Here is an academic examination of the connection between Richard Sutton of West House in Dent and the Bronte Sisters of Haworth. This resulting in the character of Heathclif in the novel Wuthering Heights being based on Richard Sutton and his history. Richard Sutton is the paternal Great, Great Great grandfather of John G. Sutton. Hartley Coleridge the author of this essay is a direct descendant of the poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge.
THE SEDBERGH CONNECTION
Hartley Coleridge and The Bronte Novels
by Christopher Heywood
The view that ‘Wuthering Heights’ had no foundation in history is modified by its inclusion of historical material from the family histories of the Cowan Bridge region, many of them overlapping with the known historical material of ‘Jane Eyre’.  The Bronte sisters built their novels out of secure knowledge of the principal families among rural patrons and practitioners of the Lancaster and Liverpool slave trade. Several of these families had achieved notoriety in print by the early 1840s. All had links with the Carus family, the pervasive influence among patron families of the region. The Bronte sisters’ memories of the Cowan Bridge region do not account for the sharp focus in their novels on the Lunesdale families in the Carus circle. The conclusion offered in this article  is that this historical material became known to the Bronte family on the occasion of the day-long visit by Branwell Bronte to Hartley Coleridge at Nab Cottage on Rydal Water on May 1st., 1840 
Confidential family sources available to the Coleridges, the Wordsworths, and others of the Southey circle in Cumberland gave this literary group a privileged insight into Lunesdale affairs. Their access to reliable information, and its transmission by Branwell Bronte following his visit to Nab Cottage, explains the Bronte sisters’ penetration of the history of the parts of Yorkshire and Lunesdale which were then known to them in outline from their childhood experience of Cowan Bridge. The fictional names ‘Lowood’, ‘Linton’, ‘Mason’, ‘Dent1 and ‘Rochester’ signal the sisters’ inside knowledge of the Masons and Sills of Dent, the Gawthrops of Sedbergh, and the Suttons and Tathams of Thornton in Lonsdale and Tunstall, and of their links with the Carus family. The involvement of two of these families, the Gawthrops and the Sills, with the Sedbergh affairs of the Sidgwicks of Skipton, who appear in ‘Jane Eyre” as the ‘Reeds’, points to the Brontes’ knowledge of this group. The novels are allegorical dramatisations rather than reports but were based on accurate information extending far beyond the sources available to the Brontes before 1840.
Access to these family histories began for the Bronte children with their neighbours, the Durys of Keighley. The Durys’ marriage tie with the Sidgwicks of Skipton, cousins of the Sedgwicks of Dent, and the bonds of sympathy between the Durys and the Brontes, constitute the first of numerous bridges linking Haworth to the parishes of the old Lonsdale (Lunesdale) Deanery. Another bridge enabling the Bronte sisters to acquire the sharp penetration of Lunesdale history which marks their novels was founded, it seems, in Hartley Coleridge’s work at Sedbergh School, where he was a master in 1837-8. The fragment of Lunesdale history giving life to ‘Jane Eyre’ had its roots in a Sedbergh land transaction of 1795. The sale of land in Soolbank in 1795 leading to the formation by Sidgwick and Garforth of the cotton mill at Millthrop,  on the banks of the Rawthey, to the south-east of Sedbergh, linked the families appearing in ‘Jane Eyre’ as the Reeds, the Eyres and the Rochesters, and at their outer perimeter, the Masons and the Brocklehursts. In the novel, the positions of these families in the period 1790-1840 are retained, but their business and topographical links are effaced or disguised. This process of disguising and effacement was intensified by Charlotte Bronte in her preface to the new edition of ‘Wuthering Heights’ (1850). In this novel, several of these families provided the key material for a historical narrative considerably more closely woven than ‘Jane Eyre’ and foreshadowing ‘Shirley’ in its adherence to the details of setting and history. In the preface to the new edition of ‘Wuthering Heights’, Charlotte Bronte darkened the veil of disguise drawn in her own and her sister’s novel over this shared historical material.
