Ackworth in 1822

Ackworth in 1822
From Baines’ Directory of the West Riding

Ackworth (High), parish in the wapentake of Osgoldcross; 3 miles south of Pontefract. Mrs. Mary Lowther endowed a school here for youths of both sexes; she also founded a hospital for six poor women, each of whom receives 9l. 10s. yearly from the same endowment. The church is a small but neat edifice, of which the Rev. W.R. Hay, M.A. is rector. The population of this parish amounts to 1575.

Ackworth (Low), adjoins, and is in the parish of High Ackworth.

Between the villages of High and Low Ackworth stands a handsome stone edifice, built 70 years ago, partly by voluntary subscription and partly by aid of parliament, as an appendage to the Foundling Hospital, in London. This building cost £13,000. The Foundling Hospital had a similar establishment in Shropshire, both of which were supplied with children from London. The house at Ackworth was occupied twelve years as a Foundling Hospital, and during that period there were admitted into the three Foundling Institutions of London, Shropshire and Ackworth, upwards of 16,000 children, of which number, 11,400 died before they were at an age to be put out as apprentices, which was usually at about eight years of age. This dreadful mortality, the difficulty of obtaining proper nurses, and of providing humane masters, with the frequent contests from the opposition of parishes, and the cruelty of masters where they were apprenticed, proved such insurmountable obstacles to the well conducting of the charity, that the house at Ackworth was abandoned as a Foundling Hospital, and remained unoccupied and on sale for eight years. In the year 1777, Dr. Fothergill, and three others of the Society of Friends stepped forwards and purchased the building with eighty-four acres of land, for the sum of £7000. The want of a suitable establishment for the guarded and religious education of the children of the less wealthy classes of their Society had long been lamented by the Friends, and Dr. Fothergill and the other purchasers offered the premises to the next annual assembly in London. The offer was accepted, and the premises opened as a National School for the Society, which has been liberally supported by annual subscriptions, donations, and legacies. The house is well adapted for a public school, both by situation and accommodation; the principal front is to the south, and two wings standing east and west are joined to the main building by colonades. The sum of ten guineas per annum is paid with each child, either by the parents or friends of the child, or by the district meetings of the Society; but the average cost of each is about seventeen guineas, including clothing, stationery, and other necessaries. The number of children in the school is limited to 300, viz. 180 boys and 120 girls, but there is always a considerable number on the list waiting for admission. The average time of each child in the school has been three years; and the number of deaths one in each year since its commencement by Friends; total number admitted, from the opening of the school, to June, 1821, 4366. The pupils are well grounded in an English education, their morals and habits are sedulously attended to, and the order and decorum which prevail in every department do credit to the wisdom, prudence, and zeal of the managers. The immediate mangement is under the care of Mr. Robert Whitaker, who fills the office of superintendent, subject to the direction of a committee of twenty-eight Friends in the vicinity of Ackworth, and another Committee of the same number, who sit in London; and all matters of importance must be confirmed by both these committees before they are enforced.

Abbott Joseph, school master Bark Thomas, gentleman Barff John, gentleman
Bell Henry, gentleman

Booth Wm. vict. Brown Cow Churchill Samuel, gentleman Coates George, maltster
Dudlow Thomas, painter
Gee Thos. land surveyor, &c. Goldsworthy Major John, Paddock Lumley John, farrier

North John, cattle dealer
Pagdon Thomas, vict. Angel Inn
Pearson John, gentleman
Petyt William, Esq. Ackworth Hall
Ranson James, grocer, & draper
Sanders D’Oly, Esq.
Topham John, vict. Boot and Shoe
Turton Thomas, surgeon
Waller Benj. vict. New Inn
Whitaker Joseph, rope and twine manufacturer, and artist Wilkinson Wm. surveyor of taxes
Wilson Captain Richard, Grange
Wilson Peter, gentleman


Bargh Thomas Denton Robert Gill John Hartley William Jowitt John Nelstrop Joseph

Cabinet Makers

Clarebrough Jph. Topham William

Corn Millers

Legg Thomas Rushworth Thos.


Downie Matthew Lindsay David

Grocers, &c.

Briggs David Goodair, S. and A. Knowles Bernard Wilson Elizabeth

Horse Dealers

Cuttle Michael Scholey Joseph


Downie Matthew Hallam Mary Moore Anne

Stone Masons and Quarry Owners
Camplin James Greenfield and Camplin Sykes William

Wilson William


Liley Joseph Waller John


Brook William Mason Allen Roberts William

A coach to Scarborough at 9 morning; to Sheffield at 5 evening; to Lincoln Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 10 morning; to Wakefield Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 3 afternoon.

Ackworth in 1927

© Angela Petyt 2001. All rights reserved.
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