Wakefield Family History Sharing


Extracts from

Walkers History of Wakefield

2nd edition 1939 (privately printed)


St Jame's, Chapelthorpe


The earliest mention of Chapelthorpe is in 1285, when it is called Schapelthorpe in the Wakefield Manor Court Rolls.

The chapel was erected by the inhabitants of the district as a chapelry of Sandal Magna, and was dedicated to Saint James the Apostle.

When the east end was taken down for the addition of the present chancel in 1882, Mr W Swinden Barber, the architect, found a stone built into the wall, which had once formed part of the arch of a 13th century window, thus showing the date of an early chapel.  This building would have been about 60 feet long and about 28 feet wide.  it was without a towerand the aisleless nave and chancel were under one roof.  The chancel was raised a single step above the nave floor level.

In 1513-13, Manor Court Rolls state that Thomas Blacker, Oliver Haghe and John Haghe were chapel-wardens

In 1771, it was told to the West Riding Justices that 'the chapel was in so ruinous a condition that it cannot be repaired, but must be wholly taken down and rebuilt, and that charge for doing that will amount to £1,194 - a sum the parisioners are not able to raise among themselves'. They asked for a brief in the counties of York, Lincoln and Lancaster for house-to-house collections to be made.  This was granted and the collectors of the money were Sir Lionel Pilkington of Chevet; the Vicar of Sandal, the Rev. Henry Zouch; the Curate of Chapelthorpe, the Rev. Thomas Zouch; Robert Alklott; William Beatson and John Bingley.

The work then commenced and the old chapel that had stood for more than five hundred years was levelled to the ground.  Parts of the old foundation were utilized again.  Dressed stone from Newmillerdam quarry was used in the building of the church and it was roofed with green slates. The whole of the body of the church was filled with deal pews, about 3' 9" high and raised on a wooden floor, 3" above the flagged aisle.  Each of these pews was provided with an opening door into the aisle.

Up to 1840 the choir, who were accompanied by musicians playing on wind and stringed instruments, sat in the centre of an extended gallery.  In the same year the organ was purchased and to accomodate it and still leave room for the choir the central portion of the gallery was projected about five feet beyond the sides and was supported by pillars about 7' 6" high.  The organ stood in the central part of the gallery and completely hid the upper part of the east window.

On August 18th 1843, the Commuissioners for building new churches represented to Her Majesty QueenVictoria in Council, " that there is one consecrated chapel, at Chapelthorpe, called St. Jame's Chapel, which affords accommodation to five hundred and fifty persons, and that divine service is regularly performed therein; it appears to them to be expedient that a particular district should be assigned to the said chapel of St James at Chapelthorpe; that marriages, baptisms, churchgoings and burials should be solemnized and performed in the said chapel."  Her Majesty was pleased to approve thereeof, and to order that the proposed assignment be accordingly made.   Thus Chapelthorpe became a vicarage; its chapel was designated a church, and it acquired all the rights of a separate parish.

In the year 1881 a detemined effort was made to enlarge the church and bring it up to modern requirements. All the old pews, the east gallery, pulpit, reading desk and clerk's desk were all cast out. The east end of the church was taken down and a new chancel with transeptal ends was built upon 178 square yards if churchyard, thus increasing the length of the church to 94 feet.  During this time the services were held in the Crigglestone School.

The stained glass in the east window, representing the Crucifixion, was placed there by Mrs Mackie of Cliff House, Crigglestone, in memory of her husband, John Mackie.  The oak pulpit was the gift of Mrs Micklethwait of Painthrope House, in memory of her husband, for thirty years Vicar of Chapelthorpe.  The oak eagle lecturn and the large bible thereon were presented to the church in memory of Thomas and Elizabeth Jackson Walker of Chapelthorpe Hall by their children in 1919.

Curate, Incumbents and Vicars of St. Jame's, Chapelthorpe

After the Reformation the Chapel was closed for some years, but towards the end of the sixteenth century it re-opened for Divine Service.

Thomas Leake born 1567, ordained deacon March 1594 and priest August 1595, was appointed to Chapelthorpe where he remained for some years, thence removing to East Ardsley, where he died August 1656.  His widow, Ursula surviving him until June 1661

During the greater part of the seventeenth century it is probable that the Vicars of Sandal Magna also acted as ministers at Chapelthorpe Chapel, as there are no entries of any licences to Chapelthorpe in the York Diocesan Institution Books between 1595 and 1692, and we know that some of the Vicars centrainly undertook the double cure.  These Vicars were :-

Joseph Stocks ( See under Sandal Magna)

Richard Tate, at Chapelthorpe (Timothy Wood acting as Commonwealth minister at Sandal).

Robert Scargill, Curate of Chapelthorpe, from which he was ejected 1662 under the Act of Uniformity, and was cited to appear at the Archbishop's Visitation in 1663. He died November 1686.

John wood, succeeded as curate in 1662 under David Allerdice, the vicar of Sandal.

David Allerdice (see Sandal Magna)

Caleb Stockport (see Sandal Magna)

(Joseph Wood separated the two appointments, giving Chapelthorpe to 'Mr Miller' who as 'Curate of Chappellthorp' was buried at Sandal May 1692

Thomas Peighen, clerk, was admitted to serve the cure of souls in the Chapel of St James of Chapelthorpe Julyt 1692. He was born in 1665 the son of Thomas Peighen, clerk.  He was privately educated under Dr Stapleton, who in 1663 had temporary charge of Wakefield Grammer School.

