North Stainley - a short history
by Brian Kealy
The Chapel of St Mary the Virgin, North Stainley
The township or village of North Stainley was part of the parish of Ripon. By the early years of the 19th century the rise of Methodism and the realisation that many large tracts of land and their populace were hardly being served by the church led to the passing of the Church Building Act 1818. This prompted the erection of many new church buildings and the allocation to their incumbents of pastoral responsibility for parts of existing larger parishes. At the same time the Ecclesiastical Commissioners were set up, inter alia to reorganise dioceses, abolish surplus posts in cathedrals and to take over responsibility for funding bishops and some cathedral posts. One of the first fruits of this move was the establishment in 1836 of the new Diocese of Ripon. The first bishop, Longley, lived at Bishopton but before long a splendid new palace was built on the north side of Ripon in the church-owned Ripon Parks, in what was soon to become North Stainley parish. Longley remained for 20 years followed in 1857 for another 27 years by Bickersteth.
Evidently Thomas Staveley and his neighbours Colonel John Dalton of Sleningford Park and his son, also John Dalton, of Sleningford Grange got together and decided to promote the building of a church for North Stainley. Its site was to be on Staveley land but close to the Dalton boundary . Supporting the petition were various local inhabitants including the persons intended to become first churchwardens, Thomas Potter of North Lees Woods and Richard Crane. Permission was granted and the church built at the expense of Mr Staveley. On 25 August 1840 the new church was consecrated by Bishop Longley. It was “a plain and unpretending structure with a flat plastered ceiling, a simple parallelogram 36 feet by 24 feet” . (There is a carefully-drawn picture of the church as it stood in the 1850s.) (In 1841 Mr Dalton of Sleningford Grange, who had just sponsored the building of a church for North Stainley, paid for the erection of a church in Mickley in memory of his recently deceased wife Elizabeth.)
In 1842 Mr Staveley built the reading room which for many years was used as the parish meeting room and became known as the “WI room” . It, together with the schoolmaster’s house, can be seen in the 1850s drawing. The first schoolmaster who can be traced was Hodgson Braithwaite, a widower born in Ripon in about 1782, who was resident in the village by 1851.
On 17 April 1844 an Order in Council was gazetted assigning a district to the “Chapel of St Mary at North Stainley”. A copy of the map of that district is on display: it is the present ecclesiastical parish. Its incumbent was styled “perpetual curate”. The first incumbent was Rev William Plues who was the Master of the old Grammar School in St Agnesgate, Ripon. There was no parsonage at this time and he continued to live in St Agnesgate. (There is a memorial to him in the cathedral on the north wall of the nave by the bookshop.)
In early 1851 Rev Plues died and was succeeded as perpetual curate by Rev Joseph Jefferson. Jefferson’s parents had lived in Sharow at least since 1840 and by March 1851 he was describing himself in the census return as “curate pro tem of North Stainley”. He was permitted to bury and baptise in the church but not to publish banns or solemnise marriage, rights retained by the cathedral as parish church. (The original baptism and burial registers are lodged at county archives in Northallerton.) (He never married and ran a school in Sharow with his sister Eliza.)
On 30 May 1851 Thomas Staveley’s wife Mary died age 54 and was buried in what was to become the family vault at the east end of the church. The tomb can be seen in the picture referred to above which was painted in her memory.
On 9 March 1852 Thomas Staveley’s brother George Hutchinson died and was also buried in the vault .
In June 1852 Thomas Staveley married again . His new wife was Anne Elizabeth Burmester born at Calais in 1827 (the daughter of another army doctor) by whom, in his late 50s, he had three children: 1) Miles born 26 June 1853; 2) Roseberry Mary born 19 August 1856; 3) Martha Charlotte born 2 June 1860.
Having only succeeded to the estate because his distant relative had died without issue, Thomas Staveley can be forgiven for remarrying only just over a year after the death of his clearly well-loved first wife who had failed to bear him sons (or indeed children). They were therefore no doubt thrilled when a son and heir was born after only a year and the boy was dearly cherished by his family and friends. That the next child was a girl did not matter: the succession appeared secure.
At this time the Hall was tenanted by Joseph Bates who died in November 1855 aged 46. His elaborate grave enclosed in filigree stonework is now against the south outside wall of the church.
On 29 February 1860 Thomas Kitchingman Staveley himself died and was buried in the family vault in the churchyard of the church he had built in North Stainley in 1840. There is a memorial tablet on the north wall by the pulpit which bears his motto “God’s providence is our inheritance”.
His third child, Martha Charlotte, was born in June 1860, a few months after his death.
