SchooIdays - Memories and History
                     Pre 20th. Century



THE Market Place, of whose general surroundings an account has been given previously, was always a locality favoured by the linen-drapers‹or mercers, as they mostly preferred to call themselves. Matthew Lambert had been here, between Hartshead Passage and VVatson's Walk, in I765; and Caleb Roberts was a contemporary Market Place mercer. In I774 there were Thomas Didsbury, Ralph Gosling, and Samuel Staniforth, while Sam Turner (" Flannel Sam"), in what we now call Angel Street, was near enough to be counted as in the Market place; and John Heppenstall, a name long afterwards still familiar in this locality, was a little below him. Still earlier, near the bottom of Angel Street, on the west side, was Daniel Robinson, linen draper, who, in 1737, sold to the Society of Friends the land on which their meeting-house is built. Towards the end of the century, there were Mr. William Wiley (father of Mr. Thomas Wiley, of "Old No. I2"), at the upper corner of Change Alley; Mr. Thomas Rimington, of the Broomhead Hall family* ; and Paul Rodgers‹a door above Hartshead Passage, afterwards Willey and Judd's, and latterly Mr. Tarrant's. James Matthews was a mercer in King Street, in a shop destined to become the office of Northall's Courant. A couple of centuries earlier, that public-spirited benefactor, Robert Rollynson, or Rollinson, who has been mentioned in connection with Barker Pool, made here, as a mercer, the for- tune which he generously used for the good of the town. His life was passed in stirring and heroic times. He was born in I540, in the days of the Reformation, when Henry VIII. was sending Thomas Cromwell to the block and was busily sup- pressing the monasteries. Rollinson was six years old when King Henry died. He lived through the reigns of Edward __________ * Brother of John Rimington, attorney and banlier (p. 192), and of the second Mrs Henry Tudor (pp 76-78). __________ VI., of Mary, of Elizabeth, of James I., and into the early years of Charles I., when the struggle between the Crown and the Parliament had already begun. But since he went to his tomb in the Parish Church choir in I63I, he was spared from adding to his remembrance of the Spanish Armada, knowledge of the Civil War. Nor did he live to see the siege and demoli- tion of that castle under whose shadow he had spent his long and honourable life. His shop was on the site of the premises occupied in our own day by Mr. Daniels, hatter; then by Richards and Son, tailors, and now by Mr. Blackshaw, draper. But in the intermediate period it was in the possession of Hannah Haslehurst and Son, merchants, and here they set up their early bank.* Next door to this the Simmons family car- ried on during the greater part of the eighteenth century a bookselling business. Nevill Simmons, coming from London, established himself as a bookseller in the Market Place, and found a wife in the daughter (Ruth) of his neighbour, Thomas Bretland, grocer, and Town Trustee (elected I68I). The works published by Nevill Simmons in Sheffield, be- tween the years I696 to I724, were chiefly by Nonconformist ___________ * In " Reminiscences of Old Sheffield " It is stated, on the authority of the late Mr. William Swift (p 79), that this was the Blythe family's property, occupied by Thomas Bretland and Samuel Simmons, and that Rollinson's was the shop below (formerly Jones and Son, and now Hepworth and Son); but a plan in the Duke of Norfolk's office (citc. I771) distinctly fixes Hannah Haslehurst's freehold as " formerly (l590) Robert Rollynson s " In i681 Bretland was in the top house in Market Place (late, I9O1, Mr. Lawton, jeweller); Nevill Simmons and John Ellison wvere there in 1723, Samuel Simmons in 1725, and James Furniss, grocer, in 1783 Samuel Simmons had, therefore, gone lower down when, in 1784, the plan (p 164), showing him below Haslehurst's, was made Thus Mr. Blackshaw's represents the Rollinson-Haslehurst, and Hepworth's the later Simmons site The order of occupancy from the Hartshead Passage up- wards ~ as, in 178l: Paul Rodgers, draper; Samuel Simmons, post office and bookseller; John Martin (probably up a court); Hannah Haslehurst, merchant and banker; William Davenport, breeches maker; James Furniss, grocer and chandler; Samuel Staniforth, wholesale woollen draper and merchant; John Greaves, victualler; Thomas Gunning, merchant‹ the last two at the bottom of High Street The name Bretland is spelt Britland on a halfpenny token, issued by him, in alliance with William Cooke, draper, also a Town Trustee, about 1670 It is Brittland in the Poll Tax of 1692 The York City and County Bank is about to build here. _________ ministers, and he not only kept up the business traditions of his house in this respect, but all the connections his family formed here were in the same direction.* One of his five daughters, Mary, married the Rev. Timothy Jollie, junior, assistant-minister (with the Rev. John Wadsworth) of the Upper Chapel, from I7I4 to I720. A son, Thomas, became what Mr. Hunter calls " a dissenting (Presbyterian) minister of some eminence" at Battersea. Other sons, Nevill and Samuel, were, like their father, booksellers and stationers here, but Nevill died early,+ and it was left to Samuel to carry on the family business, after the death of the elder Simmons in I735. From that date to I782, we can trace Samuel Simmons through the Burgery accounts, supplying the Town Trustees with stationery, and a~ing as their ne~sagent. In I742, he was combining the position of postmaster with his business, at salary of £43; and he still held the office in I774, though in I787 he had been succeeded by Miss Lister‹apparently on the old premises. Samuel Simmons died unmarried, April I8, I790, aged 87, at Pitsmoor, where he held land of the Duke of Norfolk, between that hamlet and Burngreave Wood. The publishing traditions of the Simmons family were kept up after Samuel Simmons' death, for an early satire by James Montgomery, " The History of a Church and of a Warming Pan," was