A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1923.
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The parish of Middlesbrough included in 1831 the townships of Middlesbrough and Linthorpe, and covered 2,300 acres. (fn. 1) Practically the whole of this area, besides parts of the townships of West Acklam, Marton, Normanby and Ormesby, is now included in the municipal borough of Middlesbrough, which is co-extensive with the civil parish. A part of Linthorpe township has been transferred to the civil parish of Stockton-on-Tees. The ecclesiastical parish of Middlesbrough has been divided since 1860 into nine parishes. (fn. 2)
Down to the 16th century the land of the parish belonged for the most part to two great religious houses. The church of Middlesbrough itself was granted by Robert de Brus to form a cell to Whitby Abbey, (fn. 3) and a few monks lived here down to 1534. (fn. 4) The Priors of Guisborough had a considerable amount of land in all the vills of the parish and a grange at Ayresome in the township of Linthorpe. Both Guisborough Priory (fn. 5) and Byland Abbey owned fisheries in the River Tees. (fn. 6)
In the charters of Whitby Abbey and Guisborough Priory are many old place-names which have now disappeared. William son of Richard de Linthorpe granted the Abbot of Whitby 'half an acre over Wlfholes . . . and one acre at Hungerscotes . . . 5 roods at Suarthouker . . . and one at Kirkegate which abuts on Depedale.' (fn. 7) These names recur in a grant made by William son of Richard son of Ascelin de Middlesbrough, who also granted land at 'Prestesic,' 'Gildhusmor' and 'Hengandekelde,' all within the territory of Linthorpe. (fn. 8) A place called Wandailes, on the banks of the Tees, (fn. 9) is also mentioned in charters. Anna Brignell had land in 'Wandalls' in Linthorpe in 1618. (fn. 10)
There is no record of mining operations carried on in the parish by the monks, but in 1366 Isabel de Fauconberg, widow of the overlord of Middlesbrough, had as dower 'one third of the toll of Middlesbrough and one third of the profit arising from marl, mines of slate, iron, &c., so that she may take profit of mining at will, and from the court of Middlesbrough for search of the River Tees.' (fn. 11)
In 1791 there must have been disused gravel-pits in the township of Middlesbrough. When on the partition of the estate of the Hustlers their land here was assigned to Richard William Peirse, Thomas Hustler retained the privilege of taking gravel and sand from the Middlesbrough quarry or gravel-pit, paying Mr. Peirse 1d. a cart-load. (fn. 12) The population of the place at that time must have been very small. At the beginning of the 19th century the township was a dreary and swampy expanse, containing four farm-houses, with a population of twenty-five persons. (fn. 13) The church was in ruins and the churchyard uninclosed, though it was still occasionally used as a burialplace. (fn. 14) The township of Linthorpe appears to have been in rather better case. Here the new village of Newport, an outport of Stockton-on-Tees, had come into being. (fn. 15)
Twenty years later the population of Middlesbrough was forty. It seems, therefore, that the tradition of the single house which stood in the township in 1828 is not quite correct. It was in the latter year that the Stockton and Darlington railway was extended, largely owing to the exertions of the Pease family, to the Middlesbrough side of the Tees. Edward and Joseph Pease, (fn. 16) with several other Quaker men of business, realized the value of this tract of riverside ground as the site of a new coaling port and purchased 500 acres on which to erect their staiths and lay out the town. The purchasers, who styled themselves the 'Middlesbrough Owners,' were Thomas Richardson, Henry Birkbeck, Simon Martin, Joseph Pease, jun., Edward Pease, and Francis Gibson. (fn. 17) Their success was phenomenal. The first of many ships loaded with coal left Middlesbrough and passed out to sea in 1830. The local clay afforded excellent material for building, and streets radiating from a large square space designed as a market-place began to spread themselves over the vacant ground. The population of the parish in 1831 was 383, of the township 154, an increase directly attributed to the extension of the railway. During the next few years it increased in much larger proportion, and a movement was set on foot in 1836 for building a new parish church of St. Hilda. Money was readily contributed for the purpose, and in 1840 the church was consecrated. (fn. 18)
