Records of Kendale: Further records

Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 3. Originally published by Titus Wilson and Son, Kendal, 1926.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


'Records of Kendale: Further records', in Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 3, ed. John F Curwen( Kendal, 1926), British History Online [accessed 23 July 2024].

'Records of Kendale: Further records', in Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 3. Edited by John F Curwen( Kendal, 1926), British History Online, accessed July 23, 2024,

"Records of Kendale: Further records". Records Relating To the Barony of Kendale: Volume 3. Ed. John F Curwen(Kendal, 1926), , British History Online. Web. 23 July 2024.

In this section


A coarse woollen cloth made from the worst wool and used for clothing the very poor of London and other towns.

The fabric is mentioned in a Statute of 13 Richard II (1390) as not being subject to the Statute of 1328 which fixed a minimum length and breadth of each piece woven (to be measured by the King's Aulnegar (fn. 1) and if found short forfeited for the Royal benefit as follows:—Item, although it be ordained by divers statutes, that all manner of Cloths of Ray and Colour shall be of a certain Length and Breadth comprised in the same Statutes; nevertheless, for as much as it hath been a common custom to make certain cloths in divers Counties of England, called Cogware and Kendal Cloth, of the breadth of three-quarters of a yard, whereof some be of the Price of 40d. and some 5s., and sold to Cogmen out of the Realm and also to poor and mean People (fn. 2) within the Realm, of the which Cloth a great Part is made of the worst Wool within the Realm that cannot well serve for any other Cloths; It is accoran to make such manner of Cloths of the Length and Breadth aded and assented that from henceforth it shall be lawful to every ms it hath been used before this Time, notwithstanding any Statute made to the contrary; Provided always, that the Makers and Workers of such Cloths shall not make them of any better Wool than they were wont to do."

In the Parliament of 5 Henry IV (1403/4) the Commons prayed the king "that as of your special grace there was granted to all liege subjects within the realm of England, in the Parliament held at Westminster in the first year of your reign, that of no cloths called Kendale-cloth, nor any other cloth whereof the dozen shall not exceed the value of 13s. 4d., even if it has not been sealed with any seal great or little nor any subsidy should be taken of it for three years ensuing, the which are now passed; And now those who are the Auneours within your aforesaid Realm constrain the poor Commons to pay for the seal of each dozen 1¼d. for those of which the dozen does not exceed the value of 4 or 5 shillings. May it please your very abundant grace to grant in the present Parliament in relief of all the lieges within your aforesaid Realm, that no cloth from this day forward called Kendale-cloth, nor any other cloth, narrow or wide, the dozen of which does not exceed the value of 13s. 4d. within your aforesaid realm should be sealed with any seal little or great and that no subsidy should be taken upon it, and that no forfeiture should fall upon it considering that the first imposition of the aforesaid subsidies from the aforesaid cloths, the sealing of the same, commenced in the time when Waltham was Treasurer of England. Response:—Let the matter be committed to the Council to do with it what seems best to them by authority of Parliament. Rolls of Parliament, m. 4, n. 70; printed Rot. Parl. iii, 541.

By the Statute of 9 Henry IV, c. 2 (1407) it is ordained and established that no cloth called Kendale Kersey, Frieze of Coventry, Cogware, nor any narrow cloth, nor remnant of cloth of England or cloth of Wales, of which the dozen does not exceed the value of 13s. 4d. should be sealed with any of the king's seals nor aulnage great nor little to be paid for the same. And that the owners might freely sell the said cloths unsealed without forfeiting anything to the king for the same, notwithstanding any statute or ordinance made to the contrary Rolls of Parliament, m. 6, nos. 34, 35; printed Rot. Parl. iii, 614.

In the Parliament of II Henry IV (1410) the Commons informing "our very excellent Lord the King" that as in the case of cloths of colour there is a custom or tax called Cocket, (fn. 3) and that the Auneours who bear the seals to seal cloth exact the cocket and payment for the seals from the poor lieges of the Lord King upon cloths called Kendales, Kerseis, Narrow backs, Cogware, Coventry ware, Friezes of Ireland and Wales of which the dozen does not exceed the value of 13s. 4d., which cloths were never wont to be sealed nor to pay any such custom called Cocket in the times of your very noble progenitors formerly Kings of England whom God 'assoile.' May it please the King to consider the great poverty of his poor lieges and the unbearable charges and losses which they bear from one day to another insomuch that they cannot longer endure them; and to grant in the present Parliament by Statute to be made that none of the poor lieges of our Lord the King from this day forward shall pay any custom nor pay for the seal little or great on such cloths called Kendales, Kerseys, Narrow backs, Cogware, Coventry ware, cloths of Ireland and of Wales, nor for any remnant of two, three or four verges, (fn. 4) if the dozen of such cloths does not exceed the value of 10s. Response:—May it be the custom as in the past. (Rolls of Parliament, m. 3, n. 64; printed Rot. Parl. iii, 643).

