MISCELLANEA Researched by Bill Ricalton

Border Reivers: (Source: Calenda of Border Papers).

Sundry incursions and days forays done in the Middle Marches since the last of April 1587, by the opposite realm: Unhill on 29th June, 6 of West Tevedale took 16 oxen and 3 horses from Horslye. On 20th July, 20 West Tevedale took from Horseley, besides 2 men hurt on defence, 30 Kyne.

John Horsley, esquire, of Horsley, upon Jock a Burn of Coatt, his son John, Thomas Burne of Attenburne, Charles Burne of Elisheugh, for theft and reset of 7 oxen and a cow from Horsley about 14 days before Michaelmas 1589.

The Twenty-four: (Source: Oxford Dictionary of Local History)

The committee of the twenty-four, gradually evolved as the then manorial system weakened. They formed a type of village parliament, attached to the church, being the only institution with any learning. Members were householders, who had to serve for a year in turn, regardless of their capabilities, and they were decision-makers and overseers of every aspect of village life until the early and middle 1800's when the central government took over the administration of the poor laws, roads, etc. and a police force was formed.

Memorandum: (Source: Longhorsley Wardens Account Book)

April 8th 1777. It is fully agreed upon by the Vicar, Churchwardens, and Twenty-four, present, that whoever shall be absent at a meeting called, without showing a lawful reason (as sick or abroad etc.) shall forfit one shilling, or otherwise, be presented the first court after such default.

Signed: Joseph Middleton Vicar followed by fifteen other names.

Expense Account 1787 style: (Source: Longhorsley Wardens Account Book)

At a meeting of the Churchwardens on Easter Monday 1787. Resolved that for the future a dinner be provided in the town by the Churchwardens at the expense of the parish for themselves and the Twenty-four every Easter Monday. None to be admitted to dinner but who attend Prayer at Church in the Morning.

Signed: Jno Buckbarrow Curate, George Burne, Geo Dobson, Thomas Sharp, William Rand, James Henerson,

Wm Aynsley, Wm Grey, Edward Green, Lewis Bilton, George Johnson, John Common.

Overseer of the Poor: (Source: Longhorsley Wardens Account Book)

July 16th, 1754. At a meeting of the Twenty-four and principal inhabitants of the Earl of Carlisle's Quarter of Longhorsley Parish it is unanimously agreed upon that the said inhabitants have an Overseer of the Poor who shall lawfully act and discharge all business relating thereto for the future, as collecting the poor Rate and paying the poor their pensions, and to attend at a sessions or upon Justice of the Peace etc. when necessity shall require and shall be allowed by the said Quarter, two shillings a day, when such attendance is given. Upon which agreement the said inhabitants cast lots who shall be first, and how the course of it should proceed, which was as followeth to commence at May (to wit) after the poor have received their May Day pension, then the other overseer shall take place. Their lots followeth Edward Towns, for the year 1754, Ralph Carnaby for the year 1755, and the other names each year up to 1770.

The Causeway: (Source: Longhorsley Wardens Account Book)

The path over the field to the old church is very ancient and probably dates to the 12th century. The repair of it is mentioned in some of the few remaining church records.

1742 Jno Brown for mending the Church Causey, 9s 6d. Allowed in his own hand for leading stuff 10s to Church Causey and for making stuff 7s

1759 £6 cess [tax] for repairing Causeway and other expenses.

1822 A lock for Elledge gate 1s 2d. [Elledge is the name of the field through which the path passes]

1826 Archdeacons Visitation "The parishioners have made an excellent path to the church lessening thereby as far as they can, the inconvenient distance at which it is placed from the village".

Walking The Bounds: (Source: Longhorsley Wardens Account Book)

We the Curate and Churchwardens in pursuance of the order of the Honourable and Right Reverend .........? Lord Bishop of this diocese perambulated the boundaries of the Parish upon the 7, 8 and 9th of June 1792.

