Thursday, 29 October 2015

Forward to the Bards and Authors of North Yorkshire

George Markham Tweddell 1823 - 1903
The Bards And Authors of North Yorkshire - From 500 AD to 1960 is a new blog in progress. There is a lot to add yet.

Note - This Introduction is Pinned Post and will remain at the top.

The object of this site is to showcase the historical extent of literary activity in the North East between Hartlepool and Whitby. The boundaries and name changes have been many but it encompasses what is now the Tees Valley and North Yorkshire. The area has often been marginalised by literary commentators and not many know the extent or nature of it.

The Birth of English Literature
William Hall Burnett - Poet and editor of Middlesbrough Daily Exchange suggested in his book Old Cleveland - Local Writers and Local Worthies 1886 that "Hereabouts, we may fairly say, that English literature had it's first beginnings". He was refering to the likes of Aneurin, the Celtic bard composing his verses about the Battle of Cattreath (Catterick) on our borders, the assertion that Beowulf was buried on Boulby Cliff  (Bowleby - Beowulf's By) and the 'Hart' emblem on Hartlepool's Coat of Arms, and Caedmon, Whitby. George Markham Tweddell, William Hall Burnett and the Rev Gideon Smales, writing in the 19thC, are the main sources of this huge history of Bards and Authors in our area and more research is needed. It is hoped, therefore that this site will prove interesting to the reader but also provide a starting point and material for further research into the writers and the literary history of the area in general.

Tees On Line 2005
It was ten years ago that i created a site on the Tees on Line server to document the more recent literary / Creative Writing history that I and others have been involved with in the Tees area since 1980. In doing so a wider literary history dating back to the 8thC AD presented itslef and I began to document that too. It was about to get funded into a research project by Tees On Line but then they lost their own funding and the site was wiped! This is an attempt to rebuild that site. There is a lot of material, so it will take a while.

Along the way I discovered stories of  a thriving Printing and Publishing culture in 19thC Stokesley; tales of  Lawrence Sterne and John Hall Stevenson at Crazy Castle (Skelton Castle) in the 1700's; visitations of the Romantic poets - William Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron and Shelley in Stockton, Hartlepool and Thomas Hogg's mansion in Norton Tees. Evidence of  John Gower (Gower the Moral), poet and mentor to Chaucer, living at Sexhow near Stokseley and lots more.This site covers up to 1960 and the associated Outlet site (named after the poetry magazine we ran in 1980's) covers the modern period.

The main sources of information are by

Tweddell had planned another 3 volumes of his book which never materialised but left a list of  many names he intended to write about. We will try and incude these names with a profile of the wrtier and their works.
Many of  those writers were covered in his various publications, The Yorkshire Miscellany, The North Yorkshire Tractates, his newspaper The Cleveland News and Stokesely Reporter and a talk he gave to the Stokesley Mechanics Institute 1850. John Brewster's Parochial History of Stockton on Tees 1829 and a later revised edtion has a Stockton literary section, as doews Henry Heavisides - The Annals of Stockton

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Julian Atterton 1956 - 2005

Julian Atterton

 "Julian Atterton was one of the local children's writers who set his novels in pre-industrial Cleveland." Andy Croft The Fire and the Horror 1989

Julian Atterton is a more contemporary writer who lived in our area,. Born in 1956, he grew up in Saltburn by the Sea and lived in Castleton on the North York Moors. This piece from the Yorkshire post on his death in 2005 gives a good profile of  Julian and his work.

Julian Atterton  "was an Author, lyricist, singer and climber who sadly passed away at 48, in 2005. He was author of historical novels for teenagers set between the sixth and 12th centuries in the North of England.

His books include The Last Harper, The Tournament of Fortune, Knights of the Lost Domain, and a collection of short stories under the title Robin Hood Tales. He was brought up in Saltburn where his mother, Alice, was a headteacher and councillor.

His father, Robert, was a headteacher at Grangetown, near Middlesbrough, and died when Julian was 11, and his mother took the family to the South of England, sending Julian to a boarding school in Surrey, where he pined for the moors.

He won a scholarship for a year at the Sorbonne, and while in France he climbed in the Alps – the start of a life-long passion – and he wrote lyrics for, and sang, with Phil Selliez-Vandernotte, Philippe Busson and Luc Robert.

He recently recorded a CD, Love and Run, with Selliez-Vandernotte in collaboration with Paul Whittaker and Charles O'Connor of Irish folk/rock band Horslips.

He met his first wife, Madeleine Gair, at the University of East Anglia, and after graduating returned with her to Yorkshire, living for a time in York where he wrote his first book, The Last Harper. They moved to Castleton, on the North York Moors, into a house which had been given to his mother, and in an attic room with a view of the moors Julian wrote his books, essays and song lyrics

In 1987 he started story- telling to children in libraries and schools across the North of England. A natural entertainer with a talent for mimicry and making people laugh, Julian won the children's attention with his mischievous sense of fun.

He mesmerised them with his imagination and inspired them to make up their own stories, which the schools would often compile into books. He took local teenagers out climbing crags in the Lake District and Scotland. He climbed regularly, the last time being the weekend before he was taken suddenly and fatally ill.

He enjoyed photography, and he kept a journal of his climbs and walks, some of which are published in the climbers' journal, Loose Scree. His friends all knew him as a well-read, knowledgeable, witty, and charismatic man, capable of outrageous honesty while at the same time very sensitive to other people's feelings.

After his first marriage ended, he met and married Jane Robinson, a dancer and theatre designer. Last summer they collaborated with musician Bob Pegg in Strathpeffer, Scotland, where they worked with children during the school holiday, devising an outdoor promenade play with music, costumes and puppets.

At the time of his death he was working on the second draft of an adult novel, The Art of Rapture, and a biography of the climber Percy Farrow."

The lyrics of one of his songs included these poignant words:
"Step with open heart
into a new beginning
Let your love flow clear and strong
Reaching open arms
We're gonna greet the morning
Lovers in a land beyond."