In 1579 the Aldermen and Burgesses of the Burgh of Kirkbie Kendall "Ordeyned that none of the head burgesses or of the xxiiij Assistants (beinge no shearmen) shall for one year nexte make any woolen clothes but suche as they shall sell rowe (raw-cloth) excepte it be for ther owen wearinge Karseys (course stuff woven from long wool) white or blak cottons or Kelters (kilt, course woollen stuff) save Cnapmen Salters or comon dryvers of clothes w[hi]ch may make so muche as they can sell in ther ordynary walks and not otherwise and save to Mr. ffox (an Alderman) libertie to sell suche ffrece and cottons as he shall make in his howse when he will . . . . . And that every Inhabitannt (not beinge a shearman) makinge clothe shall dight all ther flrece by some freman shearmen at his shopp or howse and not otherwise vpon payn to lose vis. viijd. wheroff to the Chamber iijs. iiijd. and to the company (of Shearmen) iiis. iiijd. K. Boke of Recorde, 118.

By the Statute of 7 James 1, c. 16, "for the encouraging of many poore people in Cumberland and Westmerland, and in the townes and parishes of Carptmeale, Hawkeshead and Broughton, to continue their trade of making Cogware, (fn. 5) Kendals, Carptmeales and course cottons, whereas by the Statute of 9 Henry IV it was enacted (as above). Sithence the making of which statute the sayd Kendals and other course things of like nature and made of the like course wooll and differing in name onely, called Cogware, course cottons and Carptmeales, have been made in such sort as the parties which made the same were able, and as best might please the buyer, without being limited to any certain weight, or to any assyze of length or breadth, and were never searched nor sealed with any seale nor subject to any penaltie for the not sealing thereof nor any subsidie nor aulnage payed for the same, until of late that certaine evill disposed persons, contrary to the true meaning of the said law, have by colour of a late statute made in the 39 yere of the Reign of the late Queen Elizabeth, intituled an Act against the deceiptfull stretching and taintering of Northerne cloth, endevoured to make the said Cogware, Kendals, Carptmeales and course cottons subject to search and have demanded for the same divers severall summes of money for the seale of the collector of the subsidie and aulnage, to the great vexation and trouble of the sayd poore people. Be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent Majestie etc., that from henceforth all Cogware, Kendals, course cottons and Carptmeales, which are, or hereafter shall be made within the sayd Countyes of Cumberland and Westmerland, or within the sayd townes and parishes of Carptmeale, Hawkeshead and Broughton, whereof the dossen shall not exceed the rate and price of 13s. 4d., shall be made in such sort, as may best please the buyer; and shall not be searched nor sealed with any of the King's seales nor with any other seale nor any subsidie or aulnage great or little paid for the same. But that the owners of such Cogware, Kendals, course cottons, and Carptmeales may freely sell the same, not sealed, as they have been accustomed, without forfeiting anything to the King for the same, any lawe or statute or any branch or clause of any lawe or statute heretofore made to contrary notwithstanding."

Cornelius Nicholson in his Annals of Kendal says that the plant genista tinctoria or Dyer's Broom was brought in large quantities to Kendal from the neighbouring commons and marshes. This plant, after being dried, was boiled for the yellow colouring matter it contained. The cloth was first boiled in alum water, for the mordant, and then immersed in the yellow dye. It was then dried and submerged in a blue liquor extracted from woad, which combined with the yellow, produced the solid green so much celebrated.

Among other allusions to Kendal cloth in English Literature (fn. 6) are the following:—

Lydgate. 1425. "On his head he had a threadbare Kendal hood."

Barclay. 1524. "His costly clothing was threadbare Kendal green."

Sir Thomas Moore. 1532. Confutation of Tyndale. "Tyl he doe of his gray garments and cloth himself cumley in gaye Kendal greene."

Discipline of Commonwealth. 1550 "A serving man is content to goe in a Kendall cote in summer."

Shakespeare, Henry IV. 1598. "Three misbegotten knaves in Kendal green."

Coryat's Crudities. 1611. Panegyric to the Mayor of Hartlepool. "Put on's considering cap and Kendal gowne."

Scott, Rokeby. 1813. "A seemly gown of Kendal green."


In the Browne MSS. (vol. ix, nos. 27–30) there is a "perfect roll of all the rents within the Barony of Kendale," made in 1635, in which we find:—

Parish of Kendal £552 1 8
" Grasmere 47 6 0
" Windermere 91 6 8
" Heversham 219 10 0
" Beetham 73 0 0
" Burton 35 0 0
Sum total for the Kendal Ward 1018 4 4
" " Lonsdale Ward 300 7 6
£1318 11 10
" in the Bottom of Westmorland 1531 19 5
Total rent of Westmorland £2850 11 3

On 21 August, 1635, it was agreed by the undersigned that in all taxes hereafter to be made, the Bottom of Westmorland is to be a ninth part more than the Barony.

John Lowther
Christopher Dalston
Christo. Philipson
Henry Bellingham
Christo. Dudley
Gawen Braithwaite
Christo. Lancaster.

A similar roll (ibid. nos. 31–34), made in 1662, gives the rents as for the

Kendal Ward £1042 4 0
Lonsdale Ward 300 6 8
Sum total for the Barony 1342 10 8

signed, Allan Bellingham

James Duckett

Daniel Fleming

Thomas Braithwaite

Nicholas Fisher.