In the next year the newly made town, the population of which was now more than 5,000, entered on the preliminary stage towards incorporation. By the Middlesbrough Improvement Act of 1841 commissioners were appointed to provide for the lighting, watching and cleansing of the streets and the general improvement of the town. (fn. 19) It then consisted of the township of Middlesbrough and a piece of land of about 15 acres called Bell's Enclosure. (fn. 20) The commissioners had power at the same time to establish a market for green stuff, fish, bacon, butter and butchers' meat. The farmers of the rich Cleveland valleys made great use of this from the first. (fn. 21)
It was at about this time also that Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow and John Vaughan, the founders of Middlesbrough's most important industry, took up their residence here. (fn. 22) In the iron-works which they established in Middlesbrough in 1841 they manufactured various kinds of steel and wrought-iron. (fn. 23) It was not till 1850 that Mr. Vaughan began to work the rich deposit of ironstone in the Cleveland hills, extending from Eston through Normanby and Kirkleatham. (fn. 24) The first of the Middlesbrough blast furnaces was made in the next year, and the production of pig-iron in this district gradually increased till in 1900 it produced one-third of the total output of Great Britain; well over a million tons were shipped from the port in 1908. Middlesbrough is the centre both for the smelting of iron and the manufacture of steel, and the export of these is mainly responsible for the increasing importance of the port.
In 1853 a royal charter was granted by which Middlesbrough became a borough, and the powers of the Improvement Commissioners were vested in a corporation under the title of the mayor, aldermen and burgesses. (fn. 25) The first mayor was Mr. Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow, one of the two men who had contributed so largely towards the prosperity of the town. The corporation took as its motto 'Erimus,' (fn. 26) and the subsequent record of Middlesbrough has been one of almost unchecked expansion. Numerous 'Improvement Acts' have been passed for the enlargement of the borough. In 1856 it was divided into three wards, (fn. 27) in 1866 into four. (fn. 28) It now contains ten wards, called St. Hilda's, Vulcan, Exchange, Cleveland, Cannon, Newport, Acklam, Ayresome, Linthorpe and Grove Hill, and is governed by a mayor, ten aldermen and thirty councillors. The population of the county borough in 1901 was 91,302, in 1911 it was 104,767. In 1867 the borough was enfranchised, and Mr. Henry W. F. Bolckow was elected as its first member of Parliament. The final stage of its development was reached in 1888, when under the Local Government Act it was made for certain purposes a county borough. Proposals are now being made to extend its area so as to include parts of Linthorpe, Marton, Ormesby, Cargo Fleet, South Bank and Grangetown. (fn. 29)
Middlesbrough now (1913) covers 2,823 acres of land in a curve of the River Tees. Between the bank of the river and the northern edge of the town is the ironmasters' district, a strip of land completely covered with iron and steel works. The North Eastern railway runs alongside of it, and another branch of the same railway cuts across the curve further to the south and ends at the docks. Between these two branches lies the earlier part of the town, which is unique among English towns of its size in the uniform modernity of its buildings. From the market-place, which has St. Hilda's Church at its northeast corner, on part of the site of the old church, four streets—North Street, South Street, East Street and West Street—run at right angles to one another, and the rectangular arrangement so begun has been followed, with necessary modifications, in the further extension of the town. South Street continued becomes the main road to Linthorpe, which is crossed at right angles by Corporation Road and Borough Road.
Middlesbrough Docks, which are at the east of the town, were first opened in 1842, and have been enlarged till at the present day their area is 26 acres. They are entered by a channel from the river, and on the west are approached by the North Eastern railway, which divides into an enormous number of branches to provide accommodation for standing trucks. At the point where the branches meet is the railway station, which was rebuilt in 1877. Middlesbrough is now linked with Redcar by an extension of the old Stockton and Darlington line and with Guisborough, North Skelton and the coast line of the North Eastern by a branch line.
Of the other town buildings the most notable are the Royal Exchange, near the railway station, which was opened in 1868, the town hall, in the Albert Road, built in 1887, and the new Public Library in Victoria Square, which has been endowed by Mr. Carnegie.
South of the town is the Albert Park, extending over 72 acres. It was presented to the corporation in 1866 by Mr. Bolckow. (fn. 30) The inhabitants of this somewhat gloomy town find its grounds a pleasant refuge.