Anne Staveley took over the management of the estate during the infancy of her infant son and his sisters. By careful management she was able to reduce the borrowing on the estate and left it “quite free from debt of any kind”.
The death of the heir and the 1860s improvements to St Mary’s Church
On 20 May 1867 Miles, now almost 14, died suddenly of diphtheria. He was buried in the family vault. The effect of his death on his family and friends can be measured by the numerous references to him in the iconography of North Stainley Church where there are two memorial windows and a fulsome dedication from his many friends. He was very clever and much thought of by all who knew him.
Once again the direct male line was extinct and eventually the estate passed to Anne Staveley absolutely, though only after litigation with Dr Latham, the next heir of General Staveley.
At this period we encounter the first phase of alterations to the church.
There is no known written evidence, for example faculty permissions, of the sequence of events, but there is no real reason to suspect that any memorial was installed very long after the event commemorated.
It can be seen from the 1850’s picture already mentioned that the stonework of the east window of the original church is that which is now installed as the west window of the present church (this is known to have been moved when the chancel was added in 1890). There is no evidence of what glass it contained when it was originally built. However shortly after the death of Thomas Staveley in 1860 his sorrowing widow, Anne Staveley, commissioned a memorial window dedicated to her late husband. It depicted Christ’s entombment, crucifixion and resurrection, above the Old Testament parallels of Joseph being lowered into the pit by his brothers, Abraham preparing to sacrifice Isaac, and Joseph being rescued from the well. The glass in this window was manufactured by the Newcastle firm of William Wailes and was installed later in 1860 as recorded in the Ripon Millenniary. (She also commissioned a similar window from Wailes which, with an identical dedication, is installed as the east window in St Nicholas Church West Tanfield as well as a similar window in the north transept of Ripon Cathedral. All these windows are from the 1860s.) That the stained glass in the new east window had begun life in the east window of the original church was also expressly mentioned in the press when work was begun on the chancel.
In 1869, following the death of young Miles Staveley, his numerous friends subscribed for a new window to be installed in the south wall of the church. It is apparent from the picture already mentioned that the whole window was added at this stage and not just the glass. The stonework is however a copy of the earlier window. The glazing is by Henry Mark Barnett of Newcastle and is dated and signed. It depicts scenes of Resurrection to Life. The names of the “numerous friends” are recorded on the plaque to the left of the window: there was evidently a committee to raise the money. As well as the farmers and local gentry, the donors included many of the senior tradesmen of Ripon. (There is a similar window in the Baptistry under the tower at St Nicholas, West Tanfield, also by Barnett, and also dedicated to the memory of young Miles. The Staveley connections with Tanfield go back at least to 1690 when Miles Staveley 2 paid for necessary repairs to its church. From 1859 that church was receiving a substantial makeover: it would have needed two major windows and the Staveleys had two deaths to commemorate.)
In 1871 John Dalton of Sleningford Park died, marking the effective end of the Dalton connection with Sleningford and North Stainley. The western window in the north wall was glazed in his memory. The window is by Ward and Hughes of London and shows Jesus and Peter walking on the water.
Finally in this series, in 1873 Roseberry (age 17) and Charlotte Staveley (age 13) paid for the installation of the stained glass in the eastern window in the north wall (it is possible that the window itself was only added this time) in memory of their brother Miles. The glass is by Lavers Barraud and Westlake of London and as well as the crowned Virgin Mary and a multitude of saints it shows a version of the arms of Staveley.
All this time the altar stood in front of what is now the chancel arch, the pulpit was further forward and access to the vestry was through a door, now blocked up, in the north wall.
In 1871 the present schoolroom was built by Mrs Staveley and leased to the parish. (Until then the ground floor of the schoolmaster’s house seems to have been given over as the classroom.) The new schoolroom had its own entrance and the former entrance was built up (it can still be seen). (The school was eventually purchased from Captain Staveley by the Parochial Church Council in February 1936.) At that stage Anne Staveley had a stroke and for the rest of her life was an invalid.
Until 1881 the incumbent was Rev Joseph Jefferson. In 1868 he was still referred to in Crockford’s Clerical Directory as perpetual curate. The parsonage appears not to have been built until after the date of the picture already referred to (had it been there, there is no clear reason for it not to have been shown - the schoolhouse is shown and the gravestones then in existence are shown). By 1861 Jefferson and his sister and a number of schoolboy boarders were in residence at the vicarage. His school was at Sharow and did not compete with the village school whose schoolmaster from about 1860 until his death in 1893 was Daniel Hairsine from Rawcliffe born 1830.