issued in I793 by " H. D. Symonds, London." The old gabled property, which was occupied in part by Thomas Bretland, and in part by Simmons, had belonged to ________ * The Rev Giles Hester (" Nevill Simmons, Bookseller and Pub- lisher "; Sheffield: Leader and Sons, 1893) has carefully compiled all that is known of Nevill Simmons - or, according to the erratic orthography of the time‹Symons, Symonds, Simmonds, Symmonds, Symandes‹and has reproduced the particulars of an auction sale of books by him, at the Rose and Crown," in I692. He was conducting similar sales at Leeds about the same time He was probably the son of Baxter's publisher, and a descendant of the Samuel Simmons who had the honour of giving Milton's " Paradise Lost " to the world + In 1730, aged 38 He and his mother, who had died in I707, were buried in the chancel of the Parish Church (Hunter's " Familiae Minorum Gentium," p 1056, and Giles Hester, p. 48). The burial place of the elder Nevill Simmons was uncertain Mr Hunter was inclined to think it may hav e been at Wakefield _________ the Blythes, an ancient yeoman family of Norton Lees.* Through the marriage of a daughter of this house with Thomas Bright, yeoman, of Bradway, it came into the possession of James Bright, mercer. And here again we come into close association with the old Nonconformists. For although in times past the Blythes had given two Bishops (Salisbury and Lichfield) to the Church, they had contributed a captain, concerned in the demolition of Sheffield Castle, to the Parlia- mentary army, and a minister, the Rev. Samuel Blythe (17I6), to the Nonconformist Chapel at Attercliffe, himself the father of yet another dissenting clergyman. The Blythes, too, like the Simmonses, became connected with the Jollies. For Elizabeth Jollie, daughter of Timothy Jollie, junior, by his wife Mary Simmons, married (I755) Thomas Bridges,+ hatter, of Sheffield, and one of their daughters, Mary, married William Blythe, a draper in the Market Place up to his death in I81I. A daughter of this alliance married, in turn, Mr. George Wells, solicitor, whose grandchildren are still resident amongst us. The curved sweep from the bottom of High Street to the Hartshead Passage entrance, gives to the properties here wide frontages, to which their dividing lines radiate, from their narrow backs in the Hartshead, in the shape of a fan. This causes their rear premises, utilised as an intricate collection of yards and stables, with access to the Hartshead, to be some- what mixed. This state of things was of early origin. A channel, or sink, from a yard and stable of the Haslehursts, ran along Simmons's boundary, and in I77I there was dis- covered on this channel an ancient stone, bearing certain hieroglyphics, identifying it as the memorial referred to in the following document: " A note of the names of them whiche were present at the ________ * Gatty's Hunter's " Hallamshire," p. 4I4 n. + The father of Thomas Bridges, Daniel Bridges, hatter, of the Irish Cross, was ~ T' Fool aboon t' Cross "‹the second of the four brothers satirised in the uncomplimentary lines: Gentleman Thomas; T'fool aboon t'Cross; Prodigal Robin; and slovenly Joss " (Hunter's " Familiae Minorum Gentium," p. I087 ) _________ settinge of a mearestone betwixte the land of the Rt. Hon. George, Earle of Shrewsbury,* in the holdinge of Gilbert Hawldesworth and Robert Rollynson, of Sheffield, mercer, in the ould wall at the side of his own Channell or sinke, which mearestone hath certain letters ingraven, which sinke, channell, or ground conteyneth in breadthe eighteen inche, being lifte at the rearinge of his house, I2 die Octobris, }590. Gilberte Ha~1vldesworth, John Beanes, Charles Howslie, Robert Hanes (or Haues), Nicholas Gee, John Brokhouse." Until Mr. Blackshaw recently extended his back premises, there remained in the wall of the yard of a Hartshead house, occupied by a working jeweller, a stone bearing the inscrip- tion, " H. Haslehurst and Son, I783." Nevill and Samuel Simmons were not the only booksellers in the town in the early eighteenth century. Joseph Turner published "A collection of Choir Psalm tunes" in I7I5, and shared with the Simmonses the custom of the Burgery from I727 to I731. And there was, in Angel Street, Richard Smith, whose rhyming headstone in the churchyard tells us that: At thirteen years I went to sea, To try my fortune there; But lost a friend, which put an end To all my interest there To land I came, as 'twere by chance; At twenty then I taught to dance; But, yet unsettled in my mind, To something else I was inclined; At twenty-five laid dancing down To be a bookseller in this town Where I continued without strife Till death deprived me of this life Smith died in I757, at the age of fifty-two, and a comparison of dates enables uc to identify him as " Smith, the dancing master," who, in I727, paid seven shillings for the hire of the Town Hall for seven weeks, and as " the little dancing master" referred to in this curious entry in the Cutlers' Company accounts (I727, John Tooker, Master): " Spent with some of ye Compy. discharging the little dancing master" _________ * The plan given on p I64 shows the Earl of Surrey, successor to the Shrewsbury estates, as owner of the property at the south corner of the Hartshead Passage, then occupied by Paul Rodgers __________ (amount not stated).* The year before his death, Richard Smith published a sermon preached in the Parish Church, on the 7th December, I755, by Nathaniel Dodge, curate of Sheffield, entitled, "God's Voice in the Earthquakes; or a serious admonition to a sinful wor]d." We get a literary note at the top of Angel 9treet, just below Watson Walk, where, in premises long ago enFulfed in the big establishment of the Messrs. Cockayne, Mr. Robert Handley, of the Hall-Carr family, and, after him, his widow, Mary Handley, kept a druggist's shop.