By Robert Rishworth
Eastburn and Steeton
William Rishworth (1742 to 1811) and Mary Midgley
William was born about 1742 and christened on 20 February 1742 in Bingley. On 3rd August 1769 when he was 27 he married Mary Midgley, daughter of John Midgley and Mary of Cullingworth in Bingley Parish Church.
There is an indenture for lands in Eastburn dated 13th and 13th October 1769, between John Moorhouse and William Rishworth.
On 16th and17th September 1784 there is a lease and release of lands in Eastburn between Benjamin Blackburn and Margaret his wife, Francis Lambert, William Rishworth and Joshua Wood.
Wiliam and Mary had eight children all born in Eastburn from 1772 to1792.
They had a daughter Martha Rishforth, then seven sons, Thomas Rishworth, John Rishforth, William Rishforth, Midgley Rishworth, Henry Rishworth, Samuel Rishworth and Clapham Rishworth. The spellings are as shown in the Kildwick Parish Register. In the cases where the record had been made as Rishforth these were obviously errors at the time of entry and were not subsequently used. This is directly relevant since John Rishworth is a direct ancestor of ourselves and William Rishworth a direct ancestor of Lisa Wilson.
Martha the eldest was born in 1772 and married John Shuttleworth.
Thomas, born in 1774, married Sarah Rhodes on 3rd September 1798 when he was 24.
Third child was John, born in 1777. On 3rd September 1799 when he was 22 he married Martha Smith, aged 21. They had seven children, five girls and two boys, between1799 and 1817. It has been reported that he was known as “John of Aberford”.
Their fourth child William was born in 1779. On 1st December 1814, aged 35, he married Mary Padget who we shall find more about shortly. He was also known as “William of Aberford”.
Fifth was Midgley, born in 1781. He married Mary Cure, daughter of Thomas Cure, on 22nd February in Keighley, at the age of 20. They had ten children between 1803 and 1824. Midgley died in 1853 at the age of 71.
Sixth was Henry, born 8th December 1783.
Seventh was Samuel born 15th January 1785, who married Elizabeth of Bradley. They had three girls and two boys, Anne 1816, Mary 1819, Wiliiam 1823, Martha 1825, and Thomas 1828. Samuel died in Kildwick on 11th April 1854. He was 70.
Lastly, Clapham born in 1792 and died aged 9 on 16th July 1801.
During the early part of this period the Leeds-Liverpool canal was being built through the valley, with construction of the Keighley Skipton section commencing in 1770 and completed in 1773. The present main road through Eastburn to Steeton was completed at the time of the building of the turnpikes and was finished in 1789. Most of the buildings along the present main road have been built since the turnpike was made. The Eastburn to Sutton Lane was built in 1797-1799.
William acquired his land in Steeton on 28 March1787, the areas being referred to in the indenture being the Croft, Carter Royd, Barrows, Stone Groves and 2 parcels of land in a close called the West Ing.
William died on 24th April 1811 aged 69. In his will proved on 9th July 1811 he bequeathed considerable land and property to his wife Mary and children. Estates and Manors of Eastburn and Steeton were divided up and given to his children and wife. Much of this land was already being farmed and occupied by them.
To Martha, married to John Shuttleworth, was left a yearly payment of £13, their children £200 to share when they reached the age of 21 years. Martha was left a cottage in Eastburn where John Lund currently lived.
To Thomas, the House on Eastburn where he (William Snr.) currently lives, with the attached barn and lands called: The Croft (in front of the house), The two Crofts (adjoining the house), The Litle Shay, The Great Shay, The Ox Close, The Barn, The Eastmoor Closes, The Near Flat, The Far Ing, The Stubbs (1/2 an acre), And a cottage occupied by Robert Clough. William was also to pay £350 to Samuel.
Also the dwelling house in Eastburn (currently in the occupation of his son John) as
well as lands called: Cowgill Croft, Mid Croft, Two Cross Butts, Moor Butts, The Holme, Allotments in Steeton Moor.