Information about the wealth and patronage leading to the formation of the mill at Millthrop was available to Hartley Coleridge from many sources. His admiration for the Sedgwicks of Dent and for Dent itself, the origin of the land and wealth underlying the Millthrop transaction, was celebrated in his poems on Adam Sedgwick and Dent and further extended through his acquaintance with Adam Sedgwick’s sister, Ann Westall, nee Sedgwick, a close member of the Southey circle.  Hartley Coleridge’s position in Sedbergh gave him access to the parts of the Dentdale story which had been omitted or garbled in the account of it given to William Howitt by his principal source, the housekeeper of the Sills, in his book of 1838 ‘The Rural Life of England’.!  A Tradition in the branch of the Westall family descended from William Westall and his wife Ann, that in their novels the Bronte sisters “wrote all their (the Sedgwicks’) secrets”, lends authority to the identification of Hartley Coleridge as the channel bringing the Dentdale story to the Bronte children.
Access to authentic information was the keynote of the Wordsworth circle. West House, the Dentdale seat of the Sill family, the wealthiest plantation owners of the region, was sold at the collapse of the Sill estate in 1835 to Richard Sutton, the orphan from the neighbouring parish who had been adopted by the Sill family. The presentation of this individual as a black child from Liverpool in ‘Wuthering Heights’ does not follow the details of history but served rather the dual function of disguising a historical original who was still living when the novel was published and of indicating allegorically the pressure of the plantation economy on the rural hinterland. Speculation about Sutton’s inheritance of the old hillside farm of his adopted family, and about his purchase of the manor ‘West House’ in Dentdale, was not resolved by Howitt’s inquiry, since his sources of information were unreliable. Reliable information was available from the sources he did not consult. These sources were open to Hartley Coleridge. They were the Sedgwicks, among whom Adam Sedgwick stood as executor to the will of Ann Sill, and those with access to the affairs of the Collector of Stamp Revenue for the North of England, William Wordsworth, Hartley Coleridge’s godfather and close companion, through whose hands the details of the Dentdale inheritance and purchase passed in 1835. 
The historical background is generally less dramatic than the novels. Sutton’s adoptive family, the Sills of Dent, owed their newly found wealth to sugar revenues from the plantation named Providence in St.James Parish, near Montego Bay in Jamaica. This estate had been bequeathed by the will of John Sill, an emigrant from Dent, to his nephews, the sons of Edmund Sill of Rigg End in Deepdale. The will provided that during their minority the Jamaica estate and its revenue should pass to his associate and neighbour, Francis Watt, and his brother William Sill, exciseman at Rochester in Kent. The mastery of Dentdale by the Sill family and their presence in Sedbergh society through the marriage of Edmund Sill, eldest of the three sons of Edmund Sill the elder, to Jane Gawthrop of Sedbergh, was signalled by their purchase of Westhouses. The Sill family built their manor house, ‘West House’ (subsequently renamed ‘Whernside Manor’) over one of the three farmhouses of Westhouses in Dentdale. The sale of Sedbergh land to Sidgwick and Garforth in 1795 initiated the forty years decline and fall of the Sill estate in Jamaica and Dentdale. At her death in 1835, Ann Sill of Dent was the wealthiest testatrix of the region, with disposable property of eleven Dentdale farms, two Jamaica plantations and cash totalling £40,000. The purpose of her will was to dismantle the estate in Dentdale and Jamaica, causing the Dentdale farms to revert to yeoman proprietorship and the cash assets to be distributed among various legatees. This history is effaced in the novels. Nevertheless, the Bronte sisters’ accurate knowledge of it was the starting point for the writing of their allegorical romances.
In her will, Ann Sill of Dent upheld the family link with Rochester by bequeathing West House, “my late erected mansion”, to “my Cousin daughter of my late Uncle William”. This un-named inheretrix was Ann Sill of Rochester.  The estate can be provisionally listed as third largest of its type in the old West Riding of Yorkshire. The longest surviving Executor and beneficiary of the will, Adam Sedgwick, referred obliquely to it in his survey of the decline of the Dentdale economy he had known in his boyhood: “there are one or two present examples of landed property in the valley which exceed any that was held by a single ‘statesman’ in the days of its greatest prosperity. But alas, these larger proprietors are no longer among the resident yeomanry of the valley.” Although this was Adam Sedgwick’s sole reference in print to the Sills, these can be no doubt that among his close circle of family and friends, the Wordsworths and the Westalls especially, the story was recounted with his inimitable blend of eloquence, detail and pathos. He emerges as the ultimate source of the narrative material in the Bronte novels, with the Wordsworth circle and Hartley Coleridge and his immediate intermediaries.
