Background Information



RRef 1-2483
In mediæval times, a vagrant might be branded with the letter R for rogue.

See Vagrant Acts

RabbitRef 1-1918
The animal was introduced to Britain by the Normans. In mediæval times, rabbits were an important source of food, and were valued for their fur. They were bred in warrens and pillow mounds, and were caught by nets and by ferrets. Hardy varieties were bred and were able to live in the wild.

Adult animals were known as coneys.

See Rabbit coursing

Rabbit coursingRef 1-1170
Along with bear-baiting, bull-baiting, cock-fighting and hare-coursing, rabbit-coursing was popular at markets, fairs and feasts until the early 20th century.

The rabbit was chased by dogs – possibly greyhounds or lurchers – as a test of the dogs' skill.

See Grantham Park, Rastrick

RabiesRef 1-706
A viral disease transmitted by a bite from an infected animal, typically from a dog. It is usually fatal. In 1890, a muzzling order was brought into force in the West Riding. This brought the number of incidences down from 85 in 1889, to 35 in 1890.

Some local cases concerning rabies include Joseph Henry Goodyear, Samuel Nothard, William Rawson the case in June 1869, the policeman fined in 22nd January 1891, and the workers at Firth House Paper Mills in 20th November 1891.

See Dr Joseph McCarogher McWilliams

RaceRef 1-2628
A channel, or leat, which leads from to, or away from, a mill wheel

RaddleRef 1-197
Wires which guide and separate the threads as they pass to the loom, spacing the warp to the correct width and density

RadicalsRef 1-2377
A political group which agitated for the right to vote, freedom of the press and other issues.

See John Baines, Barracks, Sir Alfred Billson, Mr J. Booth, Brighouse & District Radical Association, Chartism, Tom Cliffe, William Cobbett, Richard Cobden, Abraham Fielden, Halifax Radical Association, Hampden Club, Abraham Hanson, Labour & Health Inn Halifax, Edward Miall, Midgley Radical Association, William Milner, Feargus O'Connor, Peep Green, Hartshead, Edward Davis Protheroe, Radical Bob, George Henry Smith, John Snowden, Michael Stocks, William Thornton, Robert Wilkinson and Benjamin Wilson

Rag-picker's diseaseRef 1-34
A name for anthrax which could be caught from cloth made from the wool of infected sheep

Rag wellsRef 1-1969
A well where rags and articles of clothing are left as votive offerings – as at Mother Shipton's Well, Knaresborough.

In some cases, the cloth might be hung in a tree with a wish for good health or for a cure for an illness. As the cloth rotted, it was believed that the illness would be cured.

See Pin wells

RailingsRef 1-1065
Most of Britain's iron railings were painted black on the death of Prince Albert.

Like those in many other parts of Britain, the purely decorative railings in Calderdale were removed for use during World War II, although many were simply stockpiled and never used because they were made of cast iron which was unsuitable for use in the production of military equipment. It has been said that the railings were removed purely for propaganda purposes. There are rumours that some were dumped in the North Sea. The stumps of the railings can still be seen.

See Halifax Parish Church Railings

Railways Act [1921]Ref 1-1138
Also known as the Grouping Act, this sought to reorganise the 120 private railway companies into 4 new companies from 1st January 1923. Prior to the enactment of the Act, in 1922 the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway was incorporated into the London & North Western Railway, only for this company to be incorporated into the London, Midland & Scottish Railway the following year. The Great Northern Railway was incorporated into the London & North Eastern Railway

RaisingRef 1-209
A process in cloth-making in which fabric is passed between rotating rollers covered with teasels, fine wire, or carborundum, so that the surface fibres are pulled out or broken to produce a layer of protruding fibres

RakeRef 1-610
An Old English or Norse element used in surnames and place names, such as Hollingrake, Outrake, and Salter Rake Gate, meaning a steep path leading to moorland pasture, or the pasture itself, or the valley with the path

Rakuyo MaruRef 1-130
On 12th September 1944, 1,317 British & Australian POWs were put onto the Japanese Hell Ship Rakuyo Maru along with others for transit from Singapore to Taiwan & Japan.