In 1868 the parish was for the first time authorised for banns and weddings and the incumbent soon came to be known as “vicar” . The village, hitherto being described as “in the parish of Ripon”, appears to have formally become a parish in its own right and not just a chapelry.
The Addition of the Chancel (1891)
In 1879 George Hutchinson’s widow Charlotte, who had spent the last 25 years of her life in Leamington, died and was buried alongside her husband in the Staveley vault (her executors were the Powell brothers of Sharow Lodge).
In September 1881 Anne Staveley died aged 61 and was buried with her husband and son in the family vault at the east end of the original church. They are both commemorated with the other Victorian Staveleys on the table tomb in the churchyard.
On the death of Anne Staveley on 4 June 1881 her estates at Old Sleningford and North Stainley passed under her will of 1877 to the elder of her two daughters, Roseberry Mary, then aged 25 . She and her younger sister Martha Charlotte continued at Old Sleningford for a year before on 8 May 1882. Charlotte Staveley and Ellen Lee were each left annuities under Anne Staveley’s will. Charlotte was married. Charlotte’s husband was Herbert Reginald Ryder, a regular soldier born 1860 in Bombay, son of Captain Herbert Croft Ryder, a Roman Catholic. (His parents came from Richmond Yorks.)
In 1881 Rev Richard Summerfield came from Cundall as vicar. He stayed until 1912.
During Summerfield’s incumbency the Staveleys began to consider the expansion of the church to its present shape and size. They consulted one of the busiest and best respected ecclesiastical architects of the time, Robert Jewell Withers (1823-1894) whose practice lay mainly in the west country and East Anglia and who was best-known for his work on churches and schools (in 1871 he had successfully refitted the interior of St Mary-le-Strand). Plans were drawn up and in 1890 Roseberry and her now married sister Charlotte agreed to finance the building of a chancel in memory of their late mother. The vicar, Summerfield, and the churchwardens duly applied for and were granted the necessary faculty.
The specification survives:-
1890 application for a faculty in respect of the “New Parish” “New Vicarage” of North Stainley:
Remove the pulpit, reading desk, communion table and rails and all other the fittings in the present chancel
Take out the present east window of the chancel and break out an opening in the west wall and insert the said window therein
Take down the north east buttress and so much of the east wall of the present chancel as should be necessary for carrying out the later described works
Take down the present vestry to the foundations
Take down the present lath and plaster roof of the nave
Take up all the flagging and steps east of the seats in the nave and also in the chancel and excavate the whole area including the [parts of the churchyard needed for the new building work]
To take up and remove any [memorials on the floor to be dug up]
Be especially careful to take down the Palisades Curb, Ledger Stones and Tomb of the Staveley family [etc]
Arrangements for graves and memorials to be disturbed by the works (scheduled)
Put all back as nearly as possible as it was before except for the Staveley Tomb
Put back the pulpit
A Consistory Court hearing was held in the church on 10 February 1891- it seems to have been mostly about the graves affected by the proposals. The instructions to the glazier included:
The glass in the two chancel windows will be supplied by Miss Staveley
The new west window, porch and vestry windows to be filled with glass.
£15 of the money for reseating and repairing the church in 1891 came from the Incorporated Church Building Society on condition that all the 90 seats were to be free to the parishioners.
The cost of the new chancel (£600 - £36,000 in today’s money) was to be born by Miss Staveley and Miss Lee while the cost of the works in the nave (£400 - today £24,000) was to be born by the parishioners. The builder was Mr Kay of Rainton and the joiner was Mr Metcalfe of North Stainley.
The glass in the east window was dismounted from its stone work and that stonework was installed in the west wall as per specification. The Staveley memorial glass was preserved, presumably by the stained glass firm involved, and eventually re-installed in a new east window (“glass supplied by Miss Staveley”).
The relocated west window was glazed, partly (text and centre panel) with glass made by William Wailes of Newcastle in the 1860s and partly (the two outer Evangelist symbols) with glass of unknown origin but belonging stylistically to the 1840s or earlier. The Wailes Good Shepherd is wearing a typical shepherd’s felt hat: such hats can also be seen in another Wailes window, the Staveley east window in West Tanfield. The 1890 specification does not appear to have contemplated stained glass in the new west window (the new west window, porch and vestry windows were to be filled with glass by the glazier) but it may be that some existing panels from elsewhere were seen and liked and were bought to be installed in the new west window, filled out with plain glass.)
The dedication of the new chancel by the Staveley sisters to the memory of their mother is recorded by an inscription in the chancel. Charlotte Ryder (nee Staveley) paid for the mosaic reredos and the parish paid for the work to the nave. Roseberry’s quarry provided the stone.
