Treasure of the week no. 13: Arctic explorer defends the Church in Bradford

JND 197/14 (Please quote this number if requesting this item)

SCORESBY, Rev. W.  The Position of the Church, and Duties of Churchmen to Unite for her Defence. An Address delivered at the formation of The Church Institution at Bradford, July 4th, 1843. Published at the request of the meeting. Reprinted for the Halifax Guardian by J. U. Walker of Halifax. 28 pages. 1843.

jnd 197 14a 001

In the early years of the reign of Queen Victoria, the established Church of England was under threat from the growing number of rival non-conformist churches such as the Methodists, Baptists and Quakers. This pamphlet records an address by the Vicar of Bradford, the Rev. William Scoresby, to the Bradford clergy, at the formation of The Church Institution which would focus on the defence of the Church. After the meeting the following invitation was issued:

‘To the Churchmen of the Parish of Bradford’:

We, the undersigned, Invite the Attendance of Members of the Church (Females as well as others) at a meeting to be held in the large room recently occupied by the Socialists, in Hall Ings, on Tuesday, July 4th, 1842, at Half-past Seven in the Evening.

William Scoresby, Vicar of Bradford
J. Fawcett, Incumbent of Wibsey
W. Sherwood, Incumbent of St. James
J. Cooper, Incumbent of St. Jude’s
G. A. Hamilton, Incumbent of Wilsden
T. Newbery, Incumbent of Shipley
J. Barber, Incumbent of Bierley Chapel
J. L. Frost, Incumbent of St. John’s, Bowling
P. Bronte, Incumbent of Haworth
J. Bourne, Incumbent of St. Paul’s, Wibsey
G. Thomas, Incumbent of Thornton
J. C. Boddington, Incumbent of Horton

It is interesting to see who were the ministers of the churches in Bradford at this time – the Anglican Churches.

The phrase ‘Females as well as others’ is a little odd. Who are the ‘others’? 1843 is a little early for ‘transgenders’!

The appearance of Patrick, father of the famous Brontë sisters, and ‘Socialists’ in the same 1842 document is also a surprise; it got me wondering when the phrase ‘socialist’ was first used.

The Rev. Dr. Scoresby was a renowned scientist and explorer before coming to Bradford. He was Vicar from 1839 to 1847. He did not have an easy time.


jnd197 14b 001William Scoresby 001

Neglected Bradford industries: Coal mining

Bradford is famous for spinning and weaving but textile production was only one of a group of important industries which ‘Worstedopolis’ supported.  Since several are now almost forgotten by contemporary citizens I should like to draw attention to those which seem unreasonably neglected, in a series of short articles.

Bradford lies on the northern edge of the great Yorkshire & Nottinghamshire coal field. The solid rocks under the city, called the ‘Coal Measures’, were laid down on top of the Millstone Grit in the Carboniferous geological period around 320 million years ago. In the Carboniferous ‘Bradford’ was near the equator and must have witnessed episodes of luxuriant tropical fern and horsetail growth, together with muddy coastal lagoons, vast debris deposits from a river delta, and occasional incursions of the sea. A little like the Florida Everglades today perhaps. The rocks created in this way resemble a pile of sponge cakes cut in half and consisting of layers of grey mudstone, sandstones, coal and fireclay. All these minerals once had a commercial value. The remains of many living creatures survive in mudstones or sandstones.  Cliffe Castle Museum, Keighley has an important collection of such fossils.

If you examine any portion of the first Ordnance Survey map of Bradford, surveyed in the late 1840s, you will see collieries, coal pits and ‘old pits’ scattered everywhere. Coal production was clearly a huge industry and in the 1860s Bradford produced as much of the mineral as Barnsley. In addition to a domestic supply coal was needed for coke manufacture, town gas production, and to power many hundreds of the Borough’s steam engines. It would have fuelled industries such as brick-making and lime-burning which will be examined in future articles. Coal was brought into the town centre and sold from staithes, this being a place adjacent to a highway from which merchants could collect a supply for subsequent delivery to their customers.

02 Image A

This 200 year old map of east Bradford shows the position of two coal staithes. The date is probably around 1825 since Leeds Road is labelled as ‘New Road’.