The Rakuyo Maru and her sister ship the Kachidoki Maru – with a further 950 POWs – were spotted by US submarines USS Growler, USS Pampanito and USS Sealion; both ships were mistaken for cargo ships and torpedoed. 1159 POWs died.

The Americans realised they had hit transport ships and returned to the scene 4 days later, only 63 men were pulled from the sea alive.

Several local servicemen died in the attack, including

Many of those who were killed are remembered on the Singapore Memorial

RamsonRef 1-436
Aka Rams, Ransoms. A name for wild, broad-leaved garlic.

See Ramsbottom and Ramsden

RapeRef 1-R9
An administrative unit during the Saxon period. In Sussex, this was equivalent to a hundred

Rat WeeksRef 1-379
The Rats & Mice (Destruction) Act [1919] required occupiers of lands and premises to destroy any rats there and to keep them free from infestation.

National Rat Weeks were introduced to focus public attention on the necessity for taking action in the destruction of rats. These were usually held at the beginning of November.

In 1939, it was suggested that local authorities pay 1d per tail for any tails delivered to the appropriate officials.

The Rat Weeks were generally discontinued around 1939

Rating of Machinery Bill [1837]Ref 1-R13
In July 1837, Edward Crossley for the Halifax Poor Law Guardians, the Greetland Local Board, the Stainland-with-Old-Lindley Local Board, the Soyland Local Board, and the Barkisland Local Board presented a petition against the bill

RavelRef 1-2218
Aka Yeoman's bread. A sort of bread eaten by the mediæval middle classes and made of wholemeal

Reading & writingRef 1-R17
Only the clergy were able to read until the late Middle Ages. William Tyndale wanted a
bible able to be read even by a ploughboy
There was considerable opposition from the church. Caxton's printing made books available to a wider audience.

See Mark

RealRef 1-2971
A Spanish coin worth one eighth of a dollar

See Foreign coins and Testern

ReceiptRef 1-R20
This was an old word for recipe

RecognisanceRef 1-R6
A legal document representing an obligation or bond – or to pay a penalty on failing – which is acknowledged in court or in the presence of an officer authorised by law. The obligation was to appear in court or to be of good behaviour for a specified period of time

Recovered wool industryRef 1-355
From the early 19th century, cloth, often of inferior quality, was manufactured wholly or partly from reclaimed wool.

See Heavy Woollen District and Industry

Red Rose RentRef 1-700
An arrangement by which land or property was granted in return for a nominal yearly rental payment of one red rose. The rose was presented by the grantee to the grantor on a specific day each year.

Although the rose was a token, the agreement was binding, and if the rose was not presented on the due date, then the contract was broken and the land/property reverted to the grantee.

See St Mary the Virgin, Illingworth and Stansfield Hey, Ripponden

Red TriangleRef 1-776
A part of the YMCA movement.

See Boys' Red Triangle Hut, Halifax and Halifax Red Triangle Cricket League

ReedRef 1-201
A comb-like series of wires which were used in weaving to position and close the weft threads together on the loom, to determine the exact spacing of warp threads in the woven fabric.

The mechanism was made by a reed maker.

There were a great many reed makers in the district.

See: Slay / Sleying hook

ReeveRef 1-927
Any of various types and ranks of minor local official, often a tenant elected by his peers to deal with the lord of the manor. The reeve may also have been a royal official who collected taxes on behalf of the king.

The name greave was also used.

The word comes from the Old English gerefa

A sheriff was originally a shire-reeve.

See Beadle, Church ale and Moss reeve

Reform BillRef 1-377
From 1832, there were several pieces of legislation concerning voting and electoral matters.

See Chartism, MPs for the West Riding and Todmorden & Lancashire

ReformationRef 1-321
An attempt to reform the Catholic Church which began with Martin Luther in 1517.

RefugeesRef 1-2084
During World War I and World War II, people from many parts of Europe came to Britain to escape the atrocities of the war.

In 1940, many people from the Channel Islands came to the district. During World War II, children from threatened parts of Britain – such as London – were evacuated to safer country districts.

In 1944, people from the Belgium came to the district.