+ Mr. Hunter acknowledges his indebtedness to the father of Mr. Handley for minor histori- cal and biographical collections used in the compilation of his " Hallamshire "; and the daughter of Mr. Handley, as wife of Mr. John Sterndale, surgeon, of Norfolk Street, published several works of considerable literary merit_" The Panorama of Youth " and " The Life of a Boy." In his " Memorials of Chantrey," Mr- John Holland refers to the close friendship existing between the sculptor and the Sterndales The same writer has recorded, in another of his books,# his recollection of the stately and ceremonious manners Of Mrs- Sterndale, which she was one of the last of the Sheffield ladies to retain. The literary associations of Angel Street are not exhausted when we have spoken of Mrs. Sterndale, for this neighbour- hood is intimately connected with the names of two eminent and learned natives of Sheffield‹the Rev. John Pye Smith, D.D., and the Rev. James Cawthorne, M.A. Dr- Pye Smith was born in Snig Hill, in a house adjoining the Old Black Lion, where, at that time, the street was greatly narrowed by the projection of the buildings, but his yoluth was spent in Angel Street, nearly opposite to the " Angel, to which place his father, John Smith, originally a grocer but then a book- seller, had removed his shop.§ When only twenty-six years of age, Dr. Pye Smith was appointed resident tutor at Homer- ton College, near London, and the whole of lhis active life was ___________ * "Burgery Record's," p 356. Ante p 264 Leader's " Notes on Cutlers' Company's Accounts," p 9 + Mr Benjamin Rose afterwards had this shop and then, within living memory, Mr G. D. Wreaks. # Sheffield Illustrated," p. 4I. Ante, p. I89. § Ante pp 120, I30. ____________ spent in connection with that institution. It is exactly one hundred years since he entered on his duties there, in the first days of January, I80I. He was the author of many learned works, and he may be fairly said to have been the most scholarly man that Sheffield has produced. From him have descended hho Mayors of Sheffield and a Town Clerk. William Cawthorne, yeoman, of Thurgoland, had two sons, the elder of whom, John, was the first tenant of a farm in Sheffield Park, where he planted a line of crab trees, which still flourished seventy or eighty years ago. Such of the fruit as could be saved from the raids of boys was used to make verjuice. The younger son, Thomas Cawthorne, born in I687, established himself on the west side of Angel Street, just above the " Angel Inn," apparently combining with an upholsterer's business some dabbling in bookselling. Here were born to him two sons and three daughters. The eldest daughter, Elizabeth, married the Rev. Edward Goodwin, perpetual curate of Attercliffe‹I776-I8I7‹and one of the assistant- ministers of the Parish Church for forty-three years. James, the future poet, was the eldest child, born in I7I9. He became headmaster of Tunbridge School in I743. occupying that post until I76I, when he was thrown from his horse and killed. He was reputed a man of great integrity and dignity, a sound classic, but a singularly harsh and severe master. So profound an impression of his strictness as a disciplinarian did he leave behind him at Tunbridge, that his ghost, according to school gossip, still lingers warningly about the dormitories, and haunts the head-master's chamber. When only fourteen years old, he wrote a paraphrase of the I3gth Psalm, and at fifteen he translated the Ninth Ode of Anacreon and a satire called "Poverty and Poetry." Two years later, he published the " Perjured Lover, or the Adventures of Alexis Brima," which brings us into contact with one of the first known Sheffield printers‹John Garnet, Irish Cross.* Garnet also printed, " at the Castle Green Head, near the Irish Cross," but without date, ~AII Sorts of New Songs and Penny Histories." It __________ * For the facts of the life of the Rev James Cawthorne, and some account of his poems, see a paper by the Rev. Giles Hester, in the Sheffield Miscellany, Vol. I, p. I82 (No, 5, 1897). __________ contained " The Golden Bull, or the Crafty Princess," " The Irish Stroller's Garland," " The Petticoat Loose Garland," and so forth In I740 Garnet printed the second volume of an Essay on Medicinal Waters, by Dr. Thomas Short. Other issues from his press were the " Covenant agreed on at Nether Chapel," I745, and ~ A New Historical Catechism, by W.L., S.P.,I737." We find him printing for the Town Trustees in I744. The only printer of whom we have mention prior to Garnet (I736) is one Hopkinson, of Coalpit Lane, who is said to have printed, in I733, the last Dying Speech of two men executed at Tyburn. After Garnet's time, that is, from I745, Francis Lister does the town's printing ~ near the Shambles," or " opposite the ~ Cross Daggers ' in the Market Place"; and in I755 Revel Homfray, ~Opposite to the 'Cock,' in the High Street." As the century went on other printers arose. In I766 William Ward, who started the Sheffield Public Advertiser, printed, " in the Market Place," Eadon's " Arithmetician's Guide," and in I789 Mrs. Gosling's " Moral Essays." John Crome, a Scotchman, whose omce was at the corner of Wain- gate and Truelove's Gutter, where the present Court House was afterwards built, was printing books in I792; and J. Brunt, " in King Street near the Market Place," in I786. John Northall, of the Courant~ was at "the Britannia Press " in King Street in I793; and there were also T. Pierson, King Street; Gales and Martin, Hartshead, succeeded by Mont- gomery; and J. Slater, Fargate. The origin of the name of the Irish Cross, opposite to which John Garnet had his printing office, is an unsolved mystery. The earliest mention of it is in I499, in connection with the tenure of some land of the " greves or church maisters " in " the fields of Sheffield," with four tenements "beneath the Yrish Cross."* In I568 "the yreyshe crose" underwent " mendynge," and further repairs were made from time to time during the next two hundred years.+ About I587 it is called " The lane-head stone,"# and from the entries in __________ * Gatty's Hunter's " Hallamshire," p 245. + Ib. p. 397. # Leader's " Burgery Records," pp 20, 59, &c. __________ the Burgery accounts we gather that wood and lead and brick- work entered into its construc'tion, and that it was surmounted by a weather-cock.