CHAPTER 3

 

JOHN TEAL of SHIPLEY – 1779 – 1848

 

John was George Teal’s eldest surviving son.  He was born at Lingber Farm, White Crag, Timble on the 13th January 1779.  He had an elder brother Thomas who died aged 9 in 1786.

 

John narrowly escaped been drowned when he was only 2 years old.  There was an uncovered well near the farm, which was generally dry, but a heavy thunderstorm had recently filled it.  John by some means got to it and fell in headfirst. His brother Thomas aged only about 5 who was with him could not help and he ran into the house crying "My John drowning; my John drowning".  Elizabeth their mother, hearing this, ran to the well and caught John by his clothes before he sank.  He had been in the water so long that it took some time before he showed signs of life.

 

Another close shave happened when he was about four.  His father had a vicious cow that was prone to pushing with her horns. John had been caught by a pig and was dragged, screaming into the field where this cow was feeding.  The cow was disturbed and with a bellow ran over to John.  His father, George had just set off to Otley market with the butter and hearing the commotion and seeing the cow charge, naturally concluded she was making an attack.  Dropping his basket he ran to the rescue, but to his astonishment, he found the cow, instead of goring John with her horns, was standing over him and defending him from the pig.  His father would often mention this story afterwards, usually tearfully, "It was nothing but the almighty power of God that saved his life"

 

 

 

 

White Crag Farm, Timble pictured in 1996.  The house was originally a single story building and it is believed that it was extended between 1860 – 80.  This is the most likely site for the original Lingber Farm where John was born.

 
 

 

 

 

 


In about 1792 when he was 13 he left Timble and became an apprentice to a joiner and cabinet-maker in Shipley near Bradford.  At the beginning of the 19th century Shipley comprised of scattered cottages, many of them straw thatched, a number of farmhouses and more substantial dwellings, a Manor house and three halls.  It had a population of 1,400 in 1801.  The inhabitants were mainly engaged in the manufacture of cloth, or in agriculture, and many farmers were also cloth-makers.

Shortly after arriving in Shipley he joined the Baptist Church and was baptised publicly by Mr. John Bowser in a stream near New Laithes on the 11th May 1800 aged 22 as was their tradition.  John was a devoted member of this Church for the rest of his life.  On the 24th March 1820 he was appointed its deacon.  This is the chief lay official of the church.  His memoirs record the event, he says:

 

"On the 24th of March, 1820, I was, by the unanimous choice of the church, appointed to the office of deacon.  I felt my unworthiness and unfitness for the office; but the arguments of my pastor, and an earnest desire for the promotion of pure and undefiled religion amongst us, induced me to comply with the wishes of my brethren."

 

Bethel Baptist Church, Shipley, built in 1836, demolished in the 1970s

 
 

 

 


The Baptist Ministers lodged at his house, at the time of 1841 census two were staying including the Rev Peter Scott.  He preached at Shipley for sixteen years and wrote John’s memoirs after his death.

 

Soon after he was out of his apprenticeship, he set-up in business himself as a joiner and timber merchant.  His business prospered through hard work and honest dealings.  He employed his own apprentices many of whom continued to work for him until his death and others for many years.  He was scrupulously honest and believed only in fair profit for his work.  He was also very trusting and according to his friends occasionally reckless with his safety and the safety of his money.  On timber purchasing trips he would carry large amounts of money when his friends had advised him it was not safe due to the threat of theft or muggings. 

 

The location of his workshop or timber yard is unknown but it likely to have been close to the canal, which runs just north of Shipley town centre.  In 1777 the Leeds and Liverpool Canal had linked Shipley with Leeds and from there via the Aire / Calder Navigations to the East Coast ports.  John is known to have used this waterway to transport imported and domestic timber, he would accompany each precious load.

 

His type of work in the first half of the nineteenth century was not without its risks.  On one occasion while he was helping to load a wagon, a heavy log slipped but he was not aware of it and only at the last second did a bystander notice and pull him away.  The next moment it fell with great force on the very place where he had stood.  It was truly a hairbreadth escape.  Another time, when assisting to lay the highest floor of a large factory, he stepped on a plank which he thought secure, but which was unsupported at one end, it gave way with him; and had he not fallen on a joist of the next floor, and clung to it, in all probability he would have been killed on the spot, for the building was four or five stories high.  As it was, he received so severe a shock and contusion of the side, that he was laid up for a number of weeks.

