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Location: Barnoldswick. Nearer to Heaven than Gloria.


Post by Stanley » 04 Aug 2017, 07:28


It's funny how my mind makes connections at times. I was asked a question about Moor Close Farm the other day and my mind went to Northfield Minnesota where I read this item in the local paper; "The driver of the car containing five inebriated students that was stopped on Friday night was found to be sober.". Lovely and it gave a flavour of what was regarded as a notable police incident in the town. Why did this pop into my head?
I think it's true to say that we sleep easily in our beds at night in Barlick, just as they do in Northfield but this wasn't always the case and this is where Moor Close comes in. I remembered something I had read in Warner's History of Barnoldswick. I quote; "Petition of William Emmetson (probably Edmondson) re. Moor Close: Now, Sir Christopher Parker with William, Thomas and John Parker of Barnoldswick, by force, and armed with daggers, long pykes and staves, entered the said close on May 4th, finding Bartholomew Edmondson a young stripling, orator's son (the orator is the complainant), beat hurt and wounded him and [would] havve slayne him iff one Thomas Murgatroyde and Robert Bewes, servants of Robert Tempest, gent, had not reskewed him..... who did hurt and strike Robert Bewes and hadde almost slayne him'.
This happened a long time ago during what we call 'The Anarchy'. This was the time between 1135 and 1153 when Stephen the usurper of the throne and Matilda, probably the rightful heir, were at war over the succession. During this conflict law and order broke down across much of England as rivals fought over property rights as the normal courts did not function. The times were made worse by the fact that the Scots took advantage and raided down the country reaching Barlick. What makes it immediate to me is the the old Barlick names, their descendants are still living in the town.
There was another incident in 1501, during the reign of Henry VII. Richard Boothman, a tenant of Barnoldswick petitioned the Crown for redress following an incident where Henry Pudsey the Elder sent John Atkynson, Robert Sothorne, Thomas Welles, William Bracewell, Robert Watson and Walter Rymmin to break into Boothman's house while he was away. They beat his pregnant wife badly, dragging her out of the house by her hair and throwing her into a ditch where she lay for two days. Seven weeks after she died in childbirth and the Coroner decided it was because of the beating but couldn't prove who was responsible.
All this was a long time ago I know but when we look at a peaceful scene like Moor Close today we should remember that it wasn't always so. There have been times when nobody was safe in their beds, whether it was from raiding Scots or rapacious local landowners. We face troubled times at the moment but nothing like as bad as in the past. We must be grateful for small mercies!


Moor Close Farm as it is today.
Stanley Challenger Graham
Stanley's View
scg1936 at

"Beware of certitude" (Jimmy Reid)
The floggings will continue until morale improves!

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