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The Diary of John SWALLOW

Supplied by Sally Walker





1848 to 1868

Died 25/3/1887 aged 77 years
interred at Woodhouse Cemetery, Leeds



Sunday 26 Played the organ at St Luke's church, Leeds by desire of the Churchwardens Sermon on the Church service by Reverend Mr Dixon. Requested to play this evening at St John's, but declined.

Tuesday 28 Engaged to play the organ at St Luke's at £12 per annum, to commence from the 26 of March 1848. Met to rehearse and take over the opening of a new organ now building. Mr Nelson and Mr France suggested a choral service on Easter Monday with an anthem by Dr Greene. Reverend Mr Stocker ordered 1000 copies of circular applying for Sub. to enable him to carry forward and finish the building of St James Church, Woodside, Horsforth.

Wednesday 29 Outbreak in Ireland. Foot Reg. sent from Leeds to Ireland this morning and arrival of another from London at four o'c. Agreed with Mr Lennox to take his son apprentice.

Thursday 30th Family ride by Rails to Woodlesford,- cost 2d - walk to John O' Gaunts and eat sandwich, walked home, pleasant day. Viewed an old house at Aulton with the following inscription - "Aulton, Tailor, 1611".. (Mr Ogden called.)


Saturday 8 Completed Jacksons' Singing Manual. Special Constables to be sworn in to keep peace on Monday next.
Sunday 9 Played at St Luke's. New Organ to be ready second Sunday after Easter.

Monday 10 Great meeting in London by Chartists Government taken possession of all Telegraphs, troops arriving in London daily, to be stationed in various parts to prevent the Chartists going to the House to present their petition. Leeds, in passing top of Briggate, a file of foot came with fixed Bayonets - enquired of me the road to the New Gaol. £10. offered for the discovery of the printer of an inflammatory Bill with Joseph Barker's signature.

Wednesday 12 Solicited votes for situation of printer to the Leeds Board of Guardians. Order for 75 Nos. Greene's Anthem.

18 Guardians would hold out no promises. Morrish likely to be elected. Could obtain no proposer or seconder. Mr Martin Cawood gave me a testimonial.

19 Day of election. Rather figgety (sic). Proposed by Mr Clapham, druggist, seconded by Mr Wilson, grocer. Fifteen guardians present. Five candidates, proposed first of five. Obtained 10 votes which decided at once in my favour.

20 Called at the Clerks Office to ascertain the result.

23 Easter Sunday Services. " Christ our Passover". Athanasian Creed etc. in
Morning. Evening, Service and middle voluntary. Sermon on Church Music on
Festivals and other days - " Reading Psalms a miserable substitute for Chanting".
- expect to chant psalms regularly.

24 Mr Clarke, Organist at Woodhouse, resigning his situation wished to propose
me, salary £20.00, no wish to accept it. Chartist's Procession to Woodhouse
Moor, flags etc. Black flag with a pike and motts. Trade been bad for a long
time, some orders have arrived for woollen goods which cannot be executed in
France and elsewhere in consequence of the disturbed state of Europe.

25 Visited Mirfield, the beautiful and picturesque village where the most horrible
murders were committed last year by Patrick Reid and Michael McCabe, at noonday. Mr Wraith, Mrs Wraith and the servant, Caroline Ellis were murdered with a soldering-iron, we saw the mark on the inside of the front door intended for Mrs Wraith who was trying to escape by that door. We saw the drawer that contained the razors and also the well into which the key was thrown. A monument to the memory of Caroline Ellis had just arrived at the Baptist Chapel where she was buried. Mr Wraith kept no dog at the time of the murder, having disposed of it to avoid the tax. Patrick Reid was hung at York and McCabe transported for life.

26 Received two letters from sister Mary Jane of the illness of mother. Mama and Ellen set off to Sheffield by the four o'clock train.


10 Rehearsed at church for opening of the new organ, 2 Stops ready.
Sunday 11 Went to open the Organ. Left 2 stops in on last evening, this morning found in 6. The whole of the interior out of order, and quite unfit to be opened. In the evening the Anthem " Hear my prayer" sung by Miss Forsyth and Miss Mountain.

14 Special services for the opening of the Organ. Sermon in the morning by Dr Hook, Vicar of Leeds. Evening, Reverend Mr Dixon, Incumbent. Morning opened with ""Cum Sancto" of Mozart's 12th Mass, Mendelssohn's Te Deum, Russell's Jubilate. Anthem " O Lord, give ear", Greene. Chorus "Let their celestial" Handel. Evening Anthem. " Praise the Lord " Novello, Chorus "Hallelujah" Handel.


