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High Death Rates in Eston & Normanby

  North Riding of Yorkshire Crisis Mortality Study 1979:
  In 1979 a study was carried out on crisis mortality between 1570 and 1850 in 13 selected parishes, or chapelries in the North Riding of Yorkshire, into abnormally high death rates.   Double the burial rate of an average 20 year period was classed as a Crisis Mortality year.   One and a half times number of burials classed as a Minor Crisis Mortality year.
   Only Eston and Whorlton suffered Major Crisis after 1800.
  The Parish of St Helen's church covering Eston & Normanby 2,453 Acres, Population 288 in 1801 had 45 crisis years between 1570 and 1849 far more than any other parish in Cleveland.   Ormesby was not in the study area but Kirkleatham was.
  Extracts from the 1979 Study:

  "1597 between May and July 33 inhabitants died at Eston, and between February and July 1598 a further 66 died totalling 99. Bad harvests in 1596-7 may have had an effect weakening people.   The worst years were the late 1580's, 1600, 1680, 1730, 1740 and 1780;
  During the 1st half of 17c the North Riding suffered intermittently from Plague (Bubonic or pneumonic plague) also Typhus.
  Legislation in 1603 placed infected areas under quarantine and ordered all township constables to appoint a day and night watch to turn away strangers who might be carrying the disease.   1606 there was a prosecution at Normanby for negligent watchmen.   Followed by a Major Crisis in 1607, the cause of death was not recorded.
  1636 Bubonic Plague in North Riding and Durham.
  1679 there were 22 deaths and 53 deaths in 1684.
  1729-30 Smallpox at Eston.
  The years 1740-3, 1762-3 and 1781-3 the district as a whole suffered severely, with the elimination of the aged and sickly.   Several years of low mortality followed.   Thus after 1740-3 there was no Major / Minor crisis in any township during 1744-6.   The 1762-3 crisis was also followed by a crisis free period 1764-5.
  The great winter of 1739-40 was one of three memorable winters following a wet, late harvest.   For many months the country lay in the grip of ice and snow and the arctic conditions prevented the preparations of the ground for spring sowing.   Grain prices rocketed and the poor were confronted with famine.   Continued export of corn from the port of Stockton brought angry protests which were ignored until mid 1740, when a mob stormed the town threatening violence unless the shipment of corn ceased.   'We have now a great mob and the riot will suffer no more corn to be shipped' wrote William Barker a Stockton Corn Merchant on the 20th May 1740.   Barker had a ship waiting in the river, 'The ship is not laden, the chief reason is the mob continuing in a most outrageous manner, and have broke my windows, and will not suffer wheat to be shipped by any …How they will end God knows … All the town is in the utmost fear'.   Troops were sent to restore order.   At Guisborough Quarter Sessions on the 15th July 1740 four women and a man were fined and imprisoned for their part in the riotous assembly at the river port of Yarm.   Home grown Rye had reached the price of 5 shillings a bushel.   There were 13 deaths in Eston Parish in1740 and 11 in 1742 totalling 35 burials at Eston 1741-3.
  1762 Influenza. 'Never was there a more general disorder. It went through all ranks affecting chiefly the lungs'.   Ralph Jackson caught the malady and was confined to his home at Guisborough for above a week.   On the 31st March Ralph Jackson's 3 nieces were inoculated against Smallpox.   Next day the 3 children of William Stevens of Normanby were also inoculated, the doctor using matter for the inoculation which was taken from a girl in Yarm.
  In 1777 Smallpox caused 13 deaths at Eston.
  In 1780 the harvest was light.   Whooping Cough was abroad in the summer and was caught by Ralph Jackson's children.   In October smallpox broke out at Ormesby and Ralph Jackson underwent the traumatic experience of having his 3year old son and 2 year old daughter inoculated.   The puss was ironically obtained from a labourer's son at Guisborough, where the disease was active.
  The harvests of 1781 and 1782 were both bad and grain prices were high.   On the 22nd of September 1782 Ralph Jackson wrote 'Not one half of the wheat of the country is yet cut, nor yet ripe, and the heavy rains, which were the cause, continued into October'.
  1783 an epidemic of Cold / Influenza, (closing of the breast with much fever) was probably the cause of death of 2 children of one of Ralph Jackson's tenants in January that year.   This was the last year of widespread crisis mortality in Cleveland.   The great dearth of 1795-6 produced minor crisis at Eston and Great Ayton.
  The development of the Tees Navigation, and the excellent network of subscription roads, for which the district is renowned, helped to overcome local famines."