Source -

Link to Julian's books on Amazon Here 

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Robin Hood connections in North Yorkshire

ROBIN HOOD - As with King Arthur, the existence and legends of Robin Hood are widely discussed.
There are claims both in Nottingham and Yorkshire - Doncaster etc. But what of North Yorkshire...?

Robin Hood's Bay
While the origin of the name of Robin Hood's bay, south of Whitby, is uncertain there is the Robin Hood ballad of  The Noble Fisherman, possibly written afterwards, in which - 

"Robin Hood went out in his fishing trip and he encountered pirates who came to pillage the fisherman's boat. He got the French pirates to surrender and returned the goods that the pirates had robbed during the plundering of the northeast coast of England to the poor peoples. Robin Hood returned home to his Merry Men from his trip of fighting the pirates and gave the pirates' loot to the poor people of the village of the bay that is now called Robin Hood's Bay"  Source here

The Noble Fisherman, or, Robin Hood's Preferment
(Child Ballad No. 148) by: Anonymous (Author), Francis James Child (Editor)from: The English and Scottish Popular Ballads 1882-1889 Source

In summer time, when leaves grow green,
When they doe grow both green and long,
Of a bould outlaw, calld Robin Hood,
It is of him I sing this song.

When the lilly leafe and the elephant
Doth bud and spring with a merry good cheere,
This outlaw was weary of the wood-side,
And chasing of the fallow deere.

'The fishermen brave more mony have
Then any merchant, two or three;
Therefore I will to Scarborough goe,
That I a fisherman brave may be.'

This outlaw calld his merry men all,
As they sate under the green-wood tree:
'If any of you have gold to spend,
I pray you heartily spend it with me.

'Now,' quoth Robin, 'I 'le to Scarborough goe,
It seemes to be a very faire day;'
Who tooke up his inne at a widdow-womans house,
Hard by upon the water gray.

Who asked of him, Where wert thou borne?
Or tell to me, where dost thou fare?
'I am a poore fisherman,' saith he then,
'This day intrapped all in care.'

'What is thy name, thou fine fellow?
I pray thee heartily tell to me;'
'In mine own country where I was borne,
Men called me Simon over the Lee.'

'Simon, Simon,' said the good wife,
'I wish thou maist well brooke thy name;'
The outlaw was ware of her courtesie,
And rejoycd he had got such a dame.

'Simon, wilt thou be my man?
And good round wages I 'le give thee;
I have as good a ship of mine owne
As any sayle upon the sea.

'Anchors and planks thou shalt want none,
Masts and ropes that are so long;'
'And if that you thus furnish me,'
Said Simon, 'nothing shall goe wrong.'

They pluckt up anchor, and did away did sayle,
More of a day then two or three;
When others cast in their baited hooks,
The bare lines into the sea cast he.

'It will be long,' said the master then,
'Ere this great lubber do thrive on the sea;
I 'le assure you he shall have no part of our fish,
For in truth he is of no part worthy.'

'O woe is me,' said Simon then,
'This day that ever I came here!
I wish I were in Plomton Parke,
In chasing of the fallow deere.

'For every clowne laughs me to scorne,
And they by me set nought at all;
If I had them in Plomton Park,
I would set as little by them all.'

They pluckt up anchor, and away did sayle,
More of a day then two or three;
But Simon spied a ship of warre,
That sayld towards them most valourously.

'O woe is me,' said the master then,
'This day that ever I was borne!
For all our fish we have got to-day
Is every bit lost and forlorne.

'For your French robbers on the sea,
They will not spare of us one man,
But carry us to the coast of France,
And ligge us in the prison strong.'

But Simon said, Doe not feare them,
Neither, master, take you no care;
Give me my bent bow in my hand,
And never a Frenchman will I spare.

'Hold thy peace, thou long lubber,
For thou art nought but braggs and boast;
If I should cast the over-board,
There were nothing but a lubber lost.'

Simon grew angry at these words,
And so angry then was he
That he took his bent bow in his hand,
And to the ship-hatch goe doth he.

'Master, tye me to the mast,' saith he,
'That at my mark I may stand fair,
And give me my bended bow in my hand,
And never a Frenchman will I spare.'

He drew his arrow to the very head,
And drew it with all might and maine,
And straightway, in the twingling of an eye,
Doth the Frenchmans heart the arow gain.

The Frenchman fell downe on the ship-hatch,
And under the hatches down below;
Another Frenchman that him espy'd
The dead corps into the sea doth throw.

'O master, loose me from the mast,' he said,
'And for them all take you no care,
And give me my bent bow in my hand,
And never a Frenchman will I spare.'

Then streight [they] did board the Frenchmans ship,
They lying all dead in their sight;
They found within the ship of warre
Twelve thousand pound of money bright.

'The one halfe of the ship,' said Simon then,
'I 'le give to my dame and children small;
The other halfe of the shlp I 'le bestow
On you that are my fellowes all.'

But now bespake the master then,
For so, Simon, it shall not be;
For you have won her with your own hand,
And the owner of it you shall bee.

'It shall be so, as I have said;
And, with this gold, for the opprest
An habitation I will build,
Where they shall live in peace and rest.'

From East Yorkshire Folktales by Ingrid Barton we learn that Robin Hood's Bay was once just called Bay Town.

Later in this area, in regard to Robin Hood -

Joseph Ritson born in Stockton on Tees (1752- 1803 (Lawyer, Writer and Antiquarian). His collection
of the Robin Hood ballads is perhaps his greatest single achievement, called  Robin Hood: A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads, Now Extant, Relative to That Celebrated English Outlaw: To Which Are Prefixed Historical Anecdotes of  His Life. In Two Volumes.

More on Joseph Ritson in a separate post on this site.

(Read online or download Joseph Ritson's Robin Hood as a free ebook -  here). 

In 1987 - in Castleton - 

Julian Atterton
More recently,  Julian Atterton, (Storyteller, Author, Lyricist, Singer and Climber) and brought up in Saltburn, lived in Castleton on the N. York moors when he wrote and researched The Outlaw Robin Hood, published by Walker Books in 1987.