The new window in the south wall of the chancel is dedicated to the memory of Anne Staveley by “a few friends” who contributed £84.8.6d (about £5,000 in today’s money). It was designed and executed by H W Ball , artist in stained glass of Barnsbury London, and shows the Good Shepherd flanked by two works of mercy: on the left “Clothing the naked” and on the right “Feeding the hungry”.
Provision for an organ was made in the 1890 plans. There was no organ in the original church - the singing was accompanied by a harmonium - but an organ was installed in the new chancel and dedicated, together with the Ball window, on August 1 1893. It had cost £120 (today £7,000) of which £50 had still to be raised at the date of its dedication. It is a simple single manual organ with four stops and a pedal board permanently coupled to the manual. It was built by the well-known London firm of Henry Bevington & Sons. The electric blower by the British Organ Blower Company of Derby was installed after 1932 - until then the organ would have been hand pumped. The small space allotted to the organ caused problems for the makers.
The new stonework was constructed as specified out of local Rainton stone. The porch doorway was later carved by the vicar’s son, Charles Webster Summerfield who described himself as “artist-sculptor” (though sometime after 1901 he took holy orders and became vicar of Earby and Thornton in Craven).
The elegant lectern was presented to the parish by the widow and family of the late Bishop Bickersteth (who had died 15 April 1884) who had been resident in the parish.
Events were held in the Ripon Town Hall (1891) and at Old Sleningford (1894) to raise the remaining money for the village contributions to the work on the nave and the organ.
The Ripon Milleniary Record of 1891 records for October 9 of that year:
“Church of St. Mary the Virgin, North Stainley, near Ripon, re-opened for divine worship by the Lord Bishop of Ripon [Boyd Carpenter]. The portion of the church forming the present nave, previous to the alterations now completed, was a plain and unpretending structure with a flat plastered ceiling, a simple parallelogram, 36 feet by 24 feet, erected by the late Mr. Staveley in 1840. The additions to the church, as now existing, comprise a chancel 24 feet by 17 feet, vestry 13 feet by 8 feet, organ chamber and south porch 9 feet by 6 feet. The style adopted by the architect is simple work after the Decorated or Second Pointed of the 14th century. To obtain dignity to the chancel and preserve the general outline of the church, the architect has carried the ridge at the same level as the old nave. The stone work forming the original east window has been transferred to the west gable of the nave, which formerly was a blank, cold wall.
The new east gable to the chancel is lighted by a three-light window, with a similar one on the south side. Under the east window, inside, some plain stone panelling is placed, which forms a reredos with altar shell . The altar itself has been lengthened and raised. In the south wall of the chancel are double sedilia with credence and piscina. The new roof over the chancel is constructed of pitch pine, left clean with principal trusses, the intermediate spans being panelled throughout. The stalls and boys' desks are of oak, and the floor is covered with rich tile paving. A chancel arch, with low stone screen separates the nave from the chancel, and the altar is raised five steps above the nave floor line. The flat ceiling has been removed from the nave, and pierced panelling inserted in the four trusses to the roof, whilst the soffits of rafters are all panelled in clean pitch pine to accord with chancel. The chancel is built over the Staveley vault now closed, and the monument to the late Mr. Staveley now stands against the south wall of the nave. Great and reverent care was taken of the few bodies disturbed by the work, and the whole work was carried out by faculty after the Chancellor had held a special court at the church. The entire cost of the chancel has been borne by Miss Staveley and Miss Lee, of Old Sleningford Hall, as a memorial to Mrs. Staveley, of Old Sleningford Hall, who died in 1881.”
The Staveley family has been prominent in Ripon since at least the 15th century and its members have been connected with North Stainley since 1516, in which year Miles Staveley and his son John Staveley became keepers of the Archbishop's park to Cardinal Wolsey, then Archbishop of York (and at the same time Bishop of both Durham and Winchester!). In 1526 they received grants of land from the Archbishop "for good and gratuitous service". In 1534 they took a lease of the tolls of Ripon market.
The Staveleys remained Keepers of Ripon Park until it was de-parked and enclosed in about 1650. They presumably occupied the manor house, replaced when the present North Stainley Hall was built in about 1715. (The village land was held in copyhold tenure from the Canons of Ripon, only finally enfranchised in 1936.) A parliamentary report of 1777 recorded that North Stainley had a workhouse for ten paupers (West Tanfield could house only eight).