* On Gosling's plan it is marked as standing in the centre of the open space where Angel Street, Snighill, and Water Lane converge; but the late Mr. William Swift was inclined to place it rather on the west, or Bank Street, side. The date of its removal has usually been stated to be "about" I792, and, if so, it would seem to have been demolished so as not to block the entrance to Bank Street, which was made in that year; but this is probably much too late, for in I748 its materials were sold. The sums received‹ £6 for lead, £I for wood, and £I for bricks‹show that its size must have been considerable.+ There is, it is true, a subse- quent payment in I77I " for work at Irish Cross and houses at Bridges,' but this was probably not work done to the cross itself, but to houses in the area called generally the Irish Cross. The cross cannot have been re-erecled in I748, because there is no entry of any charges for it in the town's accounts. But whatever the date of its removal, local tradition has always asserted that the stone steps on which it stood, and the shaft of the cross, were removed to the centre of Paradise Square, the latter being afterwards replaced by a lamp-post. It is very probable that this is correct, although there is no trace of any such removal in the accounts. We get a glimpse of the Irish Cross in the sixth year of Queen Anne's reign, I707, in a draft conveying from John Haugh, of Cripplegate, London, hatter, to James Haugh, of Shemeld, barber, the lease of the moiety of a tenement "known by the name of the ' Crown and Thistle,' at ye lrish Cross, and fronting towards ye said Irish Cross on ye south, and abutting on other tenements, in the occupation of Mr. Thomas Wright, on the south-west, and Widow Hancock, on the north- east, adjoining ground of Mr Sorsbye, and late in the occupation of Thomas Creswick, the son of John Haugh. It is diffcult from the description to identify the position of _________ * Leader's " Burgerv Records," p. 337 + Ib p. 372 Dr Gatty gives drawings of the Irish Cross and the other Crosses (" Hallamshire," p 231, and " Sheffield Past and Present," pp 122-3), but without indicating their source. _____________ the " Crown and Thistle," but it must have had a frontage looking up Angel Street, and probably it was between Water Lane and Snighill. But the phrase " at the Irish Cross," or " near the Irish Cross," had a somewhat wide meaning. It included all that we now call Angel Street, from the " Angel Inn" downwards. The tenements above that were said to be in the Market Place. Formerly the entrance to the " Angel" was not above the inn, as now, but below, and the yard turned across the back of the house, where it joined the present passage. The modern gateway, leading straight up the yard, was substituted in 1815. The name Angel Street is comparatively modern, derived from the much older inn. Not only is there no Angel Street in the list of I700, but the street is not so marked on Gosling's plan of I736, or on Fairbank's of I77I. Nor does the name appear in the poor rate assessment of I78I. Even the upper part, from King Street downwards, is called " Irish Cross" on the market plan of I784 (see page I64). The first mention of it as Angel Street is in the Directory of I787. We have seen that in the old time the street was very much contracted in front of the "Angel Inn." Below that tavern it fell back, in two right angles,* to the house of Mr. Shore, banker, thus making the debouchure on the Irish Cross quite wide. The "Angel Inn" was spoken of as " near the Irish Cross " when, in I682-3, it was (with strange want of foresighl, for the encroachment had to be bought back by the town at a subsequent period) " agreed by the Townesmen att a puhlique meeteing That Mr. Thomas Pegg (of the " Angel ") shall have libertie to sett up Pillars before his house near the Irish Cross, provided that the Town Collector, with 3 or 4 freeholders of the towne with him doe first sett out aod appoint how the same shall be placed, __________ * Some traces of this feature may be seen to the present day, where the north windows of the upper stories of Mr. Horner's premises, formerly Robert Turner's, and before him Daniel Robinson's, both linen drapers, overlook the roofs of the shops below, showing how, when the corner between Angel Street and Bank Street was filled up, the new buildings had to be restricted to a ground floor, so as not to interfere with ancient lights In Mr Shore's time, and before Bank Street was made, where is now the frontage of these shops was a line of posts and chains, thus leaving an open triangular space in front of Mr. Shore's house, __________ and agree of a rent for the ground, and so as it may be noe prejudice to the Lord's tenants."* Bank Street was not made till I702. It was intended to call it Shore Street, and that name is, indeed, employed in the leases granted by Mr. Shore when he cut up his land for build- purposes. Thus, in I79I, Mr. John Shore, in leasing to Luke Palfreyman the elder, hosier, the corner of Snighill and Bank Street, which became the Independent Office from I846 to 1862 and is now a tobacconist's, described it as "all that piece, or p]att of ground, being part of a certain orchard or garden situate in or near a certain street or place called Irish Cross, abutting east on Snig Hill, west on other part of the said orchard demised to John Mearbeck (plumber), north the ' Black Swan' premises belonging to John Shore, south on other part of the said orchard set out for a street, marked on the accompanying plan as Shore Street." In I793 we find reference to " a new street in Sheffield aforesaid called Bank Street." One of the few public buildings that lived from the eighteenth century to see the dawn of the twentieth was Hollis's Hospital, at the bottom of Snighill. It is still occa- sionally called by old people, because of the dress of the inmates, the Brown Hospital, in contradistinction to the Shrewsbury Hospital, whose uniform was blue. The hospital faced Millsands, but it had an entrance from Newhall Street, and on this side, over a blocked-up doorway, might, until very recently, be seen an inscription which tells us that " This Hospital for sixteen poor aged inhabitants of Sheffield or within two miles round it, and school for fifty children, were founded by Thomas Hollis, of London, cutler, in I703; and was further endowed by his sons, Thomas Hollis, I724, and John Hollis, I726, and rebuilt more commodiously by the Trustees, I776.