In this map one staithe is clearly marked J.S. & Co. This must represent John Sturges (or Sturgess) & Co., which was the company that operated Bowling Iron Works. The ‘new rail road’ drawn is in fact a mineral carrying tramway bringing coal in trucks to the Eastbrook staithe, by rope haulage. There is second coal staithe (or stay) at the junction of Well Street and Hall Ings. This is evidently operated by J.J. & Co. who I cannot yet identify. There were staithes adjacent to the canal basin and the bulk transport of coal was very much in the minds of the first canal promoters.

In north Bradford the coal mined was largely from the Hard Bed, Soft Bed and 36-Yard seams which are the deepest in the Coal Measures. As you move up the Aire Valley from Bingley towards Keighley there were a further set of collieries based on even deeper seams of coal in the underlying Millstone Grit series of rocks. Coal mining in north Bradford may have been very extensive, but the coal seams were thin and relatively unproductive.  At the better capitalised late 18th and 19th century south Bradford pits mineral tramways took at least 50% of the coal mined to supply fuel for the profitable blast furnaces at Bowling and Low Moor. Here thicker seams, higher in the Coal Measures series, were exploited. Ironstone and coal were removed from the Black Bed and, underneath this, the Better Bed provided coal low in sulphur and phosphorus, ideal for coke fuelled iron smelting. Most old mine workings are now concealed by urban development but even today walks in Heaton or Northcliffe Woods, or on Baildon Moor, will reveal unmistakable evidence of a mining landscape.

02 Image B

One of the many capped colliery shafts on Baildon Moor.

It is likely that the Romans exploited coal in Britain and there were certainly medieval collieries in northern England. I know of good historical evidence for mining in Baildon, Heaton, Shipley, Frizinghall, and Eccleshill in the early 17th century but the Bradford industry is almost certain to have been older, and more widespread. As an example of the evidence there are a series of West Yorkshire Deeds, published in 1931 by the Bradford Historical & Antiquarian Society,  and available in the Local Studies Library. One deed reveals that in 1684 Ellen Robinson conveyed her ‘Coles, mynes, seames and quarries of cole’ near a place called Mooreside. Would this be the Moorside, Eccleshill where the Industrial Museum is now situated? Remarkably the rent required of William Rawson, yeoman of Bowling, is ‘one red rose yearly’. Was a ‘rose rent’ effectively a way of giving the beneficiary, a relative perhaps, all the income from a parcel of land while not transferring its title of ownership? The colour of the rose is rather surprising if the parties involved were both from Yorkshire.

The earliest mining described by Bradford historian William Cudworth was a little later in 1699 when about twenty freeholders of Bolton entered into a mutual agreement for ‘getting’ coal in that township. The rights to the coal were generally vested in the landowner but a Lord of the Manor retained rights to coal under common land or ‘wastes’. The most frequent way of reaching coal seams was by means of shafts sunk from the surface. Once a shaft was in place the miners created galleries from which the coal was actually removed, with pillars of mineral being left to support the gallery roof. This technique is often called ‘pillar and stall’ mining with the stall (or bord) being the place in which the miners worked at a coal face. Because of these unmined pillars the ‘take’ of coal from a seam may have been as little as 60%. Traditionally coal was not mined under churches, nor the mine-owner’s house!

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A beautiful colliery plan from the  reserve map collection showing  pillar & stall mining below Old Allen Common, Wilsden.

As well a shaft to access the galleries a second ventilation shaft was often sunk. When a colliery was working active men were needed as ‘getters’ to hew the coal. If the seams were thin this must have been undertaken in a lying or kneeling position illuminated only by flickering candlelight. Hewed coal was then conveyed in wicker baskets, called corves, by ‘hurriers’ to the shaft bottom from which it could be wound up to the surface by ‘gins’ of various types. Where the topography was favourable seams could also be approached by driving in roughly horizontal tunnels, called inclines, drifts, or ‘day-holes’. Local mining by both methods is well recorded. For Wilsden, for example, there are maps held by both West Yorkshire Archives (Bradford) and the LSL. The Archives have a plan (WYB346 1222 B16) of Old Allen Common in Wilsden including all its collieries. This was ‘made for the purpose of ascertaining the best method of leasing the coal’ by Joseph Fox, surveyor, in 1829. It shows the area where Edward Ferrand, as Lord of the Manor, had mineral rights over common land.

