JOSEPH TEAL –1786 – 1853


Joseph Teal was George Teal’s third son, born on the 28th June 1786 at Timble.  His early life must have been spent on the Farm, but at the age of 13 he was apprenticed to train as a Clothier in Rawdon some 10 miles from Timble.  The original apprenticeship indenture (legal contract) which survived into the 1970s is now lost, however the basic precept was recorded in a letter from Esther Gertrude Robinson (nee Teal) to Stephen Michael Teal dated the 8th October 1972.  This is listed below:


"Extract from apprentice's indenture, in the possession of Peter Robinson of Rawdon & given to him by his grandfather, the late Joseph Teal of Yeadon. The printing and writing is rather faint in parts.


In the 39th year of the reign of our Sovereign Lord, George III etc. -, 1799, between Roger Hardaker of Rawdon in the Parish of Guiseley, & Joseph Teal of Timel (Timble, near Otley) of the County of York, who of his own free will + consent of his father George Teal is to work as apprentice for 5 years 4 months & seven days. The said Roger Hardaker or his executors shall teach, learn & inform the said Joseph Teal in the art of a clothier.

{Other clauses unknown are listed re duties of the apprentice}

Witnessed by three witnesses & signed Roger Hardaker (rather shaky), Joseph Teal (a well formed signature) & George Teal


A clothier is a person who either makes or sells cloth or clothes.


Joseph must have completed his training because the next we hear of him is in 1821 in Yeadon the village adjacent to Rawdon listed as a Woollen Manufacturer.  The link of the Teal family with Yeadon was to last over 100 years and see some members become part of the ruling class of the town.  Yeadon in the 1820s was a rapidly growing small town, its population had increased from 1,954 to 2,455 between 1801 and 1821.  Its main trade was cloth manufacturing.  Built on the south facing slopes of the valley of the river Aire it was ideally placed for this trade having an abundant supply of soft water in its many becks and streams.


Joseph’s manufacturing business appears to have prospered and expanded.  In a directory published by ‘Baines’ in 1822 he is listed as selling his cloth in the ‘Cock and Bottle’ inn in the centre of Leeds.  By 1838 he owned sufficient freehold land to be entitled to vote in general elections, something of a rarity as only 2% of the population of Yeadon had this right, he was listed again as a woollen manufacturer.


The ‘Cock & Bottle’ Inn, Leeds, 1856


From the 18th Century it stood on the south side of the Headrow, just opposite its junction with Woodhouse Lane.  Never one of the major coaching inns, during the 19th Century carriers set off from here to make deliveries and collections to Rawdon and Yeadon.  It was demolished in 1938 for extensions to the Schofields Department Store and the site is now the Headrow Centre



In 1838, William White produced a Directory of the West Riding of Yorkshire in which he describes 'Yeadon, on a lofty moorland hill, on the north side of Airedale,... is a large clothing village, in three divisions, called Upper and Lower Yeadon, and Henshaw, the first of which is the largest.  The township contains 2761 inhabitants, and 1730 acres of land, mostly the property of W. R. C. Stansfield, Esq., the Lord of the Manor... Most of the inhabitants are small clothiers, not remarkable for the politeness of their manners!...' He then gives quite a detailed list of the more important members of the community with their occupations, and, roughly where they were situated:-


Woollen Mfrs

Upper Yeadon

Teale, Joseph




1851 Census Return for Swine Carr, Yeadon showing Joseph and Betty Teal with children John, Stephen and Naylor

Public Record Office, London HO 107 / 2285 Folio 148









1851 Ordnance Survey Map for Yeadon centred on the Swinecar Area.

The triangle of land to the right of Swinecar House was owned by Joseph and is listed as a garden, wood or orchard in the 1838 Tithe Award







In the 1851 census he is listed as living in the Swinecar area as a cloth manufacturer employing four men in the business.


On the 1st August 1820 Joseph married Elizabeth Naylor (known as Betty) of Hawksworth in the parish of Otley at Guiseley Parish Church.  Details of her are also recorded in the letter from Esther Gertrude Robinson (nee Teal) to Stephen Michael Teal dated the 8th October 1972:


There was a character of great interest to me, Betty Naylor of Hawksworth a farmer’s daughter who lived at a Jacobean house in the village since made into the Post Office or I believe now a cafe or cottages. She was a brilliant horse woman + used to ride in a scarlet cloak & was very dark with red cheeks, like my sister was so father used to say. She was I think my father's Grandmother, so presume she married Joseph 1.


Letter dated 3rd November 1972


My father…… used to tell a very sad story his grandmother used to tell him - that when money had all gone in the mill + she couldn't pay the bills + being a big believer in prayer she got the family down on their knees to pray for help - They lived in Walker Row area - which his father + mother lived in so no doubt it was Joseph Teal - all open fields then + when they got up across the fields came her sister who had walked from Hawksworth - she was married to a farmer there so it all ties up with Betty Naylor , she had heard that her sister was in distress about money + had brought a big bag full of it!!! to tide then over until they got organised again.