On 23 March, 1667, George Browne the high constable presented his account (Browne MSS., vol. i, n. 7) as follows:—

The whole rent of Kendal and Lonsdale Wards is £1320 12 2
Assessment of 9d. in the pound realizes 49 10 5
of which the Lonsdale Ward portion is 11 6 0
Kendal Ward portion 38 4 5
less sundry expenses 5 4
£37 19 1
Disbursed toward the repair of:—
Sprint Bridge £6 0 0
Milnthorpe Bridge 13 0 0
Crowder Bridge 10 0 0
House of Correction 5 0 0
Levens Bridge 1 7 1
Bridge in Grasmere 3 6
35 10 7
Balance remaining in my hands £2 8 6

The following basis, standard or valuation for the purposes of the county rate under the Agricultural Rates Act, 1896, was adopted by the County Council in January, 1897, shewing the assessable value of the

Barony or Kendal Union to be £266,753
Bottom or East and West Wards 169,668

This basis was revised in 1904, again in June, 1912 and finally on 25 September, 1925, when the following became the assessable value:

The Kendal and Lonsdale Ward £330,838
The Bottom of Westmorland 134,512
Total assessable value of Westmorland £465, 350


The window tax was enacted in 1695 in order to pay for the recoinage of silver. We give below the duty payable and the increased charge made in 1712. The tax was constantly increased until in 1850 the revenue derived from it amounted to £1,832,684. It was repealed in 1851 (14 Victoria, c. 36) when a duty on inhabited houses took its place.

The High Constable in her majesty's name is to issue warrants to the Petty Constables to warn the collectors of the duties on houses and windows to make a strict survey of all houses (except cottages) and take an exact account of the number of windows or lights in each house, from one to thirty, and to charge the inhabitants or occupiers of the same without concealment, love, favour, dread or malice upon pain of forfeiture of any sum not exceeding £5. With three columns:— the first to contain the just number of windows or lights from one to thirty; the second to contain the Old Duty, i.e., for every house having under ten windows, 2 shillings, for every house having ten and under twenty, 6 shillings, and for every house having twenty windows or lights 10 shillings; and the third column to contain the additional duty according to a late act of Parliament, i.e., for every house having twenty and under thirty windows the sum of 10 shillings, and for every house having thirty windows and upwards the sum of 20 shillings, over and above the old Duty. The same to be returned to her majesty's Justices of the Peace as shall be assembled upon Saturday the 4th day of April next at the Moot Hall in Kendall. John Meredith, surveyor of the said duties, will give his attendance to accuse such collectors as shall omit any part of their duty in the premises to the end that the penalty of £20 may be levied of every offender according to law. Given under our hands and seals the 21 day of February, 1712. Browne MSS. vol. i, n. 21. In this same volume there are twenty-five similar documents.

The oppresive hearth-tax, which allowed but one fire free, quenched many a down-house smoke, but the boarding up or walling in of window lights was far more detrimental to the public health.


By the Statute 2 and 3 Philip and Mary, justices were empowered to license the poor of parishes that had more poor than they could relieve, to go begging into other parishes if they wore a specified badge both on the breast and back of their outermost garment.

By the statute of 8 and 9 William III (1702) "to the end that the money raised for the relief of such as are impotent as well as poor may not be misapplied and consumed by the idle, sturdy and disorderly beggars," persons receiving parochial relief and their wives and children were required to wear a badge on the shoulder of the right sleeve–that is to say, a large P. together with the first letter of the name of the parish or place, cut in red or blue cloth; punishment of imprisonment and whipping, or the withdrawal of relief was ordered for refusal. Moreover a penalty was imposed on churchwardens and overseers relieving poor persons not wearing such a badge.

Thus on 9 April, 1703, an Order of the Court sitting in Quarter Sessions was sent to the high constable of Kendall ward to issue warrants to the petty constables and overseers, etc., that they do not relieve any poor person excepting such as shall upon the right shoulder of their upper garment, in a visable manner wear a large roman P. with the first letter of the name of the parish or place where the poor person inhabits, cut in red or blue cloth as the churchwardens and overseers shall appoint. Kendal Order Book, 1696–1724.

Rule xviii of the "Rules and Orders for the better government of the poor in the Workhouse," reads "That all the poor relieved in this house shall wear the badge K.K.P. on the place appointed, and if any of them shall take the same off, they shall be put into the dungeon for four hours." Ashburner, Kendal, 1770.

The law continued down to 1810, when it was abolished.


A Defence of the Realm Act was passed 44 George III (1803) in consequence of Napoleon's determination to invade England.

