Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rev. John & Susannah (Sewell) Allason

John & Sarah (Stevenson) Allason

The father of Rev John Allason was also a John Allason, born 1747 and died March 1830 in Lartington, North Yorkshire at the age of 83.  He married Sarah Stevenson on 24 May 1770 in Romaldkirk Parish Church.  They had a large family including:
John Allason born about 1774 in Cotherstone in the Parish of Romaldkirk, Yorkshire.
Ann Allason baptised 16 June 1778, married George Bewick 5 June 1799.
Ephraim Allason baptised 15 February 1780, married Ann Sayer 29 November 1805.
Moses Allason baptised 23 October 1781, married Ann Dent 10 November 1812.
Sarah Allason baptised 23 February 1784, married Martin White 21 May 1801.
Isaac Allason baptised 28 November 1785, married Jane Head 15 June 1795.
Stephen Allason baptised 25 October 1790, buried 6 August 1829.
Mary Allason baptised 14 June 1798, buried 21 August 1806.

Baptisms all took place in Cotherstone Independent Church.
Ann, Ephraim, Moses and Sarah were all married in Romaldkirk Parish Church.
Isaac and Jane married at St Michael's, Workington, Cumberland.
Stephen and Mary were buried at Romaldkirk Parish Church.

John & Susannah (Sewell) Allason
John Allason was born about 1774 in Cotherstone, North Yorkshire and died 4 April 1836 in Low Row, Swaledale, North Yorkshire at the age of 62 years. 
Susannah Sewell was born about 1787 in Uppingham, Rutland and died 14 October 1830 in Low Row, Swaledale, North Yorkshire at nearly 43 years of age.
John Allason and Susannah Sewell married on 21 February 1804 in Uppingham, Rutland, England.

Together John and Susannah Allason had 8 children:
Ann Allason was born & baptised in 1804 in Uppington and died 19 January 1829, aged 24 years.
John Allason born 9 August 1808, baptised 2 October 1808, died 10 October 1834, aged 26 years.
Sarah Allason born 11 June 1812, baptised 26 July 1812, died 20 April 1828, aged 16 years.
Susannah Allason born 4 August 1814, baptised 4 September 1814, died 14 February 1830, aged 16.
Rebecca Allason born 11 October 1816, baptised 1 December 1816, buried 2 October 1845. Rebecca married Adam Barker.
Edward Allason born 18 May 1819, baptised 20 June 1819. Edward married Elizabeth Davidson nee Naisbett on 16 January 1843 in Tasmania. He died 25 November 1888 in Launceston, Australia.
Aaron Allason baptised 26 March 1823.
Ann Allason born 5 April 1830, baptised 30 May 1830, died 20 October 1830, aged 7 months.

John Allason grew up in a Nonconformist family which belonged to an Independent Church.  He attended Homerton College, then situated in High Street, Hometon, East London. After finishing his training  he moved to Rutland where he became the minister of Uppingham Congregational Church (founded in 1700). He was in Uppington from January 1802 to the end of 1806. Since the course at Homerton usually took 6 years, we can assume John travelled south to College in 1795 at the age of 21 years. It was in Uppingham that John met his wife to be, Susannah Sewell and married her on 21 February 1804 before she had turned 16 years old. John was 30 when he married.

In 1807 Rev John Allason arrived in Swaledale, initially to serve as assistant to the Rev David Simpson whose health was beginning to fail.  David Simpson died in 1808, whereupon Rev John Allason assumed sole responsibility for the ministry at Smarber Chapel and subsequently the new chapel at Low Row. He started the day school, and by 1833 there were 20 boys and 6 girls in this school but most of the 50 Pounds left by Rev David Simpson to pay a schoolomaster had to be spent on debts on the building.

John and Susannah Allason had eight children but tragically only three survived to mature adult life.  Susannah herself died in 1834 aged 43 years and John Allason died in 1836 aged 62 years. There is a monument to the Allason family on the wall of the present church. 
It reads:
This monument is a tribute of affection and regret and records the names of persons interred below.
Mrs Susannah Allason who was near 27 years the amiable wife of the Minister of this Chapel.  She died Oct 14th 1830 aged near 43 years.
Ann her eldest daughter died Jan 19th 1829 aged 24 years.
Sarah second daughter died April 20th 1828 aged 16 years.
Susanna third daughter died Feb 14th 1830 aged near 16 years.
Ann the eighth child was buried with her mother aged 7 months.
John the eldest son died Oct 10th 1834 aged 26 years.
The Rev J Allason who was thirty years Minister of this Chapel. Died April 4th 1836 aged 62 years.

This Monument is a tribute of affection and regret with the names of persons interred below.