26 Mr Edward Baines, Proprietor of the Leeds Mercury, was buried at the
Woodhouse Cemetery. A large procession walked. The Leeds printers at the head. Mr Baines had zealously promoted the cause of the Dissenters and was a great advocate of political reform.

14 Died, The Reverend J Ware, Incumbent of Kirkstall. Funeral Sermon preached by the Reverend J Hart, Vicar of Otley.

24 Went to Garforth by the Leeds and Selby Goods Train, forward to Kippax, dined at the Lord Nelson. Went to Woodlesford Station, train gone, walked by the canal to Methley, tea at the Mexbro' Arms, Train to Leeds at half past six p.m.

9 Received cash for duties at St Luke's from 26th May to 9th June 1848 £4.10. 0.


Sunday 3 Dr Wesley, after an absence of 8 to 9 months, resumed his duties at the Organ of the Parish Church. The Doctor received a compound fracture whilst out fishing on 24th December 1847 at Hemsley near York. The Parish Church has been cleaned and some of the stained glass windows were put in over the choristers pews on the South side.

17 Opened (,) the London and North Western line from Leeds to Dewsbury.

20 The Rev. Mr Short elected by the Parish Trustees to the Incumbency of Kirkstall. Vacant by the death of Rev. I. Ware.


3 Meeting at Kirkstall to protest against Mr Short.


2 Interview with Mr Wm. D Skelton, Churchwarden of St Mark's Woodhouse, respecting the situation of Organist at that church. Salary £20, Duties- Sunday Morning and Evening and Friday Evening Lecture.

3 Informed Mr Nelson of St Luke's of the interview yesterday. Confirmation - Parish church printing Rev. I Ware's funeral sermon.

20 Sent Mr Martin Cawood a book of Catches and Glees- 1660- by Playford.

21 Woodhouse organ given to J Poole


4 Jenny Lind sings tonight in Leeds Music Hall, admission 21/- 10/- 5/-

Family particulars communicated by R Swallow. Richard Swallow, my great grandfather, was principal singer at Thorner Church, Nr. Leeds. On a tablet is inscribed the name of the vicar and also that of R Swallow B.Mus. He (R Swallow) left three sons and bequeathed £200 to each. The eldest was Richard, the second William and the youngest Claudius, my Grandfather. The three brothers agreed to make up a sum of £600 to be given for the benefit of the said eldest son Richard, who had an opportunity of taking a share of the business of Mr Fell, a Cutler of Sheffield. Richard was successful in business and sent to his brother Claudius to request him and his wife to go Sheffield. He complied and got ready his horse which was to take both he and his wife on his back; but in consequence of an attack of illness by his wife the journey was postponed. Richard, the eldest died without seeing his brother Claudius. William, the second brother, died at sea.



26 Composed Nunc Dimittis in E flat. Gregorian melody is arranged under eight tones; The two first somewhat correspond with the modern key of D with a minor third; the third tone, with the modern key of C with a minor third; the fourth tone with the modern key of " A" with a minor third; the fifth and sixth with the modern key of F with a major 3rd; the seventh and eighth with the modern key of G. But the correspondence is very imperfect in every key: For the Gregorian system only admits the natural gamut, with occasional flat or sharp of the flat seventh of that key. Still the melody is pleasing and the modulation from one key to another is often strikingly beautiful. The want of the sharp seventh makes an Organ accompaniment of it very difficult, unless the organist sets himself above the rule by introducing it; this all modern organists do; they gain something by it, but a gregorian melody so accompanied loses the peculiar sound and nearly becomes a modern air.


Easter Sunday 8 Service at St. Luke's. "Christ the Lord is risen today" at opening instead of Venite " Christ our Passover" Chant Jackson in B. Psalms, Robinson in F. Te Deum Dr. Crotch in C. Jubilate Russell in A. (Service) St. Athanasian Creed, Tallis; Sanctius (sic), Bridgewater. Kyrie and Creeds, Wesley in E.

29 First-time sung the first Nunc Dimittis I composed. Mr. Frank Cookson wished to engage me as St. John's Church organist. Not settled upon.


2 Family excursion to Whitkirk by Omnibus - walked through Colton and through Templenewsham wood to the park gates on the high ground - down the lane to Swillington Bridge. Tea at Lowther's Arms - (2/-? ) Left Woodlesford station at 6.30. Instead of running to the station in Hunslet Lane we were taken to the Wellington station.

