from Halifax, 1,000 from Barkisland, 805 from Elland, 825 from Midgley, 325 from Norland, 1,325 from Northowram, 1,240 from Ovenden, 790 from Rishworth, 200 from Shelf, 725 from Skircoat, 200 from Southowram, 1,575 from Sowerby, 1,800 from Soyland, 830 from Stainland, 1,470 from Warley, and 25 from the Young Men's Mental Improvement Society of Stainland; a total of 20,925 signatures.

The laws were repealed in 1846.

See Anti-Corn Law League, John Bright, Richard Cobden and Corn Riots

Corn millRef 1-102
The earliest mills were for grinding corn. The mills were probably the first examples of machinery. Most corn mills were owned and controlled by the Lord of the Manor for use – at a charge – by the community.

In the Calderdale district, farmers could not grow corn, although oats were the local substitute. The mills which ground the oats are called corn mills.

Pearson records that at Shibden Mill, the Lord of the Manor received one part out of every 17 ground at the mill. The use of querns and domestic mills was discouraged or forbidden.

Like fulling mills, a man was obliged to grind his corn at the Lord's mill. Tenants of land held by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem did not have this obligation.

These mills were generally built of oak and elm (for the mechanism), and were water-powered and sited along streams and rivers. Domesday Book records 5624 water-mills in England. Around 1600, there were 25 Manorial corn mills in Halifax parish. More private mills were built as demand for flour increased.

Typically, a pair of mill-stones could grind around 3 tons of corn a day.

After 1840, their use declined as cheap foreign imports of corn were widely available, and corn growing decreased. Many corn mills became redundant and were converted to cotton or woollen manufacture.

See Bath Mills, Southowram, Bower's Mill, Barkisland, Brearley Mills, Midgley, Bridge Road Works, Brighouse, Brighouse Corn Mill, Brooke's Mill, Brighouse, Brookfoot Mill [1], Brighouse, Burrwood Mill, Stainland, Clifton stone, Daisy Croft, Brighouse, Freeman's Mills, Brookfoot, Gauxholme Mill, Walsden, Halifax stone, Hebden Bridge Mill, Hudson's Mill, Heptonstall, Kebroyd Mills, Triangle, Luddenden Mills, Lumbutts Mill, Todmorden, Queen's Mill, Luddenden, Rastrick Mill, Rishworth Mills, Scaitcliffe Mill, Todmorden, Shibden Mill, Soke Mill, Soyland Mill, Stansfield Corn Mill, Suit of mill, Travis Mill, Walsden, Upper Firth Mills, Stainland and Watson Mill, Sowerby Bridge

Corn RiotsRef 1-1306
The Corn Laws sparked off several riots in the district, including the Bread Riots of 1782.

There was an incident on 7th June 1783 when a mob marched along the Calder Valley towards Halifax. The were joined by Thomas Spencer who demanded that Mr Anderton, landlord of the Boar's Head, Halifax, should sell his grain cheaply to the starving poor. When this was refused, the mob attacked corn wagons in a nearby warehouse and elsewhere in the town. Spencer then urged the mob to go out and intercept any carts which were on their way into Halifax.

Spencer and John Saltonstall were arrested, tried and hung in chains on Beacon Hill.

In 1783, following riots in Corn Market, a special session – with Joshua Horton – proclaimed that

every penny oat-cake must weigh not less than 12 ounces when new baked, and not less than 8 ounces when dry; every penny loaf of wheaten bread [marked with a W] not less than 7 ounces, and every penny loaf of household bread [marked with an H] not less then 9 ounces

CornerRef 1-C83
See Forestall

Corporation Act [1661]Ref 1-C44
Required anyone wishing to hold a municipal office to take communion within the Church of England. The Act was passed in order reinforce the Anglican church after the Restoration. It was repealed in 1828

CorveRef 1-1204
A small wicker basket – or a small (human-powered) wagon – used for carrying coal

CorveeRef 1-964
Dues paid to the lord of the manor by a serf – usually as labour – in return for use of his lord's land.

See Banalities

CoteRef 1-C104
An enclosure for sheep or cattle.

See Pinfold

Cottage pianoRef 1-2584
A small upright piano which was popular in the 19th century

CottonRef 1-1272
A staple fibre which can be spun into yarn for weaving into a light fabric.