There are now nine churches in the town, (fn. 31) some of which possess chapels of ease, and numerous Nonconformist chapels, six of which belong to the Wesleyans, five to Methodist sects, four to the Baptists, and two to the Congregationalists. The Friends have meeting-houses and the Presbyterians have three churches. The town is the head of a Roman Catholic diocese, and has a Roman Catholic cathedral in Sussex Street, opened in 1878 to replace a smaller church dating from 1854, and the church of St. Patrick in Marsh Street.
The industries of Middlesbrough are now very varied. It retains much importance as a coaling station, in spite of the near neighbourhood of Stockton, from which it was separated in 1861 and made an independent port. The shipments of coal in 1912 amounted to 58,700 tons. By far the largest export, however, is pig-iron, manufactured iron and steel being second in importance. There are wire-works in Newport and engineers and boiler-makers in Middlesbrough.
In 1862 Messrs. Bolckow, Vaughan & Co. in boring for water discovered a deposit of rock salt at the base of the Keuper marl of the district. (fn. 32) The salt industry has since assumed some importance, and the Middlesbrough Owners have works just outside the borough at Cargo Fleet. There are also works belonging to the Salt Union, Ltd., and the Cleveland Salt Co. Various associated chemical manufactures have also been established.
The manufacture of earthenware at Middlesbrough was established in 1831 and continued till 1887. (fn. 33) At Linthorpe the manufacture of art pottery from the local clay was begun in 1879 by Mr. J. Harrison. It flourished for ten years, and then decayed owing to the death of the founder. Linthorpe ware, however, attained a considerable reputation, and a loan exhibition was held at Middlesbrough in 1906 at the Dorman Museum. (fn. 34)
No mention of MIDDLESBROUGH by that name occurs in the Domesday Survey, nor is there anything to show how its name arose except vague traditions of a Roman settlement. (fn. 35) It is never called a manor till the 16th century; in the 11th century it was probably included in the manor of Acklam. (fn. 36) It belonged with Acklam to the Brus fee, (fn. 37) and an overlordship here seems to have followed the descent of Skelton (q.v.) into the hands of the Fauconberg family. (fn. 38)
Before 1130 Robert de Brus granted to Whitby Abbey the church of Middlesbrough with 1 carucate of land, on condition that certain monks should reside here and perform divine service. (fn. 39) To the carucate of land other grants were added by the Ingram, (fn. 40) Malebiche, (fn. 41) and Acklam (fn. 42) families, and in 1274 the holding of the Abbot of Whitby was said to be 'a moiety of the town.' (fn. 43) In 1285 Middlesbrough was exempt from geld as part of the liberty of Whitby. (fn. 44)
At the Dissolution the cell or priory was worth £12 a year, (fn. 45) and more than 100 acres of land were let to various tenants. (fn. 46) A lease of it was made to John Harrys 'of the Household' in 1543 for thirty years. (fn. 47) In 1564, however, it was granted in fee to Thomas Reve, William Ryvett, and William Hechins. (fn. 48)
In 1572 the site of the priory was in the possession of Anthony Roue (Roove), who sold it in that year to William Robinson. (fn. 49) The Robinsons held what now began to be called the 'manor of Middlesbrough' (fn. 50) till the early 18th century, but very little is known of them. William Robinson died in 1589 seised of the 'manor or capital messuage' and other buildings, gardens, and land. The estate was settled on his wife Frances with remainder in tailmale to George Robinson, (fn. 51) whose kinship with him is not specified. George Robinson was in possession in 1596–7, (fn. 52) a John Robinson in 1645, (fn. 53) and another George was holding the manor in 1681. (fn. 54) In 1726 the lord of the manor was again a George Robinson, (fn. 55) after which the family is not mentioned. Possibly the estate was sold at about this date in parcels. At the beginning of the 19th century there were no manorial rights. Part of the estate had come into the hands of William Chilton, who in 1829 sold 500 acres to the Middlesbrough Owners. (fn. 56) This was sold in building sites for the new town. There is still a firm of Middlesbrough Owners, whose business is the buying and selling of land.