Joseph and Betty had five sons, William in 1821, Joseph in 1824, John in 1829 and twins Stephen and Naylor in 1831


Around 1808 Joseph had joined the Methodist Church in Yeadon, this may have been as a result of one of the great Revivalist meetings held in Yeadon, one held in 1806 started with prayer meetings at noon, love feasts in the fields and mass conversions.  He became a class leader in 1819 and a trustee of the chapel in 1826.  Towards the end of his life in the early 1850s, however, the Methodist Church was a troubled organisation.  In 1851 a split occurred in the Church with some members advocating reform of Church government and procedure.  Whilst this campaign occurred throughout the country it caused particular problems in Yeadon.  The following extract is from a booklet entitled ‘Jubilee Souvenir, Yeadon United Methodist Free Church 1855 – 1905’:


Here there were some stirring incidents which gave the township quite a notoriety in the West Riding, and brought people in large numbers from surrounding districts to witness what was locally termed the “Backing-up”, by which was meant the physical support given by the rival partisans to their respective leaders.


What took place in Yeadon was of course, only part of a general movement.  Messrs Everett, Dunn, and Griffiths, the principal advocated of Reform, were charged in the Methodist Conference (governing body) with being the authors of certain “Fly sheets” which had been published and circulated amongst Methodists, demanding alteration in Church government.  Refusing to acknowledge or deny the authorship of these “sheets”, the three ministers were expelled from the Wesleyan body.  This was the beginning of a revolt which brought about the cessation of over 80,000 members.


In Yeadon, the agitation for Reform seems, as far as we can trace it, to owe its inception to the introduction of a “Fly sheet,” possession of which had been obtained by Mr. William Kenion, who was then a leader of a Methodist class.   This “sheet” he read and enlarged upon to the members of his class, with the significant result that out of a number of fifty all but two supported the attitude taken by their leader.  This action evoked the displeasure of the superintendent and his officers and then followed what happened in many other places – expulsion.


Other class leaders and almost all their members, acted similarly.  Amongst these were John Johnson, John Abbott, Joseph Teal (father of the late John Teal), James Lee, William Winterburn, Benjamin Grimshaw, Benjamin Yeadon, Joseph Marshall, William Ibbitson, William Hobson, John Marshall, Joseph Smith, and John Dobson.


We may state that after a series of disturbances between the contending parties as to which should control the services in the Chapel building an understanding was arrived at by which the Reformers took possession of the chapel, whilst the Conference supporters retained a house adjoining.  Further disturbances culminated in the claims of the rival parties been made the subject of a Court case in which the Reformers were removed from the Chapel buildings.


What the ‘official’ booklet of the Reformed Methodist Church fails to tell us is the extent of the disturbances.  In 1853 there was fighting and disorder in the town, violence in the Chapel itself culminating in a shooting incident which brought prison sentences to the two men involved.


Joseph as stated was on the reformers side and was expelled from the Church.  He would have continued to worship but now using people’s homes instead of the Chapel.


Joseph died suddenly and tragically on the 1st September 1853 as a result of the injuries from a fall.  Two differing accounts survive of what happened.  This first again comes from the letters of Esther Gertrude Robinson (nee Teal) to Stephen Michael Teal dated the 3rd November 1972:


Strangely enough the "sudden death + coroner rings a bell.  My father used to say that his grandfather died tragically.  He had put all his money into starting a mill (but I always though it was in Yeadon, in the Whack House Lane District, you know those doors they had on second or even third storey buildings for craning bales of wool up from the ground.  Inside there was a rope operated by a handle (turned by hand - I know because my father had one) The rope had grappling hooks on the end which of course was outside.  When the bale got opposite the door it had to be pulled in + released + great grandfather fell out whilst doing this - hit ground below + was killed instantly


The second and possibly more accurate account comes from the contemporary newspaper the Halifax Guardian:


September 3rd 1853

Page 4

6th column 1/2 way down



frightful accident happened at Earnshaw's mill, Yeadon, to a

man named Joseph Teale, who was employed at the establish-

ment.  Having become sick, after taking breakfast, Teale was

endeavouring to descend a flight of stairs for some purpose or

other.  Whilst doing so, he fell to the bottom, and alighting

upon his head was so severely injured that he survived only a

few moments.  Yesterday an inquest was held on the body

at the Commercial Inn, Yeadon, before George Dyson, Esq.,

and a verdict of accidental death was returned.


Joseph was interred in the Methodists Chapel Hill Burial Ground in the centre of Yeadon in grave number A9.  On the 13th August 1827 he had purchased plot numbers A8, A9 & A10 for 7/- each.  A memorial stone was erected, but by the 1960s this graveyard was derelict and abandoned.  In 1970 the area was levelled and grass seeded by the Aireborough Council and is now used as a recreation field.


His Will proved on the 4th January 1854 left everything to his wife and children.


Betty died of dropsy on the 26th May 1855 and was laid to rest by her husband.





















Newspaper - The Leeds Mercury September 10, 1853







Letter from Esther Gertrude Robinson dated 8th October & 3rd November 1972 – Personal collection

Yeadon, Yorkshire – Illingworth

Baines ‘Yorkshire

Halifax Guardian

The Leeds Mercury

Jubilee Souvenir – Yeadon United Methodist Free Church 1855 - 1905