R. B. Litchfield's Life of Tom Wegdwood (Duckworth, London, 1903) tells us how that Thomas Wedgwood, though sick unto death, could not rest without doing something towards the defence of the country. "As my health will not allow me to serve in person it is my duty to serve it by my purse. I have therefore made an offer to Government to raise a Company of Volunteers and clothe them at my expense." Wedgwood learned that about Patterdale and the Lakes, the men were eager to volunteer, he therefore went to them and formed a Company of 80 men from among the statesmen, clothing and arming them as reflemen. The cost of the Wedgwood Loyal Mountaineers before the Government allowed them a regular pay, came to about £800. They exercised through the winter of 1803/4 often 'mid-leg deep in snow many of them walking 10 miles to the field." In May, 1804 they had a great field day in Gowbarrow Park and William Wordsworth spoke to the men and dined with them. So proficient did they become that an inspecting officer reported that they were fit for immediate service and equal to being brigaded with any regiment of the line and to be sent on the most arduous duty. Mr. Litchfield says that the Company continued long after the fear of an invasion had passed away with the victory of Trafalgar, indeed up to 1812 Josiah Wedgwood, as Tom's executor, continued to provide Capt. Luff's pay and find money for other corps expenses.

By virtue of an Act of Parliament, 44 George III, entitled an "Act for establishing and maintaining a permanent additional force for the defence of this realm and to provide for augmenting His Majesty's regular forces and for the gradual reduction of the Militia of England." the magistrates at the sessions held on 4 May, 1805, assessed the several townships hereunder written the several sums of money set forth for not having provided the number of men required to serve in such permanent additional force. K. Indictment Book, 1804–1805.

Men. Fines.
Kirkland and Kendal 7 £140
Natland 1 £20
Troutbeck 1 £20
K. Lonsdale and Lordship 4 £80
Barbon 1 £20
Mansergh 1 £20
Middleton 1 £20
Ambleside 1 £20
Langdale 1 £20
Old Hutton and Holmsides 1 £20
Crook 1 £20
Beetham 1 £20
Nether and Over Staveley and Longsleddale, the three townships being fined in rateable proportion 3 £60

And whereas by an Act, 46 George III, it is enacted that the several sums paid as before said shall be refunded to the several townships and applied towards the relief of the poor, it is therefore ordered on 17 January, 1807, that the Receiver General of this county, after deducting 4d. in the pound, shall pay over the said sums to the different townships. K. Indict. Book, 1807–8 also K. Order Book, 1798–1811.


Inquiry held on 18 April, 1729. We John Archer, Tho. Shipherd, Jacob Morland, Tho. Crowle and Roger Wilson of Casterton, Esqrs., taking into consideration the excessive price of corn in the markets of K. Kendall, K. Lonsdale and Burton, have in accordance with the Statute inquired upon the oaths of Rob. Harryson of Barley Bridge, and Nich. Robinson of Stainton, gentlemen, substantial persons having freeholds of £20 a year, being neither merchants or factors for the importing of corn, but skilful in the price of corn, who make oath that the same are now bought and sold at these rates:—

Wheat by the quarter £2 14 0
Barley or Malt 1 12 6
Oats" 1 0 0
Pease or Beans" 2 4 0

Each quarter containing 8 bushels and each bushel 8 gallons, and therefore pursuant to the Statute of 22 Charles II, c. 13, and 1 James II, c. 19, we do certify H.M. Chief Officer of the Customs of the ports of Carlisle, Whitehaven and Lancaster that corn and grain in these markets is now bought or sold at the above rates, so that the customs or poundage for importing of corn into this Kingdom of England may be governed accordingly. Kendal Order Book, 1725–37).

On 19 April, 1817, it was Ordered that the County Member be requested to make application to Parliament to alter the present Act whereby co. Westmorland is considered one of the maritime counties of England for the purpose of obtaining a general average of the price of Wheat, by which such average is considerably enhanced in an improper ratio. Kendal Order Book, 1817–24.

In 1819 the average price of corn was higher in Westmorland than in any other county, owing to there being so little wheat grown except in the Eden valley which went into the Penrith market.


John Archer and Anthony Askew, esquires to all chief constables and petty constables within the county, greeting—These are to authorize will and require you and every of you (jointly and severally by virtue of a Statute enacted in the 22nd and 23rd years of the reign of the late king Charles II, enacted an Act for the better preservation of the Game and for securing Warrens not enclosed, and the several fishings of the realm) to make diligent search jointly or apart in the day time, in the houses, outhouses or other places of every person or persons inhabiting within the Townships (not having lands and tenements, or some other estate of inheritance, in his own or his wife's right of the clear yearly value of £100 per annum, or for a term of life or having lease or leases of 99 years, or for any longer term of the clear value of £150, other than the son and heir apparent of an Esquires, or other person of higher degree and of owners and keepers of Forests, Parks, Chases and Warrens), and who upon good grounds shall be suspected by you or any of you, to have and keep in his or their custody, any gun or guns and the same and every of them to seize and bring before us or some other of his Majesty's Justices of the Peace, in order to be destroyed as by the said or any other Act or Acts of Parliament prohibited to be kept by person or persons of his or their degree. Given under our hands and seals the 10th day of January, 1727. Browne MSS., vol. i, n. 76.