The Staveleys appear to have split into two separate branches in the 15th century, the North Stainley branch and the Thormanby branch, and it is with the (senior) Stainley branch, certainly until the 20th century, that we are concerned. Its members included Sampson Staveley born 17 August 1605 who is important in the history of Ripon. Sampson married twice, firstly to Ursula daughter of Sir William Lyster of Thornton-in-Craven by whom he had five children. He died in April 1681 and his estate passed to his eldest son Miles born 31 March 1640 (Miles 1). Miles 1 inherited in 1681 and it would appear that the present North Stainley Hall (probable date c1715) was built for him. He married twice. His first wife died without children: his second wife, Anne Beckwith, bore him seven children including three sons. Miles 1 died in November 1720 leaving his estate to his eldest son, also Miles (born 22 November 1675) (Miles 2).
Miles 2 married Mary Robinson from Hampsthwaite in May 1691 and they had four children, Susanna born 1699 who married Kerby (or Kirby) John Tanfield of Carthorpe. Their son John Tanfield married a Beckwith who bore him seven children, including a daughter Mary. Mary married Dr Michael Hutchinson MD, a military doctor from the midlands. The Hutchinsons had two sons, Thomas Kitchingman Hutchinson born in Wolverhampton in 1791 and George Hutchinson born 1795.
Miles 2 left his estate to his eldest son, another Miles (Miles 3 born 1714 and baptised 20 March 1715 at Kirkby Malzeard). Miles 3 married Martha Dobson in 1737 and the following year she was carrying twins. She died in childbirth in May 1738 but one of the babies (Miles 4) survived to become a distinguished soldier. Miles 3 died in June 1752.
Miles 4, General Staveley, commanded Royal Horse Guards (the Blues) from December 1794 to September 1799. He was gazetted brevet Colonel 21 August 1795; Major-General 23 June 1798; Colonel of 28th Light Dragoons 18 December 1799; subsequently Lieutenant-General 30 October 1805. He was unmarried. He died at Knaresborough in July 1814 leaving no direct heir and is buried in Ripon Cathedral where there is a stone in the floor of the north aisle and a memorial window. His estate was heavily entailed.
He had no issue and his estate in North Stainley was left to Thomas Kitchingman Hutchinson from Wolverhampton, now a captain in the Royal Engineers serving in Sicily, the 23 year old eldest son of his cousin Mary Hutchinson (their common ancestor was Miles (2) who had died in 1722).
Thomas Hutchinson loyally accepted the legacy and in 1815 respectfully changed his name by Royal Licence assuming the surname and arms of Staveley. (His brother George continued to be known as Hutchinson.) As early as 1815 he was publicly asserting, by his dedication of a new stained glass window in the north transept of the cathedral, his connection to Sampson Staveley and his right to bear a version of the Staveley arms.
Up till then the senior Staveleys seem to have lived at North Stainley Hall, originally a fine Queen Anne mansion but now seriously delapidated. Thomas Staveley decided that he could do better. He set out his feelings in a personal memorandum in 1838 . The roof leaked, the estate was run-down, its buildings in ruins and its tenants bad managers. Even its boundaries were in dispute.
Thomas Kitchingman Staveley in politics
Thomas Staveley was politically a liberal. Ripon however was the classic “Rotten Borough” in which the electorate and most of the votes were owned by the landowner, in this case the Studley estate, owned by the Aislabies and their descendants. The Aislabies were politically Tory and their nominees were always elected to represent Ripon in Parliament. Ripon was not alone in its lack of democracy and at the start of the 19th century there was much agitation for electoral reform. Eventually in 1832 Parliament passed the first great Reform Act which to some extent enlarged the franchise (but left many of the major scandals still to be reformed later in the century).
A directory published in 1833 recited that “the borough is chiefly the property of Mrs. Lawrence, of Studley, who possesses the major part of the burgage tenures, in which the right of election was vested before the Reform Bill passed [in 1832]. The borough was severely contested in 1832, (being the only contest for 114 years,) by T[homas].K.Staveley and J[oshua]. S. Crompton, Esqrs. of liberal principles; and General Sir Charles Dalbiac and W.Markham, Esq. in the conservative interest; when the two former were returned; the numbers polled being for T.K.Staveley 168, J.S.Crompton 168, General Sir Charles Dalbiac 162, and W.Markham 159....” Messrs Staveley and Crompton (from Sion Hill and Azerley) scrambled home by a whisker in the liberal cause and represented the borough for the next two years in the first reform parliament (there is a composite portrait of the parliament in session and Staveley is depicted in the back row of the Whigs). (Incidentally General Dalbiac was the son-in-law of Colonel Dalton of Sleningford Park.)