See Brighouse Channel Islands Society and Halifax War Refugees Committee

Register [1939]Ref 1-1258
Taken at the outbreak of World War II, in September 1939, a Register was made of all people living in Britain.

The information recorded as

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Occupation
  • Address

See Census

RegrateRef 1-2312
The practice of buying goods outside the market with a view to reselling them. Laws were passed to prohibit this.

See Forestall

ReisRef 1-2994
A Portuguese gold coin.

The Cragg Vale coiners concentrated their efforts on reproducing the 4,000 reis coin of 1772.

See Foreign coins

RelictRef 1-2660
A word used on monumental inscriptions and documents

Jane relict of John Greenwood

to mean Jane was the widow when her husband died some time before.

The word is a form of a Latin word meaning the one left behind.

In documents, you may encounter the Latin terms relicta [widow] and relictus [widower]

ReliefRef 1-1042
A fee which was paid to the lord of the manor on the death of a tenant by their heirs in respect of freehold land.

Contrasts with heriot.

See Indoor relief and Parish relief

ReligionRef 1-R5
See Baptists, Congregationalism, Methodism, Nonconformism, Presbyterianism, Salvation Army, Quakers and Unitarianism

Remitting feverRef 1-861
A fever which – unlike a continued fever – subsides or abates from time to time

Removal orderRef 1-1072
An instruction – typically made by Justices of the Peace – which was used to send poor people back to their parish of settlement for maintenance

RemovedRef 1-2609
The word removed is used in family relationships – such as first cousin once removed – to indicate that the 2 people are in different generations.

For example you and your first cousin are in the same generation – that is 2 generations below your common grandparents.

The child of your first cousin is your first cousin once removed, that is one generation below that

RenaissanceRef 1-R18
The revival of art and literature under the influence of classical styles – such as the round arch – in the 14th/16th century, which signified the end of the Middle Ages

ReplevineRef 1-1135
Restoration or recovery of distrained goods on security given for submission to trial and judgement.

See Replevy

ReplevyRef 1-1132
Recover by replevine

Reservist / Reserve soldierRef 1-1174
Someone who is a member of an army or military unit not committed to immediate engagement in military action.

Such people might have a regular job in peacetime, but, in the event of a war or other military action, could be called-up for training and service in the armed forces if necessary.

See Territorials

Restricted BywayRef 1-2684
A right of way for the public on foot, riding or leading a horse and with any non-motorised vehicle such as a bicycle or horse-drawn vehicle

ReswornRef 1-2322
A re-evaluation of a person's will during the probate process. Possibly because new effects or estate has come to light

RettingRef 1-243
The process of rotting the stems of flax to break down the woody matter and cellular tissue surrounding the fibres in the production of linen. In dew-retting, the flax is laid on grass, relying on dew to carry out the process. In water-retting, the flax is submerged in still or slowly-running water.

Hemp undergoes a similar process.

See Scutching

RhubarbRef 1-1076
The plant rheum rhaponticum has long been known for its medicinal qualities. The plant was brought to Britain from its native Siberia. It arrived in the 16th century.

Halifax & Calderdale lie outside the Rhubarb Triangle – Leeds, Bradford, Wakefield – which produces most of the country's forced rhubarb.

Forced rhubarb is grown indoors in artificial light. The practice was discovered in the south of England in the 19th century, but the first sheds were built in the rhubarb triangle. Shoddy is used to cover the growing plants. At one time, Yorkshire produced 90% of the world's forced rhubarb

RicketsRef 1-787
A disease of children caused by deficiency of vitamin D which is essential for the absorption of calcium and the development of the bones. Symptoms are softening of the bones, leading to bow-legs, hunched back, and deformed head.

The dark rooms and polluted atmosphere also meant that less vitamin D was produced from the sun's rays

RiddingRef 1-R23
A form of Riding

Ridge & furrowRef 1-1120
The raised ridges and sunken furrows which are produced when the same selions are ploughed repeatedly

RidingRef 1-1081
In Celtic times, the Yorkshire area was divided into the British kingdoms of Loidis and Elmet.