The name ‘bell pit’ is commonly encountered in accounts of early mining. In this method a short shaft was sunk down to a seam and its base was then expanded as the mineral was removed, creating a bell-like profile. When unsafe, because of potential roof collapse, the bell was abandoned and a new shaft sunk nearby. Each bell was filled in turn by waste dug out of its successor. I feel that if shafts were connected underground, or were drained by a passage to the exterior (called an adit or sough), or had some means of providing fresh air for its miners, it seems misleading to call such arrangements ‘bell pits’. ‘Shallow shaft mining’ is perhaps to be preferred which covers all these possibilities.

If you want to explore local coal mining further I would suggest:

J.V. Stephens et al., Geology of the country between Bradford and Skipton, HMSO, 1953. This is essential reading for geological background to any extractive industry.

Richardson, A Geography of Bradford, University of Bradford (1976). This work provides a gentle introduction to mining as it also does to Bradford’s development.

M.C. Gill, Keighley Coal, NMRS, 2004. A most detailed study by an eminent mining authority.

D.J. Barker & T. Woods, Cash from the Coal Measures: the Extractive Industries of Nineteenth Century Shipley.  Bradford Antiquary, (2013) 3rd series, 17, 17-36.


Derek Barker, Local Studies Library Volunteer





Keighley Local Studies Library: Branwell Brontë

BBKeighley Local Studies Library holds a nationally important collection of books and articles on the Brontë family, Society and Museum.

This year marks 200 years since the birth of Patrick Branwell Brontë, the brother of the Brontë sisters. To summarise the life of any of the Brontë children is to put in stark relief the struggles faced by these talented young adults with little money and few connections, trying to make a living from the few employment opportunities available in any early nineteenth century Yorkshire town. The subsequent toll on their brilliance and creativity, necessarily frustrated by having to pursue work beyond their scope of interest, their subsequent lack of time, inhospitable surroundings and health concerns, led to thwarted ambition in all cases but, in that of Branwell, to the ultimate early destruction of body, mind and spirit.

The following is a short summary of Branwell’s tragic life, highlighting some of the publications and resources available for further study in Keighley Library’s newly extended Brontë collection.

Patrick Branwell Brontë was born in Thornton on the 26th June 1817, fourth child and only son of Patrick and Maria. Largely educated in the classics by his father, he was soon making his own contributions to the Glasstown/Angrian saga and became an early avid reader of Blackwood’s magazine of satire, political commentary, prose stories, book reviews, pictures and poetry. In fact, Branwell pursued literary publication throughout his life, experimenting with all forms of the written word but was especially successful with poetry which was published in newspapers of the time.

Branwell also received art and music lessons locally. He showed early promise as a painter and received lessons from John Bradley, a founder of Keighley’s Mechanics’ Institute and William Robinson, a professional Leeds portrait painter. In 1836, in pursuit of a career as a painter, he went to study at the Royal Academy schools with letters of introduction from Robinson. He returned after a few days, penniless, however, apparently having got no further than The Castle Tavern at Holborn.

Branwell took early music lessons from Keighley’s parish organist, Abraham Sunderland, and eventually played the church organ, though he seemed to prefer the after service entertainments in the Black Bull to more serious spiritual contemplation. However, one should always remember that he was hardly out of his teens at this time (1836-1838). Branwell frequently sought out the company of John Brown, Church sexton, in the neighbouring Black Bull pub and here his conversation was known to be entertaining and witty. He also became a Freemason and secretary in the local lodge.

Between 1838-1839, Branwell became a portrait painter in Bradford, but apparently only got sufficient commissions to cover his basic costs. For the professional challenges he faced in terms of established competition, please see Juliet Barker’s The Brontës, (Abacus, 2010), p.354. He returned home but in 1840 became teacher to the sons of Mr Postlethwaite of Broughton-in-Furness. He continued to write poetry. He was dismissed in June 1840 and recent researchers have speculated that it was perhaps for fathering a child out of wedlock.

Following this dismissal, Branwell became Clerk on the Leeds and Manchester Railway, first at Sowerby Bridge, then Luddenden Foot but following the theft of money by an employee in Branwell’s charge, he was dismissed in March 1842. Nevertheless, this period had been a creative one with the publication of poetry in the Halifax Guardian and he had made a lifelong friend in Francis Grundy, to whom we owe one of the few thoughtful descriptions of Branwell’s character by a personal friend of his own.

Between December 1842 -1845, Branwell was tutor to the Robinson family of Thorp Green, York but, in June 1845, he was dismissed, this time thought to be as a result of an affair with Mrs Robinson.