After that Mrs Lawrence took steps to ensure that such an act of disobedience never occurred again. “Veritas” set it all out in the press:-
“In the Election of 1832, the Independent Electors triumphantly returned to Parliament two Reformers, for this Borough, Messrs. Staveley and Crompton, in opposition to General Dalbiac and Colonel Markham, who were brought forward under the patronage of Mrs. Lawrence, of Studley Park, and supported to the utmost by the united efforts of the neighbouring Tory Aristocracy; but at the late Election, in January, 1835, two Tories were returned; to account for which change, is the intention of the following pages.
Since their defeat in 1832, the Tories have not left one stone unturned to forge chains for a liberal minded people; they have used all the means which their ingenuity could devise, for the purpose of again bringing this Borough under their sway. An example or two will be a fair sample of the whole tenor of their proceedings.
Besides having been at an enormous expense in repairing old Cottages and building new ones, the agents of Mrs. Lawrence have divided a large pasture containing 54 acres, called Red Bank, belonging to that Lady, into 42 Allotments, and most of these are let, with a cottage to each, for the purpose of entitling the workmen and dependants of the said Lady, to vote. This land has hitherto been let as a Cow Pasture for six months in the year, with a right of stray over the whole; it is now let for twelve months, and is used for the same purpose, with this difference, that every occupier knows his own allotment, indicated by stakes at the corners; though at the same time, no allotment is even hedged or railed off, and no occupier can hinder his neighbour's cow from straying over his allotment, nor can he turn any stock upon it, except cows and sheep: it is in point of fact, a cow pasture still. In some instances, one of these allotments and a Cottage is not of sufficient value to confer a vote; in such cases, a further portion of land at another extreme of the town is added, to make up the deficiency. Other land in different parts of the Borough belonging to the same proprietress, is also railed off into divisions or allotments, like so many "sheep pens for a fair," which are likewise rented in conjunction with Cottages, for the purpose of giving the occupier a qualification to vote. Is not this contrary to the spirit of the Reform Act. Surely this was never intended to constitute 10/- bona fide voters, and the trick shows that the new law should require a 10/- undivided occupation.
These Agents have also, since the Reform Act came into operation, built Cow-houses upon Land belonging to Mrs. Lawrence, situated within the Borough, which are let chiefly to Farmers, her tenants, all of whom reside without the Borough, and in other Townships!
In addition to these two kinds of votes, they have also the 26 Burgage Transfer Votes, or mock conveyances from Mrs. Lawrence to her tenants, which had been used for upwards of a century before the passing of the Reform Bill, for the purpose of returning Members to Parliament; some of the holders of these votes knew not where the Property was situated, for which they claimed to vote, or who occupied it, and had never seen the deed of conveyance before the Reform Bill passed: all these Electors must vote as they are ordered, for fear of receiving their discharge; they had a warning after the Election in 1832.
To call such persons thus brought to the Poll, Independent Electors, would be an abuse of language, of which, whether friend or opponent profit by it, we will never be guilty.
One Gentleman in the Army, General Maister, residing in another Township, voted for the Tories: he derived his qualification from occupying a Cow-house on a plot of ground within the boundary of the Borough, which Cow-house was erected in the space of a few days, to be in time for the purpose of giving a vote! .......
Need any one inquire, after perusing this sketch, how were the Liberals defeated, and by what means were the Tories returned? Glancing at the numerous tenants of the Proprietress of Studley, the Cow-shed, and Transfer votes, the intimidation, and the whole of the corrupt practices, is it a wonder that the object has been obtained for which such heavy pecuniary sacrifices have been made? Could it be otherwise, that with such power arrayed against them, the independent bona fide £10 resident Electors should have been for this time defeated?"
The Tory vote thus secured, Messrs Staveley and Crompton were roundly defeated in the 1834 election and neither stood for Parliament again. However “a meeting of the Electors and Non-Electors of the Borough of Ripon, in the Liberal interest, was held at the Public Rooms, on the 26th of January, 1835, at which, it was unanimously agreed that a subscription should be entered into, for the purpose of purchasing a piece of Plate, to be presented to T. K. Staveley, Esq., as the best mode of expressing to that Gentleman, their sense of the honesty and assiduity with which he had discharged his duties as their Representative, during two sessions of Parliament, and as a token of their gratitude to him, for being the first to come forward after the passing of the Reform Act, to open this, one of the closest of close Boroughs,— a Nomination Borough, in the hands of the Studley Park Family for 114 years!! The sum of upwards of One Hundred Guineas was subscribed in the course of a fortnight.” (Staveley records that he was given a pair of silver wine coolers.)
