Hemsworth (St. Helen)

HEMSWORTH (St. Helen), a parish, in the wapentake of Staincross, W. riding of York, 6½ miles (S. S. W.) from Pontefract; containing 1005 inhabitants. The parish includes the hamlet of Little Hemsworth, and comprises by computation 4120 acres. There are some quarries of gritstone. The village, which is large and well built, is situated on a gentle eminence, and the surrounding scenery is pleasingly diversified. The living is a rectory, valued in the king's books at £20. 1. 0½.; net income, £1064; patron, W. B. Wrightson, Esq.: the tithes were commuted for land and a corn rent in 1803. The church is a handsome structure, chiefly in the later English style, with some windows at the east end in the decorated style. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. The free grammar school was founded in the reign of Henry VIII., by Robert Holgate, Archbishop of York, who endowed it with property producing in 1826 £400 per annum, but now yielding only £98, to which, however, may be added fines on the renewal of leases. Attached to the foundation is a scholarship in St. John's College, Cambridge, with preference to natives of Wakefield, Felkirk, and Hemsworth. The archbishop also founded an hospital for a master, ten brethren, and ten sisters, and endowed it with lands producing a rental of £2300, exclusive of fines on the renewal of leases; the master, who must be in holy orders, receives one-fifth of the income, and the remainder is equally divided among the brethren and sisters, yielding to each of them about £100 per annum. The building consists of a handsome range of houses, with a chapel in the centre, and a good house for the master at the southern extremity.

Transcribed from A Topographical Dictionary of England, by Samuel Lewis, 7th edition, published in 1848.

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