Julian Atterton

Julian Atterton passed away in 2005, here is more about his life and artistic work

Peter Walker - Peter is better known to many as the author of  the books behind the TV series Heartbeat.Folk Tales from the North York Moors
His writing output has been quite diverse, and we will include a post about him on this site. Meanwhile, in relation to Robin Hood associations in the area, Peter has a handle on that. In his book  Folk Tales from the North York Moors he identifies a number of associations and in fact talks about them in this article for the Gazette and Herald, here 

Peter Walker says
"As a child in Glaisdale in the North York Moors, one of my regular playgrounds was our local greenwood, ie Arncliffe Wood, where I would go to search for Robin Hood’s Cave. I never found it even though local folklore said it was definitely somewhere in that wood along with an underground tunnel that reached all the way to Robin Hood’s Bay. I never found that tunnel either. To add to the strength of the tales, there were locations on the North York Moors where he was said to have practised archery.

Robin Hood’s butts appear above Robin Hood’s Bay from where he fired an arrow that landed in the bay, a
Peter Walker
sign that he should make good use of that seaside village. There are also some Robin Hood’s butts near Danby-in-Cleveland and a local pub that used to trade in nearby Castleton was named The Robin Hood and Little John with Robin Hood’s Howl not far away near Kirkbymoorside .

Robin Hood’s Howl is sometimes suggested as evidence that Robin had some association with Hartoft near Rosedale. It was Bernard Miles, the actor (later Lord Miles) who said that having married Marian, Robin came to live at Hartoft where he was once accused of poaching.

It was to Robin Hood’s Bay that the outlaw is said to have constantly fled on those many occasions he was being hotly pursued by the law. He was given shelter by local people and the legend suggests he went to sea with the fishing fleet to avoid capture, on one occasion defending a fishing boat against raiders through the skilful use of his famous bow and arrows.

Also in this locality are stories of him practising his archery on local beaches along with an account of him and Little John firing arrows from the top of the tower at Whitby Abbey. This arose due to a challenge as they were shooting cliff foxes that plagued the local farms; Robin and John were well known in and around Hawsker but never wore their famous Lincoln green costumes. Even though the local people were aware of their identity, Government officials and constables never knew.

One day when they were dinner guests of the Abbot of Whitby Abbey, someone challenged Robin and John to see who could shoot furthest from the highest point of the abbey, each firing 10 arrows.

To cut short a long story, it was actually Little John who shot the furthest. The fields in which their arrows landed were named Robin Hood’s Close and Little John’s Close.

The landing sites were marked with standing stones but in 1890 they were dumped in a ditch because they obstructed horse-drawn mowing machines.

Whitby photographer Frank Meadow Sutcliffe later found them and photographed them, and persuaded another farmer to re-erect them but in 1937 one was seen in use as a field roller near Hawsker church.

Today a pair of replacement stones bearing the names of Robin Hood and Little John stand beside a public footpath about 100 yards from Stainsacre Lane with wonderful views of Whitby Abbey. There is no guarantee they occupy the positions of the original stones.

Robin Hood has many associations with other parts Yorkshire, including Wakefield, Barnsdale Forest, Knaresborough, Boroughbridge, York and Foston near Malton . The location of his grave is widely accepted as being on private land within the grounds of Kirklees Priory near Huddersfield.

Perhaps the most intriguing suggestion is that Robin Hood and his Merry Men were members of the Knights Templar, a popular organisation established about 1129 and endorsed by the Catholic Church due to its charitable work, financial skills, military discipline and devout faith. In support of this, the Templars were present in many parts of Yorkshire, some sites still being recognisable because Temple forms part of their name.

King Arthur and Freebrough Hill


Whether Arthur existed or not is hotly debated but in terms of literature his legend does impinge on our area.
First of all there is the tale -
"The Sleeping Knights of Freeborough" which involves the legend of  Edward Trotter who lived in the reign of  Edward 11, in a small holding in Dimmingdale near Freebrough Hill (tumili).

The Sleeping Knights of Freeborough

One legend suggests there is a deep pit shaft running directly from the summit into the depths of the earth, and that this was used to bury hundreds of dead soldiers and horses after bygone battles.
Some say it contains the bodies of those who died during the black death: indeed a grave was found on the side of the hill during the last century. This was made of whinstone blocks, which had been carried three or four miles to this site, thus indicating a grave of some importance.
The is the legend of Edward Trotter who lived in a small holding in Dimmington.
When chasing a lost lamb he found a large hole the size of a badger sett. On crawling inside the hole he found a tunnel running deep into the hill. The tunnel grew larger as he passed through it. He then came across a huge chamber with a heavy oak door studded with iron with a large iron handle.
On entering the door, Edward encountered a man in chain mail with a long spear in one hand and a sword in the other.
The man awoke and stopped Edward from running away.
The man commanded Edward to be quiet. Edward notice that there were more men in similar dress all asleep and seated at a round table.
The guard informed Edward that "we are King Arthur and his Knights of the round table, we are sleeping until our services are again required.
He then swore Edward to secrecy and told him to leave.
In the following poem by John Hall Stevenson, it is alleged that Arthur is buried in the Freebrough Hill tumili! - 

In I.S. Hall's (of Skelton Castle's) A Cleveland Prospect - poem quoted on page 410 in John Brewster's Parochial History of Stockton has the line "Freebro's huge mount, immortal Arthur's tomb". (Line 8 in the poem below) Freebro hill (burial mound) is the Cleveland end of the Whitby road across the North Yorkshire Moors.