3 The ropes of the three bells in St John's tower have been rearranged so that one person can ring the changes with comparative ease. The tone is sweeter in consequence of the bells being hung down - but the sound is by no means so strong as when they turn round. When the bell is upside down the clapper rests against the side of the bell, which causes the sound to cease immediately. (A ring of three bells apparently converted for chiming only?)


11 Sung J. Swallow's Magnificat in E flat first time in St Luke's. Salary raised to £14 a year. Dr. Greene commenced on June 14th 1849. Volume 11.


2 West Riding of Yorkshire Building Society established at Messrs. Carits (sic) and Cudworth's Office. Attended the meeting and elected one of the committee and one of the auditors. Moved by Mr. Cariss and adopted unanimously.

1. Great Agricultural Show in Leeds. Earl of Carlisle in the chair. £700 taken at the Horticultural Show in the Infirmary Gardens.

5. St Luke's. First Sunday in month. Creed, first-time, Jackson's of Exeter. Only one boy to go through the service.


10 Visited the new Gaol at Leeds and bought a clothes brush 2/6d and a ???? for 2/6d. The cleanliness of the Interior has been an effectual preventative of the present raging cholera. There are 120 convicts from London in the Gaol.


26 Removed from Coboing Street to Fenton Place.



July. Went to Sheffield on a visit to mother and sister. Visited the Public Gardens and the new Cemetery, which latter was just ready for opening. Visited Rotherham, went to the Parish Church, a very fine old Church.

July Excursion to Methley. Caught in the rain; sheltered under a tree in the Pontefract Road along with a gentleman on horseback. The rain pouring in torrents for some time moved the gentleman to invite us to his house, which was within five minute walk - a very pleasant old mansion. The name of the gentleman was "Dear" He took us into his kitchen to his only fire in the house to dry ourselves and then very kindly introduced himself to his good lady. The old gentleman brought out wine and cake and endeavoured to make us as comfortable a circumstances would admit of. The rain continued for a long time coming heavily. and the old gentleman was kind enough to invite us to stay to tea. However, we very soon after saw in the distance the Earl of Mexbrough's Seat, a never failing sign of fair weather and we soon had to take our leave of our very good Samaritan. We then landed home all right.


7 Went to Pontefract. Took rails to Castleford - walked round the place and then set off on foot to Pontefract. It was very hot. We arrived at 12 o'clock. Ate a little dinner at an Inn opposite the County Court and then set out for the church. It is a fine old ruin which must be seen to be appreciated. The part of the church used for service is in the middle of the ruins, having been rebuilt lately. We then went to the castle. Very little of it is now standing. The round tower seems to be the principal portion now to be seen. There is a very deep well and near to it is a portion of the room where Richard ll was murdered. There is the Magazine down in the rock - exceedingly low. We descended many steps and when at the bottom we could not examine it for want of light. The place reminded us of bygone times - long past. We then took tea at a very nice Inn and returned to the station. Had to wait an hour for the train. The line from Leeds to London was opened that day by the Great Northern and we arrived in Leeds at half past seven.

