Wakefield Family History Sharing


Have you every wondered what it would be like to be walking the streets of 18th century Wakefield ? Well,  a notebook of William Scarth will take you there and for anyone who knows the town, both locals or visitors, these notes are sure to be of interest. There is even one instance where two of the people known to William Scarth go to America  ~ a snippet for family historians and helpful if you happen to have 'lost' someone !

Thanks to Kevin Scarth and Richard Bointon for making the notes available.

Cock & Bottle yard, Little Westgate to George Street

Maps of the area to help you get your bearings

Westgate & Wood St ¦  Northgate & St John's ¦ Market, Teall St & Jacobs Well Lne ¦ Lower (part) & Upper Kirkgate & Warrengate, ¦ 

¦ North of Wakefield including Stanley with Wrenthorpe, Lofthouse with Carlton, Thorpe, Rothwell, Rothwell, Oulton with Woodlesford and part of Middleton ¦

Extracted from the notebook of William Scarth

The details about the inhabitants of Westgate written in 1872 by
William Scarth  retired Corndealer of Westfield Terrace Wakefield.


I William Scarth was born in Wakefield on the twenty ninth day of February in the year 1800 near George Street and Kirkgate.

Remember Benjamin Kitson 84 keeping a Hosiers and worsted shop in 1804 and Mr John Hammond 85 a Grocers Shop next door who left and went to america likewise Mr Oakland* 86 who keep the Golden Cup public house and sold flour and bread and was greatly attended by Foreing picture hawkers which abounded in that day he was a verry Eccentrick man and whent by the name given to him by his neighbours of old hi – hi in consequence of his answers*Mr Bencroft 86 married his daughter to any one speaking to him of anything that happened in the neighbourhood his answers invariably was hi-hi so he was old hi-hi by the common people the house is now called the British Oak the house above one James Manchester 87 lived in Boot and Shoe Makes who did large buisness and kept a manny hands besides being pat landlord to about 7 houses in the yard occupied by Mrs Pickles Long Jack Johnson bricklayer who stood above two yards in height Parce Sugden who died in 1803 and was father to Mrs Lowrie 88 who kept flour shop in Silver Street afterwards continued by hers son John who died opposite the Strafford Arms a few years back. The next cottage was occupied by Betty Fisher mother to Robert Fisher Brick layer Wakefield who lived Bottom White Horse Yard next James Land who used to flogg in the streets of Wakefield with the Cat of Nine Tails from the prison the next in Manchester Yard Jonerthon Hartley Whitewasor and drummer in the Wakefield Volunturs they next house in front was Jackie Sunderland a Malster who kept his 2 beautifull Black Coursing Dogs quite a gentleman but in those days men and women were called dame and jackes and babby by vulgar people Just above was a grocers shop kept by John Horner 89 brother To Joseph Horner Miller under the name of Drake and Horner or Horner and Drake 90 John Horner did a large buisness in the grocery trade about the year 1805 the next shop was kept by James Horner father to the above who kept milk beast along with Dame Sorby I have gone for milk in 1802 up to 1807 the next house was a public house called the Jolly Salor 91 but changed to the Voluteer Inn in consequence of the Wakefield Volunters frequenting the house and kept by Mr Ripley Who was Major of the Voluteer about the year 1804 I believe it is still called the Voluteer yard up to the presant time 1872. The next house was Mark Taylor 92 shopkeeper and general Dealer who in the latter part of his life turned Woolstapler with his son James and lived in a house at or near the top of Wool Packs Yard the next was a butchers shop occupied by a very old man named Solomon Spurr 93 afterward by Mr Phillips Next to this was a Farriers Shop to shoe horses carried on by three brothers named Dixon 94 who lived there early in 1800 afterwars one of the Brothers kept milk beasts and resided at the Top of Back Lane died their he had a peculiar way when any one spoke to him Well give it time so it caused a saying in Wakefield amongs the inhabitance give it time said David Dixon in this yard was a Common bakehouse kept by a female naimed Rebeckah Green also Mr Thos Lee 95 Solicitor father to the late Thomas Lee Coroner of Wakefield the shop above was occupied by a Mr Benton a very old man in 1805 carrying on the trade of petty grocer above lived Raynors 96 in the Wood buisness and Irwinns 97 the spirits vaults above there Mrs George Haldane 98 Gardiner and Fanny just above who Bread Cheese and Bacon etc