 

 

John was a witness at the marriage of his sister Mary to Thomas Peel in Fewston Church on the 1st April 1799

Fewston Parish Register – North Yorkshire Record Office, Northallerton

(PR/FEWSTON 1/5 M.1799)

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


In the spring of 1816 John fell seriously ill.  His own account preserved in his memoirs is extracted below:

 

 "June 6th, 1816.  A memorandum of the goodness of God to my soul.  About three weeks ago, I was attacked with an inflammation in my knee, which went on with such fury that in less than a fortnight, though loss of blood, constant purging, low living, and want of sleep, I was brought very low indeed. Immediately a dreadful darkness and horror seized my mind.  I attempted very frequently to pray, but found no freedom of access to a throne of grace, which greatly increased my distress; so that I concluded God had given me up to a hard heart and reprobate mind, and it was with great difficulty I could command the use of my reason.  I then concluded that he was going to leave me a senseless idiot, to wander up and down in horror and distraction, as a monument of his righteous indignation.  In this dreadful state of mind I continued one whole night and a day, without hope or help.  The next night I went to bed, not knowing how to get the tedious night over.  I attempted, with many tears, to entreat the, offended God in the Redeemer's name to have mercy on me, till, nature quite worn out, I fell into a short slumber.  When I awoke, my soul was much more at liberty to pray.  I got, as it were, into the very arms of mercy, and had such view of the ability and willingness of Jesus Christ to save all – all that come to God by him, so that, supposing my state to be really as I had conceived, yet there was no just cause for despair, but to apply with greater eagerness to the fountain of mercy.  My fears and terrors all vanished, light, peace, joy, and gratitude, sprang up in my soul.  I saw evidently the hand of God in my deliverance; so that I could not but exclaim with the enraptured Psalmist, 'Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits; who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with loving kindness and tender mercies.'  I record this, therefore, to the glory of God, and pray that every recollection of this deliverance may excite me to greater watchfulness against temptation, and that I may never more give way to despair, but daily flee for refuge to the hope set before me."

 

On the 6th May 1799 John married Miss Sarah Lee of Shipley at Bradford Parish Church.  She was the daughter of Mr. John Lee a respectable local clothier.  They had seven children, four girls and three boys.  On the 15th October 1816, eighteen months after the birth of their final child his wife Sarah died of consumption, leaving John a widower with all his seven children under 17, four under 10 and one a baby.  The family carried on with his 16-year-old eldest daughter Elizabeth taking over most of the domestic duties required to run the house.

 

Whilst the early death of his wife was a tragedy, which affected him deeply, nothing was to prepare him for what happened next.  He lost six of his children to consumption, John Lee Teal died in 1823 age 20, Thomas died in 1824 aged 19, Judith died in 1825 aged 18, William died in 1825 age 10, Elizabeth in 1827 aged 27 and Hannah in 1832 aged 20.  Hannah had been married for only 21 weeks to Job Miller Pearson a grocer of Shipley.  A house and a shop had been set-up for the newly married couple, but they only occupied it for 6 days before signs of her illness appeared.

 

 

Consent Note for Marriage of Daughter Hannah to Job Miller Pearson – Contained with Marriage Bond.  Borthwick Institute, York

“I John Teal of Shipley in the Parish of Bradford give my consent to the marriage of my Daughter Hannah to Job Miller Pearson, Grocer of the same place.  Shipley June 8th 1832  John Teal

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


In 1824 John's father George Teal died and as he was the eldest surviving son he was left Lingber Farm at White Crag, Timble.  As he already had the successful timber business at Shipley he let the farm to his younger brother Stephen.  John however had a deep love for his birthplace; whilst an apprentice he would visit his father as often as possible and would speak of the pleasure of doing so.  He said that whilst the journey from Shipley to Timble was long over bad roads and he should have grown weary with the journey, instead his steps grew lighter as he advanced, till he reached a point on the road from which he could see his father's house, when his heart bounded with new delight!

