Treasures of The Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society

The YAHS library and archive contain many treasures and curious items of
interest on all sorts of topics. These short articles will give you a taste of some
of the fascinating things to be found in our collections.

Cogan’s Charity School, Hull
Cogans Charity School HullThe YAHS has collected many ephemeral printed items - this ranges from histories of buildings, pamphlets and guidebooks through to clerical sermons. Amongst these are some reports and descriptions of Charity Schools. One that caught our attention is about a school in Hull.
Rules to be strictly observed and enforced by the parents or friends of girls admitted into the Subscription School Salthouse Lane - continue


The York Mystery Plays
York Mystery Plays
The YAHS library collection contains files full of interesting pamphlets including some on the city of York. As you can imagine there are quite a few on the York Mystery Plays. The booklet that particularly caught our attention was a programme for the first production of the Cycle, since 1572, in 1951. In medieval times the plays were continue


FuneraliaThe “funeralia” is a detailed account of the funeral of Christiana (1716-1767), wife of Francis Fawkes (1707-1789). Christiana died in London on 14 July 1767, and was buried in All Saints Church, Otley on Saturday 25 July. The journal is part of the Farnley Hall papers (DD146).

The funeral journal gives a detailed continue


skipton court rollsBrawling women in Skipton, 1671
The Yorkshire Archaeological & Historical Society is fortunate to have on deposit, courtesy of the owners of Skipton Castle, an impressive set of court rolls relating to the Skipton area dating back to the thirteenth century (DD121).

I was looking at some of the seventeenth century Skipton Burgess court rolls, which include many presentments for affray (fighting). Unfortunately, few details are given apart from the continue


Dr Heaton’s diariesDr Heaton’s diaries
The Society is indebted to Dorothy Payne, for her recent donation of John Deakin Heaton’s diaries to the Archives, in memory of her late husband, Brian.

Brian and Dorothy Payne wrote about Dr. Heaton in the 1973 volume of the Publications of the Thoresby Society, Miscellany 15. In this they recalled that he was an eminent citizen of Leeds in the nineteenth century, a physician at the General Infirmary, President of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society, and one of the founders of the Yorkshire College of Science, now the University continue


kriegie coverThe Yorkshire Post, Kriegie Edition
This edition of the Yorkshire Post (MS1553) was produced by a group of Yorkshire airmen in a German POW camp in 1944. It was the idea of Sgt Richard Pape who has worked on the editorial staff of the Yorkshire Post prior to the outbreak of war. It took over five weeks of painstaking work to complete.

The contents of the Kriegie Yorkshire Post are varied; from cartoons, poems reports of life in the camp including entertainments, portraits of some of the camp members to articles on sport, Yorkshire’s heritage and buying a house.

The foreward by James A.G. Deans the Camp Leader reads:
“It is natural that the P.O.W. should think much continue


Mary Bateman, The Yorkshire Witch


Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary for Diseases peculiar to Women

Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary for Diseases peculiar to WomenThis pamphlet concerns a hospital in Sheffield that would be for Sheffield a pioneer establishment. On the 11th of December 1863 a public meeting was held at the Cutlers’ Hall that was attended by the leading citizens of Sheffield.
The following resolution was unanimously passed that-
“in the opinion of this Meeting it is desirable to establish in this town a Lying-in Hospital and Dispensary for Diseases peculiar to Women”.

Perhaps the august body present were continue



The Installation Feast of George Neville, Archbishop of York, 1465

The Installation Feast of George Neville, Archbishop of York, 1465George Neville was a brother of the Earl of Warwick (The Kingmaker). Richard III, then the Duke of Gloucester, attended the enthronement and the feast that followed. Richard sat at the first table in the “Cheefe Chamber”. At the same table were the two daughters of the Earl of Warwick – Isabel who later married George, Duke of Clarence, and Anne, who became Richard’s wife. George Neville officiated at both the marriage ceremonies. George tried to be neutral but his close association with his brother, the Kingmaker, brought him into continue


Medieval deeds

Medieval deedsMedieval deeds were not usually signed, but were authenticated by sealing and by quoting the names of witnesses. But deeds – and also seals – were sometimes forged and so indentures came into use as a protection against fraud. For a deed involving two parties, a pair of indentures was made thus:
Two copies of the deed were written on the same sheet of parchment and separated by an indented i.e. toothed cut (Lat. Dens, dentis a tooth). One copy was held by each party so that at a future date they could be placed together to check that all the indentation matched.

Although indented deeds are well known, continue


The Luddites and Charlotte Bronte

The Luddites and Charlotte BronteAlong with many of my fellow countrymen I am a great devotee of the novels of the Bronte sisters. I have read all the novels, seen all the films and follow any TV adaptation. Exploring sites associated with the novels has provided me with several happy days out. Many years ago I remember watching an old black and white film adaptation of the novel Shirley. The scenes of the Luddites being repelled by soldiers at the mill have been etched on my memory ever since. I knew that Charlotte had based the events on a real life incident that had been related to her by her father. continue



Royal Fireworks

Royal FireworksWhilst reorganising the library Janet discovered an interesting pamphlet from 1749 describing “the machine for the fireworks”; this item, on account of its age, has now been transferred to the archives. This pamphlet is 14 pages long (it should be 16 pages, but unfortunately the final 2 pages are missing from our copy).

The full title of the pamphlet is “A Description of the Machine for the Fireworks, with all its ornaments, and a detail of the manner in which they are to be exhibited in St. James's Park, Thursday, April 27, 1749, on account of the General Peace, signed at Aix La Chapelle, October 7, 1748.”

The description of these fireworks was published by order of his Majesty's Board of Ordnance. The Board, based at the Tower of London, continue


Wakefield Court Rolls

Wakefield Court RollsThe Wakefield court rolls are an almost complete series of manorial rolls documenting the business of the manor of Wakefield from 1274 to the dissolution of the manor in 1925. The manor was one of the largest in England and covered not just Wakefield, but a huge area of the West Riding from Holmfirth to Halifax, Heptonstall, Dewsbury and Normanton. The court rolls are probably the longest and most complete set of English court rolls to survive.

The court rolls are written in ink on parchment and after 1737 on paper, bound together at the top “exchequer style”. In some cases a paper draft is also preserved along with the final official parchment copy of the court roll. Originally all the rolls were stored continue


Regrettably our collections are currently unaccessible pending their relocation to the University of Leeds later this year. Please see the news page for information about future access arrangements through the University.