As well as four cottages with gardens occupied by Steven Wilkenson, John Pickles, Robert Lister and John Lund-and thebarn adjoining the last cottage, also the Croft adjoining the backside.
From this £100 to Samuel and £200 to Mr. John Greenwood, of Keighley.
To John, The House in Steeton with adjoining barn (currently occupied by John Asquith), The Croft (in front of the house), The Barrows, The Boadholme Heads.
To Midgley, two hedge Crofts, west Ings, Stonebridge, £50 to samuel; House and barn in Steeton (occupied byJohn Shuttleworth), The Croft (on the backside of the house), Low Lane Ends, King Croft, West Ing, Coast Close, Guilegrass, Broadholme, The Heads, TheHolyroyd, Houlsyns (four yards in breadth), £50 to Samuel.
To Mary, £25 from John, £5 from Thomas, £43 from Midgley yearly. The cottage in Eastburn (occupied by Stephen Barrett), plate, linen, furniture and household goods to furnish one room, the remainder to William.
The remainder of his estate was left to William (jnr) as sole heir and executor.
It can be noted that Henry was not mentioned in the will. Was he deceased?
Mary, born in Cullingworth, wife of William, died 3 years after him on 21st September 1814, and is buried at St. Andrew’s Parish Church, Kildwick.
Grave G28, a large flat stone beside SE corner of Kildwick Churchyard bears the inscription:
In memory of MARY widow of JOHN MIDGLEY late of Cullingworth in the Parish of Bingley who died March 18th 1799 aged 85 years. Also of CLAPHAM grandson of the above and son of William and Mary RISHWORTH of Eastburn who died 16th July 1801 aged 9 years. Likewise the abovementioned WILLIAM RISHWORTH who died April 24th 1811 aged 68 years. Also MARY relict of the said William Rishworth who died September 21st 1814 aged 68 years. Also MARY wife of William Rishworth of Eastburn son of above William and Mary Rishworth who died June 15th 1851 in the 74th year of her age. Also the above WILLIAM RISHWORTH who died September 17th 1851 in the 74th year of his age.
It is not known if the family owned land in Aberford or quite what the “of Aberford” reference refers to. One possible reason, suggested by myself, is that John and his brother William may at some time have made a “trial” visit to Aberford – the area where elder brother Thomas moved to in the 1810s. Alternatively, since the River Aire was crossed by a ford prior to there being a road bridge between Steeton and Silsden, the ford was possibly on Rishworth land at the Steeton side and “Aberford” may be a corruption of “Aireford”.
John Rishworth (1777 to 1855) and Martha Smith
Third child of William Rishworth and Mary Midgley was John, born in 1777 and baptised on 12th January 1777. On 3rd September 1799 when he was 22 he married Martha Smith, aged 21. Martha died on 5th May 1837. They had seven children, five girls and two boys, between 1799 and 1817. It has been reported that he was known as John of Aberford.
An examination of the later (1822) Tithe map indicates that Samuel Smith occupied property very close to Eastburn House. It is considered that there would have been similar occupancy in 1799 so that John and Martha were near neighbours.
Little is recorded about John’s location, but there are records of a land transaction on 1st June1819, between John Rishworth, Farmer of Eastburn and Midgley Rishworth, Yeoman of Steeton. This is for a lease for 1 year @ 5 shillings for Broadholme Heads in Steeton. The 1846 Tithe map also indicates land belonging to John Rishworth.
Although it has been stated above that the marriage took place on 3rd September 1799, another source indicates that the marriage took place on 11th April 1799.
More information about John is obtained from the baptism records.
Their first child, Mary, was born on 4th May 1799, less than one month after the earlier reported marriage date and she was baptised on 9th June 1799. The record gives the description “woolcomber” of Eastburn. Mary died 14th January 1818.
Elizabeth was born on 11th February 1802 then baptised on 14th March, with John described as before. Elizabeth married Samuel Fort on 11th June 1821. They farmed 28 acres at Rakes Head, Silsden Moor. Elizabeth died December 1886, age 84. The 1841 Census listed a 15 year old son Rishworth Fort.