Whereas the court hath taken into consideration the great destruction of Game made by persons unqualified by Law so to do; it was ordered on 5 October, 1739, that the high constable of the Lonsdale Ward do forthwith sieze all guns, bows, greyhounds, setting dogs, lurchers or other dogs to kill Hares or Conies, as also Ferrets, nets or engines for taking Conies, Hares, Pheasants, Partridges or other game, from every person not having Lands of Inheritance in his own or his wife's right of the value of £100 per annum, or possessed of £150 per annum for a term of 99 years, nor being a son and heir of a Esquire or other person of higher degree, or owner or keeper of a Forest, Park, Chase or Warren, stocked with Deer, and not being truly and properly a servant to a Lord or Lady of a Manor and constituted to be a Gamekeeper by such, etc. Kendal Order Book, 1738–1750.


A true list of the cocks together with their weights and owners names which are entered to fight this day for the subscription money at George Tyson's in Troutbeck. Dated at Troutbeck, 4 April, 1771. Browne MSS., vol. ii, nos. 177, 178, 179, and 186. The losing cock received 1s. 6d. on the 2nd round, 2s. 6d. on the 3rd., 5s. on the 4th and 10s. on the 5th round.

Weight 1st round 2nd round 3rd round 4th round 5th round
No. Owner lbs. oz.
23 John Wilson 3 8 23
22 Richard Story 3 11
14 Mr. Strickland 3 13 14 14 14
1 James Mellen 3 13
21 Rob. Parkinson 3 14
15 John Tyson 3 14 15 15
16 Braith. Hodgson 3 15
13 Willm Dawson 3 15 13
20 Geo. Hayton 4 0
5 Henry Vickers 4 0 5
26 Henry Vickers 4 1
32 John Robinson 4 2 32 32
7 Geo. Tyson 4 1
19 Thos. Willan 4 2 19 19 19 19
25 Wm Long 4 3 25
10 Thos. Birkett 4 3
11 John Longmire 4 3 11 11 11
12 Chris. Forrest 4 4
28 Thos. Elleray 4 4
9 David Tyson 4 4 9
18 Jas. Akister 4 5 18 18
8 Wm Suert 4 5
3 Falowfield Wilson 4 5 3
17 Will. Birkett 4 6
27 Will. Richardson 4 6
2 Bernard Grigg 4 6 2
4 John Birkett 4 6 4 4
24 Will. Suert 4 6
29 Bernard Grigg 4
31 Jas. Hallhead 4 31 31 31 31
6 Chris. Dixon 4 7
30 Will. Story 4 7 30

Mr. Thomas Willan was declared to be the winner with his No. 19 Cock.

The value of a Silver watch estimated at £3 16 0
Landlord's gift 5 0
£4 1 0
8 losing cocks at 1/6 12 0
4 " 2/6 10 0
2 " 5/- 10 0
Last losing cock 10 0
Winning cock 1 19 0
£4 1 0

In many schools it was the annual custom on Shrove Tuesday for the boys to bring their gamecocks, the masters and pupils spending the morning in witnessing the birds fight. Wray school on Windermere was famous for this pastime and a Mr. Graham bequeathed to the boys a silver bell, to be fought for every year and to be worn on the hat of the successful cock owner. It is said that the master of Sedbergh Grammar School used to be entitled to 4½d. yearly from every boy on Shrove Tuesday for purchasing a fighting cock. At Heversham the cock-pit is still to be seen in close proximity to the old school building. The regulations of the Kendal Grammar School provided that it "be free to all the boys resident in the parish of Kendal, for classics alone, excepting a voluntary payment of a cock-penny," varying in amount according to the age and position of the pupil.

Covered cock-pits were attached to many of the principal Inns and that curious box-like erection between those flanking diamond chimneys on the roof of the Angel Inn in Kendal, which contains a room only entered by way of a trap door, could tell of many a hard fought main.

Several attempts were made to check this cruel pastime, and it was finally prohibited in the year 1849.


Specimen of a Certificate issued for the removal of Cattle on 18 April, 1747:—"These are to certify whom it may concern that the Read Heffer and the Cow, read Cieyn and calfs that Thomas Fawcett of Weesdal in ravenstondale Intends to drive to Kirkby stepen and other neighbouring Fares in order for Sale as also ale the rest of his hird of Catale from whence thay came and do belong now are and have been for the space of two Calendar Months next before the Date hearof intiarley free from the Infection or Distemper wh. now rages amongst the horned Catale in this Kingdom, etc. In Testimony whearof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 18th April, 1747. Robt, Mounsey, Cur. of Ravenstonedale. Kendal Notes and Queries. n. 1013. Also Garnett, Westmorland Agriculture, 200.

The plague continued for several years. On 11 February, 1748/9, the following Order was issued. Whereas the distemper amongst the horned cattle hath spread itself into several parts of the County of York, and this Court apprehending that the allowing of horned cattle being brought or conveyed from the said county into this county may be attended with the danger of spreading the said distemper; ordered that no Ox, bull, cow, calf, steer or heifer, whether fat or lean, or sheep shall be suffered to pass; or the slaughtered carcasses, tallow, or raw hides or skins of any Ox, bull, etc. to be brought from the said county until the next General Quarter Sessions be holden for this County or until the Court shall make other order to the contrary, and that in the meantime a strict watch shall be constantly kept at the charge of this county, to guard all roads, bridges and fords next adjoining to the said county of York and to carry all offenders herein before the next Magistrate etc. And it is hereby further ordered that no person inhabiting within this county shall remove or cause to be removed the raw hides, skins or tallow of any ox, bull, etc. from the place where slaughtered or expose or offer the same to sale at any public market or other place without producing a certificate that the beasts from which such hides, skins or tallow were taken were sound and free from infection at the time of being slaughtered. K. Order Book, 1738–50.