Extracts from Low Row Congregational Church Book 

15 November 1807   John Allason co-minister.
22 March       1808   Rev David Simpson buried at Smarber Hall Chapel near his wife Lydia. 
2 October       1808   John Allason, born 9 August 1808, baptised by Rev John Allason at Smarber.
27 September 1810   New Chapel registered in Consistory Court of Archdeaconry of Richmond.
5 September   1811   Rev John Allason ordained minister at Low Row Chapel.
26 July           1812   Sarah Allason, born 11 June 1812, baptised by Rev John Allason.
4 September   1814   Susannah Allason, born 4 August 1814, baptised by Rev John Allason.
1 December    1816   Rebecca Allason, born 17 October 1816, baptised by Rev John Allason.
20 June           1819   Edward Allason, born 18 May 1819, baptised by Rev John Allason.
26 March        1823   Aaron Allason, baptised 26 March 1823 by Rev John Allason.
24 April          1828   Rev John Allason buried his daughter Sarah, aged 16 years.
25 January      1829   Rev John Allason buried his daughter Ann, aged 24 years.
18 February    1830   Rev John Allason buried his daughter Susannah Allason, aged 16 years.
30 May           1830   Ann Allason, born 5 April 1830, baptised by Rev John Allason.
13 October     1834    Rev John Allason buried his son John, aged 27 years.
4 April            1836    Rev John Allason buried with his family, aged 62 years.
27 May           1838    John, son of Adam & Rebacca Barker of Feetham, born 22 March, baptised.

Peter and Joy Olney visited Low Row Reformed Church in 2007.  We arrived on a Sunday morning while the service was being held.  We snuck into the back row while the Minister had his head down praying. As he looked up he noticed that visitors had arrived.  (There were only about 15 in the congregation so it was not hard to notice visitors).  I stood up, pointed to the large plaque on the wall, and quite emotionally introduced myself as "the great great great grand daughter of Rev John Allason who came to this Church in 1807, two hundred years ago, and I have travelled all the way from Australia to be here today". Everyone was quite moved.

Interior of Low Row United Reformed Church with the Memorial Plaque to Rev John Allason and his family onthe wall.

Interior of Low Row United Reformed Church in 2007 (front view)

Interior Low Row United Reformed Church in 2007 when Joy & Peter Olney visited (Rear view).

Peter & Joy visited Low Row United Reformed Church on 2 September 2007.

The Parsonage at Low Row, built in 1850's, so Rev John Allason and his family did not live here.

Life in North Yorkshire was very difficult.  The lead mines were failing and people were becoming destitute. Typhus and Consumption were prevalent and John Allason's family suffered greatly. 

The three children that survived to adulthood were Rebecca, Edward and Aaron Allason.

Aaron was a Draper's Assistant in 1841 Census, Rutland, Uppingham District, England.
Edward was a Tailor & Draper in 1841 Census, Barnard Castle, Durham, England.  

After the deaths of five siblings  and their parents between 1828 and 1836, it is no wonder that  Edward and Aaron Allason decided to emigrate to Australia on the barque "George", arriving in Hobart Town on 7 November 1842. 

I have no knowledge of what happened to Aaron between 1842 & 1848 but he died on 14 May 1848.
Undertaker states Aaron died on 14 May 1848, cause of death "Apoplexy" or stroke at 23 years. Coroner states Aaron died on 14 May 1848, cause of death "by the visitation of God from the effects of delinim tremins" or psychosis caused by alcoholism on 14 May 1848 at 25 years, in Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. There is a slight difference of opinion which adds confusion some 180 years later!

I have discovered that Edward Allason and Alice Milestone has an illegitimate son in 1839.
John Milestone Allison was born 1839 in Leyburn, Yorkshire. In October 1841, when he was 2, his mother Alice died.  John was brought up by his mother's 2 maiden sisters - Ann and Elizabeth Milestone. Edward Allason came to Tasmania with his younger brother Aaron Allason on 7 November 1842, never to see his son again.
John Milestone Allison married Emma Simpson (born 1842) on 3 March 1862 and they had 3 children - Alice Allason born 1863, Emily Allason born 1864 and John Edward Allason born 1869, the year his father died.
Edward Allason married Elizabeth Davidson nee Aisbett/Naisbett, the widow of William Davidson on 16 January 1843 in Hobart, Australia. Refer to another post for more detail on Edward Allason as I am a descendant of Edward. Also take a look at my Davidson Family Archives blog.

Rebecca Allason (17 October 1816 - 28 September 1845) married Adam Barker (1807-1871) on 3 July 1836 and they had 4 children:
John Barker - Born 1838 in Feetham and died 1900.
Robert Barker - Born 1840 in Feetham and died 1863.
Susannah Barker - (1842 - 1907) Born in Feetham and married Isaac Johnson Liddle (1834-1921).
Adam Barker - Born 1844 in Thistlenest, Crackpot and died 1868.