Sarah, born 23rd December 1804 was baptised 17th January 1805. On this occasion John was described as a “weaver”. Sarah married William Fergusson on 2nd July 1826.
Charles, born 26th November 1807 was baptised 10th January 1808. On this occasion John was described as a “farmer”. Charles died 13th January 1878. He is reported to have married Martha, but this is questionable. In the 1841 Census he was recorded in Steeton (age 30), living with Martha Rishworth (age 20), as a Shoemaker. This Martha is considered to be his sister (see below). There is no record of his marriage. In 1851 he was employed as a Cordwainer, living as a servant in Sutton. In 1861 he was still a Cordwainer, but living alone. In 1871 when he was still living on his own in Sutton, but now once again described as a Shoemaker. He died on 13th January 1878.
Thomas was born on 14th October 1810 and baptised on 1st November 1810. Again John is described as a “farmer”. Thomas died on 24th January 1880. There is more to follow about Thomas and his family.
Emma was born about 1814. She married Isaac Hindle, Mar 1838, and died Mar 1887 aged 72. Isaac was a Painter and Glazier and they lived in Barrows Lane, Steeton
Martha was born on 4th May 1817.
The 1841 Census records John (age 60) living on his own, close to Low Fold, Steeton, described as “Gardener”.
The 1851 Census shows John (age 74) to be living between Hawkcliffe Toll House and the Railway Station, Steeton and still describes his occupation as “Gardener”, although at the age of 73 this should be regarded as his retirement occupation.
Martha, wife of John died on 5th May 1837 in Kildwick, she was 59. John (of Aberford), died on 7th January 1855, at the age of 78
Grave G29in Kildwick Churchyard has a large flat stone with the inscription:
In Memory of MARY daughter of John and Martha RISHWORTH of Eastburn who died January 14th 1818 in the 19th year of her age. Also the above MARTHA wife of John Rishworth who died 5th May 1837 in the 59th year of her age. Also the abovenamed JOHN RISHWORTH who died 7th January 1855 in the 79th year of his age. Also CHARLES RISHWORTH son of the above who died January 13th 1878 in the 71st year of his age.
Thomas Rishworth (1810 to 1880) and Fanny Thornber
Fifth child of John Rishworth and Martha Smith was Thomas Rishworth, born on 14th October 1810 in Steeton. He died on 24th January 1880 aged 69. It is through Thomas that the line descends, since his only brother Charles did not have children.
He married Fanny Thornber March 1839. Fanny was born in Silsden on 8 May 1817. She died on 27th January 1906 aged 88.
Thomas was a tailor, indicated in the 1841 Census and continued throughout his life, and set up a family tradition in this occupation. He lived all his adult life in Steeton, and it is probable that this is where he was brought up. The Census address in 1861 was 5 Silsden Road but in 1871 they were lower down the road at the newly built Garden Cottage, now 27 Station Road.
Thomas and Fanny have been recorded as having had 11 children, seven sons and four daughters, but it is considered that there were only 10 children, due to inconsistency over the name for Charles/Thomas Charles:
Thornber was born June 1839 and christened at Kildwick on 18th August 1839. (A separate chapter is included, See Chapter 10, due to his influence on the centre of Steeton and also his family descendants. This chapter also includes youngest brother Samuel).
Henry was born June 1841 and christened on 18th July 1841. In 1861 he was still living with his parents, employed as a Bobbin Turner. He married Mary Smith Sep 1868. In 1871 they were living at Rishworth Street, Steeton but in 1881 they were at 111, Utley Green Head, Keighley, with Henry described as a Wood Turner. By 1891 there was a significant change and he was now described as a Farmer at Gildersber, Addingham. In 1901 Henry was the Farmer at Bracken Hill Farm, Silsden, together with his wife Mary, and employing his Nephew, Harry Rishworth, age15, (See Chapter 4), as a Labourer. Henry died 3rd March 1925. It appears that there were no children. The following is a Memorial Inscription from Silsden Churchyard which indicates that Henry and Mary had taken over at Bracken Hill Farm from Mary’s deceased parents:
In loving memory of ALFRED SMITH of Braken Hill, Silsden. Born December 13th 1822. Died November 30th 1893. Also of GRACE his wife who died February 27th 1903 aged 79 years. Also of HENRY RISHWORTH, son of the above who died March 3rd 1925 aged 84 years. Also of MARY RISHWORTH, wife of the above died September 25th 1928 in her 85th year. Also LAVINIA daughter of ALFRED and GRACE SMITH, died April 1st 1934 age 86 years.
