button to main menu  Clarke's Survey of the Lakes, 1787

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Page 32:-
[a]bout L.24 per annum. Mr Mattinson, the late incumbent, (who died about the year 1770,) was of so singular a character, that a sketch of his life will, I hope, prove not unentertaining. His birth-place I cannot find; but it appears that he buried and married both his father and his mother, baptized his own wife when an infant one month old, and when she became marriageable published the banns himself. He and his wife carded and spun that part of the tithe-wool which fell to his lot, viz. one third; and of so saving and penurious a disposition was he, that he died worth more money than his whole income would have gained him had it been laid out at compound interest. A school which he taught added about L.5 to his income; but even this will hardly account for the sums he left at his death, which happened in the 96th year of his age, after having served this curacy for 56 years. His wife was equally eminent as a midwife, performing her operations for the small sum of one shilling: but as, according to ancient custom, she was likewise cook at the christening dinner, she received some culinary perquisites that somewhat increased her profits. On these occasions, none more devoutly prayed for the speedy recovery of the good wife; a quick return of these comforts, &c. I cannot imagine from what, (unless the old custom of cooking,) these venerable matrons have obtained the name of Gully-Wives and Houdy-Wives; both of these names mean nearly the same thing, Houdy being derived from houwen, which in the Dutch signifies cutting. One thing more I must beg leave to mention concerning Mrs Mattinson: On the day of her marriage, her father boasted that his two daughters were married to the two best men in Patterdale, the priest and the bagpiper. Notwithstanding the avarice of the priest, after his death his widow and children spent all he had amassed, and she was obliged to seek support in the College of Matrons at Wigton *.
Patterdale belonged formerly to the barons of Kendale, one tenement excepted, which is now the property of John Mounsey, Esq; of Patterdale Hall. Accordingly we find in Hartsop Hall in Patterdale, the same armorial bearings as in Barton Church, viz. three stags heads, which Guillim says were the bearing of the name of Faldo, in the county of Kent. After some alienations by marriage, the manors of Pless-Fell in Patterdale, Barton, Griesdale, and Martindale, were purchased of Barbara and Anne, the daughters of the Earl of Sussex, by Sir William Musgrave. The whole Dale consists at present of five small manors; Hartsop, the property of the Earl of Lonsdale; Deep-Dale, of the Duke of Norfolk; Griesdale and Pless-Fell, of William Hassel, Esq; of Dalemain; and Glenridding, of John Mounsey, Esquire.
Patterdale is called in the Bishop's register Patrickdale, which is probably its proper name; the corruption being very easy, and the church being dedicated to St Patrick, makes it still more probable. A little below the Hall is a well called St Patrick's Well, where it is said that saint baptized several persons in the year 540, when he was shipwrecked upon Duddon Sands, in his road from Dublin. It was surrounded with four square stones, but the road being repaired, they were removed, and never set up again; although Dr Osbaldeston Bishop of Carlisle, and the Dean of Exeter, when they visited this part, actually paid a man for setting them up ‡, being unwilling that so early a piece of Christian antiquity should be destroyed. In the church-yard is a prodigiously large yew-tree, whose branches formerly overhung the road, but is now falling to decay.
  Mounsey Family
  King of Patterdale

Among the singularities of this Dale we may reckon Mr Mounsey's estate, the
* This College of Matrons, called also the Hospital of Christ, was founded for the benefit of the widows of Protestant clergymen. None are admitted under 46 years of age, nor who possess an income of ten pounds a year, or a property of L.200.
‡ It is proper to inform the world, that this fellow imagining his employer would never return (sic), did not perform his agreement; but I am determined that they shall be set up again.
gazetteer links
button -- "Deep Dale" -- Deepdale
button -- "Glenridding" -- Glenridding
button -- "Griesdale" -- Grisedale
button -- "Hartsop" -- Hartsop
button -- Patterdale Hall
button -- "Patterdale" -- Patterdale
button -- "Pless Fell" -- Place Fell
button -- St Patrick's Church
button -- "St Patrick's Well" -- St Patrick's Well
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