+ _________ * Records of the Burgery," p. 22I. Ante, p. 279. + The Hospital, having been bought by the Corporation for the widening of Newhall street and Bridge street, has just (I9OI) been demolished, and a new building is to be erected in the suburbs. The above inscription, and also the following, have been preserved: ~This Hospital for I6 poor aged People Inhabitants of Sheffield or within two miles round it was built and indowed by Thomas Hollis of London Cutler A D I703 and it is repaired and the maintainence augmented by his son Thomas Hollis of London A D I724 and further endowed by John Hollis of London another son A D 1726." _________ The hospital was built where the first dissenting chapel in Sheffield had stood. This had been erected on the site of, or adapted from, New Hall, between I669 and I678. It is not known where, prior to that, the dissenting congregation gathered by Vicar Fisher on his ejectment in I662, met. Probably it was in the house of himself or of one of his adherents. After he had to leave, because of broken health, there was an interval in which occasional services were held by men like the Rev. Thomas Burbeck, or Birbeck‹himself an evicted clergyman, and a formner (1644-48) Vicar of Sheffield‹who "frequently preached at his own house in Sheffield."* In I669 the Rev. Robert Durant became pastor of Fisher's congregation, and it was during his ministry, which lasted to I678, that New Hall was adapted as a meeting-house. Then in I700 Upper Chapel was built (the Rev. Timothy Jollie, senior, who had married Vicar Fisher's daughter, being pastor+), and Thomas Hollis, who was throughout a munificent benefactor to the Nonconformists in Sheffield, Rotherham, and Doncaster, where he built chapels and endowed schools, utilised the site of the old chapel for the erection of his Hospital. The son of a Rotherham blacksmith, Thomas Hollis was apprenticed to his uncle, John Ramsker, a cutler, to whose shop in the " Trinity Minories," London, he succeeded. There he had the honour of the friendship of Dr. Isaac Watts, who lived in his house for some years, from I702. Ramsker was the issuer of the first known traders' token (I655). It bears his name and the Cutlers' arms. Hunter refers to the second Thomas Hollis purchasing, in I726, and vesting, for the further endowment of the Hospital, in trustees, " Creswick Close, on ___________ * Heywood's Diary, Turner, Vol. I., p. 242. + See Heywood's account of his ordination (Vol. II, p I99), April 25, I69I. It took place at the house of Abel Yates, otherwise Abiell Yeates, one of the members of the Church, with whom Jollie " tabled," i.e. boarded Yates, like Ramsker, issued traders' tokens. Sheffield Miscellany pp 53, 55 ___________ which Hollis street [Croft] was afterwards built." There is also in existence the draft of another document, dated 3rd August, I727. Joseph Birks, late of Norton Lees, yeoman, and Thomas Turner, filecutter, Westbar Green, had mortgaged to Elkanah Hancock, tin-plate worker, the close in the Town ley or fith (i.e., a small land between two ridges, or sometimes a division between two allotments) of Sheffield called the Brockohill, and the messuage wherein Thomas Turner and his tenants dwell, in the West barr, together with a close of land known as The Dole adjoining. Thomas Hollis purchased from Turner, for £2IO (including paying off Hancock's mort- gage of £I30), the close called Brockohill, " now divided into two, and called Brockohill Close and Little Square Close." The property was transferred to the Hospital Trustees named by Hunter, with the addition of John Williams, of London, gunmaker, and Timothie Jollie, of the parish of White Chappell, London. The " William Burch, schoolmaster," of Hunter becomes " William Birch, of Sheffield, cutler."~ The city fathers showed a wise foresight when, the old Workhouse being taken down in 1829, they determined to keep its site open in perpetuity. To this we owe the wide area Westbar Green, an invaluable breathing-space amid somewhat squalid surroundings. Looking at the place to-day, it is not a little difficult to imagine what it was when, in I628, Roberte Brodebent and Lawrance Shore consented to give up their tenancy of the croft, " where the workehouse for the poore is to bee builded," that it might be let by the Church Burgesses at an annual ground rent of ten shillings. The original poor- house, succeeded at the beginning of the eighteenth century by a prosaic brick structure, was timber built. It stood in its own orchard, with a cultivated croft, which, surrounded by hedges, was let for pasture or for cultivation. The rural character of the place is strikingly illustrated by the fact that in I672 leave was formally given by the townsmen to George Broadbent, " to goe and come through the said crofte with hay onely, he giveinge satisfaction to the tenant of the workehouse ___________ * " Hallamshire," pp. 318-20, and Guest's " Historic Rotherham," 454, 469. The Rev. J. E. Manning has given full particulars of the early Sheffield Nonconformists in his " History of Upper Chapel." ____________ for the tyme beinge duringe the pleasure of the townesmen." And in connection with the fact that the permission asked for was in all probability to allow crops from the contiguous Hick-stile Field, now Paradise Square, to be carted away, it is interesting to come across the name of Thomas Hick as the carpenter employed on the new building, and of John Hicke and Joshua Hicke as Burgery tenants.