The Reverend Thomas James – the Druid Curate of Netherthong

Inscription in Welsh 'Bardic Runes on the Rev James gravecover in Netherthong Church cemetary.

Inscription in Welsh ‘Bardic Runes’ on the Rev James grave-cover in Netherthong Church cemetery.

This article was originally written for publication in the Huddersfield Examiner.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society which was born in Huddersfield in 1863. In this article former archaeologist Alan Brooke outlines the intriguing life of one of the founders of the organisation. Continue reading

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Thomas Ellis – the intended recipient of George Mellor’s last letter from York Castle

This article was originally published on Luddite Bicentenary, to further illustrate a post on the letter written by the Luddite George Mellor, whilst he was imprisoned in York Castle, awaiting trial.

George Mellor’s letter from York Castle was addressed to Thomas Ellis, a woolstapler, of Lockwood. Whether the survival of only copies indicates that the original was allowed to reach its destination is not known. The Home Office copy also names the intended recipient as ‘Hellice’. This spelling may have been used on the original if, as seems likely, the letter was passed by Mellor to someone on the outside with verbal instructions as to the address. Continue reading

The Suppression of British Jacobinism

This article was originally published on Luddite Bicentenary.

Membership Card of the United Britons, c.1802

Reformers and Republicans saw the political system of the eighteenth century as a betrayal of the Revolution of 1688, depriving them of constitutional rights guaranteed by the Magna Carta and of their free birthright bequeathed from Saxon times. Continue reading