In Country Folklore Vol 2  In it it says "Freebrough Hill five miles S. of Castleton is a remarkable circular elevation, like a gigantic tumulus. An almost extinct piece of folk-lore asserts that Arthur and his knights lie within the hill, like the great Emperor Frederick Barbarossa in the vaults of Kifhauser, ready to start forth in their appointed season.111 It is natural, since a sand-stone quarry has been opened in its side; but the name indicates that the court of the Anglian 'Freeburgh' or Tything (above which was the Hundred court) used to assemble her...It was John Hall Stevenson, author of Crazy Tales, who, in A Cleveland Prospect (1736), wrote the often repeated line quoted by ORD, p. 265: 'Freebro's huge mount immortal Arthur's tomb.'. Bulmer scruples not to declare (p. 97): 'Its connection with the illustrious and mythical Arthur exists only in the imagination of the poet'--whether of Stevenson, or of the whole genus, is not clear."

It would seem the poem below is really John Hall Stevenson of Skelton Castle 1736 and close friend of Lawrence Sterne author of Tristram Shandy rahter than I S Hall.

A Cleveland Prospect
By I.S. Hall Esq. of Skelton Castle, addressed to the Gentlemen 
of the neighbourghood. Editor John Brewster wrote  
*(This poem was originally written in Greek Hexameters, and translated by the author.
 A  copy of the Greek original was once in the pocession of the editr. It was lent, 
but never returned. * Zachary Moore, Esq. of eccentric memory.)

I am the first that with advent'rous hand
In Grecian (*) colours draw my nativeland,
Hold the fair landscape to the public view,
and point out beauties known to none but you.
See! haughty Lofthouse there with alum stor'd
Lofthouse still weeping for her hapless lord (1)
Kilton's deep vales, white rill, and sylvan gloom,
Freebro's huge mount, immortal Arthur's tomb,
And Hunley scowling o'er the distant main,
With cloudy head involved in murky rain;
Skelton (2) beneath, the jocund Muses bower,
Smiles on the bard, an ancient humble tower,
Smiles on the bard, an ancient humble tower,
Where feeling Tristram (3) dwelt in days of Yore,
And joyful Panly (4) makes the table roar.
Behold Upleatham slo'd with graceful ease
Hanging enraptur'd o'er the winding Tees,
Whole provinces extended at the feet,
And crowded ships that seem one endless fleet;
No savage beauties here with awe surprise,
Sweet heart-felt charms, like Lady Charlotte's eyes;
Mark Tockets, (5) nurse and cradle of the loves,
Where Venus (6) her children and her doves.
Through yon tremendous arch, like Heav'n's vast bow,
See! like Palmyra, Guisbrough great in woe;
Those towering rocks, green hills, and spacious plains.
Circled with woods, are Chaloner's domains,
A generous race, from Cambro-griffin trac'd,
Fam'd for fair maids, and matrons wise and chaste.
Observe, nor let those stately piles below,
Nor Turner's princely realms unnoctic'd go (7)
Forc'd like Rome's consul, with reluctant brow,
To leave his oxen, cabbages and plough;
His all that coast, and his that wave-wash'd seat,
Coatham, where Cleveland nymphs and naids meet,
Next fishy Redcar; view Marske's sunny lands,
And sands beyond Pactolus' golden sands,
Till shelvy Saltburne, clothed with sea-weed green,
And giant Huntcliff close the pleasing scene.


1 The seat of John Stevenson HallEsq (John Hall Stevenson); where the wits of that age used 
frequently to meet.
2 Sterne.
3 Robert Lascelles, MA Rector of Gilling; called thus from Pantagruel in the French Romance 
of Rabelais. Ob. 1802, AE 84. 
4 Lady Charlotte Dundas.
5 The Plantation; then the seat of General Hale.
6 Mrs Hale
7 Kirkleatham; the seat of the late Charles Turner, Bart.

More on the suggestion that King Arthur was buried in the tumuli on Freebrough Hill....

SKELTON IN CLEVELAND:Geographical and Historical information from the year 1890.

"About a mile south of Moorsholm is Freeborough Hill, a curious mount, rising cone-like out of the plain to a height of about 400 feet. On the summit are the faint traces of a British village, and on the east side a tumulus or ancient sepulchral mound, 45 yards in circumference. When opened about a century ago there was found a large earthern vessel full of calcined bones. Mr. J. Hall Stephenson, the author of "Crazy Tales," calls it "Freebro's huge mount, immortal Arthur's tomb;" but its connection with the illustrious and mythical Arthur exists only in the imagination of the poet. Its name, though evidently Saxon, is of doubtful import. By some it is said to be derived from Friga or Frea, the northern goddess of love, and beorh, a hill; and, like our Friday, was dedicated to the worship of the Saxon Venus; whilst others suppose it was the place where the Fridboch or Frithbock (from frid orfrith, peace) was held - a court or assembly of ten men, for the settlement of disputes and litigations."

Aneurin (Aneirin)

Anerin and King Arthur
W H Burnett mentions that Aneurin (Aneirin), the Celtic bard that wrote about the
Battle of Catterick (Cattraeth) in The Goddodin, tells us there is a "12thc tradition that
Aneurin was, for a time, one of King Arthur's advisors
" See W H Burnett on Anuerin here .

Also "Catterick*, North Yorkshire (SE220990) 
"Both a Roman fort (Cataractonium) and an early Anglo-Saxon settlement have been discovered 
at Catterick. The Battle of Catraeth, the subject of the Gododdin, has also been located 
here by modern scholars." 

Sunday, 27 September 2015

John Toy

John Toy was mentioned in George Markham Tweddell's Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham in 1872. He was mentioned in a list of possible names for a 2nd or 3rd volume that never appeared. So far I've not come across any mention of him on the internet although there may be mention in some of Tweddell's publications that I haven't yet noticed. If I find anything, it will be posted here.

James Thompson

James Thompson was mentioned in George Markham Tweddell'Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham in 1872. He was mentioned in a list of possible names for a 2nd or 3rd volume that never appeared.

I've yet to research him. Any material found will be relayed here.

James Thomas

James Thomas was mentioned in George Markham Tweddell'Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham in 1872. He was mentioned in a list of possible names for a 2nd or 3rd volume that never appeared.

Any material found will be relayed here.

Justice Temple

Justice Temple was mentioned in George Markham Tweddell'Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham in 1872. He was mentioned in a list of possible names for a 2nd or 3rd volume that never appeared.. 

