New book reveals Hornby history

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A book on the history of Hornby and its surrounding area has been launched in the village.

Jennifer Holt’s book, The Hornby Castle Estates: Agrarian Change from the 1582 Survey to the 1751 Sederunt, is a new contribution to the social and economic history of the area and puts into print documents describing how people in Hornby and surrounding villages lived and worked.

The book, published by the regional history organisation the Chetham Society, was launched at the Hornby Institute.

Its contents range widely, giving details of the ownership of the estates, which passed through the hands of great families such as the Lords Montegle and the notorious Francis Charteris, aristocratic gambler and convicted rapist, and also the daily lives and agricultural practices of ordinary people in villages such as Melling, Wray and Gressingham.

“This is a fascinating story of the changes in ordinary people’s lives,” said author Jennifer.

“Some were driven by events within the estates – particularly the power struggles between the lord of the manor and his tenants.

“External events such as the Civil War and economic factors such as the ever increasing livestock trades or the transfer of the hemp cloth trade to Lancaster also had their effect.”

The book is £39.95 or £25 until July via t.j.thornton@hud.ac.uk or, Vice-Chancellor’s Office, University of Huddersfield, Queensgate, Huddersfield HD1 3DH.