Both in its provisions and in its stability across the gulf of twenty-eight years between drafting and probate the will of Ann Sill of Dent indicates the determination of the testatrix and her advisers to avert the possibility of litigation, the calamity which overtook another Lunesdale estate without living male issue. This was Hornby, seat of the Tatham family, whose litigation formed the other Lunesdale cause celebre of the 1830s. The two stories, one from the yeoman society of Dentdale and the other from the high manorial society of lower Lunesdale, are fused in ‘Wuthering Heights’. In the 1840s, it seems, the Bronte children continued to play with fire by dramatising the antislavery debate and using known personages as characters in their stories, as they had in the juvenilia. Thus time the Lunesda|e. circle of. The Carus family carried seeds of danger. In the preface to the new edition of ‘Wuthering Heights’, Charlotte Bronte intensified the technique of disguise by effacement, displacement and omission, devices used with insufficient care in the novels.
Besides the details of Lunesdale society to which he had access, the spirit of Hartley Coleridge’s historical thinking appears in the Bronte sisters’ novels. The kernel of his ‘Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire’ (1836), “the interests of individuals are so implicated in those of the community, that the life of the most humble domestic female could not be justly understood without some knowledge of the politics of the time in which she lived” could stand as the epigraph of the Bronte sisters’ novels. Hartley Coleridge’s aversion for the slavery system and its ramifications into English society echo his father’s writings on the abuse of child labour in the cotton industry. The underside of Lunesdale society, its involvement in the plantation economy and the threat that its new industry at Sedbergh would perpetuate the evils of slavery on English soil, provided the spirit and the substance of the Bronte sisters’ novels. The themes of clergy hypocrisy and the penetration of slavery values in English society permeate the last novel by Branwell Bronte, the fragment “And the Weary are at Rest”. The date and circumstance of composition distinguish this novel from the work of the earlier 1840s in which, according to his friend William Dearden, Branwell Bronte wrote on themes and personalities later incorporated by Emily Bronte in ‘Wuthering Heights’. Branwell Bronte’s lost novel (presumably destroyed) on these well-known personalities from the West Riding may be assumed to have pioneered the use of Hornby and Dentdale stories as they stood in the 1830s as the material for a new variety of romantic realism in the English novel.
The Lunesdale causes celelebres, the Dentdale story and the Hornby case, entered the nations repertoire in the 1830s. Both illustrate the penetration of the slavery interest into the declining rural economy. Its channel was patronage stemming from the Lowther family and their protege, William Wilson Carus Wilson, father of the Revd. William Carus Wilson and Member of Parliament for Cockermouth in the years 1821-27.  Nomination for the Cockermouth seat, ‘a pocket borough of the Lowther family’ until 1832,  required an assurance of support for the anti-Emancipation cause. The Lowthers’ property and trade interests in Barbados and Dominica earned these regions the nickname of “the little Cumberland in the West Indies”. Shared Wilberforcean interests linked the Coleridges and the Brontes. Literary expertise and this common ground explain the depth and accuracy of the stories evidently carried from Nab Cottage to Haworth by Branwell, Bronte. The result was the Bronte sisters’ persistently hostile reading of Lunesdale history. In their presentation of the ‘Reed, ‘Brocklehurst1, ‘Linton’, ‘Heathcliff and ‘Earnshaw’ families, they attacked the links between rural patronage, industrial expansion, educational practice, and the slavery-based plantation economy. Escape for the favoured victims lay through the magical transformation following trials by fire, haunting and the grave. The survivors embark upon a reconstituted rural existence in a society sustained by the principles of education and fair rent.