Some land in Middlesbrough belonged to the priory of Guisborough, (fn. 57) and was granted at the Dissolution to Thomas Lord Wharton. (fn. 58) It seems to have come into the hands of the family of Boynton (fn. 59) of Acklam, and must be that 'grange of Middlesbrough' which was sold to William Hustler with the manor of Acklam (q.v.) in 1637. (fn. 60) It followed the descent of the manor of Acklam till 1791, when on the partition of the Hustler estates it was assigned to Richard William Peirse. (fn. 61) In 1808 it had been sold to various purchasers. The Acklam representative of the Hustler family was then the principal proprietor, (fn. 62) and still owned land in Middlesbrough in 1840. (fn. 63)
Like the rest of the parish AYRESOME (Arusum, xiii cent.) formed part of the Brus fee. (fn. 64) The overlordship followed the descent of the manor of Yarm (q.v.), passing to the Thwengs (fn. 65) and afterwards to the Darcys of Knaith. (fn. 66) A mesne lordship belonged in the 13th century to the Percys of Kildale. (fn. 67)
The family of Ingram, connected with the Ingrams of Ingleby Arncliffe (fn. 68) (q.v.), were lords of Ayresome at the earliest period for which there is any evidence. The first member of the family whose name is known is William Ingram, whose son John (fn. 69) held 4 carucates here in about 1130. (fn. 70) He had a daughter and heir Adeline, who married Robert son of Ernis. (fn. 71) Their heirs were the family of Vere of Goxhill, (fn. 72) who were holding land here in the early 13th century. (fn. 73) It seems clear, however, that their land in Ayresome had passed before 1365 to the family of Boynton of Acklam. Thomas Boynton obtained a grant of free warren in his demesne lands here in that year. (fn. 74) From 1365 Ayresome followed the descent of Acklam (q.v.), passing with that manor to the Hustler family. (fn. 75)
A carucate of land in Ayresome was granted by John Ingram in the early 12th century to Guisborough Priory. (fn. 76) This was confirmed by Simon de Vere in the 13th century. (fn. 77) Other grants to Guisborough were made by the family of Linthorpe, by Henry Ruffus of Ayresome, and by Simon Fitz Walter, (fn. 78) and in 1539–40 the prior's estate contained a capital messuage and was called a manor. (fn. 79) It was granted in 1544 to Thomas Lord Wharton, (fn. 80) who in 1560 sold it to Robert Tempest. (fn. 81) It seems probable that this estate came ultimately by purchase to the Boyntons, (fn. 82) and passed with the rest of Ayresome to the Hustler family.
Land in LINTHORPE (Levingthorp, xiii cent.; Leventhorpe, xiv–xvi cent.; Lynthorpe, xvii cent.) was also part of the Brus fee. (fn. 83) The overlordship passed with the manor of Yarm (q.v.) to the Thwengs and afterwards to the Darcys. (fn. 84)
Linthorpe belonged in the 12th century to the family of Acklam, whose lands were inherited by the Boyntons. (fn. 85) This manor followed the descent of Acklam (q.v.) through the Boynton family, and passed with it in 1637 to William Hustler. (fn. 86) Thomas Hustler, lord of the manor of Acklam, was lord also of Linthorpe in the middle of the 19th century. The place has now been absorbed into Middlesbrough, and there are no manorial rights.
Fifteen acres of land in Linthorpe were granted by William de Middlesbrough to Whitby Abbey. (fn. 87) William de Linthorpe granted St. Hilda of Middlesbrough 3 perches of land in the field of Linthorpe on the bank of the Tees. (fn. 88) The total rental of Whitby Abbey here in the reign of Henry VIII was 23s. 4d. (fn. 89)
A fishery on the Tees and some land were granted to Byland Abbey by William de Acklam, and confirmed by his descendant Thomas Boynton in 1392. (fn. 90) Guisborough Priory also had possessions here which in 1301 included a grange. (fn. 91) It was granted with Ayresome Grange to Thomas Lord Wharton in 1544, (fn. 92) and probably followed the same descent.
