Thursday, 28 July 2011
Thanks also to Mary Twentyman for a correction to the address I gave for Rachel's mother Elizabeth Brook when she left Clifton to live with her nephew. The address was Goose Hill not Gorse Hill. Handwriting is sometimes tricky to interpret on a census and I imagine this is what threw me.
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Huge thanks to Mary Twentyman who has discovered the date of Oakenshaw Fair. Readers may recall that Liz Rayner and Rachel Brook were accompanied home from the fair by Thomas Ramsden. I now know this must have been on the 17th of September. By late December both girls were around 15 weeks pregnant. Counting backwards...well, the date fits rather well...
Friday, 1 July 2011
As anyone who has read the book knows, part of my theory concerns deer. One Cliftoner was quick to point out, however, that during his grandfather's day there were no deer on the Kirklees estate - at least no herds. This puzzled me as on old maps the estate is clearly marked as a deer park. A little research in the Armytage's archive seems to clear the matter up. In a game warden's book from 1894 to 1903 deer stock in the park is noted on a weekly basis. And there are a large number of deaths, from attacks by dogs, to green tail, to tuberculosis. Following this in 1904, there is a lot of correspondence regarding the purchase of fallow deer - from France, Wales and Bourne. The final reference is a game book 1925-1946 - and here's the rub - no mention of deer at all. From this my conclusion is that tuberculosis became so endemic, it decimated the herd each time it was restocked until at last the whole idea was abandoned. This would explain why there were deer aplenty up until around 1905, but from then onwards there was no longer a maintained herd.