Signed: Jno Buckbarrow Curate

(It was the custom in Ascension week to walk and redefine the borders of the parish. The ceremony was carried out by the Incumbent, Churchwardens and parishioners. The custom was known as Beating the Bounds because of the practice of whipping children at the parish boundaries, in the knowledge that the child would never forget the experience or the exact spot where the beating had taken place, the child would then carry that memory into old age. The custom of Beating the Bounds originated in the 9th century or earlier)

Church Porch -Memorial Plaque: (Source: Miss H M Olivers notes)

A memorial Plaque in the porch of the old church, due to the crumbling state of the stone, it was not possible to move it with the porch to the new church, it read:


To the memory of William Bates, who died at

North Shields, on the 28th day of April 1807,

aged 31 years, He was a man of great mental

endowments and of elegant accomplishments.

School House Improvements: (Source: Longhorsley Wardens Account Book)

Vestry Meeting 30th March 1807.

At the above vestry meeting it was resolved that until the Parish of Longhorsley or the Bishop of Durham order a proper vestry to be built at the church, some improvement should be made to the present School House, so as to make it convenient for the purpose of baptisms and churching women and a proper place for vestry meetings and that there should be a bell placed there to give notice for the time of church service.

Necessary alterations in the fireplace to be made in the said School House with a certain proportion of coals for Sundays etc, ....That a Privy or Necessary House be added to the said School House for the accommodation of the scholars and inhabitants coming to church.

Signed: James Cochrane Vicar

The Wellington Coach: (Source: Parson and White "History and Directory of Northumberland" published 1828)

The Wellington to Wooler, Coldstream, and Edinburgh leaves Longhorsley at 9 in the morning and to Newcastle at 7 in the evening daily; except Sundays.

New Mail Service between Newcastle and Edinburgh: (Source: "Rambles in Northumberland and on the Scottish Border" by Stephen Oliver, the younger, 1835)

A light two-horse carriage of peculiar construction was used for a new fast, mail service, between Newcastle and Edinburgh, starting around 1828. The vehicle picked up the mail and newspapers in Morpeth and traveled via Longhorsley, Wooler and Coldstream, this route is about 10 miles shorter than the lower road. It is said to be the most rapid mail in the kingdom, and traveling at 11 miles per hour, arrived in Edinburgh, two hours ahead of the ordinary coach, which continued to go via Alnwick, The carriage conveyed no passengers, and as it left Edinburgh two hours after the coach it allowed more time to answer letters by return post, but the speed it traveled it was very distressing to the horses.

Some old resident's recollections

1. Source - Mr Jack Lennox one time village joiner and undertaker, as told to, and recorded by, the late Miss H M Oliver,

the first President of Longhorsley Local History Society:

In 1890 Mr. Patton, the old man who drove the mail van, went off the road, on top of the moor into the quarry, during a snowstorm and was found frozen stiff.

Robert Bell's father lived in Hope House one end was a provisions store (now Dawn Cottage). He traveled right up into the hills, always on the move at night, meeting poachers, and bringing back loads of game for which he paid in groceries.

Some farmers paid their taxes by doing odd days work, with their horse and cart, on the road.

I remember the mill on the burn standing but not in use. People used to take their 'packets' to Weldon Bridge to be ground. That mill had been struck by lightning and had been rebuilt to more modern design.

There were two small cottages on the north side of our green, They were destroyed one night when the Irish inhabitant of one of them, set fire to the thatch of his enemy neighbour while 'mad' drunk.

Old Mr. Percival the mole catcher thought nothing of walking to Christon Bank to work. Paid on 12th May and December at Linden, he always went to both pubs afterward and showed a £1 note.

Vicar Good was very fond of cows, which he tended. The straws which were sometimes attached to his church garments caused some criticism.

Some of the mahogany fittings in Linden Hall came from the old Mansion House on the quay at Newcastle.

2. Source - William O Appleby:

2.1 When Mr. Gordon the master left the room, George McGuire climbed on top of a cupboard and moved the clock pointers forward an hour. The 'gaffer' didn't realise and we all got out of school an hour early. However, the next day, when he discovered the clock error, we all suffered.