Next Mr John Hartley grocer just above Mr Baker Cutler from Sheffield next Mr Burton 99 Grocer and abovethat Mr Wilby auccioneirAbove that Doctor Child and old Levy 100 a jew who afterward resided in Wringate and keep a flour shop above that is a very new house occupied by Mr H Fulgambe 101 Clerk of the Peace for the West Riding above Mrs Button 102 Watch Maker Old Doctor Taylor 103 was living next up the yard lived Mr Ross 104 Maltster father to Doctor Ross Market Street Above Doctor Taylor lived an old man named Walker 105 Leather Breeches Maker And next to him was Mr Joseph Wright 106 Barber an old miseer who wold be born about 1726 or their abouts above him was Widow Farrar who kept spice shop and at the nook end that is the top of Kirkgate in 1800 and some years afterwards it was called the same the nook end Above that was a Mr Heald 107 barber and Hatter Mr Shaw 108 Solicitor Mr Elliott 109 Blue Bell Inn know called the Bee Hive Inn next Mr Shaw Solicitor Mr Steer Cloth Merchant Mr Statter 110 Linen Draper next Mr Lonsdale Gentleman Mr Mann Grocer Alms Houses end. Above Mr Melton 111 Solicitor the Inn called Bailiff House kept by Mr Senior 112 Aucioneer and Publican now called Manor House Register Office Timothy Topham 113 registrar


Note : - ‘Baines' refers to relevant entries in the Professions and Trades"
for WAKEFIELD in Baines's Directory of 1822.

84. Baines: - Hosier, Benjamin Kitson, Kirkgate. Also a Worsted and Woollen Yarn Spinner.

85. Baines: - William Hammond Grocer Kirkgate.

86. There is an Ann Oakley marrying a William Bencroft at Wakefield in 1817. Are these the same people?

87. Baines: - William Manchester, Kirkgate, Boot & Shoe Maker

88. Elizabeth Sugden married to John Lowrie at Wakefield in 1799. Elizabeth daughter of Parsival Sugden baptised at Wakefield in 1778.

89. Baines: - Bakers, Flour & Provisions dealers James Horner, Kirkgate.

90. Baines: - Corn Millers Horner & Drake (Shelling Mill), Bridge End.

91. Baines: - Royal Volunteer, Kirkgate, in a later directory (Pigot 1834) it is shown as Volunteer.

92. Baines: - Mark Taylor & Son, Woolpacks Yard, Westgate, Woolstaplers.

93. Baines: - Thomas Spurr, Butcher, Westgate.

94. Baines: - David Dixon (Farrier), Westgate. He is also mentioned in Walker 's ‘ Wakefield – Its history and people'

95. Baines: - Thomas Lee living at St Johns .

96. Baines: - Joseph Raynor, Westgate, Cabinet Maker & Upholsterer.

97. Baines: - Elizabeth Irwin, Spirits Dealers.

98. Baines: - John Haldane, Gardener &c., Kirkgate

99. Baines: - Thomas Burton, Grocer, Westgate.

  100. Baines: - Henry Levi, Flour Dealer, Wrengate.

101. Baines: - Attornies, Thomas Foljambe, Deputy Clerk of the Peace, Kirkgate.

102. Baines: - Thomas Button, watchmaker, Kirkgate.

103. Baines: - Edward Taylor, Surgeon, Kirkgate.

104. Baines: - Joseph Ross, Maltster, Kirkgate.

105. Baines: - Walker and Co., Lace Mftr. Kirkgate.

106. Baines: - Joseph Wright, Hairdresser, Kirkgate.

107. Baines: - Thomas Heald, Kirkgate, Hat Maker & Dealer.

108. Baines: - J W Shaw, Attorny, Southgate , and William Shaw, Southgate , Coll. of Taxes.

109. Baines: - Eliz,. Elliott, Blue Bell Inn. Top of Kirkgate.

110. Baines: - John Statter, Linen Draper, Kirkgate.

111. Baines: - John Melton, Attorny, Southgate .

112. Baines: - John Senior, (snr), Auctioneer, Kirkgate.

113. Baines: - Register Office for registering Deeds relating to estates within the West Riding of Yorkshire, opposite the Old Church .



The Bull Ring circa 1904

The Bullring


Westgate, with the Elephant & Castle on the right


Albion Court, Westgate, recently undergone sympathetic  renovation

Albion Court


Gissing's House, Westgate

Gissing House


Westgate with the Opera House on the left

Westgate & Opera House


The Strafford Arms circa 1899 in its original position

Strafford Arms, Bull Ring


Westgate banking area

Banking area of Westgate


Part of Wrengate, later known as Warrengate

Sun Inn, Warrengate


The headstone of William Scarth in St Paul's Churchyard,  Alverthorpe, Wakefield

Scarth Headstone, St Paul's churchyard






The Bull Ring circa 1904



Westgate, with the Elephant & Castle on the right


Albion Court, Westgate, recently undergone sympathetic  renovation



Gissing's House, Westgate



Westgate with the Opera House on the left



The Strafford Arms circa 1899 in its original position



Westgate banking area



Part of Wrengate, later known as Warrengate



The headstone of William Scarth in St Paul's Churchyard,  Alverthorpe, Wakefield