George Burton was curate of Chapelthorpe in 1705.

Francis Parratt, appointed to Chapelthorpe in 1715 and on Sunday morning July 16th 1726, after preaching and while reading the after-service he fell down in the reading desk, and died in the afternoon.  He was buried at Sandal on July 19th.

William Vevers, was nominated to Chapelthorpe by the Rev. Charles Zouch, Vicar of Sandal Magna, on 26th August 1728.  He had two sons born at Chapelthorpe, in 1744 and 1752.  He died at Chapelthorpe and was buried at Sandal May 1757.

William Lowther, son of Christopher Lowther of Little Preston, Swillington and Elizabeth daughter of Daniel Maude of Alverthorpe Hall, born July 10th 1707.  On the death of Mr Vevers he was nominated to Chapelthorpe july 1758 by his brother-in-law the Rev Henry Zouch, then Vicar of Sandal.  On October 22nd 1763 he succeeded his cousin, Sir William Lowther, as heir to the Swillington estates and as the baronetcy then became extinct, he was created a baronet August 22nd 1764.  He died June 15th 1788, leaving a son William, who in 1802 succeeded his cousin James, Earl of Lonsdale, as second Baron and Viscount Lowther, and in 1807 was created Earl of Lonsdale.

Thomas Zouch, he was born 1737 and educated at Wakefield Grammer School, where his father the Rev. Charles Zouch had previously been Assistant Master.  Thomas was Curate of Chapelthorpe from May 1761 to 1770, resigning after finding health becoming impaired.  By the death of his brother Henry in 1795, he succeeded to the Sandal Hall estate, to which he removed. He was elected a Govenor of Wakefield Grammer School June 1799 and resigned in May of 1805, in which year Mr Pitt made him a Prebenday of Durham Cathedral.  In 1808 he was offered the bishopric of Carlisle, but advanced age made him decline the offer.  He died in December 1815 and was buried at Sandal.

John Lonsdale, son of John Lonsdale of Masham, a gentleman of independent meand, born 1737 and educated at Wakefield Grammer School, leaving there in 1757, when he proceeded to Trinity College, Cambridge.  He was nominated to the curacy of Chapelthorpe by Rev. Henry Zouch, June 1772 and also held the Vicarage of Darfield.  He removed to Clapham in Surrey and died in 1800.  His son John, born at Newmillerdam January 17 and baptized at Sandal Church Marcy 1788.became Bishop Lichfield in 1843.  As John, senior, was largely non-resident, on June 1st 1775, John Armer was licensed as Assistant Curate at a stipend of £40 and on March 8th 1784 William Wood succeeded John Armer.

Thomas Wastell, was licensed bythe Rev.william brown, Vicar ofsandal October 1807

George Wilson licensed to  the curacy of Chapelthorpe, October 1812 'on the cession of T Wastell.' He died 1818

George Beckett, was the 8th son of John beckett of Leeds and Somerby Park, Co. Lincoln, the son of John Beckett and grandson of Gervase Beckett of Barnsley.  He was born 1793 in Leeds and was presented the the curacy of Chapelthorpe, 1818 on the death of George Wilson.  George was appointed a govenor of Wakefield Grammer School in January 1821 but was disqualified by non-residence in May 1823.  He died April 1843.

Thomas Bailey Clarkson, appointed May 1827.

Thomas Westmorland, son of Rev Thomas Westmorland, Vicar of Sandal Magna, 1818-1844.  He was appointed to Chapelthorpe by his father in 1839 and succeeded his father as Vicar of Sandal in 1844, where he remained until 1853.  He died in 1892.

John Heaton Micklethwait, presented to Chapelthorpe by Rev Thos, Westmorland, Vicar of Sandal in June 1844.  He died November 1874

Robert Douglas, presented to Chapelthorpe by his father, Rev. Herman Douglas, Vicar of Sandal, Easter 1875.  Owing to a breadownin hishealth,the living was voided by the Commissioners in 1898 and he retired with a pension of £65 a year for life.

 Louis Bush, born September 1868, was Curate of Sandal Magna 1894-8, and was presented to Chapelthorpe April 1898.  He was appointed to the Vicarage of Spaxton, Somersetshire in 1910 from which he retired in 19363.

John william Price, Instituted Vicar of Chapelthorpe, October 1910.  He resigned in 1915 and died at Liverpool in January 1926

Walter Herbert Green, born in Manchester 1867, the son of George Martin Green and Mary, daughter of Samuel Hadfield. Admitted as a solicitor 1888 and ordained deacon by the Bishop of Manchester 1892. Instituted Vicar of Chapelthorpe Ap[ril 1915, which he resigned in 1916 on being preferred to All Saints' Church, Derby.

Charles Llewelyn Ivens, born February 1854.  Presented to Chapelthorpe by Hon Canon of Wakefield Cathedral, 1892.  He resigned Chapelthorpe on account of failing healthJuly 1929 and died September 1931 and was buried at Sowerby Bridge.

John Greenwood, son of Rev T C Greenwood, Vicar of St. Mary's Church, Wakefield, Vicar of Chapelthorpe 1929.

John Barton, instituted  1937.


Chapelthorpe Parish Records are available at the West Yorkshire Archive Service under the Ref WDP 23, baptisms 1829-1980, marriages 1843-1974

To read fully the events read 'Wakefield its History and People' by J W Walker OBE FSA

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