Mary was born Sept 1843 and christened on 22nd October 1843. It is probable that she married Mar 1866.
John was born December 1845 (see Chapter 4)
Charles was recorded as age 2 in the 1851 Census. It is considered that he is the same person referred to as Thomas Charles in the 1861 Census who was born Sep1848 and died 2nd October 1904. (There was a Charles Rishworth recorded as born Mar 1848, the son of Clapham Rishworth living in Keighley in 1851). The 1871 Census records Charles, age 22, to be living at Rishworth Street Tailor’s Shop with his brothers John and Samuel, working as a Spinning Frame Fitter. In 1881 Charles Rishworth, age 30, born Steeton, is recorded as Soldier, 5th Dragoon Guards at Fulwood Barracks, Preston. The death of Thomas Charles on 2nd October 1904 is recorded on a family gravestone.
Martha was 2 months old at the 1851 Census, therefore born in1851. It is probable that she married Dec 1874.
Samuel was born June1854 (also See Chapter 10)
Fanny was born June 1856. It is probable that she married Sept 1884.
William was born Mar 1858 but died an infant June 1859.
Emma was born Mar 1863
The following Census information is available:
1841 living at Steeton
Thomas Rishworth, age 25, Tailor
1851 living at Steeton
Thomas Rishworth, age 40, Tailor
Fanny 32, Tailor’s Wife
Thornber 11 Tailor
1861 living at 5, Silsden Road, Steeton
Thomas Rishworth, age 50
Thornber 21, Tailor
Henry 19, Bobbin Turner
Mary 17, Power Loom Weaver
John 16, Bobbin Turner
Thomas Charles 12
1871 living at Garden Cottage, Steeton
Thomas Rishworth, age 60, Tailor
Martha 20, Dressmaker
Fanny 14, Knob Packer
1881 living at Garden Cottage, Steeton
Fanny Rishworth, age 63, Tailor’s Widow
John 35, Tailor
Samuel 27, Wood Turner
Fanny 24, Dressmaker
Emma 18, Dressmaker
1891 living at Garden Cottage, Steeton
Fanny Rishworth, age 73, Living on own means
Samuel 37, Bobbin Turner Wood
Emma 28, Dressmaker
1901 living at Garden Cottage, Steeton
Fanny Rishworth, age83, Living on own means
Samuel 47, Wood Turner (Bobbin Mill)
Emma 38, Dressmaker
Rose 39, Dau in law
Wilfred 7, Grand Son
Thomas died 24th January 1880 age 79. Fanny survived him until 27th January 1906.
Grave E5, in the NE corner of Kildwick Churchyard has the following inscription:
In Memory of THOMAS RISHWORTH of Steeton who died January 24th 1880 in the 70th year of his age. Also WILLIAM infant son of the above who died in 1859. Also THOMAS CHARLES son of the above who died October 2nd 1904 aged 56 years. Also FANNY wife of the above Thomas Rishworth born May 8th 1817 died January 27th 1906.
An obituary was published for Fanny:
Keighley Herald, February 3, 1906
The death took place on Saturday morning, after a long illness, of Mrs. T. Rishworth,
widow of the late Mr.T.Rishworth, of Station Road, Steeton. Mrs. Rishworth, who was the oldest inhabitant, was a native of Silsden. She was interred at Kildwick on Tuesday. Mrs. Rishworth, who was 88 years of age, leaves a family of four sons and two daughters.