27 Visited York. Left Leeds by the 10 a.m. train. It rained heavily when we arrived at Castleford and continued all day. Arrived at York a lady and gentleman joined us, and we went to an Inn near the station and took a little refreshment. We then set off in a coach to the Castle; were admitted by the governor, Mr. Noble who requested a turnkey to show us round the Castle. When we had examined the cells of the prisoner before trial, we were admitted to the condemned cell, a gloomy apartment for day, being furnished with an iron chair and a stone table. The window is very small and well barred with three thicknesses of iron, which prevents the room being sufficiently lighted for ordinary purposes. A sleeping room adjoins it, in which are two beds, one for the culprit and the other for the Turnkey. Each bed stands on one large stone, another stone is placed in the wall at the head of each bed, and another on the side, thereby rendering it impossible to escape through the walls. The condemned cell appears to be one of the most uncomfortable places one could imagine. The room had been occupied about a fortnight before. Many transports were in the Castle at the time awaiting the close of all the Assizes. They are dressed in yellow and drab plaid, differing in dress to the other prisoners, making them at once discernible. We then ascended Clifford's Tower which stands within the walls of the Castle. There is a fine view of York from the top. The tower is very round and very much dilapidated. Near the well a flight of steps lead to the top and round the top of the tower is a path railed off to prevent accidents, otherwise it would be highly dangerous to walk round. After leaving the Castle we directed our way to the Minster. We found the doors open and many persons already assembled to view that magnificent Church. We ascended the Tower, the middle or Great Tower on payment of 3d each and after a great deal of exertion, found ourselves at the top, we sat down to rest for a short time. The top of the Tower appeared so great that we almost fancied ourselves on the top of the Church instead of a Tower. The country about York being very flat, affords an excellent opportunity of fancying a little world at one view. This view is so extensive that it quite repaid us for the little outlay of the day's visit. Descending to the church we requested a Verger to shew us around the Cathedral, for which he charged 2/-. He took us through the gates near the screen under the Organ in the Chancel where the service is performed, shewed us the movement (monument?) of the Incendiary Jonathan Martin. (He caused a fire in 1829 which gutted the choir. The choir was repaired and open for services again by 1832. Martin was later found to be insane) Then we went into the vestry to examine the curiosities and antiquities of the Cathedral. The Crozier that was carried before Ferdinand and Isabella made of silver was in fine condition; the moving figures used in striking the clock in olden times, some rings found lately in coffins of the Bishops and Abbotts buried there, and most remarkable and most interesting was the Horn by which the right of the Minster is held. (The Horn of Ulfus, of mesopatamian origin and unknown date, given to the Minister in the time of Canute possibly as a sign of an endowment.) The Horn is very large, and in fact much larger than our beasts horns; the owner of the Cathedral drank Sacramental Wine out of it and then gave it as a right to the Dean and Chapter for ever in consequence of his son having quarrelled about their Father's possessions. There was a goblet belonging to the body of Cardwainers which had been used by them some centuries back on the anniversary of St. Crispin. This Society was broken up some short time ago and the goblet was replaced in the Cathedral for safety. The Bible sent to York Minster after the reformation by the state is there chained to a cupboard. ( ? The York Gospels were probably written in Winchester c. 1000 and brought to York soon after?). We then went into the Crypt, an underground chapel, (the Zouche chapel) with low arches and very dark, it being customary to perform service by artificial light. There is a well of water called St. Peter's well used in former times by Monks and Nuns. The monuments are too numerous to mention here, and also the East Window is so full of subjects from the Bible that it is impossible to describe. The Chapter House is an octagonal building, very beautiful and singular, and fitted up in such a manner as to allow a stall for each member of the Chapter. The business of the Cathedral is transacted here beginning with the Election of an Archbishop down to the Election of Canons etc. Time would not allow us staying any longer being now nearly Four o'clock at which hour the service commences. It was announced that Her Majesty was to pass through York at Six o'clock that evening; we took our station on the Scarborough line to watch the train pass. at the time appointed a pilot engine made its appearance and in two or three minutes after Her Majesty's train came up. We could only distinguish Prince Albert, Her Majesty and Children being inside. The Royal Party were going to Castle Howard to spend a day or two and then to proceed to open the Newcastle Railway. The Bells of the Minster rung during and some after we were much pleased with the firing of the Bells when in the Minster Yard. We now took a farewell look at the Minster and I looked back 25 years when I was engaged as a treble singer (in 1825) at the Festival.
On that occasion I was the only boy engaged from Leeds, for which I received Four Guineas. After the Friday's performance we went to the Guildhall to receive our stipend but when I asked for mine I was told that my name was not in the book. I produced my engagement which was accepted and the money was paid immediately. Having walked to York the Friday previous I had now to walk back again which was a hard task. We however (My Uncle and self) took the whole Saturday to accomplish it which ended one of the most splendid weeks I had ever had in my life. It was now time to time to return from York, the train was an hour behind its time in starting which was a means of enabling us to see the Royal Carriages just arriving in time from Castle Howard. The Royal carriage was elegantly fitted up with armchairs and a table. we left York and arrived safely in Leeds.

22 Attended a Committee Meeting in Chapeltown by request at seven in the evening. Being without an Organist my friend Mr. Cariss and Mr. Turkington wished me to meet them. I played until eight o'clock when Mr. Smith formerly Organist at Leeds Parish Church came to judge. In a few minutes the committee were unanimous in electing me and the 24th was fixed for engaging me.

24 Met with Mr. Cariss and Mr. Turkington at Cariss' office, and signed an Agreement to Play the Organ, keep it in tune, and instruct and manage the Choir at the rate of £25 per annum.