After this dismissal, Branwell attempted to find another job, wrote more poetry and attempted to write a novel, based on his earlier Angrian writings. Mrs Robinson’s husband died in 1848 but Branwell was unable to forge any kind of a reconciliation with her and his health declined at home rapidly. Branwell died on 24th September 1848, just 31 years old. His death certificate stated death due to, ‘Marasmus’ which is ‘physically wasting away’, The Brontës by Juliet Barker, 92, p1093.

Select Bibliography of books and articles relating to Branwell Brontë at Keighley Local Studies Library


  • Branwell Brontë by Winifred Gérin (Hutchinson & Co (Publishers) Ltd, 1961)
  • The Infernal World of Branwell Brontë by Daphne Du Maurier (Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1960)
  • The Brontë Family with special reference to Patrick Branwell Brontë by Francis A. Leyland (Hurst & Blackett 1886)
  • Pictures of the past: Memories of men I have met and places I have seen by Francis H. Grundy (Griffith and Farran, 1879)


Many articles have appeared in the Brontë Society Transactions from 1895, including subjects such as Branwell and his connections to the Freemasons, and his possible contribution to Wuthering Heights as well as discussions on his letters and works and life generally. For a full list of articles, please ask to see the index. Keighley Library has a near complete run to date of the Transactions, available for reference.

Brontë Scrapbooks of news cuttings are updated regularly in Keighley Local Studies Library.  They are indexed and include articles and news reports from local newspapers and magazines covering all the latest research, Parsonage Museum acquisitions, film, theatre, radio and television productions.

Works of Branwell Brontë


  • Brother in the Shadow, Stories & Sketches by Patrick A Branwell Brontë, Research and Transcriptions by Mary Butterfield, Selection and Editing by R.J. Duckett (Bradford Libraries, 1988)

In 2017, Keighley Library should acquire new publications of Branwell’s letters and works.

Art works

Books in Keighley Library that show Branwell’s art works most clearly and comprehensively:

  • The Art of the Brontës by Christine Alexander and Jane Sellar (Cambridge University Press, 1995) shows the most comprehensive collection of works, for reference only.
  • The Brontës and their World by Phyllis Bentley (Book Club Associates by arrangement with Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1972)
  • The Brontës by Juliet Barker, photograph of the lost oil painting of sisters with Branwell, ‘gun’ portrait, plate 16.

Portraits of friends and places frequented

William Robinson of Leeds from a self-portrait, Branwell Brontë (Winifred Gerin), plate 7
John Brown, Haworth sexton and Hartley Colderidge, Joseph Bentley Leyland of Halifax, sculptor, one of Branwell’s closest friends; The Black Bull, Haworth photo in the Brontës’ day; Lord Nelson Inn and Luddenden Inn, all in The Brontës and Their World (Phyllis Bentley).

National & Local Archive Collections

Search for Branwell Brontë for a comprehensive listing.

Haworth Parsonage’s Museum and Library holds amongst other items the Bonnell Collection. Henry Houston Bonnell was a life member of the Brontë Society and collected Brontë material from the 1890s. It includes manuscripts, letters and drawings by Branwell Brontë and annotated books owned by the family. Leeds University also has a collection of note:

Please ask staff for the catalogue and new information booklet.

Download the factsheet here.


Book Review – Windyridge: A Classic Yorkshire Novel

Windyridge: A Classic Yorkshire Novel by Willie Riley; with a new introduction by David M. Copeland. Northern Heritage Publications, 2010. 62 + 245 pp. ISBN 978-1-906600-18-1 pbk; 978-1-906600-34-1 hdbk.

Available at Bradford Libraries


Windyridge was a sensation when first published in 1912. Written as a story told to two motherless girls he and his wife had befriended, they badgered him to send the script to a publisher. This he did, and struck lucky, very lucky. Featuring a cast of Yorkshire characters as well as locations based on real West Yorkshire moors and villages, Windyridge sold some half a million copies, remaining in print until 1961, with Riley becoming a household name.

This iconic novel has now been reprinted in an elegantly produced edition with a new introduction by Riley scholar, David Copeland, giving an account of the author’s life. Riley’s text has been reproduced in its entirety, including the photographs of the Yorkshire landscape that appeared in the original book.