Yet to find information on this. Tweddell was associated with historian Robert Temple of Stokesley c 1868. Not sure if this was the same one yet.

Edmund Teesdale

Edmund Teesdale was mentioned in George Markham Tweddell's Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham in 1872. He was mentioned in a list of possible names for a 2nd or 3rd volume that never appeared.

No further information on this writer as yet.

G.W. Sutton.

Material to come to this.

Robert Surtees.

Material to come to this.

Robert Stephenson

Material to come to this.

Henry Spencer.

Material to come to this.

I.G. Speed.

Material to come to this.

The Rev. Gideon Smales

Material to come to this.

Thos Simpson

Material to come to this.

Martin Simson

Material to come to this.

Sir Cuthbert Sharp.

Material to come to this.

The Scoresbys

Material to come to this.

The Rev. Wm Romaine.

Material to come to this.

F.K. Robinson.

Material to come to this.

Thos Richmond

Material to come to this.

The Various Richardsons

Material to come to this. Possibly Joseph Richardson would be one these.

H.G. Reid

Material to come to this.

Ralph Punshon

Material to come to this.

Geo Ord.

Material to come to this.

The Rev. John Oxlee

Material to come to this.

The Late Marquis of Normanby

Material to come to this.

Dr. Robert Newton

Material to come to this.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

James Myers

Material to come to this.

Sheffield Earl of Mulgrave

Material to come to this.

Rev Vere Monro

Material to come to this.

James Milligan

Material to come to this.

Mrs Miller

Material to come to this.

Captain Middleton

Material to come to this.

Dr Conyers Middleton

Material to come to this.

Mrs Merryweather

Material to come to this.

Thos Mease

Material to come to this.

The marquis of Londonderry

Material to come to this

T F Ker

Material to come to this.

Rev Wm Kay

Material to come to this.

The Joneses

Material to come to this.

G B Johnson

Material to come to this.

Robt. Jackson

Material to come to this.

Dr Ingledew

Material to come to this.

W H Hinton

Material to come to this.

C C Hall

Material to come to this.

J G Grant

More material to come to this.

J.G. Grant wrote a sonnet for George Markham Tweddell in praise of his book Shakespeare, his Times and Contemporaries and Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham. The sonnet to Tweddell appeared in the front of Tweddell's Bards and Authors of Cleveland and South Durham in 1872 - here -

Rev James Grahame

Material to come to this.

Thos. Gill

Material to come to this.

Francis Gibson

Material to come to this.

Geo Garbutt

Material to come to this.

Mary Gains

Material to come to this.

D Ferguson

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John Farndale

Material to come to this.

Lady Falkland

Material to come to this.

Rev G S Faber

Material to come to this.

Mrs Earnshaw

Material to come to this.

W L Dodd

Material to come to this.

Dr Dixon

Material to come to this.

Timothy Crosby

Material to come to this.

Stephen Coulson

Material to come to this.

James Conway

Material to come to this.

Sir Hugh Chomley

Material to come to this.

Rev E G Charlesworth

Material to come to this.

Wm Chapman

Material to come to this.

Sir I S Byerley

Material to come to this.

Margaret Burton

Material to come to this.

John Buchanan

Material to come to this.

Rev J Brewster (Stockton Historian)

Material to come to this.

Mrs Blackett

Material to come to this.

Wm Bewick

Material to come to this.

Dr Bateman

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W B Baker

Material to come to this

Rev J.C Atkinson

Material to come to this.

Robert Armstrong

Material to come to this

Allan the Member

Material to come to this.

Allan the Antiquary

Material to come to this.

Beowulf and Teesside Beowulf

Richard Briddon, Editor of  Teesside's Paranoia Press in 1990, wrote, in the introduction to Mark F.
Rutter's chapbook The Teesside Beowulf, as follows -

"The original Beowulf is without doubt the greatest piece of dark age poetry written in any Teutonic language. Based on a semi-mythical character who is brought in to defeat the warrior-devouring monster, Grendel, and subsequently his even nastier mother; Beowulf was an oral tale written down in Northumbria and 'converted' for the purposes of disseminating the then current (Christian) ideology. It was probably a tale local to the place of its setting down, well known to the monks of the region.

There are two likely sites for it's creation, a northern site at Lindisfarne where famous gospels were written, and a southern site based on the religious centres of Whitby and Durham, (and so neatly encompassing the Teesside area).

Briefly, the argument for the latter is a s follows: Beowulf's traditional burial place is inside the boundaries of modern Cleveland, at the tumulus on Boulby Cliff, the highest point on the North-East coastline. More evidence for the south comes from the Beowulf manuscript which varies considerably from the distinctive Lindisfarne style of lettering, and from the many local Beowulf connections
like the Hartlepool coat of arms, which resembles the opening scene of the poem. It has also been suggested
that Lindisfarne was interested in creating visual art in honour of God, while the other poets like Caedmon, the first English Poet, the south was more interested in literary creation.

Of course it will never be proved, north or south, but surely there is enough to go to prevent the official organisers of Cleveland culture from ignoring the poem's local connections!"

"Beowulf is the first major poem in any European vernacular language, and is not only much the longest work of the thirty thousand lines of Old English (Anglo-Saxon) that remain to us, but is incomparably the greatest. The historical period described may be the 6th century AD, but we only possess a much later manuscript. The poem is generally thought to have achieved its present form around the time of Bede (q.v.)."

Hartlepool and Boulby (Bowlby) From the same site...
"There is a good deal of scholarly controversy surrounding the poem, but there are a number of grounds for believing that Beowulf was a product of the court poets of Northumbria. The work seems to have been transcribed into West Saxon dialect from a Northumbrian or Mercian original and a claim for the great poem to be a part of the North East heritage can be plausibly sustained. The hall of the Danish king Hrothgar (Britain is never mentioned in the poem) is described in terms which might well be applied to that of King Edwin of Northumbria, excavated at Yeavering in Northumberland. The very name of Hrothgar's hall Heorot (Hart) and the mere or pool inhabited by the fearful monster Grendel and his mother, recall the ancient (pre-heraldic) seal of Hartlepool (Hart-le-Pool), now prosaically found on the municipal buses and elsewhere. It depicts a hart being attacked by a hound, reminding us that in Beowulf, a stag would rather be torn by the hounds than venture into the mere where Grendel dwelt. There is also an old tradition that Beowulf was buried on Boulby Cliffs in Cleveland.