7 Committee met to give me the sum of £20 annually to find singers.


4 Last evening Service as Organist at St. Luke's church. The Pope issued his Bull creating a Cardinal of Westminster and other Bishops. John Bull aroused at the audacious conduct of the Pope.

15 Fire broke out in Vicar Lane in Myer's paint Shop. The engines were on the spot almost immediately and succeeded in extinguishing it before any damage was done to the adjoining property.

12 Sold a small Open Diapason to the Churchwarden of St Luke's Church
for £2 . 10 . 0


2 In consequence of a great improvement in the music at Chapel Allerton the Rev J Urquhart called to request I would chant the Venite at the commencement of the new year.



27 Commenced teaching the Pianoforte and Singing. First lesson to Mrs. Pickles this day.


14 Attended at the Small Debts Court to prove a Partnership of Burton and Hemingway in giving a concert at Barnsley in 1849. Decidedly proved by my Day Book.


1 Attended at the Court House to hear the Decision of the magistrates in a case of the Interrment of William Wigglesworth Butcher, of Leeds in the Leeds Parish church. The decision was deferred. While waiting on the occasion a case of sheep stealing was heard and the young man Midgely was committed to take his trial in York.

4 Gained admittance in the cells of the Leeds Court House. After examining the whole building we were informed that the young man who was to be sent to York for sheep stealing on Saturday afternoon had hung himself by fastening his neckcloth to the window grating. He found a pale (sic) in the yard which he placed on the seat under the window, and when ready contrived to kick the pale over. He as found by the person who went to take him to York. I heard the Magistrates give leave to the father and mother to visit him, when his Father upbraided him with his conduct and wished never to see his face again. The young man was found in a few minutes after committing the deed. On examining the wall we found the wall marked with the liquid that had come out of his mouth. Only one instance of death had occurred before for 25 years, and that was a person from Wortley who had been taken up for forging. He died just before the time for sending him to York. He was sat by the fire and held in one hand two sovereigns.

21 Father's Birthday - 77

31 First lesson in singing to Miss and Master Cariss, Chapeltown. First lesson in Pianoforte to Master Johnson, Leeds.
Leeds Parish Church burial ground thrown open to owners in consequence of an irregular resolution passing in the Town Council some years ago. An interrment of Mr. Wigglesworth, Butcher, took place in the Church and the Council proceeded against the Curate who interred the remains. The cause was defended and judgment given by Mr. Tottie to the effect that the Act required a Special Meeting, whereas it was done by the Mayor and Town Clerk. The Council have since held a meeting and the body waited on the Bishop of Ripon to secure his assent as before, but he declined to do so, in consequence of having been deceived by them in stating that the ground was quite full when his signature was procured before. Great Rejoicing in consequence of the Bishops decision.


15 Mr. Wilcockson called at the office - stated that Mrs. Swallow's Grandmother was 74 years old.

17 Attended funeral of Richard Fryer, Sexton of St. John's Leeds and played the Organ on the occasion. Pair of ?ones on the Organ Keys in remembrance.

18 Good Friday. Family went to Wakefield. Visited the Parish Church. Rain came on. Stayed in Church examining Monuments etc. The Monument of John White formerly Organist of Wakefield Parish Church is on the first landing to the Gallery. Mr. White it states was organist at Wakefield, St. Paul's, Leeds and Harewood Church. When Mr. White was Organist of St. Paul's I was the first boy engaged as a chorister at four guineas per annum. Subsequently Mr. White engaged me to sing at the York Festival in 1825. I remember when my engagement was sent by post, as a Chorister at St. Paul's my father refused to pay the Postage, being quite certain that no letter could or would be sent to me on any account whatever. On hearing of some engagements being sent by post to some adult singers it struck me that the letter might be an engagement of my services. I went to the letter-carrier to ask if he had the letter in question. He produced it which turned out to be an engagement. One Sunday had passed and I had not appeared at the Church. Such was my father's estimation of my abilities in music, that he would not pay twopence for me.

23 Took a house at Carlton Hill or Street, the one we occupied before we commenced business.


5 Visited Harewood House, but in consequence of workmen being engaged the interior was not shewn to us. The terrace and garden are beautiful which repaid us for our time. The Church was closed so we went to see the remains of the old Castle. The view from the top of the Castle is magnificent looking on a large tract of Country, with the River Wharf at the foot of the hill, and the Harrogate Road going in an almost direct line up the hill as far as the eye can reach. The works for pumping the spare water running from his Lordship's fishpond into the Leeds reservoir were proceeding, and during the time we were staying at the Inn in Harewood the boiler for the engine was brought from Leeds by 12 horses. One of the wheels of the wherry was in a very precarious state - the spokes having given way; fears were entertained for its safe arrival. However we saw it at its safe destination before we left Harewood. We had a beautiful day and a beautiful ride home. Took tea at the Queen Inn, Chapeltown, our Sunday House, and finished the day with a pleasant walk home.