On 2 September, 1749, it was ordered that all markets for sale of horned cattle within Kendale and Lonsdale Wards be prohibited until further order. (Ibid.) On 19 October following it was ordered that John Battison of K. Lonsdale be appointed Inspector of such cattle as shall be infected with the distemper now raging amongst horned cattle. Ibid.

Proclamation made on 12 January, 1749/50, that whereas the good effect of putting the Laws in execution made to prevent the spreading of the distemper amongst the horned cattle have manifestly appeared in those parts where the same have been strictly observed, and on the contrary the distemper has greatly increased in such parts where the said Laws have been disobeyed; and whereas the said distemper hath broke out in several places in this county, therefore in order to prevent the spreading thereof as much as may be, etc. this court hath thought fit to appoint all and every the petty constables within this county to be Inspectors of the houses, buildings, grounds and cattle in their respective constablewicks, to be paid for their trouble out of the county rates, etc. and it is hereby ordered that all the said constables shall visit and inspect once at least every fortnight and oftener if thereto required the houses, buildings, grounds and cattle in their respective constablewicks and exhibit in writing to the said Justices an exact account of the true state of health of the horned cattle and where any are infected to distinguish them from the rest that are sound and to give an account of how many have died in any herd and whether they were removed killed and buried as His Majesty's Orders in Council direct, etc. Ibid.

On 12 May, 1750, it was ordered that Mr. Edw. Cooke, high constable of Lonsdale Ward be allowed £10 for his extraordinary care and trouble in putting the acts and orders in execution relating to the distemper amongst horned cattle. Ibid.

Westmorland suffered very badly from the foot and mouth disease which broke out in 1839, when the "Need Fire" was, perhaps, for the last time resorted to. The fire was set going at Killington and was passed through all the county, the farmers handing it from farm to farm. William Pearson (Letters, Papers and Journals, pt. ii, p. 18) tells how that on 15 November, 1840, he saw it burning in the narrow Kirk Lane at Crosthwaite and about half a dozen cattle huddled together and kept close to the smoke by a number of men and boys. "Sometimes they drove the cattle through the fire and such was the thickness of the smoke that I could scarcely perceive the actors in this strange ceremony—men and cattle."

Another cattle plague broke out in November, 1865, when stringent measures were again taken in Westmorland. On 1 January, 1867, the Chief Constable reported that" it is now six months and twentythree days since the last case of Plague occurred in Cumberland. Happily up to this time the disease has not at all appeared in Westmorland." K. Minute Book, 1859–75.

These contagious diseases were very effectively dealt with by the stamping-out process, known as the Cumberland system under John Dunn, the chief constable of the two counties. He reported to Quarter Session in 1883 that according to official records the loss caused by foot and mouth disease in Cumberland and Westmorland, during the seven years prior to the introduction of the Cumberland system, had amounted to £30,000, but that during the six years it had been in force seven outbreaks had occurred and had not spread beyond the farms on which they broke out. Garnett, Westmorland Agriculture, 201.


The Act of 3 Charles I, C. I, for the further reformation of sundry abuses committed on the Lord's Day, is as follows:—Forasmuch as the Lord's Day commonly called Sunday is much broken and profaned to the great dishonour of God, and reproach of religion; be it therefore enacted by the King's most excellent majesty, and the Lords spiritual and temporal, and by the Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same that no carrier with any horse or horses, nor waggon-men with any waggon or waggons, nor car-men with any cart or carts, nor wain-man with any wain or wains, nor drovers with any cattle, shall after forty days next after the end of this present session, by themselves or any other, travel upon the said day, upon pain that every person and persons so offending shall lose and forfeit 20s. for every such offence . . . . . All which forfeitures shall be employed to and for the use of the poor of the parishes where the said offences shall be committed or done, saving only that it shall be lawful out of the said forfeitures to reward any such person or persons that shall inform or otherwise prosecute so that such reward exceed not the third part of the forfeiture, etc.

By the Sunday Observance Act of 1677, no tradesman, artificers, workmen, labourers or other person whatsoever shall do or excercise any worldly labour, business or work of their ordinary callings, works of necessity and charity only excepted. Then followed the Act of 1781 which no doubt stirred our magistrates into action.

Proclamation made 3 October, 1781, that whereas it has been presented to us the Justices that the Lord's Day has been for some time past shamefully profaned by persons exercising their calling, doing all servile work, opening shops, using boats or barges, driving stage coaches, deligencies, waggons, carts, and other carriages, travelling for hire, drovers driving their cattle and carriers travelling and following their business on a Sunday with impunity and in such manner as gives great scandal and bad example and calls loudly for redress; the said Justices now assembled do unanimously signify their determined resolution strictly to enforce the laws and statutes made for the better observation of the Lord's Day, and to punish with the utmost severity all persons who shall henceforth be wicked and hardy enough to offend against the same statutes. And for the better effectuating the desirable purposes and good intentions of the said Statutes, all churchwardens, constables and other peace officers are hereby strictly charged and enjoined to exert themselves in the discharge of their duty by diligently enquiring after and giving the most speedy information against all such offenders. And in order the better to enable the said Justices to execute these wholesome Statutes which the wisdom of the Legislative has provided, the assistance of all good subjects and well disposed persons is hereby particularly desired, etc. That the Clerk of the Peace do forthwith get 500 copies of the above Resolution printed to distribute. K. Order Book, 1780–87.