The Sedbergh land purchased by the Sidgwicks had formed a part of the Hebblethwaite estate inherited by Jane Gawthrop of Sedbergh, daughter of the Revd. Christopher Gawthrop of Sedbergh, Vicar of Ticehurst in Sussex.  The marriage of this socially superior heiress to Edmund Sill of Dent, heir to the modestly sized Jamaica estate near Montego Bay of his uncle, John Sill, appears in ‘Jane Eyre’ in strongly fictionalised form, disguised by the theme of madness taken from another anecdote in the Bronte family’s experience, as the marriage of the plantation owner Rochester to the heiress of superior rank and fortune, Bertha Mason. The death in 1793 of Revd. Christopher Gawthrop  emphasised Jane Gawthrop’s supplementary role as the impoverished orphan daughter of a clergyman in a distant parish. This conjunction provided Charlotte Bronte with a hint for the eventually successful marriage of her fictional hero, Edward Rochester. In his second marriage, Edward Rochester embarks after cautionary treatment by fire upon a healthy relationship with a person named Jane, the orphaned daughter of a clergyman in a distant parish. The legacy in the novel from ‘Uncle John’, a plantation proprietor, echoes the inheritance by Edmund Sill of the Jamaica estate of his uncle John Sill. The name ‘Rochester’ underscores the privileged knowledge among the Bronte children about the channel of inheritance bringing the relatively humble Sill family to social prominence in Dentdale and Sedbergh affairs. In selling his wife’s land in 1796 to Sidgwick and Garforth, Edmund Sill exemplified the objectionable features of absentee plantation proprietors, the fragility of their sugar revenues,  their masterfulness, here exemplified in the sale of a wife’s inherited property, and the infection within industrial concerns of attitudes stemming from slavery based societies. These features provided Charlotte Bronte1 with hints for her allegorised treatment of a social entanglement involving the plantation economy.
The death of Edmund Sill in 1797,  shortly after the sale of his wife’s Sedbergh land, was the first in the series of deaths in the Sill family leading to the collapse of their estate in Dentdale and Jamaica in 1835. The Sill’s purchase of Westhouses and High Hall from their social superiors, the Masons of Dent, marked the zenith of their rise to landlord status in Dentdale. This rise had been guaranteed by the Caruses of Tunstall. Of eleven Dentdale farms cited in the will of Ann Sill, seven were bought in the years between 1765 and 1792 by Edmund Sill the elder and his sons, with members of the Carus family acting as bondsmen. The persistence of social attitudes stemming from plantation ‘habits, both in industry and in the domestic employment of females as servants, wives, concubines and governesses, motivated the attack by Charlotte -Bronte on her patrons and employers, the Caruses and the Sidgwicks, and their plantation owning associates, the Sills. In the reforming inquiry of Sir Robert Peel into child labour in the cotton industry, William Sidgwick emerged as an unsympathetic witness. For half a century the Gladstone family stood at the head of targets for the type of attack launched by the Bronte sisters against the Sills, the Caruses and Sidgwicks.
This inner historical panorama in the background of ‘Jane Eyre’ reflects the Bronte children’s penetration of the secrets of the Sidgwicks, Charlotte Bronte’s unsympathetic employer in 1839. They stood at the foot of a ladder of patronage extending upwards from the Carus family’s local role as bondsmen to the Sill estate in Dentdale and culminating at the Parliamentary level in the fountain head of patronage in the north-west of England, the Lowther family. Metaphors and descriptions in ‘Jane Eyre’, drawn from the plantation economy as it affected English Society, reflect the author’s knowledge of her employers’ and patrons’ involvement in the rural ramifications of the slave trade.
The family histories culminating in the setting up of Sidgwick’s mill at Millihrop are sketched allegorically in ‘Jane Eyre’. The settings are clumsily disguised at one point only, by the improbable positioning of Thornfield Hall at a position in the Bradford district (a region not penetrated by plantation ownership), six miles out of ‘Milltown’ on a river ‘A—1 rhyming with ‘Eyre’. The obviousness of this disguise, and its error, the heroine’s seventy-mile journey from ‘Lowood’ to ‘Milltown’ on the ‘A—’ (Bradford is fifty miles from Cowan Bridge) point to haste, or possibly the laying false trails, at this point in the disguising of Charlotte Bronte’s historical material (Chapter 10). The details of the Carus circle’s business and Parliamentary links, the clue to identifying the fabric of society being explored in the novel, are omitted. The name ‘Mason’ is given to the socially superior family into which the plantation proprietors family, the ‘Rochesters’, direct the doomed first marriage of their son. The two marriage partners of Edward Rochester allegorise two aspects of Jane Gawthrop of Sedbergh, her descent from the Hebblethwaites and her position as orphaned daughter of a clergyman in a distant parish. The early death of Edmund Sill is transmuted in the novel into the happy ending which is made possible by the hero’s mutilation and trial by fire.
