CHAPTER 5

 

STEPHEN TEAL – 1794 – 1875 – LAST FARMER AT TIMBLE

 

Stephen Teal was George Teal’s second youngest son, born on Christmas Eve 1794 and baptised like most of his brothers and sisters at the Cragg Baptist Church in Rawdon.

 

On the 1st July 1816 at the age of 21 Stephen married Miss Ann Parkinson of Greenhousehill near Pateley Bridge at Fewston Church.  Ann was already a few months pregnant as their first son Joseph was baptised on the 5th January 1817 also at Fewston.

 

George had rented or given Stephen some of the land he owned lower down the valley from Lingber Farm towards the River Washburn, which he had received at the time of enclosure of the Forest of Knareborough in an area known as “the lowplace”.  Stephen farmed this and also supplemented his income making shoes and doing leatherworking.  In 1824 when George died, Stephen was left this land and farm.  Lingber farm itself had been left to John Teal of Shipley, who, running a successful joinery & timber merchants in Shipley and having no need for it let it to his brother Stephen.  Now having a reasonable amount of land, estimated at over 16 acres, he dropped the Shoemaking and concentrated on Farming.

 

Stephen and Ann had eleven children:

 

- Joseph born late 1816

- Elizabeth born in 1818, she died in November 1828

- Ann born 1822 she married William Collyer Calvert of Burnsall in 1842 and had seven children.  He died in 1868 and she remarried John Butterfield of Leeds in 1869.  She died on the 17th March 1893 and was buried at Burnsall.

-John born 1825

- Thomas born 1827 and is presumed to have died as an infant.

-William born 1828, he dropped dead on the 20th February 1857 whilst “seeming in good health and in the act of lifting a cup of milk, supposed disease of the heart” He was married with two small children.

- Mary born 1832

- Hannah born 21st May 1835

- Stephen born 9th March 1837. More information is contained on Stephen in Chapter 6, Stephen Teal – Last Owner of Lingber Farm.

- David born 4th January 1839 married Hannah Braithwaite in Leeds in 1868 and had at least three children.

- Abraham Parkinson Teal born 13th October 1841 he died in September 1857

 

Joseph, their eldest child, married Ann Denby in Fewston Church on the 5th January 1840 and he also had eleven children.  An unusual event took place on the 30th January 1842 when a child of his and his father’s were baptised at the same time, uncle and nephew!  More information on Joseph is contained in Chapter 7 The later Teals of Fewston and Fenwick.

 

The 1860s were a time of great significance for the Teals of Timble, the events, which took place, would eventually cause them to leave the valley.

 

The town of Leeds is some 15 miles from Timble, but that distance did not stop it coveting the one abundant commodity in the Washburn Valley, water.  The river Washburn contained pure, clean, and very important for a cloth producing area, soft water, ideal for use in the dying and fulling mills.  When Leeds experienced major health epidemics in the 1840s and 50s, mainly caused by the wretched sanitary conditions, the Town elders acted.  Major investment went into the construction of new sewers and Edward Filliter, their Chief Engineer of Waterworks was instructed about 1862 to report on the best means of obtaining additional clean water.  His report issued in 1866 recommended taking water from the River Washburn and the construction of reservoirs in the valley and a pipeline to the Town.

 

After some debate his recommendations were adopted and in 1867 the 'Leeds Waterworks Act' was passed by Parliament authorising the scheme.  The act allowed for the construction of four reservoirs, Thruscross, Fewston, Swinsty and Lindley Wood and for the compulsory purchase of the necessary land.  Whilst the later three reservoirs were built in the 1870s, Thruscross was not completed until the 1960s.

 

For the construction of Fewston reservoir some of Stephen's land at the bottom of the valley close to the River Washburn was required.  He sold 4 acres, 1 rood and 38 perches of land on the 31st July 1871 to Leeds Corporation for £ 750

 

Stephen Teal’s Letter to Leeds Corporation Accepting Land Purchase – Leeds Archives LC/TC Deed Parcel 283

 

Timble June 12th 1871

 

Sir,

I have been considering over the proposal you made me for the property required for the Leeds Waterworks and as I am getting old and do not wish to have the trouble of a arbitration I have come to the conclusion of accepting your offer of        £ 750 for the property required from me you can draw up a short agreement at your convenience and I will sign it.

 

I remain yours truly

 

Stephen Teal

 

Mr. Thomas Fenwick

 

 

Construction started on Fewston reservoir in 1874 and it was completed in 1879.  Hundreds of navvies were employed in the building program and shanty towns were erected to house them.

 


                   

 

Title Page of Contract for Stephen to sell Land to Leeds Corporation – Leeds Archives LC/TC Deed Parcel 283

 

 

Plan of land Stephen sold to Leeds Corporation on the 31st July 1871.  The four fields are edged in grey.  Note the area to the right belonging to the ‘Representatives of the Late William Teale’, this was Stephen’s son who died suddenly in 1857 –

Leeds Archives LC/TC Deed Parcel 283

 

 
 

 


 

 

 


On the 1st of July 1873 when Mary Teal of Shipley died she left the main Lingber Farm to Stephen.

 

Stephen’s wife Ann died of ‘Old Age’ on 11th December 1869.  Stephen also died of ‘Old Age’ on the 26th April 1875.  Both are interred in Fewston Churchyard.

 

 

 

 

Memorial Cards for Stephen and Ann Teal of White Crag, Timble. 

These were popular during the Victorian era and the first half of the twentieth century.  They measure about 5 cm x 12 cm and were given to friends and relations.

 
 

 

 

 

 

 


In his will proved on 29th October 1875 he left legacies to all his surviving children and the farm to his son Stephen Teal of Appletreewick, Burnsall.

 

 

Inscription from Stephen and Ann Teals Gravestone in Fewston Churchyard

 

 

IN AFFECTIONATE REMEMBRANCE OF

ANN TEAL

OF WHITE CRAGG HOUSE TIMBLE

GREAT WHO DIED DEC 11TH 1869

AGED 74 YEARS

ALSO STEPHEN TEAL

HUSBAND OF THE ABOVE

WHO DIED APRIL 26TH 1875

AGED 80 YEARS

 

FAREWELL MY CHILDREN DEAR I COULD

NO LONGER STAY WHEN GOD CALLS WE

MUST OBEY.

HOW SOON YOU MAY FOLLOW US NO

MORTAL CAN TELL

PREPARE TO MEET US IN HEAVEN AND

ALL WILL BE WELL.

 

 

 

With the death of Stephen, the Teal families long association with actually farming at White Crag came to an end.  Although the farm was to remain Teal property for a further 28 years it was let to a series of tenant farmers.

 

References:

 

Fewston Church – Parish Register, North Yorkshire Record Office, Northallerton

Principal Probate Registry

Leeds Archives – LC/TC Deed Parcel Number 283

Leeds Archives – Knaresborough Probate Records

Memorial Cards – Personal Collection