Timeline of History in the Penistone Parish

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History Timeline Pages
These pages are updated from week to week. Most items are from secondary sources, from such as Penistone almanacks, book references, snippets from the press, submissions to Penistone Archive and History Group (on Facebook) and other occasional sources. Where only a rough outline is needed, Wikipedia is often good enough.

As with all pages of this website, you can return to the next level above by clicking the 'Back' Back icon at each page bottom. Most sources have been acknowledged, although some may have slipped through the net. The most recent updates are highlighted, so you don't have to search much if you've been here before.

There were many outbreaks of pestilence, crop failures and famines in England which would certainly have affected our district. Looking at a List of Famines and Pestilence which include Bubonic Plague, Influenza, Measles, Smallpox, The Ague, Cholera, Spotted Fever, Diphtheria, Syphilis, Comatose Fever, English Sweats, Dysentery, ad nauseam, it makes you wonder how anyone survived. See also 'A History of Epidemics in England' (from Archive.org).

Penistone (Pen - Saxon, a hill). A description from the 1880 Penistone Almanack:

In the Doomsday Survey, 1066, Penistone is twice mentioned, being spelled Pangestone. A well-known market town, parish, and the head of a Poor Law Union, in the Holmfirth Division of the West Riding, wapentake and petty sessional division of Staincross, county court district of Barnsley, rural deanery of Silkstone, arch deanery of Huddersfield, and diocese of Wakefield; the town occupies a position 747 feet above sea level. The general elevation of the district is from 600 to 1600 feet, the higher ground being to the westward. The air is pure and bracing, and the town possesses a splendid supply of pure water. The average rainfall is 35 inches.

A weekly cattle market, which dates from 1699, is held on Thursday and frequent fairs during the year. Wool Sales are held in the clipping season, and the town is a centre for many purposes for the surrounding district. For election purposes the town is also the head of the Holmfirth Parliamentary Division, the nominations, counting of votes, and declaration of result all being held at Penistone. The Urban Council have suggested to the County Council that Petty Sessions be held at Penistone. the district to comprise the whole of the Poor Law Union, except Kexborough. The district is noted for its dairy cattle and produce, and a Dairy Co. has been formed, one of its chief objects being the collection of milk from the farmers in the district, making into butter in large quantities of an uniform quality, and disposing of the same to the large towns in the neighbourhood. The railway facilities are excellent, being on the main line Of the Great Central Railway and a junction for Barnsley and Huddersfield branches. The Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway Co. have a branch line to Huddersfield, and the London and North-Western Co. and the Great Northern Co. have running powers on the Great Central railway.

The town grows slowly, dwelling houses being very scarce, although during the last two years more have been built than for many years past. The building operations have been chiefly in artisans’ dwelling houses at Castle Green, Kirkwood, and Penistone Green. An extensive sewerage scheme has just been completed, and an Isolation Hospital for the district will shortly be commenced on Hoyland Moor. The inhabitants are mainly employed at Messrs. Cammell and Co. Ltd., Steel Works, Messrs. Jabez Nell & Co., Ltd, Hawley’s Saw Mills, and on the railway in various capacities.

English Calendar Change
England belatedly changed from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1751-1752, long after most other countries. (See 1751). This put the earlier dates eleven days 'out of sync.' with the Gregorian Calendar.

For centuries until the calendar change, the start of the year had been regarded as the start of Spring, around the Spring Equinox. This was widespread in Europe from the eleventh century and from the late twelfth century in England. The legal start of each new year (and the start of the tax year) had been on Lady Day, 25th March (The Feast of the Annunciation). The modern UK Tax Year is still based on the old system, with the eleven-day discrepancy added to Lady Day to place it on 6th April every year, as explained in entertaining detail on Paul Lewis's site.

The dates between 1st January and Lady Day were normally hyphenated. For example, Wm Shakespeare died 23rd April 1616 and it would be written as 23rd April 1615-16 but, if he had died a month later, it would have been written as 23rd May 1616.

By the way, there are no 'Common Era' dates on this website, only the good old BC or AD, as they always have been. Unfortunately, the new 'Common Era' style has been promoted by the politically-correct BBC and others to support a possible concern for the sensitivities of non-Christian or non-religious people to the Christian basis of the established calendar. The application of 'Common Era' unnecessarily denies the historical basis of our dating system. In effect, it is trying to erase history, like burning the books. As the old saying goes: "If it ain't broke - don't try to fix it."

Once again, this sort of interference originates from those well-intentioned but misguided people who are in effect professional offence-takers (a.k.a. the 'Thought Police'). They habitually take offence on behalf of people (usually minorities) who are not particularly offended by aspects the Western way-of-life, but are perhaps more uneasy or embarrassed by the actions of their self-appointed protectors than from whatever it is they are supposedly being protected. A fairly new term for this is 'Virtue Signalling,' to suggest that their thoughts and deeds are purer than those of the common people. It's all baloney.

A Note on Quarter and Cross-Quarter Dates
Four dates (quarter days) were typically used for legal purposes, such as hiring servants and paying rents and to make sure that all debts were cleared and recorded as such. They fell on four religious festivals about three months apart and close to the solstices and equinoxes. Some property matters still use these dates. Before the move from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar in 1752, Lady Day was the first day of the year (and Tax Year) in British dominions (excluding Scotland which had earlier adopted 1st January).

Cross-quarter days were observed in northern England as Quarter Days until the 18th century:

'Kal', 'Nons' and 'Ides' in Old Documents
These terms refer to dates in old ecclesiastical documents, based on the Roman calendar. Wikipedia has a very full description but the gist is that each month was divided into three fixed points, the Nons ('non'), Kalends ('Kal') and Ides ('id'). Their position in the month varied by a day or two according to the length of the month. The dates have Roman numerals preceding, such that, for example, 2nd April would be named 'IV non', counting down (3rd = III non, 4th = II non) to 5th April = non. The 9th would be 'V id' (five before the Ides, which is the 13th for this month). We all know that the 'Ides of March' is the 15th day of that month.

Regnal Dates
English legal documents give the year as the number of years in the reign of the particular monarch of the time. Regnal = 'Of or relating to a monarch or their reign' but in this context it means a specified year of a monarch's reign calculated from the date of accession. For example: In the Queen's tenth regnal year. Although archaic in origin, the regnal year is still commonly used in UK Acts of Parliament, along with the actual date.

A private website has a useful Regnal Date Converter to extract the actual year from the Regnal year.

Roman Measures
(as stated in Wikipedia)

A Roman Mile was 5,000 Pedas (Roman feet) = 4854 Imperial feet.
A Pes (Roman foot) = 0.971 of an Imperial foot = 11.652 inches.
A Roman Mile is 0.919 Imperial Mile = 1,617 yards, and 15.84 Inches.

One English Mile = 5,280 Feet or 1,760 Yards.
An Imperial Yard = 36 inches or 39.370113 Metres.

Sources Used in the Timeline Pages
The Books:

Some small details were also added from 'An Explorer's Guide to Penistone & District', 2006, a few leaflets describing local walks and some anecdotal remarks from Penistone people. Where information is anecdotal, it has been marked as such.

The 2013 re-issue of 'An Explorer's Guide to Penistone' retained the interesting historic articles of earlier issues and can be found in Penistone Library.

Gaps to Fill
There are some gaps in important events which I would welcome help with:

If you are on Facebook, please visit these groups: Penistone Archives - PGS Archive.

Just for interest:

Webpage Notes:

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