The family of Cosyn of Linthorpe appears in connexion with all the different vills in the parish during the 12th, 13th and 14th centuries. (fn. 93) William Cosyn in 1277 forfeited his land in Linthorpe by staying in Scotland after the king by proclamation had ordered all the English to leave, (fn. 94) though he pleaded that his disobedience was due to 'weakness of body being ninety years of age.'
The church of ST. HILDA (fn. 95) was apparently destroyed at the close of the 17th century. (fn. 96) In 1730 a faculty was obtained for the building of a new church at Newport, (fn. 97) and a great part of the ruins was carted there for incorporation in the contemplated building. The plan was not, however, carried into effect, and the pillars, mouldings and stones were put to secular uses. (fn. 98)
Some traces of the old chapel were found in 1846, when a farm-house, which had been built on the site, was taken down. Portions of a square-headed 15th-century window with cinquefoiled lights were found in the walls, together with fragments of 12thcentury moulded stones. (fn. 99)
The new church of ST. HILDA was erected in 1839 in the Gothic style of the day, and consists of chancel, wide aisleless nave, and west tower and spire. The chancel was rebuilt in 1889. The nave has five tall pointed windows on each side, a flat plaster ceiling and a wide west gallery approached from a staircase in the tower. The only relic of antiquity is the circular stone font, which dates from the 12th century. It was restored to the church in 1889 from Darlington, whither it had been conveyed about half a century before, when the site of the cell was laid out for building purposes. (fn. 100) The bowl is 2 ft. 3 in. in diameter and 1 ft. 8 in. high, and is covered with rude shallow carvings disposed vertically between incised lines. (fn. 101)
The plate consists of two chalices, two patens, a flagon and a salver of mediaeval design, presented in July 1898 by the sons of the Rev. J. K. Bealey, late vicar. A plated set of two cups, two patens and a flagon apparently date from the year of the opening of the church. (fn. 102)
The parish of ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST was formed out of St. Hilda's in 1864. (fn. 103) The church is of brick and stone in 14th-century style, consisting of chancel, nave, aisles, transept, chapel, and west tower with spire.
The consolidated chapelry of ST. PAUL was formed from St. John's and West Acklam in 1873. (fn. 104) The church, of red brick and stone, was built in 1871 in 14th-century style, and consists of chancel, nave, aisles, and embattled octagonal tower with spire east of the chancel arch.
The district chapelry of ST. PETER was formed from St. John's in 1874. (fn. 105) The church, which was built in 1871, is a plain building of red brick in 13th-century style, and consists of chancel, nave and tower.
The parish of ALL SAINTS was formed in 1879 from parts of St. John's and St. Paul's. (fn. 106) The church is a cruciform building of red brick and stone in 13th-century style, consisting of chancel with aisles, nave with aisles, west porch and bell-turret.
The parish of ST. BARNABAS was formed in 1897. (fn. 107) The church, built in 1891, is of red brick with stone dressings.
The parish of ST. AIDAN was formed in 1901 (fn. 108) from parts of St. John's, St. Paul's, All Saints and St. Barnabas. The church, which is of wood, was built in 1899 by voluntary labour.
The parish of ST. COLUMBA was formed in 1903 (fn. 109) from All Saints. The church, a building of red brick with stone dressings, consists of nave with eastern chapel and tower.
The church of Middlesbrough was in the early 12th century a chapel to Stainton. (fn. 110) Shortly after Robert de Brus granted it to Whitby Abbey a dispute arose between the monks of that abbey and the canons of Guisborough, who owned Stainton Church, as to the tithes belonging to the chapel. They were gathered from 12 carucates of land in Middlesbrough itself, Ayresome, Linthorpe and Acklam. An arrangement was made by which each house had the tithes from 6 carucates, Whitby taking those from 4 carucates in Ayresome, 1 in Linthorpe and their own land in Middlesbrough. (fn. 111) At the same time the canons of Guisborough acknowledged the claim of Middlesbrough to be a mother church.
The church was appropriated to the abbey before 1291, (fn. 112) but no vicarage was ordained. The Prior of the cell of Middlesbrough appointed a secular chaplain (fn. 113) until 1452, when on representations that the income of the church had fallen so low that the chaplain could not be supported, he received permission to serve the church himself or with the assistance of his fellow monk. (fn. 114) This arrangement was, no doubt, still in force at the Dissolution, as no mention is made of the payment of a chaplain.