His political career thus ended, Thomas Staveley turned his energies elsewhere.
After the death of her mother Roseberry Staveley continued to live at Old Sleningford. She owned the estate outright and her younger sister had no personal rights in it. The Ryders had their own lives and lived firstly in the south of England and then in New Zealand.
Rev Richard Summerfield became the subject of scandal to such an extent that he absented himself from the parish for over two years in 1895-7: despite the petition of the parishioners the Bishop would do nothing. Various locum clergymen were drafted in but the absence of a resident clergyman meant for example that there could be no confirmation classes and no confirmations. However he returned to the parish and died in harness in August 1912.
He was succeeded by Rev Wilfred Float. When Summerfield’s widow applied for a faculty to put up a plate in memory of her late husband, Float strongly and successfully objected to the proposed wording which included the acronym “R.I.P.” Perhaps he considered it dangerously popish.
In 1919 former pupils of Rev Jefferson were allowed to instal a plaque in his memory in the chancel.
The death in the South African (Boer) War of the son of the Watsons of North Lees farm is recorded in the nave.
After the Great War, memorials were installed to the schoolmaster, Illingworth, and the son of one of the Parks farmers, Eaddie (note how close to the end of the war Illingworth was killed).
In 1917 Ellen Lee, who had been the companion successively of Anne Staveley and then of Roseberry Staveley, died. She was the daughter of Rev F Lee of Thame Oxfordshire. She had been born in 1840 and was at school in London in 1851. In 1871, giving her age as 26 and her birth year as 1845, she was shown as a “visitor” at Sleningford. In 1881 she was “40” and a visitor at Sleningford. In 1891 she and Roseberry were at 4 Walton Street Kensington. She was visiting Sleningford in 1911. She died in 1917 age 76. So far as is known she had no permanent address other than Sleningford. (She is the Miss Lee mentioned above in the extract from the Ripon Millenniary.)
In 1918 Eileen Constance Ryder, the youngest daughter of Roseberry’s younger sister Martha Charlotte Ryder, died in France of meningitis.
In 1921 Roseberry Staveley applied for a faculty to instal mosaic panels in their memory on either side of the chancel arch. This was granted on 13 May 1921 and the mosaics were duly installed. The author of the design and workmanship is not recorded (they are stylistically different from the reredos mosaics installed by Eileen Ryder’s mother in the 1890s: researches are ongoing).
Charlotte and Herbert Ryder had three children (a fourth died in infancy): Rose Anne Ryder born in Ripon 25 March 1883; their only son Miles born in Ilfracombe 27 February 1886 who was given the solidly Staveley baptismal names of Herbert Miles Staveley Ryder; and Eileen Constance Ryder born Ilfracombe 21 May 1890. In 1891 Charlotte was still living at Ilfracombe and Miles (5) was with her, while her husband was with the Militia and living in Plymouth accompanied by the two girls and their carers (Eileen was still under a year old). Eileen was later sent to Clydesdale boarding school in Bournemouth. By spring 1901 Charlotte was living at Abingdon with her son Miles, now 15 but neither Herbert Ryder nor Rose seem to feature in the 1901 census - perhaps he had been posted abroad.
In October 1902 Rose (19) married Charles Henry Butler, son of a brewing family, and left home.
In 1909 the rest of the Ryder family emigrated to New Zealand where Ryder had served in the 1890s. Roseberry Staveley showed no signs of marrying and it was confidently expected that her nephew young Herbert Miles Ryder would one day inherit the Staveley estates in Yorkshire.
The Ryders settled in New Zealand and Miles signed up as a farm cadet on the Oliver’s farm at Matangi. In October 1912 he married the Oliver daughter, Margaret, and they had two daughters, Joan and Ruth. However the marriage did not long survive the Great War in which Miles Ryder returned to England in 1915 and joined the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry (KOYLI). He was injured in France and returned home to New Zealand. (His name was inserted into the running list of those from North Stainley away at the wars to be prayed for).
Miles Ryder’s elder sister Rose Anne’s marriage had been a disaster. Then her husband died and she entered a convent, without however ever taking her final vows. She was tutor to the Esterhazy family in Hungary until early 1914 when she returned to England.
Her younger sister Eileen Constance Ryder had also returned to England (from New Zealand) in 1912. During the Great War she nursed in France but caught meningitis shortly before the cessation of hostilities and died at Albi on 18 July 1918 en route for Paris. She is buried at Nantes.
Miles and Margaret Ryder and their two daughters sailed to England in 1918 and were frequent visitors to Miles’s aunt Roseberry at Old Sleningford . (North Stainley Hall was then let to Harold Grotrian.)