  Annual Report of Normanby Board of Health 3rd April 1878:

  "Mortality at Normanby in 1874 was 32.8 per thousand per annum with typhoid the main cause.   'The yard at East Lodge, Normanby is in a deplorable condition' (East Lodge is in West Street next to the garage).   When inspected the midden stead was full and over flowing with the fluids overflowing the yard.   There is a row of Pigsties situated on the upper portion of Normanby which ought to be removed.   In consequence of the utter absence of drainage the streets are surrounded in a bed of filth."

  Extract of 'More Essays in North Riding History' by R.P.Hastings page134 (Ref.No.942.84 Middlesbrough Library):

  "Joseph Toyn, the union representative who worked in the Cleveland Iron Stone mines from 1855-76, considered Normanby with its treacherous roof, in which many good men were killed the most dangerous and difficult of them all."



Diaries of Ralph Jackson

   These diaries written by Ralph Jackson record his church attendance & daily life, sickness and death in the late 18th century.
   The following transcription of an excerpt from his diaries provides valuable insights into the life and times of himself, his family and some Normanby residents.

" OCTOBER 1774 Sunday 9th
   I rece'd the Sacrament at Eston Chapel this forenoon, Revd Mr John Consett, read Prayers and preached his first Sermon since he went in Orders, my Tenants Wm Robinson & John Laverick dined with me, I sat half an hour at Rob, Jackson's in the evening.
Monday 10th
   Mr Chaloner & myself held the Special Sessions at Gisbro' for appointing new Surveyors of the Highways in the several Townships within the East Division of Langbaurgh Wapentake; I found Geo. Dodds at my House, on my return home.
Saturday 29th
   Much Rain notwithstanding that I attended for some hours (as Surveyr of the Highway) the Workmen altering the road at Cowhowl
NOVEMBER 1774 Tuesday 1st
   I attended the workmen (making an alteration in the Cow Howl) till twelve o'clock; I dined at Mr Turners with Bro & Sister Wilson their two eldest Daughters, & Sister Dolly, she & I came home about seven, the rest stayed all night.
Wednesday 2nd
   The Ladies came from Kirk-Leatham before breakfast, after my Sister Wilson went home after dinner; I attended the Workmen as yesterday.
Thursday 3rd
   I attended the Workmen as yesterday.
Friday 4th
   Sister Wilson dined, and then left me, taking her son Wm and Daughter Estrr with her; my Sister Dolly and Niece Esther and Nepw Wm have been very much at Normanby since Monday the 25th July last; Mr Peirse and Revd Mr Thompson came after dinner, took a snack dinner, stayed all night; Revd Misses Consett and Peacock supt with us; my late Tenant Thos Appleton dyed Wednesday last (the 2nd inst) at 4 o'clock in the morning; I attended his remains to Eston Chapel, (my Parochial Church) this afternoon, he was about 48 years old.
Saturday 5th
   Mr Peirse and Mr Thompson went away before dinner; and soon after dinner my Sister Dorothy left me, with our Twin Nieces Wilson, she and her maid Ann and black Boy Harry Speake came to my House on Tuesday the 19th July last, and has ever since called it her home, having been absent only to pay a few Visits; she intends to stay some days at Ayton: I walked to the Workmen in Cow Howl.
Sunday 6th
   I rode down to the Forest before dinner, meeting there by appointment, the Appleton Family having been desired to give them my advice about the Will of late Thos (see Friday last) by which he appoints his Niece Elizabeth Appleton his sole Executrix; being a cold rainy I did not go to Church, my Neighbours Robt Jackson and Wm  Sunley sat two hours with me in the afternoon.
Tuesday 22nd
   A very quick Thaw; my Neighbours Robt Jackson, Wm Sunley, and John Laverick supt with me and sat late:
Wednesday 14th
   Dined at home, and then set out a new Hedge to divide Thomas Dixon's West Swang from the pasture south of it.
Sunday 18th
   I went to our Parish Chapel after dinner; and sat an hour at Robt Jackson's
March 1775 Sunday 12th
   Geo: & Ward James (Jackson) walked with me into my Woods before dinner; we went to Eston Chapel; & then rode to Appleton's about 5 o'clock.
My House-keeper ( Sarah Childs) went home to day to attend (tomorrow) the Interment of her Sister Rachel, who died of a Consumption yesterday about 23 years of Age; she did live with my Mother, and at her death became my Sister Esther's Servant, and continued so till Martimas 1773, when she went home to her Father's at Brotton, consumptive, but became worse after inoculation in Dec 1773, the small Pox never appeared on her, nor her Brother Richard, and he is not in a good state of health.
Easter Sunday 16th
   Walked on the forenoon, and after dinner went to Church; from thence to Wm Snowdon's with Wm Sunley smoked a Pipe & home.
Wednesday 10th
   After breakfast I settled with and paid my Servant George Kirtley who has been my Footman seven years and a half viz. from Martinmas 1767, he married my Cook's Maid Jane Lindley 1770, and is now appointed by Mrs Baker and myself, Rock-Clerk at Boulby-Allum-Works;
Sunday 2nd
   My Tenants Henry Weetman, Wm Robinson, and John Laverick dined with me, and we went to Eston Chapel, our Parish Church. John Price drank Tea and supt with me.
Wednesday 15th
   A very hard frost with some Snow on the Ground which fell yesterday in a hard Gale of Wind from the North: I came home, and walked to Eston to see Robt Jackson who is very ill.
November 1775 Thursday 16th
   At seven o'clock John came into my Room, with Richd Jackson (of Wilton) and Wm Sunley telling me that Robt Jackson (see yesterday) died at five this morning aged about 43 yrs he has left a Widow, and with her, 5 Sons; and a Son ( Robt about 18) by a former Wife; they came to advise with me about sending an express to London for his Bro. Capt Richd Jackson, and his Son (Robt) now at Westminster School, Robt Harrison came soon after. I advised them to bury the Corps, (see next Monday). Doctr Wayne came having been sent for to the deceased but coming too late he spent the day with me, shooting.
April 1776 Sunday 14th
   I received the Sacrament at Eston Chapel my Parochial Place of Worship
October 1777 Friday 17th
   His wife Mary gives birth to a son after a difficult labour.
October 1777 Tuesday 28th
   I took John Price a Joiner and my servant John Peirson to Eston Chapel, the Parochial place of Worship of Eston & Normanby, and having the clerk, Thomas Atkinson (Weaver) we measured a piece of waste ground at the west end of the chapel, on the South side of the Isle, 8 ft. 8 in. from East to West, and 7 feet from the South Wall, to the Isle; which dimensions I sent to Mr Preston of Stokesley & orders to apply to the Spiritual Court for a Faculty, to empower me to build a Pew thereon, the door of which to open through the South wall; a very stormy afternoon with rain, my wife & child continue to recover.
November 1777 Friday 14th
   Revd Mr. Tanch Vicar of Ormesby & Curate of Eston christened our first born son, Ralph Ward Jackson he is a month old this day."

  Further extracts of these interesting diaries are available in our group’s publication written by David Wilkinson:
                      The Diaries of Ralph Jackson (1749-1790) - The Pepys Of Cleveland



Parish Register of St Cuthbert's Church Ormesby

  The St Cuthbert's marriage register (No.3: PR/OR 1/3) has two marriage entries for people of Eston Parish both entries state Eston Church rebuilding at the time.   The vicar Jas. Thomson was also Curate of Saint Helen, Eston.