From a strongly personal point of view, Charlotte Bronte’s novel explores the underside of the Carus, Sidgwick and Sill network. The problem of succession to estates without male issue, illustrated in opposite ways by the Hornby case and the Sill estate, is given a similarly hostile reading in ‘VVuthering Heights’. The Hornby estate attracted litigation, in contrast to the Dentdale estate, which remained stable despite contentious local views. The dominance in both novels of a detailed, negative reading of a single social entanglement points to Hartley Coleridge as the source of the Bronte sisters’ knowledge of Lunesdale affairs. His liberal Toryism was at odds with the shadow of ‘Rockingham Whig’ influence across the new Toryism of the Lowther and Carus political interests. This horizon of ideas directed the Bronte sisters’ novels. As a consequence of Charlotte Bronte’s disguising of her family’s literary activities in the preface to the new edition of ‘Wuthering Heights’, her own and her sister’s novels have been assumed erroneously to have at most merely household and matrimonial concerns, and at weakest, mere fantasy, at their core.
In the period of reconstruction following the sequestration of their estate at Halton on the charge of complicity in the Jacobite incursion into Lancaster in 1715,  the Caruses strengthened their alliance with the Foxcrofts of Thornton in Lonsdale, the Turners of Melling and Arkholme in Tunstall, and the Tathams of Tunstall. The reconstruction culminated in their becoming proteges of the Lowthers of Cumberland. The visit to Hornby Castle, a bastion of the Tatham family, by ‘Mr. (William Wilson) Carus Wilson’ , points to Lowther interests among the Tathams. This southern sector of the Carus family’s Lunesdale influence, running from Dent over Kingsdale through Thornton in Lonsdale to Hornby, received a negative scrutiny in ‘Wuthering Heights’. The alliance and visiting between John Marsden of Hornby and Thomas Brancker,  a member of the important Brancker family of whom one, James Brancker, was among the closest friends of Hartley Coleridge, placed the Hornby case within earshot of Branwell Bronte.  In the Hornby case, members of the Tatham family, variously named Tatham, Marsden, Wright, Lister and Lister Marsden, disputed the succession to the manor of Hornby and the living of the parish of Gargrave following the death without issue of John Marsden of Hornby Castle. Alterations to his will supported the charge by Marsden’s first cousin, Admiral Tatham, that the will was the forgery of the defendant and principal legatee, George Wright, imposed under criminal duress upon his second cousin, the deceased testator Marsden. In his ‘summing up at the Lancaster Lammas Assizes of 1834, Lord Gurney pronounced the case to be ‘for its length I believe unexampled in this form of trial, in the history of English Jurisprudence. The jury, heedful of a skilled defence and of a discerning summing up, found for the defendant.
The hostile construction of the issue imputed by the defence to the plaintiff in ‘Tatham v. Wright’ is reproduced in ‘Wuthering Heights’ in the browbeating into idiocy of Hindley Earnshaw, Hareton Earnshaw and Linton Heathcliff by the criminal Heathcliff (rendered thus by his slave status) in order to secure succession to the ancestral farm on the hillside and the manor in the valley. This lurid story, bearing many marks and turns of phrase and action from ‘Tatham v. Wright’, merges into, and displaces, the prosaic outlines of Emily Bronte’s principal source of historical story material, the history of succession to the Sill estate in Dentdale. Although the will of Ann Sill was proof against litigation, its provisions led to its becoming “a tale ringing in one of the dales”, as Howitt termed it.  There is some case for supposing that the merging of the two stories had become current among Howitt’s informants by the time of his visit to Lunesdale in 1837. Howitt’s faulty rendering of the Dentdale story is in sharp contrast to the Bronte sisters’ novels, which interpret it from a secure base of detailed historical knowledge. As in the fiction of Tolstoy and Conrad, the moral advanced by the Bronte sisters’ novels is inseparable from the history they trace: cruelty and pride stand in need of check by the sensibilities of the insulted, the injured, the wretched of the earth.