 

John was extremely moderate in all things including drinking, however toward the end of his life he saw it his duty to abstain entirely from alcohol of all kinds and support the Temperance movement.  He had long deplored the ravages that strong drink was making in Society but until this movement was formed could see no remedy.  The movement had been founded in 1832 in Preston - the "Jerusalem of the teetotal movement" - by weaver Joseph Livesey, who railed against the evils of gin dens and beer houses.  At its height towards the end of the nineteenth century it was one of the biggest mass movements in the UK’s history with one in ten people sworn off alcohol or “taking the pledge”!

  John spoke regularly at Temperance Meetings as some of his preserved notes testify:

 

"TEMPERANCE MEETING, Shipley, Tuesday night, September 6th, 1836

 

Explain the principles and objects of the Temperance Society.  About three hundred and thirty families in Shipley, and for these we have ten public houses, which is one to every thirty-three families.  Six years ago we were satisfied with four, and eight or nine years since with only three; but now we find so much benefit from the increase of intemperance, that our town's officers and principal inhabitants assured the magistrates, by their signatures, that we need another; and they, imposed upon in this manner, have granted us one more of these blessings, so that now we have a public house for every thirty families."

 

After an illness, which lasted some months, John died on Sunday 25th June 1848 at half-past four in the afternoon.  About two weeks before his death he called his one surviving daughter Mary to his bedside, and told her he had long wished to let her know that he thought they were about to be separated, that she might prepare her mind for it, expressed his gratitude for her dutiful kindness to him, and said he believed she would never want a friend.  He had left Shipley a number of times during his illness hoping that a change of air would provide benefit, but it did not.  In the end he was keen to get to his birthplace at Timble and it was there that he died age 70.  He was buried on Friday 30th June at the Baptist burial ground at Shipley amidst the tears of his friends and relatives.

 

Gravestone of John Teal of Shipley

 

Inscription from the Gravestone which is located in the abandoned Baptist Cemetery by Shipley Train Station

 

Side 1

 

In memory of John Teal of Shipley who departed this life June 25th 1848 in the 70th year of his age."His the firm faith that calm'd the fluttering breath, And his the holy hope that lived in death" Also of Sarah, his wife, who died October 15th 1816 in the 40th year of her age and lies interred at Providence Chapel Shipley. Also Mary the beloved daughter of the above who died Decr 24th 1872 in the 63rd year of her age.

 

Side 2

 

In memory of John Lee Teal the son of John and late Sarah Teal of Shipley, who died Jany 17th 1823 in the 21st year of his age. Also Thos Teal their son who died Jany 25th 1824 in the 20th year of his age.

Also Willm their son who died Feb 21st 1825 aged 10 years. Also Judith their daughter who died Dec 14th 1825 in the 19th year of her age. Also Elizabeth their daughter who died March 15th 1827 aged 27 years. Also Hannah their daughter wife of Job Miller Pearson who died Nov 4th

1832 aged 20 years. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.

 

 

 

His will, which was proved on the 2nd December 1848, left an estate of just under £ 8,000 all to his daughter Mary, a small fortune for the middle of the eighteenth century.  Lingber Farm at Timble also passed to her.

 

A nine-page memoir of his life was published in the Baptist Magazine in December 1848 followed by a 130-page book in 1853.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title Page from John Teals Memoirs – Published 1853

 
 

 

 

 


His daughter Mary remained a spinster in Shipley until she died on Christmas Eve 1872.  Her will proved on the 1st July 1873 left an estate of just under £ 25,000.  As she had no direct descendants it was distributed around her mother and fathers family each of the 38 legacies receiving a substantial sum of money.  The details are listed below:

 

Beneficiary

Relationship to Mary

Legacy / Proportion

Approx Value

Stephen TEAL

Uncle

Linber Farm (Lingber Farm, Timble)

£ 400 ?

