St Mary le Ghyll, Barnoldswick: Missing Bells and Stolen Money

Theft is as old as mankind. The following is from the Duchy of Lancaster Manor Court Rolls from Barnoldswick, from the time of Philip and Mary (1550s). It refers to a dispute between the churchwardens of St Mary le Gyhll, Barnoldswick, concerning missing money:

John Halson of Salterforth aged 68 says there was £30 in the hands of John Waytew called John Edmundson of the Close, William…& the late Thomas Lawcocke 18 yeres last past and given to a poore feller of the paryshe for to have bought belles which were for the use of the churche but what became of it he knows not.

Something tells me that John Waytew was rather naïve giving thirty pounds to a ‘poor feller’ who evidently disappeared without buying the church’s bells. Or maybe John Halson had pinched the money himself and wished to blame it on someone poor and anonymous.

‘You shall not steal; you shall not deal falsely; you shall not lie to one another. Leviticus 19:11


From Rev JH Warner, A History of Barnoldswick, Skipton, 1934