See Cotton Famine, Cotton gin, Cotton industry, Cotton measures, Cottongrass, Cotton Stones, Devil and Far Cotton Stones, Sowerby Bridge Cotton

Cotton FamineRef 1-335
Aka Cotton Panic. The name given to the period around 1862 when lack of orders and blockades of baled cotton exports from the US, imposed during the American Civil War, badly affected the cotton trade, brought distress, starvation and disaster to many mill-workers in Lancashire and the local cotton industry, who bought around 80% of their cotton from the USA The price of cotton quadrupled.

The Todmorden Union reported 460 paupers in November 1862.

Many measures were taken to alleviate the situation and the plight of the workers, especially in the Upper Calder Valley. The national Central Relief Fund and the Lancashire Distress Fund collected money to help those out of work. In Todmorden, the Fielden family paid around £800 per week to their employees just for turning up at their mill. They also introduced projects such as London Road, Todmorden and Withens New Road, Todmorden to provide employment for their unemployed workers.

In order to support those who were trying to overcome the blockades in America, it is said that people from Lancashire and the West Riding went to the US.

When General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox on April 9th, 1865, flags were flown from mill tops and houses in Ripponden. The first wagons loaded with cotton which arrived after the end of the American Civil War were decorated with flags, church bells rang and the local band played.

See Alma Mill, Walsden, John Law & Sons, Ripponden & District Spinning Company Limited, Rishworth New Mill, Scammonden Cotton Mills, Sam Smith, Sobriety Hall, Todmorden, Lindsay Taplin and Todmorden Derdale Cotton & Commercial Company

This & associated entries use material contributed by Carole Edwards Caruso & Antony Shepherd

Cotton ginRef 1-1645
A machine for cleaning cotton, separating the cotton seeds and the fibre. Before the gin appeared, the cotton was cleaned and untangled by batting with wooden sticks. Invented by Eli Whitney in 1793

Cotton industryRef 1-344
The manufacture of cotton goods came to Britain from the Netherlands in the 16th century.

See Industry and Mills

Cotton measuresRef 1-1565
There are several recognised measures for cotton and yarn: thread, skein, hank, and spindle.

It was an offence to produce yarns which were shorter than these standard length, and was punishable by imprisonment or public whipping

CottongrassRef 1-1270
Aka Bog Cotton.

A type of sedge which grows on peaty / acidic / wet moorland, and flowers around May, producing seed-heads (or bolls) which resemble balls of cotton.

In earlier times, the bolls were collected and used for spinning into a yarn for weaving.

It is said that Cottonstones gets its name from a group of stones on which the cottongrass bolls were laid to dry after washing

This & associated entries use material contributed by Frank Sharp

CottoningRef 1-292
A finishing process for woollen cloth

CottonopolisRef 1-C54
A 19th century name for Manchester

CouchantRef 1-900
An heraldic term referring to an animal which is represented lying with the body resting on the legs and with the head raised.

See Passant and Trippant

Council TaxRef 1-2594
When a poll tax was re-introduced in 198? as the Community Charge, it sparked off many riots and demonstrations until it was replaced by the property-based Council Tax on 1st April 1993. The Council Tax is paid on domestic property and is based on the market value of the house

CouncillorRef 1-694
Abbr: Cllr. A member of a local government council, parish council or local authority.

See Alderman, Calderdale Council, Electoral wards, Borough of Halifax, Parish Council, Urban district council and West Riding County Council

CountyRef 1-2677
England was divided into shires in Old English times and these represented the old Celtic and Old English tribal districts. Cornwall, Devon and Kent were established in Celtic times. Essex, Sussex, Wessex, and Middlesex were established in Saxon times.

The shires of the Danelaw were established by the Danes, and named after their local military centres. The counties of the west midlands were formed by the king of Wessex after he invaded the area which had been the Kingdom of Mercia.

Under king Æðelstan, areas of the Midlands and the Danish towns were consolidated into shires.

32 shires are mentioned in Domesday Book.

The word county is a later term for the Old English shire derived from the Norman French comté

County ArchivesRef 1-C18

County courtRef 1-1610
A twice-yearly court presided over by the sheriff

CourseRef 1-186
Raised ridge or rib cross-wise on the surface of a piece of cloth.