19 Engaged to teach the choir of St. Luke's Leeds and play on the Sunday evenings myself - find an Organist for Mornings and Singers at £40 per annum.

10 Played at St. Luke's and commenced the service with a fresh set of singers. Mr. Radcliffe played for me at Chapeltown.

18 A man and a boy killed at the works at Harewood by the falling of some poles for drawing up stones. The contractor had ordered a man to make secure some portion of the tackling which he considered unsafe, and the man neglected to do so. The jury returned a verdict of Manslaughter in consequence, and the man is sent to York Castle to take his trial at the next assizes.

24 This day 12 months engaged to play at Chapeltown.

27 Went to Rothwell- examined the Church and took tea at John O' Gaunts - 2/-.

29 Friday morning at two o'clock a fire broke out in Holroyds's Mill, at Carlton Hill, and the heat was so great that we were afraid of our row of houses. Engines long time in coming and after their arrival no Town's water to be had, the Reservoir being very low. Two reservoirs belonging to the premises were of little use in consequence of the want of hosing or piping. The whole of the premises completely destroyed and the North and East walls only left standing. The conflagration was awful to behold. The building was insured for £1600, but the machinery was not insured. The Owner Mr. Holroyd (alias Tinder Box) was formerly a journeyman cropper and used to attend at the place where he worked the first man in the morning, and always struck a light with flint, steel and tinder box, being the only means of procuring a light in those days. Being of an unpleasant temper, his work people now always called him "Tinder Box" or "Tinny" and very little regret seems to be manifest on this occasion.


16 Went by Coach to New Miller Dam at nine in morning. Sandal Feast - Up and Doing - races in the afternoon. Spent the Day in and around the Miller Dam. Good fishing there. Fish as heavy as 30-lbs weight had been caught with line. Tea at the Dam Inn, cost o/a Coach came up at quarter past five - reached Leeds at seven.

13 Commenced teaching Mr. Nelson's three sons to sing.


24 Received from the survivors of the late T C Stubbins, the portrait of My Grandfather, Thomas Firth. The portrait of my Grandfather was painted by Rhodes of Leeds , and was presented to him by the Leeds Amateur Musical Society held at the Three Legs Inn, Call Lane. The Portrait was for many years hung up in the Music room of the Three Legs. Thomas Firth was a composer and teacher of music. He was Choirmaster of St. John's in Leeds and subsequently at the Roman Catholic Chapel in Lady Lane. He composed an Oratorio to be sung on laying the foundation stone of the Zion Chapel, now St. James's Church in York street. The Oratorio was called "The Foundation Piece" and was so much appreciated by the music performers in Leeds that it was performed annually (In April I think) and the music on the painting is a part of the Oratorio "Cry and Shout". He wrote a book of Hymn Tunes and Anthems, which were published by Mr. White, who was Organist of Wakefield Church (Parish) and St. Paul's Leeds and Mr. Muff, Music Seller, Commercial Street, Leeds. Several unpublished Anthems and Services of his are in our possession, but the style is not liked at the present day.



31 Sent a notice to the Churchwardens of Chapeltown to resign the situation of Organist. To Churchwarden Levi Lawrence. A three months notice to commence on 24th February. Mr. Purchen of Moortown requested me to open the Organ at Moortown Church on the Consecration of the Edifice. The Church has been closed (after being finished) for one year and a half, owing to some dispute arising among the trustees. Other Trustees have been elected and the church is to be opened as soon as the Deeds are prepared. As soon as the Bishop appoints a day it is to be communicated to me for me to examine and prepare the Organ for the occasion.


5 The Holme Reservoir at Holmfirth filled to the top 70 feet in height and carried away the embankment, 100 yards of earthwork. The water carried all before it including Mills, Houses, Farmyards etc. Upwards of 100 people have perished. Six houses were carried 50 yards in an almost perfect state and the village is literally swept away.

21 Agreed to continue as Organist at Chapeltown Church.

29 Sunday. Received a note from The Rev'd H Tomas of St Luke's. In consequence sent my resignation along with the Note to the Churchwardens - Capt. Child and Mr. G Nelson.