* The Workhouse seems to have been larger than was required for the accommodation of the poor, for some portion of it was let off in tenements. Robert Fisher rented a part in I638. In I660 it was agreed " that Mr. James Fisher shall have and enjoy such roomes at the workhouse as were formerly in the occupation of Mr. Whittaker, under the yearly rent of three poundes."+ During this period, and especially in I688, when it was made into three tenements, considerable sums were expended on the Workhouse building. A school-house had been put up _________ * When Sheffield Castle was demolished in 1648, Nicholas Hick Hicks, or Hyckes was a large buyer of timber and other materials. Mr Samuel Roberts's Autobiography (p. 26) notes a much later Nicholas Hicks, as in 1770 teaching some 500 children to read by a new method. + " Records of the Burgery," pass. Is it permissible to wonder whether the first dissenters may have met in " the long chamber " of the Work- house, prior to the building of their meeting house in Newhall Street ? It has been suggested that the James Fisher above mentioned may have been Vicar Fisher; but against this it has to be noted that as he was not ejected until 1662, he would, presumably, be living at the vicarage in 1660‹ unless, indeed, he was evicted at the Restoration, and not when the Act of Uniformity was passed. Yet it is significant that the townsmen who signed the memorandum letting the Workhouse rooms to James Fisher comprised the stoutest Nonconformists of the period‹such men as Sanderion, Crooke, Wadsworth, Cooke, Barlow, Britland, and Hayes In 1670 Mr John Fisher is to pay £7 per annum for that part of the Workhouse then in his possession, and three rooms lately in possession of John Capper Again, in 1679, Mr John Fisher is to be admitted as tenant to that part of the Workhouse wherein Edmund Lethwood now dwells, and two years later all the tenants " now inhabiteing any part of the Workehollse " except Mr. Fisher, are to be evicted, that the place may be repaired and made tenantable. These dates make it possible that the John Fisher who gradually enlarged the size of his holding in the Work- house may have been the ex-vicar's son, a surgeon For this son died I685-6, and from 1687 to 1700 (when it was written off as a bad debt) arrears of rent are charged against Mr Fisher's executors ___________ earlier, and a stable. Nicholas Parkin, when first the Work- house was opened (circ. I632) was appointed " Master of the children," and there were bought " 79 yards of blewish cloth for the apparelling of 20ty poore children putt into the Worke- house " for " cotes," and 98 " yardes of harden cloth " for forty smockes; and an expert was brought over from Chapel- en-le-Frith ~ to have taught children to knitt." A cow was purchased for the use of the " Master of the children," who was paid for agisting it. The compulsion put upon the Burgery in I685 to carry out the " Decree of Charitable Uses " seems to have revolutionised the relations of the Town Trustees to poor relief. From that date their payments became less frequent. It is true that in 1688 they put the Workhouse into habitable repair; but in I722, when an Act (9 Geo. I., cap. 7) was passed enabling every parish to provide a Workhouse, they spent £346. I8s 3d. in " building new Almshouses in West Barr, ' and then threw on the Overseers of the Poor all future responsibility for their up-keep. The Overseers thereafter paid £I2 a year rent " for the great building in West Bar," but ultimately it seems to have become their property; for when, in I829, the site and the materials were sold, on the transfer of the inmates to the old silk and cotton mill, in Cotton Mill Wall; (now Russell Street), converted into a Workhouse, the overseers received £970 as the proceeds. There is a gap, which it is difficult to understand, hetweell the building of " the new Almshouses " in I722 and the " first opening of the house of maintenance for the poor" in I733,* but undoubtedly we must attribute the brick building, still remembered by old inhabitants to this period. It had been enlarged in I759, and at that time it was the shape of a reversed capital .L The horizontal stroke represents the front, facing east, with a low-walled court before it; the perpendicular line stands for a long building, with a yard on either side, and extending to a lane which separated it from the end of property standing between Westbar Green and Gregory Row. That row converged with Silver Street and Workhouse Croft (or ________ * " Records of the Burgery'' p. 344, and Sheffield Local Register, p 37. ________ Paradise Street) at its south-west corner‹all features recog- nisable to-day, except that Gregory Row has been thrown into Westbar Green, which ran along the north side of the Workhouse yard. In the early years after its opening, the number of inmates was few, and the cost of their maintenance small. But they were liable to a discipline whose primitive simplicity looks odd to modern eyes. In I746, two of the female inmates, caught conveying a linen sheet and three breadths of blue lindsey to a recelver at the " White Horse," in Gregory Row‹just over the yard wall, were first relegated to " the black hole," and afterwards " whipt," by order of the Overseers and Church- wardens. The Workhouse accounts contain many quaint entries, e.g., " I759. To William Roberts's funeral, Is. 6d.; to bread for the same, Is. 6d.; for bleeding a child with horse leeches, 2d.; for the books carrying to church, 4d." At the time when the second Workhouse, opened in I733, was built, the neighbourhood still retained much of its rural character; although changed from the days when (I674) there was just one other building between here and the river--Kelham Wheel, standing on the goit, with an uninterrupted view of Bridgehouses beyond. The hillside, stretching up on the south-west of the Workhouse to Campo Lane, was still fields; to the north and east, as far as the Don, was open land, used as garden ground. Through this rural Green Lane ran beside a stretch of river, deep enough there to afford tempting facilities for bathing and boating. Bower