Compare Wale

Court baronRef 1-1576
A manorial court which dealt with matters of tenure, feudal services, feudal dues, and disputes between free tenants

Court customaryRef 1-1597
Aka Hallmoot. A manorial court aka hallmoot which dealt with feudal matters, and disputes and matters between unfree tenants, or villeins

Court leetRef 1-1325
A yearly or half-yearly court held by the lord of the manor, and owners of large estates, in order to redress the wrongs of those living in the district.

See Brighouse Court Leet

Court of AppealRef 1-2756
A court which hears appeals against Crown Court judgements

Court of Common PleasRef 1-969
Aka The Bench. A royal court to hear pleas involving civil disputes – or pleas – between individuals.

This was first held in the late 12th century. The Magna Carta established that the court should be held in a fixed place, which was normally Westminster. From 1288 until 1731, records were transferred from the court to the Treasury of the Receipt of the Exchequer.

See Feet of fines and Final concord

Court of Star ChamberRef 1-1049
This court was controlled by the king and sat at the royal Palace of Westminster from 1487 until 1641.

It was composed of privy councillors and two common-law judges.

It was set up to hear petitions of redress and to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against people who were socially or politically prominent, against whom there was no remedy after the course of common law, their being too powerful for the common courts to find against them.

It evolved from meetings of the king's council (Curia regis).

See Yorkshire Star Chamber Proceedings

This & associated entries use material contributed by Joanne Backhouse

Court of the honourRef 1-1178
The principal manorial court. This was discontinued in the early mediæval period

Court plasterRef 1-C62
An adhesive plaster coated with isinglass gelatin and glycerine. It was used for beauty spots by ladies at the royal courts

Court rollRef 1-1327
A mediæval court register of the holdings of the manor. Also, the minutes of the manorial court.

These were in Latin until 1734 – and between 1653-1660, during the Commonwealth – when they were written in English.

See Wakefield Court Rolls

CousinRef 1-2599
Originally, this referred to any kinsman, but is now used for a first cousin or cousin german, that is, the child of your aunt or uncle

See Consanguineo, People Who Cannot Marry and Removed

Cousin germanRef 1-C57
A first cousin

Cow ClubsRef 1-1247
See Brighouse Cow Club, Mytholmroyd Cow Club and Southowram Cow Club

Cow creepsRef 1-1023

CowcumberRef 1-C43
An old name for the cucumber

CowpoxRef 1-818
A relatively mild disease similar to smallpox, caused by the vaccinia virus. Farmers had long believed that people who suffered cowpox did not suffer smallpox. This led Edward Jenner to develop the technique of vaccination for the treatment of smallpox in 1798

CrabbingRef 1-194
A process used in worsted manufacturing to smooth the fabric so that it will not crease or wrinkle during later wet processing.

In the dyeing industry, the process cleans the fabric before dyeing.

The work is done by a crabber

Cramp colicRef 1-876
Another name for appendicitis

The CrankRef 1-1022
One of the punishments which might be encountered in prison during hard labour.

This was a large wooden box, (possibly) filled with rocks and stones. The prisoner had to turn a handle which turned a counter, and he was expected to make 10,000 turns in an 8-hour shift. The warder could tighten a screw which made the cranking more difficult. This is the origin of the slang term screw for a prison officer

CratchRef 1-2889
The fodder store on horse-drawn canal boats. This was often used as sleeping quarters for the boatman's family

Cremation SocietyRef 1-C29
Formed to promote an alternative means of disposing of the dead. In 1879, the Society started to build a crematorium in Woking, but the authorities doubted the legality of cremation and put a stop to the work. The courts decided that it was lawful and the crematorium was first used in 1885.

See Park Wood Crematorium

Crimean WarRef 1-453
Aka the Russian War.

The conflict between Russia and the allied forces of Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire. Fought on the Crimean Peninsula in the Black Sea, Western Turkey and the Baltic Sea.

The major incidents included

At that time, many people gave money to the Patriotic Fund which supported the widows and orphans of the war.

The allies' success in the war gave rise to the names of many local streets, pubs and buildings:

Iron posts which stood outside the Royal Hotel, Sowerby Bridge were made from old cannons from war.

