Thomas Batho


The following newspaper reports describe the career of Thomas Batho in Holmfirth hostelries

The Moors [1851]:

At a meeting of the sporting gentlemen of this neighbourhood and Saddleworth, held at the house of Mr Thomas Batho, the Wessenden Head Inn it was agreed that, partly on account of the Huddersfield Cloth Market being on the 12th and partly for other reasons, it was agreed to postpone the opening of the shooting season till the following day, the 13th. The latter day was a very unfavourable for sport. During the early part of it, the weather was rather wet and very foggy on the moors: and in the afternoon the Thunder Storm came on. A considerable number of gentlemen however braved the weather and with true sportsman's spirit ranged the wastes the whole day. We understand however, the birds are rather scarce, though several sportsmen met with very good success, one gentleman from the neighbourhood of Meltham, killing 15 brace of birds in a few hours. The postponement of the opening was confined to the neighbourhood of the Isle of Skye (Holmfirth area)

Pic-nic Party:

On Saturday last, Mr J. Beardsall, H. Beardsall and a large party of ladies and gentlemen from the neighbourhood of Holme and Holmbridge formed a party and visited the Isle of Skye and Belle Monte. They arrived at the house of Mr Batho, the Wessenden Head Inn, early in the morning, and after ordering tea for the whole company, proceeded to the top of Belle Monte, an adjoining hill, which commands a beautiful view and extensive prospect. Between five and six o'clock the party returned to the inn, where they partook of an excellent tea, after which the time was agreeably spent in dancing and other amusements till about 9 o'clock in the evening when they returned, we doubt not highly delighted with the days excursion.

When we arrived at the Wessenden Head Inn we were received by Mr Batho, the landlord, with one of his blandest smiles. He manifested great willingness to perform any little service we might require, and to render our stay at his house as interesting as possible. A table is laid out with all the requisites for a comfortable tea. The Landlady a fine managing woman, bustles about till the perspiration starts from every pore. It is not our intention to a minute description of her, though she is well worth one.

As soon as this was finished we rang the bell and asked for the company of our host for a short time. He came and sat himself down, and in compliance with our urgent request gave an account of some of the engagements he had been in during the time he served under Lord Hardinage, Governor – General of India during the years 1845 and 1846. From November in the former year to February in the latter, the detachment of the British Army were encamped near the town of Bootawalla, about two miles from the river Sutlej, on the banks of which was situated the encampment of the Sikhs. The village of Bootawalla consisted of about 200 or 300 houses or huts, one storey high. They were formed of mud, and covered with bamboo twigs and straw. The inhabitants worshipped the God Brahma.

We asked our host to give us some information from his own observations respecting the manner and customs of the people. He however informed us that in consequence of the unsettled state of the country, together with the strictness with which the people observed their religious prejudices, all opportunities of observing their habits were denied. His information therefor was confined to the movements of the army in which he served, and the various engagements in which he took part. He was at the battles of Moodkee, Ferozeshubhar and Sobraon.

After spending about two hours very pleasantly in the company of the host and hostess, we started on the last stage of our journey home


Offences against the Beerhouse Act:

On Wednesday last, at the Town Hall in Holmfirth, before William Leigh Brook and Joshua Moorhouse Esq, Superintendent Heaton charged Thomas Batho, the Landlord of the Wessenden Head Inn, with having company in his house during the hours of Divine Service, on the afternoon of the 4th ultimo, some of whom were neighbours, and the worse for liquor. Constable Earnshaw corroborated Mr Heaton's statement, and on the defendant admitting the offence he was fined in the mitigated penalty of 1s and 13s.6d expenses

Offences against the Beerhouse Act:

Constable Earnshaw, as nominal complainant, preferred a charge against Thomas Batho, the landlord of the Wessenden Head Inn, for having his house open for the sale of beer, and persons drinking therein, during the hours of Divine Service, on the afternoon of Sunday 16th ult. Superintendent Heaton said that on the afternoon in question he went to the defendant's house at twenty minutes before four o'clock and found fourteen persons drinking and smoking in the kitchen, part of whom were considerably the worse for liquor. He knew some of the parties by sight, who lived in the neighbourhood of Hinchcliffe Mill and Meltham. In another room he found six persons drinking whom he did not know. The defendant acknowledged the offence, and as there had been two previous convictions recorded against him for similar offences committed on the 4th July and 28th August 1852, he was fined in the penalty of £2 and expenses

Innkeepers Beware:

On Saturday last, at the magistrates office, before W. L. Brook, J. Moorhouse and J. Charlesworth Esqs. A charge was laid against Thomas Batho mine host of the Wessenden Head Inn, for the keeping his house open for the sale of beer on the 13th August last, during the hours of afternoon service. The offence was acknowledged, but defendant stated his inability to get the company away. Fined 10s and costs 16s

Thomas Batho the landlord of the Wessenden Head Inn was also charged with having company in his house on the same day at a quarter before 12 o'clock in the forenoon. Mr Heaton said that the house was full of company from Huddersfield, Cleckheaton, Meltham and other places, and he did not think that when people went there for the express purpose of pleasure and drinking, they would come within the meaning of the statute as travellers, The Bench were of similar opinion, and inflicted a penalty of £1 and costs

Licenses Transferred from Thomas Batho of the New Inn, Austonley to Elizabeth Hanley of Almondbury.

Annual Licensing day: The whole of the renewals were granted with the exception of Thomas Batho of Austonley for misdemeanour


© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:13 / 15th May 2021 / 9266

Page Ref: MMB1872

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