Archive for the ‘Lancashire/Yorkshire’ Category

medievaljpg I have always suspected that Inskip bowmen went to France with Henry V and that was a reason for their appearance in Sussex in the fifteenth century.  So,  Henry’s muster lists have always been on my list of documents to look at.

However, thanks to a collaboration between Dr Adrian Bell of the ICMA Centre and Professor Anne Curry of the University of Southampton, who have been building a database of medieval soldiers to challenge assumptions about the emergence of professional soldiery between 1369 and 1453, I now have confirmation that an Inskip archer did go to France with Henry V in 1415.

His name was Roger de Inskyp, and he served as an archer under a captain called Sir James Harrington, and commander Henry V.  In 1422 he is listed as a foot archer under captain John Harpeley at a garrison – where is not given.

In the Normandy garrison database for the years 1415 – 1453 there is listed two archers,  Roger and Richard Inskip,  both serving in 1429 and 1430 at the Rouen town plus bridge garrison,  under Lieutenant Richard Curson and Captain Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

So was Roger one of the bowmen at Agincourt who raised the two fingered salute?  That and the background to both men is still to be established

(Information on soldiers has been taken from from the AHRC-funded ‘The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database’, http://www.medievalsoldier.org, August 2009)


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Map picture

For the last nine months I have been deep in old parchments trying to find out why the Inskips first moved to Old Warden, Bedfordshire in the late sixteenth century.  The result has been a village reconstruction of all the families in Old Warden between 1537 when Warden’s Cistercian Abbey was Dissolved, and the 1660 Restoration of the Monarchy.

So what of the Inskips? Well, John Inskip, born around 1556,  is still the earliest Inskip in the village, with his 1584 marriage to Margaret Pope – the Popes were in Old Warden at the Reformation.  John Inskip set out, probably from the Lancashire Fylde, around the 1570’s to seek opportunity.  He was part of the migration of young men from the North to the South-East of England at a time of great economic and cultural change in the country.  I found evidence of other young men in Old Warden from Lancashire and Yorkshire.

It is likely that he was the son of a husbandman – a rank in Elizabethan society- and may well have taken out a contract as a farm servant in Old Warden.  Very many young people in those times became farm servants, often on annual contacts, from age 11 – that is how they learnt how to earn a living and maintain a family.

Margaret Pope inherited her fathers copyhold tenement.  She and John lived next to what was the vicarage (possibly now the Old Post Office) on a small plot of land with a three bay cottage, a garden, an orchard and a two bay barn.  They had common rights to graze two oxen and a cow. Unlike other Warden cottagers, they didn’t keep sheep.  They paid 5 shillings a year for a copyhold worth 10 shillings in 1605 and 30 shillings in 1622.  However, they could not possibly have lived off such a small holding and so John must have had a trade and/or wage employment.  The documents were reluctant to provide that information so I have speculated on the following:

Ø Drovers or carters – based on their travel and keeping oxen with only a smallholding.

Ø Weavers or tailors – Alice Inskip’s kin (John’s second wife) were tailors, as was John Inskip’s grandson. They may have had expertise in flax weaving from Kirkham in the Fylde.

Ø Horticultural labourers – based on the family predominance in market gardening from the late seventeenth century and land fertility expertise in the Fylde, plus John’s orchard and barn.

Many ancient copyhold tenancies in Old Warden were brought out and merged into larger farms during the late sixteenth, early seventeenth century – as was the case in many areas of the country, as land was made more productive in order to feed a growing population.   However,  John held on to his copyhold and in 1615 was one of a group of men who took a local landlord to court for enclosing common land.  The documents of the case are still in the National Archives in Kew.  John must have won the case (that part is not in the archive) as when he died in 1626 he passed his copyhold to eldest son Robert.  When Robert died unmarried, around 1651,  the copyhold – one of the last remaining in the village – went to sister Elizabeth Mathie and husband Thomas.

At a time when Old Warden was going through a huge amount of economic change with land investment and shrinking smallholdings, when poor harvests, due to the little ice age of the late sixteenth and seventeenth century, brought death and disease,   the Inskips were one of the families who survived and even to some extent thrived.  That was very much through good management.

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cornet Brass bands have a noble tradition in the North of England with roots in the industrial revolution. They formed in the small villages surrounding industrial cities where a factory employed most local labour. Bands were the answer to the daily grind and a dearth of entertainment, and started with the aid of people versed in eighteenth century folk music.

Everyone in a small village could join the band, and amateur status was a strong feature. The bands were financed by subscription or the factory owners. Once proficient, bands played in concerts and contests. The best bands could attract an audience outside their own locality, and brass band contests had up to 80,000 people in the audience. Factory bands were the most successful; they had the money to poach players and pay musically trained band leaders .

The first band is said to be the Stalybridge Old Band started in 1814 – they played their first event the Saturday after the battle of Waterloo, June 1815. But, other contenders (more…)

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I’ve been trying to establish who owned the Manor at Inskip from earliest times, to get some context for our family. To date it looks something like this, but there are still a lot of tangles to undo. If anyone can shed any more light on this, do get in contact via the comments below. (I’ve used modern spellings for the names Inskip and Keighley). (more…)

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WhirlpoolI’d like to make a plea for a lady who has been looking for her lost uncle for 30 years. Frank Inskip was born in 1917 in Halifax the son of Randolph Inskip from Wombwell near Barnsley, and Harriet Hall from Halifax. (Randolph’s father was a William Inskipp from South Shields, who went to Barnsley with his brother to mine coal.)

Randolph and Harriet split up soon after Frank’s birth and their boys, Walter and Frank, were fostered. Walter went to a family who lived in Tottington. Harriet later lived with a man called Shaw. There has been no siting of Frank by the family since that date; he does not appear to be registered in the UK, he did not serve in the 2nd world war, there is no insurance records or medical records for him. But he cannot have just disapeared into thin air and his niece Elizabeth would dearly love to get in touch.

One theory Elizabeth is working on at the moment is that he went to America with his maternal grandparents. But who knows? if you have any ideas, do get in touch.

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Sailing Ship

Terry Inskip, recently sent me a list of Inskip departures from these shores between 1890 and 1929. It is interesting to observe that at the height of the British Empire, the largest formal Empire the world has ever known (yes larger than the Romans!), that to travel abroad the passengers simply had recorded initial, surname, age, sex, year or departure, destination country and port of departure and arrival. Contrast this to the growing list of ‘biological’ data we are supposed to give to travel from the new Heathrow Terminal 5 to Manchester – let alone to destinations such as the USA.

Armed with this meagre data I tried to discover from census and other data I have who these Inskip travellers were. Some are emmigrants, some travellers, and some have ‘business’ abroad.

The earliest is Samuel Inskip, a blacksmith from Bedford who emigrated with his family to America. Then there is Walter Inskip and wife Florence Thurley from Bedford who went to live in Tanzania in the 1920’s.

Charles H and Mary Inskip from Shefford retired on a round the world voyage in 1928. Meanwhile Charles’ brother William, who was a bank director, appears to have a range of exotic locations including Chile, Argentina and Japan.

Major Percy Inskipp and brother Frank Warren Inskipp from Sussex are regular travellers to Africa, whilst Alfred T Inskip the rancher from Devon, regularly criss-crosses the Atlantic to Canada with his siblings.

But I’d love to know more about Alice Stott from Oldham, who married a John Inskip in 1893 and went to Boston in 1901 alone with her 4 very young children, Hannah, Arthur, James and John.

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