The list of local people who served in the Crimea includes

  • William Coates

  • Henry John Ellis

  • William Flather = Wilson Firth

  • Thomas George Johnson

  • Saul Magson

  • Sergeant Benjamin Burton Nagle

  • Daniel Sharp

  • John Jackson Sharp

  • Samuel Sharp

  • Robert Johnston Stansfeld

  • Major Michael Stocks

    This & associated entries use material contributed by Mark Andrew & Derrick Habergham

    Crimes & CriminalsRef 1-C5

    CrimselRef 1-887
    Used in place names, the element means a small piece of water or a small piece of land

    Cripple holeRef 1-2548
    Aka Sheep Creep, Hogget Holes, Cow Creeps. A hole built in a dry-stone wall to allow sheep and small animals – but not cattle – to pass through.

    Also called Hogget holes – a hogg is a small sheep.

    Cow creeps are intended to allow cattle to pass.

    Smaller versions – for rabbits or hares – are also found

    CroftRef 1-145
    An enclosed piece of land adjoining a mediæval village house, which is used for pasture or as arable land. The element is used in several local place names and surnames.

    See Bancroft, Cockcroft, Pightle and Toft

    Croix de GuerreRef 1-985
    A number of local men & women were award the

    Crompton & Knowles loomRef 1-244
    A sturdy loom used in weaving wool or silk. It was able to operate several harnesses and produce fancy weaves

    Crop returnsRef 1-C19
    In 1801, each parish was required to record details of the land devoted to wheat, barley, oats, potatoes, peas, beans, turnip, and rape. These are held at the Public Record Office

    CroppingRef 1-167
    A stage in cloth-making when the finished cloth was sheared – using walkers' shears – to produce a fine surface with the pile of a uniform length, and to remove loose fibres from the surface of a cloth.

    The work was done by a cropper or a shearman.

    The quality of the finished product depended upon this final stage, and the croppers were highly-paid.

    In some domestic production, where a small producer did not have the tools or the time, cloth might be taken to market undressed.

    Later, cropping shops – such as Jackson's cropping shop, Wood's cropping shop – were established in some towns to offer a service to the manufacturers.

    Typically, a small cropping shop employed 3 or 4 croppers using hand-shears.

    Cropping was one of the first processes to be mechanised. The introduction of mechanised gig mills, shearing frames and cropping frames – such as the perpetual shearing machine invented by James and Enoch Taylor – was at the centre of the Luddites' grievances from 1811.

    By 1817, there were 1,462 cropping machines in Yorkshire.

    Cropping as a trade had almost disappeared by 1820

    CrossRef 1-C41
    Church land within a liberty which is exempt from the jurisdiction of the lord of the liberty, and is administered by a royal sheriff

    Cross-letterRef 1-C98
    In order to get better value from the early postal service, many letters were written, first, in the usual manner, and then the paper was rotated through 90° and the writing continued across the page, thus getting twice the amount of text on a page. Not easy to read!

    Cross-passageRef 1-44
    See Through-passage

    Cross-wingRef 1-22
    A transverse, 2-storeyed extension to the main hall.

    See Hall-and-cross-wing

    CrossbowRef 1-2605
    A short bow fixed across a wooden stock, and used for discharging bolts and stones.

    The weapon appeared in China around 500 BC.

    The crossbow was considered so deadly that, in 1139, the Lateran Council forbade its use against Christian enemies.

    The arbalest or arbalist was a larger version with a steel bow.

    See Archery

    CrossingRef 1-1480
    That part of a church where the nave, the chancel and the transept meet. The tower may have been built above the crossing

    CrownRef 1-2966
    Unit of currency before decimalisation equivalent to 60d = 5s = 5/- = five shillings.

    Gold crowns and half-crowns were issued in 1526. Silver coins appeared after 1551. James I issued a thistle crown worth 4/- in 1604, and a double crown coin worth 10/- in 1662.

    The crown had fallen into disuse by the early 20th century. The decimal equivalent would be 25p. The modern crown is issued as a £5 coin

    See Crown of the Rose, Halfcrown and Unite

    Crown CourtRef 1-2737
    A court which hears serious criminal cases referred from the Magistrates' Court after committal proceedings, or for appeals. The court is presided over by a High Court judge, a circuit judge, or a recorder.

    In 1972, they replaced Quarter sessions and Assizes.