William TEAL

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Joseph TEAL

26th

£ 925

John TEAL

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Joseph TEAL

26th

£ 925

Stephen TEAL

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Joseph TEAL

26th

£ 925

Naylor TEAL

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Joseph TEAL

26th

£ 925

Joseph TEAL

Cousin, son her Uncle Stephen TEAL

26th

£ 925

Ann CALVERT

Cousin, daughter her Uncle Stephen TEAL nee Teal

26th

£ 925

Stephen TEAL

Cousin, son her Uncle Stephen TEAL

26th

£925

David TEAL

Cousin, son her Uncle Stephen TEAL

26th

£ 925

Thomas PEEL

Cousin, son her late Aunt Mary PEEL formerly TEAL

26th

£ 925

Samuel RUSHWORTH

First Cousin once removed, Son of Elizabeth RUSHWORTH daughter of her late Aunt Mary PEEL formerly TEAL

72nd

£ 335

Mary LUND

First Cousin once removed, daughter of Elizabeth RUSHWORTH daughter of her late Aunt Mary PEEL formerly TEAL

72nd

£ 335

Thomas RUSHWORTH

First Cousin once removed, Son of Elizabeth RUSHWORTH daughter of her late Aunt Mary PEEL formerly TEAL

72nd

£ 335

Stephen TEAL

Cousin, son of her late Uncle William TEAL

26th

£ 925

John HARRISON

Cousin, son her late Aunt Jane HARRISON formerly TEAL

26th

£ 925

Hannah HUDSON

Cousin, daughter her late Aunt Jane HARRISON formerly TEAL

26th

£ 925

William LEE

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Thomas LEE

42nd

£ 575

Thomas LEE

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Thomas LEE

42nd

£ 575

Sarah NICHOLS

Cousin, daughter of her late Uncle Thomas LEE

42nd

£ 575

Children of George LEE deceased aged over 21 years before 12 months after her decease, except Craven LEE who went to California and has not been heard of for many years

First Cousins once removed, George LEE was son of her late Uncle John LEE

42nd

£ 575

Children of William LEE deceased aged over 21 years before 12 months after her decease

First Cousins once removed, William LEE was son of her late Uncle John LEE

42nd

£ 575

Sarah SPURN

Cousin, daughter of her late Uncle William LEE

42nd

£ 575

Joseph LEE

Cousin, son of her late Uncle David LEE

42nd

£ 575

James Denby LEE

Cousin, son of her late Uncle David LEE

42nd

£ 575

Edwin LEE

Cousin, son of her late Uncle David LEE

42nd

£ 575

Sarah LEE

Cousin, daughter of her late Uncle Samuel LEE

42nd

£ 575

John LEE

Cousin, son of her late Uncle Samuel LEE

42nd

£ 575

Mary SENIOR

Cousin, daughter of her late Aunt Hannah FARRAH formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Judith BAXTER

Cousin, daughter of her late Aunt Hannah FARRAH formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Hannah FARRAH

Cousin, daughter of her late Aunt Hannah FARRAH formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Charles TILLOTSON

Cousin, son of her Aunt Elizabeth TILLOTSON

42nd

£ 575

Mary BATEMAN

Cousin, daughter of her Aunt Elizabeth TILLOTSON

42nd

£ 575

Samuel BRADLEY

Cousin, son of her late Aunt Mary BRADLEY formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Rachel BRADLEY

Cousin, son of her late Aunt Mary BRADLEY formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Judith CLARKSON

Cousin, son of her late Aunt Mary BRADLEY formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Child / Children of William BRADLEY deceased

First Cousins once removed, William BRADLEY was son of her late Aunt Mary BRADLEY formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Child / Children of Grace BRADLEY deceased

First Cousins once removed, Grace BRADLEY was daughter of her late Aunt Mary BRADLEY formerly LEE

42nd

£ 575

Codicil – Elizabeth TEAL

First Cousin once removed, daughter of her cousin Joseph TEAL of Blubberhouses, Fewston, Shoemaker

£ 400 fixed

£ 400

Will dated 19th November 1868, Codicil dated 11th July 1872

 

References:

 

Nicholson – Ordnance Survey Guide to the Waterways, Volume 3: North

Rev. P. Scott –A Memoir of the Late John Teal Deacon of the Baptist Church, Shipley, Yorkshire 1853

The Baptist Magazine, December 1848

Knaresborough Probate Records – Leeds Archives

Yorkshire Probate Records – Borthwick Institute of Historical Research, York

Bradford Parish Church – Parish Register

Principal Probate Registry

Shipley Baptist Burial Ground – Gravestone Inscription

Borthwick Institute, York - Yorkshire Marriage Bonds and Allegations