- Comments (0) Change font
If columns/tables do not appear straight, change font
The Parish of Stanhope is situated in the western part of the Co. of Durham, and contains by Estimation 70,400 acres at present it is presumed nearly 70,000 are in Grass, which never has been ploughed, being chiefly Commonable. The Bill now pending in Parliament if carried into a Law will loosen the ties of Bondage, give liberty to Industry, Encourage, and Comfort the poor. Of late years the Mines of Lead, chiefly in the western part, have been worked considerably which has caused Numbers of labouring poor to settle, several of whom are Lodgers who cannot procure Habitations, and those that have Dwellings are mean & small, the proposed Division if effected will undoubtably cause a great Increase of such settlers, the <.. Interest>, the Lands being <shared>, each will know his own spot to Build upon, & his own Soil to Cultivate, and Improve, so that those Industrious Members of Society, it is hoped may look forward with a fair prospect of having comfortable Dwellings, Gardens, and pastures for Cows, besides many Husbandmen will no doubt be employed in Cultivating the Soil, it being chiefly improveable. But there are other things that deserve serious considerations: how those settlers are in the western part, to have the benefit of Churches, and of Schools, the parish being supposed, to be in length about 25 Miles, and the Mother Church within about 4 of the East end, with one Dependant Chapel, about 7 further West, so that the Inhabitants of the Western part are about 14 Miles from any place of Public Worship, and more than 20 from the Mother Church, where the Marriages etc are performed. Nor in this district is there any Schools in cause the labouring poor are deprived of education for their Children, and whilst young on account of the distance are almost precluded the Comforts & Benefits of the Gospel, neither is the Church and Chapel of sufficient size for the Inhabitants that may to a certainty be expected on the Division of these Commons. Such Considerations deserve the most serious thought of those Instructed in the Care of the Parish, particularly that of Religion and Morality, and I Humbly conceive it is absolutely necessary in the case of a Division that a Chapel and one or two School be provided for, and placed in the Western District. Arthur Mowbray 1799 – Feb 7
A description of the parish of Stanhope and its need for more churches and schools, presumably prepared for Arthur Mowbray’s employer, the Bishop of Durham.