    An appeal from a crown court goes to the Court of Appeal

    Crown of the Double RoseRef 1-C76
    Coin worth 5/- introduced in 1526 by Henry VIII

    Crown of the RoseRef 1-2953
    Coin worth 54d = 4s/6d introduced in 1526 by Henry VIII

    CrumRef 1-399
    The element is found in several local placenames – such as Crimsworth, Cromwellbottom and River Crum - and has the meaning of crooked or meandering

    CrushingRef 1-C81
    Death by crushing was a mediæval form of execution in which the accused was laid on the ground with a stone – about the size of a fist – under their back. A large wooden board was laid on top of the body and large stones were placed on the board until the victim was crushed to death. This was often used to punish recusants and others

    CubebRef 1-C1
    A Javanese shrub cubeba piperaceae. The red-brown berries resembling peppercorns and were used as a spice and as a medicine where they were used as a genito-urinary antiseptic for clearing up gonorrhea.

    In her journals [11th August 1821], Anne Lister records using cubeb powder for her symptoms of venereal disease

    Cubic footRef 1-1348
    A unit of volume equivalent to 28·31685 litres.

    See Foot

    CubicaRef 1-C75
    A fine unglazed fabric resembling shalloon

    CubitRef 1-754
    A unit of length equal to the distance from the elbow to the tip of a man's middle finger. Equivalent to 28 cubits.

    The name ell is used in some parts of the world

    Cucking stoolRef 1-C107
    A form of punishment in which the culprit was tied into a chair and suspended aloft by means of a pulley. The victim might be stripped naked before being placed in the chair The device was placed outside the culprit's house or mounted on wheels and pushed through the streets.

    In 1717, a cucking stool is recorded at Heptonstall.

    See Ducking stool

    CudbearRef 1-1767
    A purple dye produced from lichen.

    The name comes from Dr Cuthbert Gordon who traded in the dye-stuff and patented it in 1766

    Cup-and-Ring marksRef 1-3015
    Marks in the form of incised depressions, usually accompanied by concentric circles and grooves which are found on rocks and boulders. They are typically from the Neolithic or Bronze Age periods. Some local examples are to be found at Bedlam Hill, Pecket Well, Bent Head, Todmorden, Dean Head Stony Edge, Midgley Moor, Hoarstones, Blake Dean, Naze Hill, Pecket Well, Ridge Rough, Blake Dean, Upper Lumb Stone, Cragg Vale and Widdop Reservoir

    CurtilageRef 1-C93
    A court, yard, or plot of land – often a vegetable garden – near and belonging to a dwelling house

    CushatRef 1-C92
    A Scottish term for a wood pigeon

    Customary acreRef 1-1184
    Aka Saxon acre. An area of land equivalent to half a statute acre

    Customary dueRef 1-1068
    Payment owed to the king or to the lord of a manor for rent, services, tax and duties.

    Services to the lord of the manor would be actual work on the lord's estate. As time went on – and particularly in situations such as parts of the Halifax district which were far from the manor at Wakefield – the services changed into rent

    Customary tenantRef 1-C31
    A cottar who has a right to occupy property continuously at a reasonable rent

    CustomsRef 1-C108
    A set of customary rules which formed a basis for local administration of justice. Many of these were Anglo-Saxon traditions established through repetitive application

    Custos rotulorumRef 1-1455
    A title meaning keeper of the rolls from the Latin custos and rotulus. This was the principal Justice of the Peace in a county, who is also the keeper of the rolls and records of the sessions of the peace

    CustumalRef 1-C30
    A document which listed the customs and practices of a community, manor or parish

    CutRef 1-139
    A woven cloth, smaller than a piece

    CutRef 1-2888
    Only a few stretches of the local rivers are navigable. The problem was solved in the 17th/18th century by the construction of cuts. These were navigable canal connecting the navigable sections of the rivers, and bypassing the non-navigable river sections. These were authorised by Acts of Parliament.

    See Navigations

    CutpurseRef 1-C82
    A mediæval term for a thief who robbed people by cutting their purse or the strings which held their purse

    CuttleRef 1-138
    To fold a piece of cloth in a zig-zag fashion, instead of rolling. The end was then wrapped around the bundle

    CWGCRef 1-1113

    See War Graves Photographic Project

    Cycles & cyclingRef 1-3570
    There were several local manufacturers of bicycles when cycling became popular in the late 19th century and several clubs were established

    CymaRef 1-C86
    A type of moulding used in a cornice

  • © Malcolm Bull 2024
    Revised 13:39 / 5th June 2024 / 183776

    Page Ref: B113_C

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