14 Sunday. Received a note from Rev'd I Tomas requesting me to reconsider my resignation - not accepted.

15 Met the Chapeltown Choir Committee in the vestry to annul the Resignation and at my suggestion to plan an additional seat for about 10 boys in front of the men. Agreed that the gallery be carried out 20 inches which will allow 4 inches more for the Organ pew as well.

28 Sunday. Altered and used for the first time. Chanting more regular.

On the 4th of July 1852 my father departed this life after a short illness, aged 78 years. About a fortnight before, he was walking and either from weakness or faintness he fell and bruised his head, which so much affected his general health that he gradually sunk under it. He was interred in the New Burial ground of the Parish Church in Leeds, with my Mother and Sister.


25 Spent half a day at Mr. Purchons of Moortown. We examined the Church and Organ and the School and Parsonage, and Mr P's grounds. Took tea and left for Chapeltown practice.


9 Went to Wakefield with Mr. Hill, Printer of Ripon to value stock of Printing Materials - value £120 - cost about £10 removing.


8 Appointed Acting Secretary to the Leeds Musical Union, at a salary of £25 per annum. The duties are to collect the Subscriptions - send out Circulars - take charge of the books of the Society - attend Rehearsals - and send out all circulars for concerts. Bond £100, given by Mother.

6 Went to Selby by Train, day tickets, second class 6/- each. Spent the day examining the town. The Abbey Church is a fine old building but the interior as regards the pews etc. is a mass of incongruities. A funeral of one of the sons of the Ringers took place and a dumb peal was rung on the occasion. A dull place.

30 Mr. John Howarth died from taking Arsenic, in consequence of his distressed circumstances.


14 Died, Arthur, Duke of Wellington and was buried on the 18th November 1852. He was buried by the side of Lord Nelson in St Paul's cathedral. The Procession was witnessed by a million and a half of people.

20 Spent the day at Sheffield. Went to Black Bank to see the place where Barbour had murdered Robinson a Scotch pack Man. Black Bank is about a mile south east of Sheffield. The body of Robinson was found two days afterwards by two boys who were gathering blackberries. Barbour was tried at York on Wednesday December 22nd 1852 (?) and found guilty of the murder. Sentenced to be hung. Harry Waddington was tried at the same Assizes for murdering a child in a wood near to the above place. The mother of the child refused to marry Harry Waddington who being deeply in love with her, determined in a fit of frenzy to take the child's life to prevent any other person having possession of his child. He was found guilty and sentenced to be hung.

Went to Mexbro' Hall at Methley. Examined the whole of the house which was empty, and out of repair.


22 Tea Meeting at Church School Room, Chapeltown. Nine ladies provided trays, and their names are as follows:- Mrs. Urquhart, Mrs. Bolland, Mrs. Cariss, Mrs. Hines, Mrs. Gaunt, Mrs. Mortimer, Mrs. Walton, Mrs. Rhodes,and Mrs. Knight. Glees were sung after tea and a vote of thanks proposed for the Ladies who provided , and also for the Organist. The object of the meeting was to raise funds for the purpose of enabling me to procure a New open Diapason on a large scale for the Church organ at Chapeltown. Subscriptions were entered into to carry same into effect.

24 Attended at Chapeltown Church to play at Mrs. Thos. Beynon's funeral Sarah Collinson died on the 1st November aged 16 yrs..

25 Christmas day. Dined with Mr. Urquhart at Chapeltown.



? Proposed to the Musical Union to give them an Oratorio with first rate talent for £65 for the orchestra - expenses to be paid by the committee for room and printing. Agreed to. The Elijah was selected (Composed 1846, first performed Birmingham 1846, Hamburg 1847 and new York 1851) and the performance took place on 7th of March. (a maximum of 5 weeks of rehearsal time?) The principal singers were Mrs. Sunderland, Miss Huddart, Mr. Perring and Mr. Wois (Elijah), Conductor Mr Burton. The band, Chorus of 80, and the principals cost £70. 5. 0. The performance was exceedingly satisfactory.


28 Played the Service at Leeds Parish Church

26 The old Chimes from the Old parish church Tower were fitted up in the new tower and opened on this day, Saturday with "Rule Britannia". The windows of the Tower being half filled with stone tracery prevents the chimes being heard at any short distance. Mr. Pennant's Memorial Window of Stained Glass was finished on the same day. It is placed in the Anti-Chapel (sic).