When the book was published in 1912, Riley had been Managing Director for fourteen years of the Bradford-based firm of Riley Brothers Ltd., an innovative company hiring and selling optical lantern slides and the associated equipment, including an international mail order business.  This activity was but part of the family business activities, all of which had been established by Willie’s father, Joseph, who had gone into business on his own account as a stuff merchant.  Riley junior was also a major figure in northern Methodism, being an active and sought-after local preacher, as well as a popular speaker on a variety of subjects.  He had never intended to become an author, and although not writing his first, Windyridge, until he was 46, by the end of his life in 1961 he had written a total of 39 books, selling a total of over a million copies.

The storyline is simple and straightforward: Grace Holden, a single lady of thirty-four, left London where she worked, and rented a cottage in ‘Windyridge’ (based on Hawksworth) to experience the country life and ways of a small Yorkshire community. Grace gets to know the district, including the nearby communities of Marsland (Baildon), Fawkshill (Guiseley), Romanton (Ilkley), the cities of Airelee (Leeds) and Broadbeck (Bradford), and the famous Uncle Ned’s inn (Dick Hudson’s).  The tone of the novel is homely and positive, with a strong Christian ethos.  Windyridge was followed at almost yearly intervals by books in similar vein.

Copeland’s extensive 62-page introduction is based on his Master’s thesis for Bradford University. It covers the genesis of the story; the importance of location and Riley’s pen-portraits; an extensive account of the reviews and the reception of the novel; the innovative marketing of Windyridge by publisher Herbert Jenkins (whose first book it was); the consequences for the village of Hawksworth; Riley’s early history and his career change on joining the literary world; his family life and his later years.  I would have welcomed a list of Riley’s other books and something about them, perhaps at the expense of the numerous reviews of Windyridge, but we welcome back into the public domain this popular author, and hope for more Riley reprints.

Bob Duckett

Review reprinted from the Bradford Antiquary, 2016, courtesy of the Bradford Historical and Antiquarian Society.


Bradford: My City

Bradford Libraries

Bradford; My City

Art Exhibition in Bradford Local Studies library

June 1st – 21st

Bradford Local Studies library is pleased to host a pop up exhibition of original artwork throughout June.

The exhibition ‘Bradford; My City’ is organised and curated by local artist Carmen Brown and will include a mixture of visual art from a variety of artists representing Bradford’s history, heritage and inhabitants.

Meet the artists at the launch event on Thursday 1st June in Bradford Local Studies library. Drop in any time between 4pm and 7pm.

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Map of the Week: Eccleshill – coal, iron, and waving wheat.

The ancient township of Eccleshill is well represented in the Local Studies Library reserve map collection, although many of the maps are in poor condition. The following images are details which I have enhanced to make them more visible. It is hard to believe today but the whole of Eccleshill was once mined for coal, with mining features commonly being seen on nineteenth century maps of the district. The seams that could be accessed included the Hard and Soft Beds (sometimes called the Upper and Lower Beds) which were widely exploited all over the north Bradford area. Above these in the geological sequence was the important vein of sandstone called the Elland Flags, which was extensively quarried. The well-known George Vint, with his various partners, owned quarries in nearby Idle extracting this valuable rock. Modern geology maps suggest that the centre of Eccleshill was high enough to include the Better Bed coal and fire-clay seams, positioned above the Elland Flags. The Better Bed was also extensively mined as coking coal in south Bradford for the iron-smelting industry at Bowling and Low Moor. William Cudworth, in his account of Eccleshill, mentions the Better Bed, and also an associated fire-clay and brick making industry based at Manor Potteries in Eccleshill.


Click on map to enlarge

The first map shows the township field names with buildings and the names of their occupiers. At the bottom right is Eccleshill Hall built in 1713 and the home of the Stanhope (later Stott-Stanhope) family. As far as I know Lt.-Col. George Stott-Stanhope was the last family member to actually live there. He was a large landowner whose name frequently appears in local maps. He died in 1874 and the hall was demolished in 1878. Slightly to the left you should be able to make out the name J.A. Jowett. This was James Atkinson-Jowett (1817-1886) of the Clockhouse Estate, Manningham. The Clockhouse name survives as one of the Bradford Boys’ Grammar School buildings. James Atkinson-Jowett was the son of Nathan Atkinson-Jowett. Both men changed their surname from plain Atkinson in the 1860s in order to claim the large Jowett property inheritance. The field names are not likely to be easily visible but include: Windmill Field and Tenter Croft. A tenter croft, or ground, was an area used for drying newly woven woollens after fulling. The wet cloth was attached to frames called tenters by means of, naturally, tenter-hooks. Town Street, today called Victoria Road, divides at Bank Top into Norman Lane and Eccleshill Bank, named the ‘Old Turnpike Road’ in early maps. This division is very helpful in orientation, with portions of Eccleshill Bank being included in all the maps included here.