Spring, with its troughs, fed from a stream which came down Furnace Hill, reputed to afford the best drinking water in the town, was, with the Workhouse well, the chief source of supply for the neighbour- hood. Bower Lane, afterwards known as Gibraltar, now as Gibraltar Street, was then built upon only on the left. The hill- side, to the north-west of the Workhouse, occupied by Lambert Street, popularly known as " T' Cock Tail," by Lambert Knott (Scotland Street), Pea Croft, White Croft, and the rest, had however, long been the favoured seat of the cutlers. There is still standing at the bottom of Lambert Street With a frontage to Gibraltar Street, a once substantial house, unchanged now except in the matter of deterioration. It was once, before coffin-makers and clasp-makers had laid appro- priative hands Upon it and the premises behind, a gentleman's house, the residence of one Captain Chisholm. And it stood so high above the road, that it was said a person standing at the bottom of Furnace Hill might with ease have leapt upon a load of hay passing along " Gibraltar." But by the middle of the eighteenth century, the eve of change in the neighbourhood of the Workhouse was at hand. The inevitable expansion of the town was about to press the population across to the northern side of Gibraltar street, and to encroach upon the open space where traces of past rusticity remain only in such names as Cherry Tree Yard, and Bowling Green street, and Green Lane. Thus in 1/58 Mr. Middleton made a new departure, so far as Sheffield is concerned, and put up that silk mill which, twice burnt down (in 1792 and 1810), and twice rebuilded as a cotton mill, was destined eventually to become the poorhouse. At the bottom of Allen Lane land had been sold by the Duke of Norfolk to Mr. Matthewman, for the erection of another of the "water-houses" in connection with the springs and dams at the White House, Upperthorpe; and here, as at the Townhead Cross, water was sold by the bucketful, or barrel-full, a family named Burkinshaw being in charge of the supply. Then a riding-school, afterwards utilised as the Lancasterian Schools, was erected at or near to the old bowling-green. But a good many years had yet to elapse before works like those of Gaunt and Turton came down from Furnace Hill, and, after a gallant effort by the Town Trustees to save them, effectually banished sylvan nymphs from the groves of Bower Spring. Beyond, Shales Moor was an open waste, over which the road, recklessly broad, meandered on its way to Owlerton and Penistone. The present Infirmary Road was represented by rural Whitehouse Lane, and from it, about where Lower St. Philip's Road or Montgomery Terrace Road are, Cherry Tree Lane wound with indecisive curvings to Causey Lane, by which the wayfarer could reach Upperthorpe; or, retracing his steps towards the town, could return by a footway past Lawyer l-loyle's house at Netherthorpe, on the line of the modern Meadow street, to " Scotland." The means of passage over the river at Bridgehouses in the olden days is not so clear as one could wish. Why should the locality be called Brighouse, or Bridgehouses, as it certainly was ras far back as I580, if there were no bridge ? In 1680 we find the Town Trustees making, at a cost of £I. IOS. I0d., " a foot cawsey from Milnsands head towards Brigghouse," but " cawsey " could not mean a bridge. As in I7I4, the same body was contributing £I " to Bridgehouses steppings as a free gift," the " foot causey towards Brighouse " was probably a raised footway across Millsands, leading to the stepping- stones. Gosling's plan of I736 shows two crossings, one of which may have been these stepping-stones and the other a ford. Fairbank's plan, I77I, gives a bridge on two piers, from which it may be assumed that the wooden precurser of the Iron Bridhe had heen erected by that date, supplanting the " stepping-stones about a yard high," which are specified in I768 as the means of crossing the river. The Lady's Bridge is the survival of one of the oldest land- marks remaining in Sheffield. Hunter says there was a bridge here in the time of Henry II.‹1155-II89; but the earliest date that can be positively fixed for the erection of a stone bridge, just under the castle walls, is the first of Henry VII., I485. In that year a contract was made by Vicar Sir John Plesaunce, representing the Burgery, with one William Hyll, maister mason, " for the makyng of a brygge of ston, over the watyr of Dune, nighe the Castell of Sheffield, wele and suffy- ciently, . . . the wych shall be made v. arches embowed, iiii. jowels, and ii. heedys, with sure 'butments at eythyr ende." The price ~ as to he one hundred marks (£66. I35. 4d.), the Vicar finding, " at the parysh cost," the stone and "all manner of stuff nedeful,' There was a chapel at the bridge foot; and the ground at the bottom of Waingate was so low‹where is now Bridge Street was called " Under-the-Water "‹that, it is said, the bridge was approached by a flight of steps‹a fact which affords strong confirmation of the belief that, from the time of the Roman occupation, the main entrance to Sheffield, for everything on wheels, from the direction of Rotherham, was on the south-east side of the Don, and over the narrower Sheaf, by what was properly called Shear Bridge, at the bottom of Dixon Lane. The maintenance of the Lady's Bridge was a distinct duty of the Burgery, and it is specifically mentioned in the Decree of Charitable Uses (I681) as one of the purposes to which, " of auncient time," the rents of the freeholders' property were to he applied. Accordingly we find, througilout all the centuries following, annual expenses for " mendynge, repayringe, pav- ynge, poyntynge, cleansing, sweeping, dressing," and generally keeping in good order the bridge. When all other parts of the town were left in their native dirt, the bridge and the church- gates were sedulously dressed and swept. In I687 a scavenger was appoined at I3s. 4d. per annum to cleanse the Lady Bridge soe oft as is needful, also the common shore against the Castle