Wakefield Family History Sharing

Extracts from

Walkers History of Wakefield

2nd edition 1939 (privately printed)

St. Jame's, Thornes

After the Battle of Waterloo, Parliament voted the sum of £1,000,000 out of the war indemnity paid to this country by Austria, as a thank-offering to God for the victory, in order that churches might be built in populous parts of the country. Grants from this fund were maid to build a church in each of the outlying parishes of Wakefield - Stanley, Alverthorpe and Thornes.

St Jame's at Thornes was the last of million churches to be erected in the old parish of Wakefield. A Mr James Megson wrote to Mrs Gaskell of Thornes House in 1822 expressing a need for a church in that parish. Shortly afterwards Mr Benjamin Gaskell made an application for a grant from the 'million' fund and subsequently £1000 was received towards the building of a church. The remainder of the cost being contributed chiefly by Mr and Mrs Gaskell.

August 1829 saw the foundation stone being laid by Mr James Milnes Gaskell and the church was opened for worship on Sunday September 19th 1830, but the building was not consecrated until October 1831 when the Archbishop of York performed the ceremony.

In 1887 the church underwent extensive alterations and the seating accommodation was much improved. Galleries were altered and the organ was moved to a more suitable position and one of the staircases was removed. The choir vestry was enlarged by Miss Secker in memory of her uncle, Major Barker of Holmfield, who died in 1892. The small clergy vestry was enlarged in 1891 by G W Alder in memory of his relatives who were buried in the churchyard. The old pulpit was replaced, in 1895 by one that had done duty in the Grammer School and bears the inscription "Presented to the Queen Elizabeth Grammar Schoo, Wakefield, by the Rev. James Taylor, DD, Head-Master" Another brass records the gift of the pulpit to Thornes Church by the Ve. Archdeacon Donne, Vicar of Wakefield in 1895.

Vicars of St. Jame's, Thornes

Joseph Twentyman, 1831;resigned 1838 on appointment to a Minor Canonry in Carlisle Cathedral.

W H Brandeth, 1838; resigned 1841

J H Dixon, 1841; resigned 1851

Hugh B Smith, 1851; resigned 1856

H O Parkinson, 1856; died 1859

Henry Jones, curate of Wakefield from November 1855 to February 1860, when he was appointed Vicar of Thornes, where he remained until 1872, when he was instituted to the Vicarage of St Mark, Clarkenwell. He ws accidentally killed in May of 1878

Ashley Barnes-Laurece, MA, instituted Vicar of Thornes 1881which he resigned in 1886 to become Vicar of Aberford. He died in 1934

Walter Allen Lewis, instituted Vicar of Thornes May 1st 1886; resigned January 1892

Herbert Lloyd Griffiths Coombs, exchanged St Mark's Ford with his predecessor at Thornes in January 1892 and retired from ill-health in 1905; he died in January 1915

Henry Pearson Bennett, instituted Vicar of Thornes in 1905 and resigned in 1911

Edmund Ide Mack, instituted Vicar of Thornes, 1911 and resigned in 1936

Thomas Walter Hogarth L Th, instituted Vicar of Thornes December 1936

Thornes Parish Records are available at the West Yorkshire Archive Service under the Ref WDP 80 baptisms 1831-1976, marriages 1838-1931 and burials 1831-1956. Records of Christ Church, Thornes are also included under the same ref.

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

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