After the conquest of York in AD 867, the Vikings divided the county of Yorkshire into three ridings:

There was no South Riding.

The 3 ridings were retained until the UK boundary changes in 1974, when the area was redistributed into

The word comes from the Old Norse þriðjungr [a third part]

See MPs for Yorkshire and Todmorden & Lancashire

RidingRef 1-773
The word is related to rode, royd, ridding and ryding – all meaning a clearing or place cleared of trees and stones ready for cultivation. The element and its various forms are used in many local place names, and hence as a surname

Riding the stangRef 1-1759
A 19th century practice – common in the Yorkshire Dales and the Wolds – in which a gang of youths paraded around the community shouting out the misdeeds of anyone who acted immorally or intemperately, or who flouted local customs and practices, ridiculing and shaming the offender. In some areas, an effigy was made of the offender and a placard giving details of the offence was hung around the neck and the effigy placed on a long wooden pole – the stang – or a ladder. The procession was carried 3 times round the parish church and past the offender's home.

In Brighouse, the ceremony was carried out in Brighouse Fields on 10th December 1873.

See Rough music

RiggsRef 1-2505
Folds or ridges which are created when a piece of cloth is left for too long a time in the stocks of a fulling mill.

See Catrigg'd

Right of SanctuaryRef 1-1429
See Abjuration of the Realm

Rights of WayRef 1-2674
See Bridleway, Byway open to all traffic, Footpath and Restricted byway

RingRef 1-1125
A unit of capacity and volume equal to 4 bushels

Ring spinningRef 1-1881
A method of spinning in which the yarn passes through a small ring to guide the thread as it is wound on to the bobbin.

This superseded mule spinning and the machines took up less space.

The method was used in mills and factories from the 1950s onwards.

See Ring spinning

Ring the gavelockRef 1-2733
A gavelock is a large iron crowbar used in quarrying. For special events, such as the marriage of a work-mate, the gavelock was suspended from a chain and struck = ringing the gavelock

RingyardRef 1-R8
A thick hedge which formed a boundary to the townfield in the open field system

RiserRef 1-2269
See Staircase lock

Rising of the lightsRef 1-793
A disease characterised by choking or breathlessness. The lights are the lungs

The Rochdale PioneersRef 1-65
The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was a group of 30 people – including 10 weavers – who established a co-operative society in 1844. They opened their shop at Toad Lane, Rochdale, on 11th August 1844.

12 years earlier, on 24th November 1832, 24 members paid their subscriptions of 1/- and the Ripponden Co-operative Society was formed.

See William Mallalieu

RodRef 1-1147
Aka Goad, Lug, Perch, and Pole. A unit of length, equivalent to 5½ yards = 1/320 th of a mile.

In some regions, the rod is 6 yards, or the Yorkshire pole of 7 yards.

The word is also used for a unit of area, equivalent to one square rod, that is, 30¼ square yards or 36 square yards. 40 rods make 1 rood

RodeRef 1-R16
A form of royd.

See Riding

Rogue moneyRef 1-R1
A contribution of 8d per week which a parish had to pay for the support of poor prisoners in gaol

RolagRef 1-R3
After carding, the slivers of wool might be wound into a roll known as a rolag

RollRef 1-1130
Sheets of parchment stitched together to make a long, continuous strip. When not in use, these were rolled up.

Rolls were used for making records such as Assession rolls, Charter rolls, Close rolls, Court rolls, Muster rolls, Pipe rolls.

Early rolls were 30 ft or 40 ft in length. Later rolls were about 5 ft long.

See Custos rotulorum

Roll of HonourRef 1-1019
A list of names honouring those who served and/or died in military conflict.

These were often men/women who lived in a particular area, or worked for a particular company, or attended a particular church or school.

Question: Please email me if you have any photographs and/or transcriptions of any Rolls of Honour in Calderdale


See War Memorials

Roller-skatingRef 1-372
Roller-skating was popular around 1875 and again in 1907, and several local establishments catered for the craze.

The first roller-skating rink opened to the public at Belgravia, London, in August 1875.