'Upon the headland, the Geats erected a broad high tumulus plainly visible to distant seafarers...'

Old Cleveland
Over a hundred years before Rutter and Briddon, and the above site, W.H. Burnett - poet and editor of  Middlesbrough's Daily Exchange, wrote, in his 1886 book Old Cleveland- Local Writers and Local Worthies, thus -

"It is unnecessary to nice the guess made by professor Morley as to the residence of Beowulf on the Bowlby Cliffs (Boulby near Loftus, East Cleveland). It is merely a conjecture, and nothing more. That picturesque locality, inaccessible to invasion as it must have been in early times, was certainly a fit spot to be the cradle of English song...."

"Professor Henry Morley in his First Sketch of English Literature 1873, tells us that on the English coast, strong settlements were effected by the pagan Teutons, who between 600 and 700, made frequent incursions on our shores. " The Teutonic settlers brought with their battle songs an heroic chief named Beowulf ". This legend assumed vast shape, probably in the 7th century, and is one of the earliest specimens of English Literature.........."The original scene of the story," continues Mr. Morley, "was probably a corner of the island of Sealand, upon which now stands the capital of Denmark, the corner which lies opposite to Gothland, the southern promontory of  Sweden. But if so, he who in the country told the old story in English metre did not paint the scenery of Sealand, but that which he knew. A twelve mile walk by the Yorkshire coast, from Whitby northward to Bowlby Cliff, makes real to the imagination of all the country of Beowulf as we find it in the poem. Thus we are tempted to accept a theory which makes that cliff, the highest on our eastern coast, the ness upon which Beowulf was buried, and on the slopes which, Bowlby (Boulby), then being read as the corrupted form of  Beowulfs-by - Beowulf once lived with his hearth-shares. High sea-cliffs, worn into holes or 'nickerhouses many' with glens rocky and wooded running up into great moors, are not characters of  the coast of Sealand, opposite Sweden, but they are special characters of that corner of Yorkshire in which the tale of Beowulf seems to have been told as it now comes to us in first English verse."

The piece on Beowulf  from William Hall Burnett's Old Cleveland - Local Writers and Local Worthies 1886. Click arrow to enlarge or down load from Google Drive.

Except pages from Teesside Beowulf  by MA Rutter - Paranoia Press (now apparently unavailable).

Beowulf - An Anglo-Saxon Epic Poem, Translated From The Heyne-Socin Text by Lesslie Hall

Aneurin - Aneirin (Goddodin)

Material from W.H. Burnett's Old Cleveland - Local Writers and Local Worthies.

William Hall Burnett in Middlesbrough 1886 says "We may fairly claim that hereabouts English Literature had its first beginning." He begins with Aneirin and Y Gododdin (spellings vary in different texts)

This is Robin Williamson's reading of Y Gododdin, from his album, Five Legendary Histories of Britain.

"Aneirin [aˈnɛirɪn] or Neirin was an early Medieval Brythonic poet. He is believed to have been a bard or court poet in one of the Cumbric kingdoms of the Old North or Hen Ogledd, probably that of Gododdin at Edinburgh, in modern Scotland. From the 17th century, his name was often incorrectly spelled "Aneurin"." William Hall Burnett spells it the incorrect way here.

William Hall Burnett - poet and editor of the Middlesbrough Daily Exchange - wrote, in his book Old Cleveland - Local Writers and Local Worthies in 1886 on the subject of the Celtic bard Aneurin - (Alternatively spelt Ane

"The warrior bard, Aneurin, must, in the old Celtic days have been resident within this immediate district, so that we may fairly claim that hereabouts English Literature had its first beginning. It is a least a fair conjecture that the first of English epic poems were strung together, line by line and verse by verse by a bard who, wandering amongst the valleys of the Swale, might now and again visit the fair plain of Cleveland in the golden east. To Aneurin is ascribed the important fragment of celtic literature, The Gododin, being a lament for the dead who fell in the battle of Cattraeth, identified with Catterick in Yorkshire, where Cymry met the advancing and invading Teutons at the 'confluence of rivers' and fought with them unsuccessfully for seven days...."

Also from W H Burnett

This is where the Cymry met the advancing and invading Teutons at the 'confluence of rivers' and fought with them unsuccessfully for seven days, being at length worsted with fearful slaughter. Of this battle The Gododin tells us -

"The warriors marched to Cattraeth with the day;
In the stillness of night they had quaffed the white mead;
They were wretched, though prophesied glory and sway
Had winged ambition. Were none there to lead
To Cattreath with loftier hope in their speed?
Secure in their boast, they would scatter the host
Bold standard in hand; no other such band
Went from Eiddin as this, that would rescue the land
From the troops of the ravagers. Far from the sight
of home that was dear to them, ere they too perished,
Tudvwlch Hir Slew the Saxons in seven days fight,
He owed not the freedom of life to his might,
but dear is his memory where he was cherished,
When Tudvwlch amain came to that post to maintain,
By the son of Kilydd, the blood covered the plain."

The pdf contains excerpts from the Y Gododdin but below is a link to the full text online.

PDF Click the arrow to enlarge and read or download free.