Branwell Bronte’s skill as a raconteur, his observation and historical sense, the authority for his transmission of information deftly conveyed (it may be assumed) by Hartley Coleridge, appear in his drawing of 1845 about the prizefight of September that year, in which Ben Caunty was defeated by his pupil Bendigo. The sketch turns the distant event into a Wilberforcean allegory of man’s enslavement to his pride. The prizefighters appear as the exulting black overseer, himself one of a despised class, insulting his ageing black teacher. The phrase ‘Alas, poor Gaunt!’ and the image of the island link them to Hamlet and Robinson Crusoe. The marks of slavery lend allegorical meaning to the prosaic subject matter. Branwell Bronte’s wit, command of detail and mastery of antislavery echoes, the essential qualifications for the interpretation of Lunesdale history, are vigorously present. His role as provider of his sisters’ story material may be assumed.
1 See: C. Heywood. ‘Yorkshire Slavery in Wuthering Heights’, Review of English Studies (forthcoming). To be referred to here as ‘Heywood’. For the original suggestion that the Bronte novels were indebted to the history of the Sill and Sutton families and their Dentdale setting, see: Kim Lyon, ‘Whernside Manor’, Dalesman Annual, 1979 (Clapham: Dalesman, 1979), pp.76-82. Also: Kim Lyon, The Dentdale Bronte Trail (Dent: Lyon, 1985). I thank Kim Lyon, without whom the present study could not have been written, for advice and assistance at many points.
2 Given in a first form as ‘Adam Sedgwick: The Bronte Connection’, Adam Sedgwick Bicentenary Symposium, Sedbergh & District History Society, 1985.
3 Winifred Gerin, ‘Branwell Bronte (London: Nelson, 1961), pp. 169-75
4 Winifred Gerin, ‘Charlotte Bronte’ (Oxford: O.U.P., 1967), p.142. Also: Family trees of Sedgwick and Sidgwick families, Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge.
5 Christopher Hollett, ‘Chronology of Millthrop Mill’ (typescript). I thank Christopher Hollett for assistance and advice at points too numerous to cite in detail.
6 Richard J.Westall, ‘The Westall Brothers’ (Turner Studies, 4 Summer, 1984), pp.23-38
7 William Howitt, ‘The Rural Life of England’, (London, 1838. reprint of 1843 ed., Shannon: Irish Universities Press, 1971), pp.244-6
8 Correspondence of Vyvyan Lindsey (nee Westall.) and Richard J.Westall Esq. I thank Mrs.Lindsey and Mr. Westall for assistance at many points.
9 Cumbria Record Office,, Kendal, WD/U West House, 13 Aug.1835. Also: West Riding Land Register, M D.517.508, ‘Sutton to’ Davis’, West Riding Archive, Wakefield. See Heywood, passim.
10 The West House Indenture (loc. cit) bears the inscription ‘William Wordsworth’ on its Stamp Duty certificate.
11 For Sill revenues, see Crop Accounts, Providence, 1791,212; 1792,117, 118; 1794. 157 etc., Jamaica Archive, Spanish Town, Jamaica. Also: Heywood, n.22. I thank the Research Fund Committee of Sheffield University for a grant towards consulting this material.
12 Will of John Sill, Island Record Office, Spanish Town, Jamaica, 1776/Sill.
13 Will of Ann Sill, Lancashire Record Office, Preston. W R W/L.1835,Sill. Also: Public Record Office, London, Inland Revenue Ledger, IR/1835/SHL.
14 ‘Mary Ann Sill of Rochester in the County of Kent spinster only surviving child and Heir at Law of William Sill late of Rochester aforesaid Gentleman deceased’. Yorkshire Land Register (1795), DT°727.926, Wakefield, West Yorkshire Archive. Also: Heywood, n.20 and passim.
15 Adam Sedgwlck, ‘A Memorial by the Trustees of Cowgill Chapel’. Cambridge, 1868; reprinted as ‘Adam Sedgwicks Dent, ed. D.Boulton, Sedbergh: Hollett, 1985), pp.9-10
16 ‘Tatham v. W right’, ed. A. Fraser, 2.Vols., Lancaster, 1834, passim. I thank Janet Nelson for drawing my attention to this document, and for assistance and advice at points too numerous to cite in detail.