Locally, roller-skating has been offered at venues including American Skating Rink, Halifax, Arnold Binns, Brighouse Skating Club, Burton's, Halifax, Electric Theatre, Halifax, Empire Theatre, Brighouse, Exley Zoo Skating Rink, Gibson Mill, Hardcastle Crags, Halifax Skating Rink, Arden Road, Halifax Skating Rink, Clare Hall, Mabel Hill, Jubilee Café & Rink, Sowerby Bridge, Olympia Cinema, Todmorden, Olympia Skating Rink, Todmorden, Palace Rink, Brighouse, Miss Mary Quinn, Sowerby Bridge Town Hall, Todmorden Skating Rink Company, Victory Rink, Sowerby Bridge and Billy Weatherall

See Arnold Binns

Roller-spinning machineRef 1-159
Spinning device invented by John Wyatt about 1733

RoodRef 1-1158
A unit of area of land: a quarter of an acre. 40 rods made one rood

RoodRef 1-1561
A large cross or crucifix – with Christ on the Cross and the Virgin Mary and St John kneeling on either side at the foot. This is often placed at the entry to the chancel, or on the chancel arch or the rood screen of a church.

It is typically made of wood, and the word is related to rod, and originally meant wood, referring to the cross.

It might also be painted on the chancel arch

Rood loftRef 1-1609
A gallery or balcony across the west face of the chancel arch and above the rood screen and upon which the rood stands. It may carry candles, the crucifix, or other images

Rood screenRef 1-1421
Also pulpitum. A carved, wooden or stone screen separating the chancel from the nave of a church. It symbolically separated the congregation in the nave from the ritual domain of the priest in the chancel.

The rood and the rood loft stood on top of the screen.

There may be a staircase to reach the rood for ceremonies during Lent and Easter. The screen was less common after the Reformation, and many were destroyed during the Commonwealth.

See Choir screen

RookRef 1-1106
A unit of weight equal to 1½ tons = 3360 pounds

RoomRef 1-R22
A unit of weight equal to 7 tons

Room & powerRef 1-1804
A scheme devised by William Clegg whereby tenants rented space in his Todmorden mills and used his steam power to operate their own looms. This was an important factor in the local cotton industry.

It subsequently spread to other areas.

See Bancroft & Wilcox, Jonathan Barker, Canteen Mill, Todmorden, Frieldhurst Mill, Cornholme and Halifax Room & Power Office

A free Internet forum for anyone who is researching their family history or local history.

In Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion, i have used some items of information kindly sent to me by people responding to my questions on the website. Unfortunately, most of the informants are known only by their ROOTSCHAT pseudonym. These are listed in the ROOTSCHAT entry

RootsWeb.comRef 1-2344
A vast – possibly too big to navigate easily – collection of genealogical information, pages and mailing lists for anyone tracing their family history

Rope industryRef 1-354
Rope is produced from hemp and sisal, and the manufacture of rope and twine in the West Riding increased as the linen industry declined from around 1850.

See Hemp industry, Industry and Rope walk

Rope raceRef 1-1055
Aka Rope alley, Belt race. A shaft or area housing the ropes which transferred the power from the main engine house to drive the machines on the individual floors of a mill

Rope walkRef 1-1073
Aka Band Walk.

A long room in along the worker walked whilst feeding out the fibres to make rope.

The twisting of the fibres was achieved by turning a wheel to which the end of the rope was fixed.

See Rope Walk, Wainstalls

RoseRef 1-R4
See Tudor rose and Yorkshire rose

Rose's Act [1812]Ref 1-R19
Aka George Rose's Act.

The Act required three forms of registration – baptisms, marriages, and burials – to be recorded in separate bound registers from 1813.

See Parish register

Rose-nobleRef 1-2941
A popular name for the ryal from the image of a large Yorkshire rose

See Noble

Rose RyalRef 1-2964
A coin worth £1/10s/- issued in 1604 by James I

See Ryal

Rose windowRef 1-284
A circular window with a central circular light surrounded by – typically – 6 circular lights arranged in petal-like formation around a 7th. The surrounding lights may be kite-shaped rather than circular – as at Kershaw House. The design probably originated in 12th-century France. A design of 1599 shows one with 12 lights. They are found in Halifax houses from around 1630, and are unique to the Halifax-Bradford region.

