Saturday, May 18, 2013

The Hobkirk Papers - Stokesley 1750

The Hobkirk Papers (Stories) - Stokesley 1750

Isaac Hobkirk was an innkeeper in Stokesley in 1750 and the Half Moon Inn features often in his stories.Daphne Franks, author of  Printing and Publishing in Stokesley 1984, that it 'was probably his house - One of the lost inns of Stokesley which has been located as Winscombe House, no 54, High Street."

Hobkirk's stories originally appeared in Tweddell's Yorkshire Miscellany in the 1840's (gathered I think from oral sources).

Daphne Franks continues - 
"The Stokesley of the stories is described for us in a letter of William Mason of Middlesbrough.

"When the markets were great gatherings of the rural folk and the farmers' wives rode pillion and butchers shambles were filled with meat. Coals stood for sale in front of the Black Swan and the turf graver brought his wares in donkey carts from Osmotherley.

When the Captains of the East India Company, the Whalers, sailors of the mercantile marine and Jack Tars of the Royal Navy, came back home to lay up for winter.

When the Handloom weaving was good and intelligence among that class of operatives was great.

When all these met at the hostelries (there were nineteen) to hear tales of adventure from the sailors, the sparkles of wit from the Literati of the town."

In the pdf file from Tweddell's Miscellany the following Hobkirk stories came be found - 

  • Widow Hunting
  • The Midnight Knell
And blow some other pieces also from Tweddell's Miscellany - 

An Introduction by Andrew Browne and another story - The Cock Fight.

Tasters - (full stories in the pdf file)

Sketches by Jess Gilgan

Widow Hunting
Sketch by Jess Gilgan
"It was on a fine, calm autumnal evening, as Mr Hobkirk was returning home, after a hard day's toil, with his dog and gun, that he encountered, as he passed over the Bence bridge, in the beautiful and picturesque vale of Cleveland, a stranger, who, apparently travelworn, had seated himself on the curb-stone of the bridge to enjoy a temporary repose. Overcome by fatigue......(see pdf file)

The Midnight Knell

From the earliest period of human history, a belief in supernatural agency has been current amongst mankind;
and sacred,  as well as profane records, adduce such innumerable instances of the operation of superhuman influence, as to place the reality beyond the subject of a doubt.....(see pdf file)

The Cock Fight
On the north side of the town of Stokesley there stood (until the rage for improvement and innovation appropriated its site to more fashionable residences) a snug and comfortable little Inn, known by the sign of the Half-Moon. The host - kind, cheerful, jovial Christopher Eden - was a true and unsophisticated specimen of English conviviality, equally respected by all who knew him...(See pdf file).

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