The second, rather clearer, map enables us to examine the northern part of Eccleshill. It is obvious that a planned street grid has been superimposed on an older map but I do not think that all those roads were actually constructed. On the right side of the map a railway line has appeared. The Eccleshill & Idle Railway was incorporated in 1866 and was assimilated into the GNR Laisterdyke to Shipley line. Eccleshill Station was closed to passengers in 1931. A land-owner whose name appears approximately in the centre of the map is described as the ‘late John Mitchell’. Eccleshill historian Ken Kenzie told me that John or Jonathan Mitchell was a coal merchant who once lived at Eccleshill Bank. He was clearly a big man in Eccleshill mining and, among others, ran Park Pits which were sold off in 1860 when he was in his 70s. On the map above his surname you may be able to make out the location of ‘Eccleshill Worsted Mill Company’ and above this, and to the left, ‘Engine Pit’. The enterprises of John Mitchell are well represented in the Local Studies map collection.


Click on map to enlarge

The third image is taken from a plan dated 1847 and described as ‘coals leased to Mr John Mitchell, surveyed by Ingle & Smith’. Once again you can see Eccleshill Bank and the fine line grid above it represents underground mine galleries. I presume these were entered from the Engine Pit shaft. Elsewhere the map reveals extensive coal mining to the south-west of the township.


Click on map to enlarge

The final map is the oldest and most damaged. In one area I can identify George Baron as a landowner. George Baron, of Drewton in the Wolds, was an earlier possessor of the Clockhouse Estate than the Atkinson-Jowetts. He inherited the estate from Sarah, last of the original Jowett family, and died in 1854. The West Yorkshire Archives (Bradford) has a huge collection of Jowett family documents (10D76/3/190). In box 6 of these is a lease dated 1842: ‘George Baron to John Mitchell, Eccleshill’. This document is a 28 year lease of Upper Bed and Lower Bed coals in the area of Greengates, Eccleshill. The price seems to be £60 per acre. This is somewhat north of the area discussed so far, but Greengates and Apperley Bridge were traditionally considered to be part of Eccleshill.



Click on map to enlarge

The short horizontal trackway at the top of the last map is called Green Lane. It joins a bridleway which is now Carr Bottom Lane. We have moved west since the curved roadway at the top left, marked Otley, is the far end of Eccleshill Bank where it joins the Dudley Hill & Killinghall turnpike. A number of coal shafts are present on the first OS map of the area (which is of approximately the same date) together with a limekiln at the end of the short track leading to Wheat Close. I’m not sure if these are drawn here or not since the script is so hard to read. What fascinates me about this map are the field names themselves. At the bottom right you may be able to make out Wheat Close and, below this, Cinder Hills. Today it is hard to imagine ripe wheat being harvested in Eccleshill although we have already mentioned Windmill Field which suggests subsequent grain processing. Cinder Hills is a name normally associated with heaps of iron-making slag. Pre-Industrial iron making has been suggested in other townships which now form part of Bradford: Harden, Baildon and Bierley for example. Faull & Moorhouse (West Yorkshire Survey to AD 1500) speculated that Eccleshill should join this list on the basis of two areas called ‘Cinderhills’ in old township maps.


Derek Barker, Local Studies Library Volunteer


JND 193/21 (Please quote this number if requesting this item)

GARRETT, Rev. Charles. “Take the Safest Path, for I am following you”. Bradford Temperance Society New Year’s Tract.
Scottish Temperance League Monthly Pictorial Tract. 1881? 4 pages.

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“I beseech the readers to realize the tremendous power which they possess and to resolve by God’s help to tread the path of abstinence, if for no other reason, because the children are following them.”

The Temperance movement was huge in late Victorian Britain. The striking illustration on the front page of this tract was inspired by a holiday in North Wales taken by the author of this tract, the Rev. Charles Garrett of Liverpool, ex-President of the Wesleyan Conference.  Although it may be hard to resist the temptation to drink alcohol, like climbing a mountain, it should be done for the sake of our children, and others, who are following you.  And of course, to take the ‘safest path’.

This New Year’s tract was, as we now say, syndicated.  Presumably the Bradford Temperance Society subscribed to copies of the Monthly Pictorial Tracts produced by the Scottish Temperance League, and then sent to its members.