The name is often used to include apple-and-pear windows and wheel windows.

See William Akroyd, Barkisland Hall, Booth Independent Church, Bradley Hall, Holywell Green, Heath Grammar School, Kershaw House, Luddendenfoot, New Hall, Elland, Saint John the Divine, Rishworth, Square Congregational Church, Halifax and Wood Lane Hall, Sowerby

Roses & castlesRef 1-2886
A traditional art form which is used to decorate narrow boats.

See Buckby can

Rotation of cropsRef 1-R11
An agricultural practice in which the crops grown on arable and cultivated land were changed each year in order to improve the productivity of the land, to maintain the mineral and organic content of the soil, and to eradicate weeds, insects, and plant diseases.

Typically the land would be divided into 3 sections – possibly 3 fields. One year, a field would be used to grow corn; the next year, it would be used to grow clover, peas or beans, which put nitrogen back into the soil, and in the 3rd year, the field would be left fallow. This pattern would be applied to the other fields in rotation.

The technique was used across Europe from mediæval times.

See Manor

Rotation OfficeRef 1-R24
An office staffed by Justices of the Peace at fixed times during the day, where victims could go to report crimes, and from which constables could be sent to find and arrest the culprits. Those arrested were examined there

Rough musicRef 1-1757
A mediæval practice of making a noisy demonstration – banging pots and pans – outside the house of anyone who acted immorally or intemperately, or who flouted local customs and practices, shaming the offender.

See Riding the stang

Rough rockRef 1-R7
Aka Millstone grit

RouncyRef 1-R25
A term – runcinus, runcus – used in Domesday Book for a horse used in agriculture

RoundheadsRef 1-R12
Aka Parliamentarians

RoundsmanRef 1-2501
A system which gave odd jobs to the unemployed poor. The Overseer of the Poor gave a pauper a ticket which he took round to farmers. If the farmer had work, the labour had to do this for the same money that he would have received from poor relief

RovingRef 1-239
A stage in the processing of wool when the carded and combed wool was drawn off the cards as a thick skein of parallel fibres for spinning.

The skein was known as a roving.

The work was done by a rover

Roving bridgeRef 1-1487
Aka Turnover bridge or Snake bridge. A bridge which carries the tow path from one side of the canal to the other. This allows the horse to cross the canal without disengaging the harness. There is an example at Brighouse Canal Basin

Row housesRef 1-1304
The term row houses is used in the USA for the UK terraced houses

Royal ArmsRef 1-529
From the Reformation and the establishment of the Church of England, the Royal Coats of Arms were displayed in churches. They were also used to decorate – and to show loyalty to the sovereign – in many houses in the district.

Some local examples are – or were – to be found at Beanhole Head, Cross Stone, Binroyd, Norland, Cinderhills, Northowram, Granny Hall, Brighouse, High Bentley, Shelf, Howroyd, Barkisland, Lightcliffe Old Church, Elland New Hall, Norland Lower Hall, Halifax Parish Church, St Thomas's Church, Heptonstall, St Andrew's Church, Stainland, St Anne's in the Grove Church, Southowram, Coley Church, St Mary's Church, Illingworth, St Matthew's Church, Rastrick, St Paul's Church, Cross Stone and St Peter's Church, Sowerby.

Charles I imposed a tax of 10/- for anyone who wanted to display the Royal Arms

Royal British LegionRef 1-R15

Royal diseaseRef 1-786
Aka Porphyria

Royal Flying CorpsRef 1-550

The Royal Flying CorpsRFC – was formed in 1912.

It was the over-land air arm of the British military during most of World War I. During the early part of the war, the Corps's responsibilities focussed on supporting the British Army, by artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance. This work gradually led RFC pilots into aerial battles with German pilots, and, later in the war, included the strafing of enemy infantry and emplacements, the bombing of German military airfields and later the strategic bombing of German industrial and transportation facilities.

It was disbanded in 1918

Royal ForestersRef 1-2106
A 19th century benevolent society.