Read the poem here


I'm not sure where I sourced this from in 2005 when I did the original post but it's interesting -
The vulgar opinion is that the Britons lost the battle in consequence of having marched to the field in a state of intoxication; and it must be admitted that there are many passages in the Poem, which, simply considered, would seem to favour that view.  Nevertheless, granting that the 363 chieftains had indulged too freely in their favourite beverage, it is hardly credible that the bulk of the army, on which mainly depended the destiny of the battle, had the same opportunity of rendering themselves equally incapacitated, or, if we suppose that all had become so, that they did not recover their sobriety in seven days!  The fact appears to be, that Aneurin in the instances alluded to, intends merely to contrast the social and festive habits of his countrymen at home with their lives of toil and privation in war, after a practise common to the Bards, not only of that age, but subsequently.  Or it may be that the banquet, at which the British leaders were undoubtedly entertained in the hall of Eiddin, was looked upon as the sure prelude to war, and that in that sense the mead and wine were to them as poison."

William Hall Burnett

Material to come to this.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Mr Lawson Crummey

Material to come to this.

Rev Charles Cator

Material to come to this.

Venerable Henry John Todd

"And now Sir having mentioned one Archdeacon of Cleveland, I ought to mention his successor, the Venerable Henry John Todd, whose Life of Cranmer, revived edition of  Johnson's Dictionary and other works, have made his name well known in the world of letters."
From George Markham Tweddell's talk on Local Writers for the Stokesley Mechanic's Institute Saturday 9th November 1850.

The Life of Cranmer - Venerable Henry John Todd

More material to come to this.

Rector, the Venerable Leveson Vernon Harcourt

"Another clergyman (the Archdeacon of Cleveland) I must not forget to mention, as his name is both connected with Stokesley and the literary world, i speak of our late Rector, the Venerable Leveson Vernon Harcourt whose Doctrine of the Deluge I trust will find a place in the library of our Mechanics Institute. Have any of that gentleman's correspondents, our worthy Rector for instance was to give the hint, I doubt not that he would be willingly present with a copy."
From George Markham Tweddell's talk on Local Writers to the Stokesley Mechanics Institute 9th November 1850.

More material to come to this.

Miss E G Ayre

Material to come to this.

Edward Marsh Heavisides

Material to come to this.

William Danby

Material to come to this

William Mason, Guisborough.

I already have a post for William Mason on the George Markham Tweddell, so will refer you over to that page.

William Mason of Guisborough (then spelt Gisborough) was Cleveland poet who studied at Cambridge. George Markham Tweddell wrote an article on him, illustrated with some of his poetry for Tweddell's Yorkshire Miscellany in the 1840's. A pdf version of the article can be found on the above site.

Tweddell says of William Mason "Should the Yorkshire Miscellany do nothing more than rescue the memory of this great, but ill-fated genius from oblivion; should it only make Yorkshire men acquainted with the merits of one of themselves, over whose mortal remains the green grass has now grown for some years, whilst his countrymen were ignorant of the noble spirit, the comprehensive mind, that once inhabited that frail tenement; should the Yorkshire Miscellany only achieve this one object, and then totally disappear from the literary world, we would not consider our humble labours altogether fruitless."

Thomas Pierson

Material to come to this.

The Rev. David Simpson

Material to come to this.

Captain James Cook

Material to come to this.

Joseph Ritson

Joseph Ritson (1752 - 18030 was a lawyer, Writer and Antiquarian.

"Born at Stockton on 2nd October, 1752 and educated in the town by Rev John Thompson, he was then
The engraving is a caricature of Joseph Ritson made 
by James Sayers in 1803
articled to a solicitor, Mr J. S. Raisbeck but soon joined the practice of  Ralph Bradley, Conveyancer.

Ritson soon developed an interst in literature, published pamphlets and became friendly with writers and musicians. In 1772 he became a vegetarian and during the following year he made an archeological tour of Scotland.  Two years later  he joined a conveyancing firm in London and 1780 he began his own business as a conveyancer in Gray's Inn. 

In May 1784, Joseph Ritson was appointed High Baliff of the Liberty of the Savoy, a post which was worth about £150 annually, and at Easter 1784, he became a student at Gray's Inn. Five years later, he was called to the bar and carried on with his conveyancing business with meticulous accuracy.

Away from his business, Ritson had a consuming interest in ancient literature, poetry and drama. he became one of the earliest collectors of local verse and published a number of northern collections during the 1780's and early 1790's, but eccentricity resutled in controvesies with other writers. many of these were conducted in th ecolumns of  Gentleman's Magazine and during the mid 1780's he successfully demonstrated that John Pinkerton's Select Scottish Ballads was mostly made up of forgeries.

He made frequent visits to Stockton and in 1781 issued The Stockton Jubilee or Shakespeare in all his glory, a witty attack on the senior citizens of his home town. For a number of years he supported the jacobite cause and following a visit to Paris in 1791 where he found himself in full sympathy with the leaders of the French Revolution, Ritson gave his firm backing to a Republican calander and frequently publicised his democratic views but by the late 1790's he was faced with nervous troubles and financial problems.

As his illness worsened, so his collected works were at risk but he lingered until 23rd September, 1803, when he died at the house of a friend in Hoxton. he was buried at Bunhill Fields and soon afterwards his library of rare books and manuscripts were sold in separate lots. Ref. Local Records of Stockton neighbourhood by  T. Richmond in Cleveland Hall of Fame and Infamy

Rev. John Brewster, in his Parochial History of  Stockton on Tees tells us -

Read on line or download  here

His collection of the Robin Hood ballads is perhaps his greatest single achievement, called Robin Hood: A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads, Now Extant, Relative to That Celebrated English Outlaw: To Which Are Prefixed Historical Anecdotes of His Life. In Two Volumes..