Joan Ryder recalls Staveley life in Yorkshire at that period as dignified and unhurried. “We would go to the bridge at Mickley for the hunt, where amid much excitement the people of the village cheered the departure of the huntsmen and hounds. Aunt Roseberry, riding side-saddle, would lead them as Mistress of the Hunt, and they would not return until late in the afternoon. Weekly attendance at the Church of England in North Stainley was obligatory, with Aunt Roseberry playing the organ, and us sitting in the family pew, not daring to disgrace her. Ruth and I were given peppermints to ensure we were on our best behaviour.” She also recalls staying at North Stainley Hall and playing with the Grotrian children. She recalls the summer house at Old Sleningford adorned with Roseberry’s artistic creations: carved and painted inlaid wood panels and a mosaic on the floor (her recollection was that it read “Dog eat dog” in Latin ). In post-war austerity even the Staveleys had to share an egg at breakfast.
As related above Rose Anne Ryder’s Butler husband had died and in December 1919 she remarried a Scottish widower Lt-Colonel Robert Girvan. It is said that Miles Ryder was suspicious of Colonel Girvan’s motives, perhaps suspecting that he was angling to replace Miles as Roseberry’s heir apparent. The Girvans emigrated to Canada in June 1920 where for some years they farmed, visiting England every year or so. They then managed the English Club in the Bahamas until Rose became seriously ill. They returned to England and settled at The Chantry, West Tanfield. Joan Ryder understands that their return to England had coincided with Roseberry’s failing health in late 1929.
After the end of the Great War Miles Ryder went to worked for a while in Middlesborough but in 1920 he returned to New Zealand. Miles’s marriage soon ended in divorce. In the late 1920s Roseberry Staveley visited her sister Charlotte in New Zealand. Colonel Ryder had died in 1924 and Charlotte remarried Boulton Bennet. She died in 1935.
Relations between Roseberry and her New Zealand sister and her family thus seem to have been at least amicable. When in 1920 Roseberry decided to commemorate Ellen Lee in mosaics in North Stainley church, the matching mosaic across the aisle was dedicated to her sister’s youngest child, Eileen Constance Ryder, who had died in 1918. It was paid for either by Roseberry alone or Roseberry in conjunction with her Ryder sister. If there was a fall-out it must have occurred after 1922.
On 17 January 1931 Roseberry Staveley died.
“On her death she was carried to her funeral on a cart drawn by white horses, with the church-fearing tenant farmers following. She is buried in the family tomb at the peaceful, tree-lined churchyard of St Mary’s at North Stainley. The tombstone inscription, typical of their devout beliefs, reads ‘God’s Providence is Our Inheritance’. Ellen Lee, the loyal family friend, is buried nearby.”
When her will of 1924 was proved it was discovered that, although she had left annuities to her sister Charlotte and to her nephew Miles Ryder and her niece Rose Girvan, she had left the residue of her estate to the 19 year old William Miles Staveley who had been born in Waterford Ireland in 1913 and who would have been about 11 when the will was made. However his lineage shows him to be a member of the Thormanby line of Staveleys and thus directly descended from the younger brother of the William Staveley who sired what became the North Stainley line in the 1400s. Why Miss Staveley bypassed her close relatives in favour of the remote William Miles Staveley is not known: perhaps it was because the Ryders were Roman Catholics and there had been a divorce in the family .
The Ryders did not take kindly to what they evidently saw as the usurpation of their legitimate expectations but there was in the end little that they could do except circulate rumours pleasant and unpleasant.
The New Zealand branch afterwards kept in contact with the English relatives and visited the Girvans at West Tanfield. According to Joan Ryder the Girvans spent each summer at the Chantry where Col Girvan had fishing rights on the Ure. Joan visited them during WW II . Rose died in 1963.
The burden to the estate of death duties and the three annuities led to the disposal of the Old Sleningford estate which was bought in about 1934 by Charles Bedford, a Leeds industrialist living till then at Adel Manor. Mr Bedford died in 1949 and in 1951 the Bedfords sold it to the Ramsden family, the present owners.
North Stainley Hall remained tenanted until after the war and Captain Miles Staveley and his wife Nancy lived in Somerset and then at The Greens, Masham.
The Staveleys moved back into the family home in about 1950 after an absence of over 130 years. After Captain Staveley’s death in 1981 his eldest son Robert Miles Staveley restored the Hall to its original size and appearance, both internal and external. He has subsequently built a new mansion at Mickley (echoes of Thomas Kitchingman Staveley) and in 2011 passed the Hall to his son James who lives there with his wife Polly and their children.