15 Whit-Sunday. New Open Diapason by Mr. Greenwood, in Chapeltown Church Organ. Went with Great expectation of the service being very much improved - intended to sing my Te Deum. Began to play, but found the bellows unable to supply wind as heretofore; but with the assistance of another blower, both working as hard as possible, and I using as little wind as I could, we managed the Te Deum, for the first time, without a single defect. Gave great satisfaction to congregation - wanted it every Sunday. The Service being over, I examined the Bellows, and found a great rent in them, which had been occasioned somehow in between Friday Evening and Sunday morning - The Organ builder having the keys in his possession during that time. Paid £8. for the stop and dismissed him.


10 Went to Woodlesford, from thence to Kippax, then to Ledstone and dined at the White Horse. Went to see Ledstone Hall and then to Ledsham Church. Saw the Monument to lady Elizabeth Hastings and Sisters. They are Portraits. From Ledsham we went to Ledstone to Tea - Tea , Bacon and fresh laid Eggs. Dinner and Tea for three cost 4/6d. The Blacksmith of the Village being in the Inn, made friends with Ellen and offered to provide her a posey (sic) against the time she left the Village. We called on the Blacksmith, and his posey was ready. Walked to Castleford Station and came home by 8 o'clock. Jabez Pool's Psalter finished.


10 Went to Halifax by way of Bradford, through Low Moor and Lightcliffe. Visited the Connexion Chapel and walked thro' the Town. Dined in King Cross Road. To Beacon Hill by the old Post horse Road, splendid view of Halifax. Round by Southwram and down to the Parish Church, a noble building with a fine old organ - thought to contain the only (Vox Humana) Stop in England. This organ is supposed to have been built by Snetzler. Took tea near the station and arrived home about eight o'clock. Re-elected Secretary of the Musical Union - Decided this day August 14th 1853 to carry on the Union.



24 Left Chapeltown Organ. Elected at St. Luke's, Jan 2nd 1856.


Removed to shop no. 8. Top of Kirkgate.


22 Went to Huddersfield


4 Went to Dewsbury - from thence to Thornhill Lees and dined. Took to Cooper Bridge and walked to Kirklees Hall. Obtained permission to see Robin Hood's grave which is enclosed within pallisades. The inscription placed perpendicularly, is as follows-
"Under this stone lies Robin Hood
His death was caused by letting Blood.
His friend, little John, has also gone
To stand his trial and await his doom"

Kirklees Hall is an ancient structure, irregularly built, but valuable for its site. It is situate on an elevation.



26 Sunday. Received a Note by Express to go to Sheffield by the 3 p.m. train in consequence of the illness of Mother. Found her better than we expected, but appears to be sinking fast. Returned the next day.



28 Died at the age of 73, dear mother and was interred in the Sheffield Cemetery in the Preacher's Grave, Methodist Connexion. The service was read by the Rev'd J Hutstone, Old Connexion. Mrs Styan was the daughter of Mr.Wm.Coldwell of Sheffield, architect, lately of London.

29 Mr. Wm. Middleton, Churchwarden of Chapel Allerton Church informed me of the sudden death of Mr. Butterworth, the organist and appointed the following day for an interview. He then offered me the situation at £23 per annum. played on the Sunday following, Nov. 4, when a Funeral sermon was preached in consequence of the sudden death of the late organist who was playing the previous Sunday morning and expired in the afternoon.


2 Charles Gabriel , Post Office Clerk was examined before the Magistrates for stealing money, letters, etc. Mr. Commissioner Ayrton called me to ask if I would get up a Concert at the Mechanics Institute, Chapel Allerton at his expense. Announced it for the 18th and gave Mozart's 12th mass for 1st part and a Selection of Secular Music the 2nd. part Three voices to each part and 3 violins and voilincellos. Led by Mr. Pew and conducted by myself. No rehearsal with the Instruments. All went well - the Company did not seem to like to go away. We then gave the national Anthem. Mr. Middleton lent his Harmonium on which I occasionally played. The cost was
£5. 10. 0. Mr. Ayrton provided a capital luncheon.



11 Received £70 from the Corporation of Leeds for quitting Printing office in order to extend Briggate into north Street. Queen Anne and Clock were removed a few days ago and the property sold by Auction. St John's Street, (a very narrow one) leading up to St. John's Church is now nearly removed. Taken premises in corner of Upper Albion Street and Guildford street for Printing Offices.






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