The following are specimen convictions:—At the Sessions held on 11 October, 1805, William Howard of Natland and Richard Forrester were convicted for travelling with their horses and carts on the Lord's day commonly called Sunday.

On 18 April, 1806, Henry Slee of K. Lonsdale was convicted for travelling with his horses and cart on Sunday. On 14 April, 1809, William Stephenson of Burton and James Crosby of Kendal were convicted for travelling with their horses and carts through the town of Burton on Sunday, 12 February last past. K. Order and Indict. Book, 1798–1811.

The Sunday hiring of harvestmen ceased at Burton in 1832, but it was not discontinued in Milnthorpe until 1843. At these hirings many Irishmen attended and the day was spent in drinking and rioting. The Rev. Nicholas Padwick, vicar of Milnthorpe, on several occasions condemned the practice (see K. Mercury for 2 August, 1842) and appealed to the farmers and labourers not to attend until the Monday.


At the Sessions held on 5 October, 1812, it was Ordered that a Notice be advertised in The West. Advertiser and Kendal Chronicle, of the Justices' intention to consider at the next Gen. Quarter Sessions, the expediency and propriety of providing a Lunatic Asylum for this county, or to treat with one or more of the adjacent counties to unite for that purpose. (Kendal Order Book, 1811–17). After nearly seven years the Justices passed a Resolution, on 12 July, 1819, that it is highly expedient that a Lunatic Asylum be established in this County, and that the magistrates of the East and West Wards be requested to co-operate in the measure. Ibid.

For the Report of the Committee appointed to enquire into the advisability of providing an Asylum for Westmorland, issued on 16 September, 1846; and for the Report from Cumberland as to their arrangements with Dunston Lodge Asylum near Newcastle-uponTyne, and the conclusion that the Westmorland Committee should endeavour to enter into a similar agreement, see K. Order Book, 1839-76. For a Report of William Hope's visit to Dunston Lodge Asylum on 22 October, 1847, when he spoke to 15 Westmorland lunatics dwelling there, see the above Order Book; and for several subsequent reports, see K. Minute Book, 1839-59.

On 21 October, 1853, it was resolved that the following Gentlemen be approved as Trustees of the land purchased for the site of the proposed Lunatic Asylum at Lowry Hill, viz. Henry Howard, Henry Dundas Maclian, Charles Featherstonehaugh, William Crackanthorpe and John Wakefield. K. Order Book, 1839–76.

On 6 January, 1855, it was resolved that the Court is of opinion, before any step be taken to sell or dispose of the site at Lowry Hill, as suggested by Lord Palmerston's letter of the 28 December, 1854, the most careful enquiries should be made as to the sufficiency of the water supply on the alternative Garlands Estate, and also as to the quality and conveniency of building material, as compared with the Lowry Hill site. Should these enquiries be satisfactory then an endeavour should be made to re-sell the Lowry Hill site, etc. Ibid.

On 4 January, 1856, it was Reported that the conditional agreement with the trustees of the Garlands Estate for the purchase of the whole at £80 an acre having been confirmed, the purchase is to be completed and the money £8684 10s. paid on 2 February next. It was further resolved to make an application to the Secretary of State for his consent to the sale of such portions of the site, not exceeding 60 acres, as will not be required for the building and grounds. Ibid.

Garlands Asylum was opened on the 2nd January, 1862, and the patients were safely transferred to it from Dunston Lodge. K. Minute Book, 1859–75.

The premises now extend over an area of some 227 acres, including a large farm that affords profitable occupation to a number of the patients to whom this outdoor labour is congenial. The water supply was drawn from an artesian well, bored to the depth of 270 feet through the red sandstone, which successfully yielded some 40 gallons of good water per minute.

On 5 August, 1875, the chapel was opened by the then Bishop of Carlisle, it had sitting accommodation for 400 patients and was designed by J. A. Cory, the Cumberland county architect, who had previously designed the original block of buildings. An organ was erected in 1890.

In 1877 a mortuary was added, and in the following year a residence for the medical superintendent was erected. This, however, has been converted since into a nurses' home. In 1879 workshops were built and in 1888 gas and water works and new farm buildings were erected.

In 1882 the Institution was enlarged for 110 additional male patients and in the following year for the same number of female patients. In 1892 an isolation hospital was erected, and in 1906 new wards for 150 patients, a dining hall and recreation rooms were found to be necessary.

In 1920 there were 436 male and 400 female inmates, beside private patients accommodated in two detached villas—Cumberland House for men and Westmorland House for ladies.