"Entry No. 35 Page 12
28th February 1824
Peter Walker of Eston Parish
Margaret Woodward of Eston Parish by Banns
Both Signatures
    With the consent of those required by law.
In presence of Jas. Thomson Vicar
        Dorothy Woodward & William Appleton"
"5th May 1824
Marmaduke Whitehead of Eston
Jane Dale of Eston parish by Banns
Their Mark   X
                  X   In presence of John Dale & James Swales"

   The only other references to Eston are:
    29th November 1826 when Mathew Thurlow of Eston married Sarah Miller of Ormesby
           by Banns in presence of Joe Ord and Scarth Boyes
    29th October 1829 John Norman of Eston to Margaret Gowland of Ormesby
           by Banns in presence of Scarth Boyes, Rob. Gowland.

  Pasted in the front covers of the St Cuthbert's 1783-1812 register are two letters referring to Normanby:

"SirYork 6th December 1843
By the desire of Mr Grey I beg to inform you, in answer to your inquiries on the subject, that the Great Tithes of Ormesby and Eston, are charged with the annual payments following viz
To the Vicar of Ormesby    £20 -0 -0d
To the Curate of Eston      £6 -13 -4d
And the small tithes of Eston & Normanby, which are held by another lease are charged with the annual payment to the Curate of Eston of £10
          I am Sir your most obedient servant
          John Hoggard , for William Grey Jr."
"To the Rev. Irvin
Ormesby Stockton on Tees
The vicar of Ormesby is appointed sole trustee of the National School built at Normanby
September 15th 1845       Thomas Irvin Vicar of Ormesby.

  The vicar John Irvin recorded in the register an unusual event of March 1871:

"The visitation of an earthquake was felt at Ormesby as well as across the Northern districts of England on Friday the 17th of March 1871 about 11pm.
The agitation of the earth was well defined and lasted for some seconds.   The usual phenomena of displaced crockery ringing of bells etc. were general.   No damage was done.         Thomas Irvin   Vicar"



Eston and Normanby Parish Magazine

Eston and Normanby Parish Magazine 1
Printed in February 1877 it records events in December 1876
Eston and Normanby Parish Magazine 2

Eston and Normanby Parish Magazine 3

Eston and Normanby Parish Magazine 4
Back cover



Possible Future Research

Areas of further research possible:
  0. Eston & Normanby Burials 1883 - 1968 are on microfilm at Middlesbrough Ref. Library.
       (left for now in 2013 as Beamish Museum are mainly interested in the Georgian period
                 of building work 1822-24 on St.Helen's Chapel).
  1. How many names appear in 1st five years of registers? Answer: 68
  2. There appears to be a stable population at this time
  3. The increased death rate led to a change in the population and the need for remarriage ("Wedow")
  4. It is worth tracking:
    a. subsequent multiple remarriages?
    b. prolific continuous birth rate?
    c. were some people immune?
  5. Influx of new blood to replace the dead;
    a. Was this due to Inheritance?
    b. Occupation including clergy named in registers
    c. Political turmoil: The Morlay and Addison families
    d. Change of Vicar / death of clergy and church wardens
    e. Spread of disease:
      i. Visiting family/friends or to care for them
      ii. Unknowing contact at church, Baptism, Marriage or Interment
      iii. Death due to famine as result of the loss of the bread winner
      iv. Or child bed fever/ complications
      v. Or moving away from an infected area
  6. Religion:
    a. Church of England
    b. Catholic Pilgrimage of Grace
  7. Commonwealth Period - Cavalier or Round Head?
  8. Extinct names: Sillibane, Brasse
  9. Long established names: Snowdon, Addison, Wilson, 1st Pennyman entry
  10. Has anyone done a family tree of Normanby ancestors?
  11. Hearth Tax 1673
  12. Eston and Normanby November 7th 1863 Scarlatina and Diphtheria deaths recorded in Kirkleatham registers.

© 2013 Sylvia Fairbrass   Normanby Local History Group

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Saint Helen's Parish Registers & Cemetery