Read on line or download here 

Bibliography from
Verses addressed to the Ladies of Stockton. First printed in the Newcastle Miscellany, MDCCLXXII, 1780
Observations on the three first volumes of the history of English poetry by T. W. in a letter to the author, by Thomas Warton and Joseph Ritson, 1782
A Select Collection of English Songs, 1783
The Spartan Manual, or Tablet of Morality, being a genuine collection of the apophthegms, maxims and precepts of the philosophers ... and other ... celebrated characters of antiquity, etc, 1785
A Digest of the proceedings of the Court Leet of the Manor and Liberty of the Savoy, 1789
Pieces of Ancient Popular Poetry: From Authentic Manuscripts and Old Printed Copies, 1791, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007) ISBN 0-548-60052-X
The Office of Constable: being an entirely new compendium of the law concerning that ancient minister for the conservation of the peace, etc, 1791
Cursory criticisms on the edition of Shakespeare published by Edmond Malone, 1792
The Northumberland Garland; or, Newcastle Nightingale: a matchless collection of famous songs. Edited by Joseph Ritson, 1793
Law-Tracts. L.P, 1794
Poems on interesting events in the reign of Edward III. written in the year MCCCLII. ... With a preface, dissertations, notes, and a glossary by J. Ritson, by Laurence Minot and Joseph Ritson (editor), 1795
Ancient Songs and Ballads from the Reign of King Henry the Second to the Revolution in Two Volumes, (BiblioBazaar, 2009) ISBN 1-103-18694-9
Bibliographia poetica: a catalogue of Engleish sic poets, of the twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth, centurys, with a short account of their works, by Joseph Ritson, Philip Bliss, James Boswell, and John Payne Collier, 1802
Ancient Engleish Metrical Romanceës, 1802, (Kessinger Publishing, 2009) ISBN 1-104-02459-4
An Essay on Abstinence from Animal Food, as a Moral Duty, edited by Sir Richard Philips, London, 1802, (Kessinger Publishing, 2009) ISBN 1-4367-7108-0
A catalogue of the entire and curious library and manuscripts of the late Joseph Ritson, 1803
The jurisdiction of the Court leet: Exemplified in the articles which the jury or inquest for the King, in that court, is charged and sworn, and by law enjoined, to inquire of and present, W. Clarke and Sons; 2d ed, with great additions, edition 1809
Northern Garlands, R. Triphook, 1810
The Office Of Bailiff Of A Liberty, 1811
A Select Collection of English Songs, with Their Original Airs: and a Historical Essay on the Origin and Progress of National Song, London, 1813, (Adamant Media Corporation, 2005) ISBN 1-4212-6009-3
The Caledonian Muse: A Chronological Selection of Scottish Poetry from the Earliest Times, 1821, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007) ISBN 0-548-73946-3
Some account of the life and publications of the late Joseph Ritson, esq, by Joseph Haslewood, 1824
Life of King Arthur from Ancient Historians and Authentic Documents, London, 1825, (Kessinger Publishing, 2003) ISBN 0-7661-8100-6
Annals of the Caledonians, Picts, and Scots and of Strathclyde, Cumberland, Galloway and Murray, London, 1828, (BiblioBazaar, 2008) ISBN 0-554-48196-0
Memoirs of The Celts or Gauls, Joseph Ritson and Joseph Frank, 1829, (BiblioBazaar, 2009) ISBN 1-103-37230-0
Letters from Joseph Ritson to George Paton, 1829, (Kessinger Publishing, 2008) ISBN 1-4370-2591-9
Fairy Tales, Now First Collected: To which are prefixed two dissertations: 1. On Pygmies. 2. On Fairies, London, 1831, (Adamant Media Corporation, 2004) ISBN 1-4021-4753-8
Robin Hood: A Collection of All the Ancient Poems, Songs, and Ballads, Now Extant Relative to That Celebrated English Outlaw: To Which are Prefixed Historical Anecdotes of His Life, London, 1832, (Adamant Media Corporation, 2004) ISBN 1-4212-6209-6
The Letters of Joseph Ritson edited chiefly from originals in the possession of his nephew J. Frank. To which is prefixed a memoir of the author, by Joseph Ritson, Joseph Frank, and Nicholas Harris Nicolas, 1833, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007) ISBN 0-548-72425-3
Gammer Gurton's Garland or the Nursery Parnassus: A Choice Collection of Pretty Songs and Verses, 1866, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007) ISBN 0-548-69412-5
Scotish Songs (sic), 1869, (Kessinger Publishing, 2008) ISBN 1-4371-0663-3
Fairy Tales, Legends & Romances Illustrating Shakespeare & Other Early English Writers, 1875, (Kessinger Publishing, 2003) ISBN 0-7661-4981-1
The Boy Knight ; or, Kindness Rewarded, James B. Knapp, 1877
Ancient Popular Poetry V1: From Authentic Manuscripts and Old Printed Copies, by Joseph Ritson and Edmund Goldsmid, 1884, (Kessinger Publishing, 2009) ISBN 1-104-01763-6
Ancient English metrical romances, E. & G. Goldsmid, 1884
Northern Garlands: A Collection of Songs, 1887
A dissertation on romance and minstrelsy: To which is appended the ancient metrical romance of Ywaine and Gawin, 1891, (Kessinger Publishing, 2007) ISBN 0-548-78222-9
Joseph Ritson: A Critical Biography, by Henry A. Burd, Illinois, 1916, (BiblioBazaar, 2008) ISBN 0-554-58449-2
Joseph Ritson, scholar-at-arms. With plates, including portraits, and a bibliography, by Bertrand Harris Bronson, 1938


Angus MacPherson (Middlesbrough)

Angus MacPherson - 
was an amazing, underrated and largely forgotten radical poet of power from 19thC Middlesbrough, writing, at least, around the 1860's / 70's. His poem - Cleveland Thoughts or The Poetry of Toil is a tour de force of working class writing, preserved for us by George Markham Tweddell in his tractates.

Angus MacPherson was also secretary of Middlesbrough (or North Riding) Infirmary for 32 years 1873 - 1904 and from 1872 secretary of Cleveland Institute of Engineers and was associated with many literary ventures. As I've already written a post on Angus for the George Markham Tweddell Hub on Blogger, I will refer you there. In the post you can view his brilliant poem The Poetry of Toil (in downloadable pdf form) and some others and find out more about his various involvements in early Middlesbrough. 

Laurence Sterne (Shandy Hall)

Material to come to this.

John Hall Stevenson (Skelton Castle)

Material to come to this.

George Markham Tweddell AKA Peter Proletarius.

Material to come to this.

Florence Cleveland (Elizabeth Tweddell)

Material to come to this.