2.2 There was a harmonium in the corner of the big room, which the 'gaffer' used to play at the assembly in the morning. George McGuire got the ink jug and jammed it under the pedals when the 'gaffer' came to play it the pedals wouldn't move. It was a few days before he discovered the problem and once again we were in trouble.

2.3 I don't know who thought of it but a few of us boys went to the Village Farm, during the lunch break, where they were threshing corn. In those days there were always a lot of rodents in the corn stacks. We caught as many mice as we could, put them in our pockets and went back to school. The lessons had just started and we let the mice out. It was pandemonium girls were standing on top of the desks screaming as the mice ran about the classroom trying to escape the noise. Mr. Gordon the 'gaffer' was furious fortunately he never discovered exactly how the mice got there.

2.4 I left school when I was 14 and went to work on a thresher, it belonged to the Moore Bros. When I was 16, I was what was called, the second man on the thresher Robert Moore was the thresher-man in charge of the machine. During the winter is when the threshing took place and we used to go around from farm to farm in the area and thresh the corn that had been stacked at harvest time. Threshing required a lot of men to complete all the work, so on threshing day neighbouring farmers sent their workers to help. At most farms the men went into the farmhouse for a roast beef dinner, however not all farmers treated the men to a meal, at some farms only the thresher-man had dinner supplied, occasionally the thresher-man and the second man got dinner, but sometimes we all had to sit in the barn and eat your sandwiches. - The very good 'eating houses' made up for the poor ones.

2.5 It was at times very hard work for a young lad. I was only 16 when we were at Paxton Dene and I was on the corn - you always swapped around and took your turn. The threshed corn was been filled into 16 stone 'railway bags' and I was having to carry them from the back of the machine across the stackyard and up the stairs into the granary. At night when I got home, I could barely get up the stairs to bed, my knees were trembling like jelly and I had to pull myself up with my hands on the banister.

3. Source - As told by Jimmy Green:

To most country people fish was a good supplement to the diet, even children learned how to 'tickle' trout at an early age. Water to pan within the hour. Rolled in oatmeal and fried in bacon fat trout was a real delicacy.

Ned Green the butcher and Bob "Rat" Monaghan were well known in the village as inveterate poachers of salmon and sea trout. After an evenings 'fishing,' they would retire to the comfort of the Shoulder of Mutton for warmth and refreshment. After one particular evening's expedition, as they had done on previous occasions, they hid the fish, in the hayloft above the stable of the pub before going inside for refreshment. However, on this occasion, it was witnessed by Peter Cockburn, who decided it was his public duty to inform the village constable of the event. Several days later, when returning from work, Peter met Constable Ralph Tait in the village, the constable mentioned the incident, saying, "thanks for telling me Peter, I went to investigate, and managed to get myself two nice fish"

4 Source - As told by Bob Pickering:

I was born in the inner of Matt Hawkins two cottages [the western end of what is now Drovers Cottage] my father was John Pickering the village blacksmith. The family moved to the house now known as Tudor House, which had a field in a part of which the bungalows are now. There was a shack in the far S.E. corner of the field where a father and son lived and worked, making clothes horses, stools, etc., which they took away in a pony and trap to sell in the Ashington area. We had a strip of land on the opposite side of the road from our house, now included in Hawthorn Cottage, where we kept chickens. For my first job, I led stones from the quarry, north of Stephenson's garage, for use in the building of Coronation Terrace. Rutherford the mason, got the stone from the same place to build the Catholic School. [Now Old School Cottage]

Source - A quote of Willie Tennant:

"Aad Nick 'il hev a canny harl from this end 'eh the village, there's aad Ell'ot, Bob Storey, Charlie Johnson and Me'sel".

Source - As told by Pat Webb [Charles's son]:

Jack 'Goatie' Miller had heard from some source that Mr. Charles Webb, in referring to him, had remarked it was difficult to tell the difference between him and his goats. Jack, one day, leading two goats back to the village from Linden met Mr. Webb and greeted him saying, "I'm the one in the middle".