These are but a few notes picked out of a mass of material to be found in the Quarter Sessions Records.


A list of some of the High Constables up to 1856.

For the Kendal Ward.
1620 James Smith.
1667 George Browne.
1678–1686 John Browham
1702 Mr. Sawrey.
1702- William Johnson
1706–1711 Lancelot Thompson.
1711–1732 Benjamin Browne.
1732–1759 Thomas Dennyson
1759–1780 John Bracken.
1781–1782 Henry Shepherd.
1782–1793 Henry Wilkinson.
1793–1808 Thomas Atkinson.
1808–1836 John Braithwaite.
1837–1844 William Turner.
For the Lonsdale Ward.
1667 Willm Smerthwaite.
-1673 Anthony Sutton.
1688 Thomas Harling.
1695 Thomas Bower.
1704 William Barrow
1708–1727 William Moore of Middleton.
1727–1729 John Moor of Firbank.
1729–1739 Robert Greenwood of Lupton.
1739–1774 Edward Cooke.
1774–1791 Robert Cooke.
1791–1816 John Hunter Cooke.
1816–1836 Edward Tomlinson.
1837–1844 William Talbot.

1837 6 January. The Committee appointed to fill the vacancies caused by the resignation of Messrs. Braithwaite and Tomlinson, report that in their opinion the duties of Bridge Master should now be separated from that of the High Constable. They recommend that all the county bridges be placed in the charge of one person experienced in planning, building and repairing, who will give the whole of his time and who by constant inspection and timely repair will prevent such disasters as have recently occurred. Resolved that Mr. George Robinson be appointed Bridge Master for the whole county at a salary of £120 per annum. That William Turner of Lythe be appointed High Constable for Kendal Ward at a salary of £41 10s. That William Talbot of the Hollins, be appointed for the Lonsdale Ward at a salary of £25 (K. Minute Book, 1825–38).

1844 17th May. Resolved that there be one Superintendent Constable under the Act, 2 and 3 Victoria, C. 93, appointed for the Kendal and Lonsdale Wards at the fee of £100 per annum, he finding and keeping his own horse, and that Frederick Grossmith of the Kendal Borough Force be appointed. (K. Minute Book, 1839–59). The Wards were separated again in 1846.

For the Kendal Ward.
1844–1846 Frederick Grossmith.
1846–1847 Frederick Grossmith.
1847–1856 Henry Henshall.

For the Lonsdale Ward.

1846-Michael Fryers.

1852 David Lipsett.

1856 18 October.

Resolved that the following report be adopted (abbreviated):— The Police Committee having been directed, on 18 August, to consider how the Police Acts may be most advantageously carried into operation, and also to consider the question of uniting with co. Cumberland in the appointment of a Chief Constable for both Counties submit their Report.

Resolved that the same Chief Constable should be appointed for Westmorland and Cumberland. . . salary not to exceed £300 per ann. and £150 to cover all travelling expenses; that Westmorland should not be called upon to pay more than one fourth of such salary and expense.

This Resolution was communicated to the Police Committee for Cumberland and at a meeting of the two Committees held at Penrith on the 13th inst. Cumberland concurred.

Your Committee in estimating the amount of the police force recommend for the Barony:—One Inspector mounted to inspect Kendal and Lonsdale Wards; one Constable for Staveley, Grayrigg and Longsleddale; one constable for Bowness, Storrs and Troutbeck; one constable to work Grasmere, Langdale, Ambleside and Kirkstone; one constable for Milnthorpe and Burton; and one constable and a serjeant for K. Lonsdale District.

The cost for the whole of Westmorland is worked out at
Share of Chief Constable £112 10 0
Two Inspectors at £80 and £40 for a horse 240 0 0
Three Serjeants at £58 174 0 0
Seven Constables at £1 per week 364 0 0
Two Constables at 18s. per week 93 12 0
Clothing for 14 men at £6 each 84 0 0
£1068 2 0
To one fourth paid by the Treasury 267 0 6
To be paid by the County £801 1 6

Five-eights of a penny in the pound will produce £763 11s. 10d. and the fees received will pay all extras.

1857 9 January.

Resolved that this Court approves of the Election of Mr. John Dunn as Chief Constable of the Counties of Westmorland and Cumberland. K. Order Book, 1839–76.


  • 1. Anne or ell-wand to measure fabrics.
  • 2. "But as the devil would have it, three misbegotten Knaves in Kendal green came at my back and let drive at me." Shakespeare
  • 3. Cocket is a seal belonging to the King's Custom house, or rather a scroll of parchment sealed and delivered by the officers of the Custom house to merchants as a warrant that their goods are customed.
  • 4. Measurement by a stick or rod; a verger carries a wand.
  • 5. The name Cogware must surely come from Cog. a broadly built cargo-ship, and the ware such as was largely exported to the North American markets.
  • 6. Kindly supplied by Mr. W. T. Mcintire, B.A.
  • 7. Kendal Notes and Queries were published as a series in the Mercury and Times, from 30 January, 1885, to the end of 1890. When cut out and placed together the 1,622 items form an interesting volume of local history. A selection of these items was afterwards reprinted as the Westmorland Note Book.