17 Hartley Coleridge, ‘Worthies of Yorkshire and Lancashire’ (London: Whitaker, Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1836), p.iii
18 S.T. Coleridge, ‘Two Addresses on Sir Robert Peel’s Bill’ (April 1918), ed. Edmund Gosse (London, 1913), passim. For Hartley Coleridge’s view of ‘the moral enormity of the slave system’, see: ‘The Letters of Hartley Coleridge’, ed. Grace Evelyn Griggs and Earl Leslie Griggs (London: O.U.P., 1936), p.93; and passim.
19 Patrick Branwell Bronte, ‘And the Weary Are at Rest’ (privately printed, 1925), passim.
20 ‘William Oakendale’ [William Dearden], ‘Who Wrote Wuthering Heights?’, Halifax Guardian, 15 June 1867. The text of the letter answers a question not posed in the title. The latter is probably an editorial intrusion.
21 J.A. Venn, ‘Alumni Cantabrigienses’ (C.U.P. 1940), Vol.1, p.1427
22 R.G. Thorne, ‘The House of Commons’, 1790-1820′ (London: Seeker and Warburg, 1986), pp.94-5
23 Edward Hughes, ‘North Country Life in the Eighteenth Century’ (London: O.U.P., 1965), Vol.2, pp.225-6; also ibid., ch.X, pp.334-354, ‘Letters from the Caribbean’.
24 ‘Edmund Sill and his Wife Jane Heiress at Law of the Reverend Christopher Gawthrop Clerk deceased of Ticehurst in the County of Sussex’. (Indenture of land sale to Sidgwick and Garforth), West Riding Land Register DR.407/430 (1795), West Yorkshire Archive, Wakefield. Also: ibid, IQ.287,262, Will of Robert Gawthrop, and Lancashire Record Office, Preston, WRW/L.1738, Gawthrop. I thank Freida Ashton for information on the Gawthrop family. See also: Dawson, ‘History of Skipton’.
25 Will of John Sill, loc.cit.
26 Will of Christopher Gawthrop, p.r.o., London, 1793.
27 See Hey wood, n.22 and passim.
28 Dent Parish Register, Burials, 1797. Cumbria Record Office, Kendal. Also: Sill memorials at St.Andrews Church, Dent. I thank Revd. Canon Malcolm Robinson, Vicar of Dent, for assistance at many points.
29 West Riding Land Register, DI.219.281 and DI.224.286, ‘Mason to Sill’, Wakefield, West Yorkshire Archive.
30 The following entries in the West Riding Land Register refer to Memorials of Indentures in which members of the Carus family acted as bondsmen to the Sill family’s purchase of land in Dent: AY.300.405; BA.640.861; BE.163.196; BY.464.622; CB.428.602; DT.726.925; FK.692.730 (West Yorkshire Archive, Wakefield).
31 [Robert Peel’s ‘Present State of Child Labour’ report. 1816 reprint.]
32 Herbert Carus-Wilson and Harold I.Talboys, ‘Genealogical Memoirs of the Carus-Wilson Family’ (Hove: privately printed, 1899), pp. 15-17. I thank Louis Carus and Nancy Carus for assistance at many points.
33 Tatham v. Wright, Vol.2, p.306
34 ‘Nov.19, 1821. To Cash gave to the servant maid at Mr.Thomas Brancker’s, 2s.6d’, John Marsden, Cash Book 1809-1826 (Hornby Mss., Hornby Castle). I thank Mr.Battersby for permission to consult and cite material in his keeping.
35 ‘Letters of Hartley Coleridge’, pp.114,130 etc. Also: Janet Nelson, ‘The Branckers of Liverpool’ (typescript).
36 Tatham v.wright, Vol.2, p.295
37 Howitt, op.cit., p.245
38 Branwell Bronte, ‘The Leyland Manuscripts’ (privately printed, 1925)
Sill Refs Jamaica Archives
Crop Accounts, Providence, 1791,212; 1792,117, 118; 1794. 157 etc., Jamaica Archive, Spanish Town, Jamaica.
Will of John Sill, Island Record Office, Spanish Town, Jamaica, 1776/Sill
Inventory 1B/11/3/58 (1777) F. 40 John Sill