See Ancient Order of Foresters and Court Sublime Lodge

Royal Garrison ArtilleryRef 1-704
Abbr RGA. Established in 1899. A division of the Royal Artillery which was responsible for manning British coastal defences

Royal KnightRef 1-943
Knight attached to the king's household. Some also served as sheriffs, constables of castles and in other roles to which they were appointed by the king.

See Knight and Social classes

Royal PeculiarRef 1-1978
A peculiar which falls under the personal authority of the sovereign

Royal successionRef 1-1811
The line of succession to the British Throne is determined by primogeniture and by religion – the heir cannot be Catholic or have married a Catholic

RoyalistRef 1-412
Aka Cavaliers. Those who fought on the side of the King during the Civil War.

Some local individuals who were on the Royalist side, included The Gledhill family of Barkisland, The Murgatroyd family, Sir Thomas Beaumont, Captain Thomas Beaumont, William Blythman, Richard Brighouse, Matthew Brodley, Captain Clapham, Francis Clark, Bryan Cooke, Rev Henry Crabtree, John Crossley, Captain Nathan Drake, Rev Samuel Drake, Anthony Foxcroft, Sir Richard Gledhill, Colonel Sir William Huddlestone, Colonel Sir Richard Hutton, Bishop John Lake, Tobias Law, Francis Mackworth, Dr Richard Marsh, James Murgatroyd, Earl of Newcastle, Prince Rupert, Sir William Savile, Rev Jonathan Schofield, Abraham Sunderland, Captain Langdale Sunderland, George Wentworth, Sir George Wentworth, John Whitley and Joshua Whitley

See Decimation and Parliamentarian

RoyaltyRef 1-2785
A right granted by the king to the lord of the manor to execute thieves and other felons caught within the boundary of the manor

See Gibbet Law

RoydRef 1-601
Used in place names – such as Akroyd, Boothroyd, Hangingroyd, Kebroyd, Mytholmroyd, Holroyd and Murgatroyd. The Old English element means a clearing, or place cleared of trees and stones ready for cultivation. The word is from the local pronunciation of rode, and is derived from the same roots as rid.

Many place names using this element are found along the Calder valley.

Typically, royds were cleared with the permission of the Lord of the Manor. This is recorded in the 12th century. The land would then be enclosed and the Lord would charge a rent.

The element is also the origin of the surname Royds and Royd.

See Assart

Royd landRef 1-89
Land cleared for cultivation – see Royd.

This is an alternative term for assart and intake

RSPCARef 1-2049
The RSPCA – originally just the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals – originated in the 1820s and a Halifax branch was established in 1880.

The first premises were near Harrison Road, and then in Weymouth Street, then at Barum House.

In 1938, the Society took over premises at Woolshops.

In 196?, they moved to new premises next door, and the old building was demolished.

In 1980, the Society moved to its present purpose-built premises on Wade Street

The RSPCA national 24 hour cruelty and advice line is 0870 5555 999

Rural district councilRef 1-729
Abbr: RDC. An administrative body responsible for local affairs in smaller towns and villages. These were introduced by the Local Government Act [1894]


RushlightRef 1-1160
A candle which used the pith of the rush as a wick

RusselRef 1-2926
A fine, ribbed cloth made of cotton and wool. It was used for making scholastic gowns.

It was produced in Norwich [1572]. The name is derived from the Belgian name Rejssel for the town of Lille.

Records for Akroyd's mill show that they produced the fabric in 1803

Russia CompanyRef 1-498
Aka The Muscovy Company. An organisation established in 1555 to trade with Russia

RyalRef 1-2949
In 1464, Edward IV introduced a ryal – or rose noble – coin worth 10/-, a half ryal coin worth 5/- and a quarter ryalcoin worth 2s/6d. The name comes from the French royaux. The image of a large Yorkshire rose gave the coin its popular name of rose noble. Henry VII re-introduced the ryal for a short time. In 1604, James I issued a rose ryal coin worth £1/10s/- and a spur ryal coin worth 15/-

© Malcolm Bull 2024
Revised 19:54 / 28th March 2024 / 73005

Page Ref: B113_R

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