The advowson does not seem to have been included in the grant of the site of the monastery to Thomas Reve. George Wright conveyed to his brother Edmund Wright his lease of the parsonage with the tithes in 1543. (fn. 115) Nothing more is heard of the tithes till the end of the 17th century, when they were in the possession of the Hustler family. (fn. 116) Sir William Hustler paid £10 to support a chaplain. (fn. 117) The advowson remained in his family, following the descent of the manor of Acklam (fn. 118) (q.v.) till 1860, when Thomas Hustler exchanged it for the advowson of West Acklam, which was held by the Archbishop of York. (fn. 119)
The lights of the Holy Cross, the Blessed Mary, St. Katherine and St. Hilda are mentioned in 1453. (fn. 120)
Thomas Richardson's educational charity, founded by deeds dated 29 March 1844, 17 November 1846, 18 May and 8 November 1847, consists of an annuity of £30 charged upon 600 square yards or thereabouts in Lower Commercial Street, and of £450 1s. 1d. consols, arising from investment in 1877 of accumulations of income, with the official trustees, by whom the dividends, amounting to £11 5s., are remitted to the education committee of the county borough. The charity is regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners, 1878, whereby the rent-charge is vested in the official trustee of charity lands, and the income applied in scholarships tenable at the secondary school.
In 1858 Robert Scott, by will proved at York, left £95 2s. 7d. consols for the benefit of the poor. The same testator devised a portion of his residuary real estate to Isaac Marwood and Thomas Marwood, who by deed of settlement of 25 September 1871 declared the trusts thereof for the benefit of the poor, the recipients to be selected by the vicar and churchwardens of St. Hilda's and the mayor. In 1906 the trust estate consisted of a dwelling-house and shop in Bridge Street and a house and shop in Graham Street, producing in net rents £31 5s. 7d., which with the dividends on the stock, amounting to £2 7s. 6d., was divided among thirty-five recipients.
The North Riding Infirmary, situated in the Newport Road, was opened in 1864, and was supported mainly by voluntary contributions and interest of legacies temporarily invested. In 1878 Mr. Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow, by his will proved 27 July, bequeathed £5,000 as an endowment fund, which has been invested with the official trustees in £4,700 Corporation Waterworks 3¾ debenture stock and in £117 5s. 6d. consols, producing £179 3s. 8d. a year.
The United Presbyterian church and schoolrooms in Newport Road, Hill Street and Johnson Street, comprised in a deed dated 15 February 1865, are regulated by a scheme of the Charity Commissioners dated 20 November 1900, whereby trustees were appointed, and the church and schoolrooms were directed to be held upon the trusts of a deed approved on 25 April 1879 by the synod of the Presbyterian Church of England.
The High School in Albert Road, the site of the buildings and grounds of which, containing 2½ acres or thereabouts, was the gift of Sir Joseph Pease & Partners, was founded by indenture and deed poll, both dated 11 June 1877.
By a scheme of the Board of Education, 21 July 1909, the lands and hereditaments belonging to the foundation are vested in the mayor, aldermen and burgesses of the borough, and the governing body thereby constituted consists of the statutory education committee for the time being appointed by the town council under a scheme of 16 April 1913. Provision is also made for the control of the boys' and girls' secondary schools.
In 1894 John Gillow, by will proved on 7 May, directed his trustees (among other charitable legacies) to set apart a sum of £5,000 to form a fund, to be designated 'The Gillow of Lilystone Hall Trust,' for religious and educational purposes in the Roman Catholic diocese of Middlesbrough. The estate was insufficient to pay the legacies in full, and the amount available for this trust was invested in the purchase of £2,360 London and North Western 4 per cent. stock and £693 10s. 3d. consols, producing an income of £111 14s. 8d.
St. John the Evangelist.—In 1878 Henry William Ferdinand Bolckow, by will proved 27 July, left £200 for the support and maintenance of the National school, which was founded in 1875. The legacy was invested in £199 15s. consols with the official trustees, by whom the dividends, amounting to £4 19s. 8d., are paid to the education authority.