lathe (barn, now the site of the New Market), and all the way to the Barker poole"; and there was an annual pay- ment of IS. for " keeping open the sinke at the end of the bridge." Considerable repairs were done to the bridge circ. I573; perhaps it was then, or possibly earlier, that the steps approaching to it were supplanted by a cartway. For although there are at much later dates (e.g. I664) itenms for making or repairing stone " staires att Ladyes Bridge," we must suppose that these were but a footway leading down to " Under-the- Water," and so to "The Isle," and to Millsands‹which are islands, Iying between the river and the mill stream. __________ * The goit, or mill-race, which leaves the river some distance above Bridgehouses and re-enters it by the Lady's Bridge, is of unknown anti- uity. Some of us can remember the cottage on its banks in Coulson Crofts whose sign announced that baths could be had in the running stream. Most of it is now arched over, hiding the fact that a long strip of land between the goit and the river is an island. Thus there is first Kelham Island above Bridgehouses, then Millsands (a name which shows where the old town corn mill stood), between the Iron Bridge and Lady's Bridge; and, lastly, " The Isle " (where Tennant s Brewery now stands), Iying between two branches of the goit, one entering the river above the Lady's Bridge weir and the other below. Under-the-Water" was the low ground at the bottom of Castle Green and Water Lane, where Bridge street has supplanted what was only a footpath. This ran on the south margin of the goit, over which there were bridges to the lsle and Mill- sands; or, at the bottom of Newhall street, a ford. ______________ " The little bridge near unto the Ladye Bridge" is often men- tioned. Sometimes it is " the Iytle brydg at the foot of Castel Grene"; sometimes "the little wood bridge," with "raylings," at the end of the Lady's Bridge; sometimes " The Isle Bridge "; and once "The Isley Wight Bridge." It was not until I784 that there was any access for wheeled traffic from the south- west side of Lady's Bridge, and from the bottom of Waingate, to what is now Bridge street. On the other, or eastern side of the bridge, at the bottom of Waingate, stood the old Almshouse, believed to have been, until the Reformation, the Chapel of Our Lady. It is said to have been used by the Earls of Shrewsbury, circ. 1572, as a wool warehouse. Although in 1589 it is called " the Almes- house," it was still utilised to some extent as a store, for in that year Robert Whittaker was paid fifteen shillings " for ij. wayne loades of Iyme to poynt the Lady Brydg, with iijd. for carrying yt into the Almeshouse." In 1657, sums, large for those days, were spent by the Town Trustees in rebuilding the place, with materials derived from the ruins of the de- molished castle adjacent, which were probably given hy the Lord of the Manor. 'The Howards, besides thus contributing to the building, allowed twenty shillings a year to each of the four poor widous who were Its imnates. The Town Trustees, from that time to I761, when the Almshouse was removed to widen the bridge, were at constant charges for repairing the building, glazing the windous, " mossing, poynting, and rig- ging " the roof, cleansing or dressing it after great floods, and so forth. " The house of office " at the Almshouse is also fre- quently mentioned; but we can only conjecture what this was. We get other curious glimpses of the Lady's Bridge and its environments. There are various references to the cuck- stool which was kept here for dipping scolding women in the water. At certain periods the bridge seems to have been guarded by chains, suspended by a stone stoup, and, in I676, John Storie was paid 5S. for "chaineing" it up. In I702 "a lock for Lady's Bridge chaine " was bought, and in I706 Thomas Marshall was excused IOS. 4d. arrears of rent as compensation for " takeing care of the chaine at the bridge for 7 or 8 years past. But these precautions seem to have been spasmodic and temporary, and were perhaps adopted through some special local reasons, requiring unwelcome intruders to be kept out of the town.* If it be true, as already suggested, that the earliest approach to the town from the north was along the eastern bank of the Don, a bridge over the Sheaf must be of great antiquity. It was also essential as giving access from the Lord's Park. But we have no records of such a structure before 1566. What was variously called the Sheate, Shear, Sheave, Sheathe Sheath, Shere, or Sheaf Bridge stood uhere the stream passes below Broad Street, at the bottom of Dixon Lane. It seems to have been of wood throughout the earlier centuries, and it was not until 1596 that a stone one was substituted. The Shreuslmry Hospital was built beside it in 1655-66, and in those days formed a notable local landmark. But for us moderns all interest in this bridge is destroyed now that the stream, burrowing under the wholesale fruit market‹the site of the old Hospital‹is relegated to the category of sewers. The multifarous traffic of a busy street rolls on unconscious of the fact that it is passing where, at long intervals, Roman legnonaries and Cromwell's Ironsides tramped across the stream whlch gives Sheffield its name. We get a clue to the origin of the names Blonk Street and Bonk Bridge, as uell as an interesting glimpse of the state of our rivers at the end of the last century, in a document bv which, in 1786, the Duke of Norfolk conveys the Wicker Tilts and Wheels, for 63 years, at £50 a year, to Joseph Ibberson, Joseph- Ward, Benjamin Blonk, Benjamin and Joseph Withers and John Wilson. In addition to the premises, they are to have the exclusive right of fishing in the dam adjoining the tilt, rendering to the Duke once a vear a dish of such fish as may be taken thereout. ___________ * Strict watch was set " to keepe away all fellowshippe" with people from plague-lnfected places, as Doncaster, Chesterfield, OR Eyam.‹Local Register, pp. I5, 25. _________

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