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

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Page 132:-
very considerable, but the inhabitants are very industrious; the woman spin wool, the men (and some women) weave linseys, kerseys, and other coarse cloths. There is a tan-yard of pretty considerable account, managed lately by Mr William Holm, (now by his son,) who with honesty and industry accumulated a handsome fortune, and his family at present is the most flourishing one in Ambleside. What adds greatly to Mr Holm's merit is, that what he died worth was all gained by himself with a fair and honest character; for as he was a natural child, he could not be heir to any person; and I have heard him say, that after he married, for want of work in his own way, he, for bread, carded wool, and his wife spun it, till he could raise the price of four calf skins: with this stock, being in all about eight shillings, he begun his business, and died last year worth upwards of 8000 pounds, leaving a widow and two sons. Let me add, that Mr Holm never gave the least room to a suspicion of avarice; he constantly increased his family expence in the same proportion that his fortune increased, and before his death, kept a single-horse chaise for the use of his family; yet he was an equal enemy to profusion, and perhaps never was known in his life to do either an act of meanness or prodigality.
  Ambleside, charities
  school, Ambleside

There are at Ambleside several donations to the poor, of money, bread, &c. that ease the estates from that burden The school-house was built and endowed by a Mr Kelsick of Ambleside, is free for the inhabitants of the town, and the yearly salary is about forty pounds, arising out of the lands left by the donee. The Reverence Isaac Knipe, M.A. is the schoolmaster and curate of the chapel: The chapel is a low mean building, and stands in the parish of Grassmere; the inhabitants, (who are land owners,) as well those in the parish of Winandermere as those in the parish of Grassmere, have the right of nominating and presenting the curate. The rector of Grassmere, usually nominated the Curate, but the inhabitants of this and many other perpetual curacies in the North, have, by custom, gotten it from the rectors or vicars: the reason is this; before the death of Queen Anne, many of the chapelries were not worth above three pounds a year, and the donees could not get person properly qualified to serve them; so they left them to the inhabitants, who raised voluntary contributions for them in addition to their salary, with cloathes * yearly and whittle-gate †.
  coin hoard
There was formerly a family of the name of Brathwaites here, of considerable note; for I find, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth, that Gawan Brathwaite of Ambleside, Thomas Brathwaite, &c. were inquisitors several times upon a post mortem. The last Thomas Brathwaite of Ambleside had a large collection of Roman coins, which he and his ancestors had got from the old fort (or castle,) and another place called the Borrans, a square fort, more remains of which may be seen than of the other. There were, says Mr Machel, who had seen those coins, "6 of gold, 66 of silver, and 250 others." He left them by his will to the University of Oxford; but his will being made void for want of form, (at the instigation of Brathwaite Otway) they continued in the family, and came into the possession of the Countess of Litchfield ‡. The Brathwaites once were owners
* Cloathes yearly, viz. one new suit of cloathes, two pair of shoes, and one pair of cloggs. Shirts, stockings, &c. (as they could bargain.)
Whittle gate, is to have two or three weeks victuals at each house, according to the ability of the inhabitant which was settled amongst them, so as that he should go his course as regular as the sun, and compleat it annually. Few houses having more knives than one or two, the pastor was often obliged to buy his own; (sometimes it was bought for him by the chapel-wardens,) and march from house to house with his whittle seeking fresh pasturage: as master of the herd, he demanded the elbow-chair at the table-head, which was often made of part of an hollow ash tree, such as may in these parts be seen at this day. A person was thought a proud fellow in those days that was not content without a fork to his knife; he was reproved for it, and told that fingers were made before forks.
‡ The Countess Dowager of Litchfield now lives at the Duke of Argyle's seat at Whilton, near Hounsley, and had lately the said antiquities.
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