Rebecca Allason died from "Consumption" on 28 September 1845 at Crackpotside, Griton at 28 years of age, leaving 4 very young children.

Adam Barker married wife No2. Hannah Lazenby (born 1861) and they had 3 children:
Eleanor Barker 1849-1870.
Samuel Barker 1850-?
Mercy 1853-1857.

The first Adam Barker came from Derbyshire in 1681 after the death of his brother Robert, to manage the local lead mines.  Robert had made a partnership agreement with Philip Lord Wharton, Lord of the Manor of Healaugh. Adam Barker was one of the Trustees for the land which funded the construction of Smarber Chapel.

Adam Barker (1807-1871) came to live at "The Rookery" at Healaugh (after Rebecca's death) with his 2nd wife Hannah and their children. There has been about 8 generations of Barkers living at "The Rookery" which is probably a seventeenth century house and built before the Barkers settled in Healaugh.

In 2007 Peter and Joy Olney visited the present owners, Lawrence and Sheila Barker at "The Rookery" in Healaugh.  Sheila gave Joy a leaf off  the 300 year old Bay Tree behind us in the photo.

Peter & Joy Olney visited Lawrence & Sheila Barker at "The Rookery " in Healaugh in 2007.

Bonnet made by Rebecca Barker (nee Allason) for her first child John born 1838.

Grandfather clock - a Barker heirloom.

Top left is Adam Barker 1807-1871, top right is Hannah Barker born 1861, middle aged man in top hat is John born 1838 & Adam's son, young man is Robert born 1840, young lady is Susannah after she married Isaac Liddle.

A number of John Allason's letters have survived showing him to have had a keen interest in and knowledge of local dissenting church history, to have often been in poor health because of consumption and lumbago, and to have often been seeking to improve his low income with applications for various grants and charities.  At the same time he generously sent gifts of grouse and cheese to his benefactors.  Those letters are documented under a separate Post.

The small village of Low Row

Cows in Low Row

Low Row Village

Old Methodist Church in Low Row

Old Dairy at Low Row.

Swaledale is within Yorkshie Dales National Park.

Swaledale is within Yorkshire Dales National Park.

Swaledale is within Yorkshire Dales National Park.

nearby Reeth United Reformed Church

If you have any comments or corrections, please contact the author Joy Olney by email:

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Letters from John Allason to Joshua Wilson 1811 - 1835 

A number of John Allason's letters have survived showing him to have had a keen interest in and knowledge of local dissenting church history, to have often been in poor health because of consumption and lumbago, and to have often been seeking to improve his low income with applications for various grants and charities.  At the same time he gererously sent gifts of grouse and pheasants to his benefactors.

The letters also give a great personal insight into the sacrifices made by the Allason family as they ministered for the Lord in a very remote area of North Yorkshire moors. Rev John Allason lost his wife and 5 children between 1828 and 1834. He died 4 April 1836.

Extracts of Letters written by Rev John Allason

Extract from “The Evangelical Magazine” (p517f)  5 September 1811

The Rev John Allason was ordained Pastor over the Society of Protestant Dissenters at the new chapel, Low Row, Swaledale in Yorkshire.  Mr Prattman of Barnard Castle commenced the service of the day in the usual manner, delivered an introductory discourse from Acts xiv 23, and asked the questions etc.  Mr C Whitfield of Hamsterly engaged in the ordination prayer with imposition of hands and gave the charge from John xii 26.  Mr A Carnson of Cotherstone prayed.  Mr G Cook of Reeth addressed the people from Rom xv 30 and E Stillman of Keld concluded.

This interest is considered as one of the most ancient among the Dissenters in the north of England and was founded by the pious Philip Lord Wharton, lord of this and neighbouring manors.  His Lordship having been instrumental in adding to the population of this dale by the introduction of a great number of poor and ignorant people, who were employed in the lead mines, and there being no place of worship within six miles, he fitted up a chapel, which was occasionally supplied by his Lordship’s chaplains and afterwards more stately by some of the ejected ministers.  About the year 1690 he gave Smarber Hall Chapel, situated in the centre of a populous neighbourhood, and although it has been enlarged and repaired at different times, yet was become so ruinous and really dangerous to the crowds which of late resorted to it that a new place became absolutely necessary, and the present one was created in 1809 which will accommodate about 500 persons.

The congregation was reduced to the lowest state, and the place shut up during half the year when the present minister was invited in 1806 from Uppingham in Rutland to become assistant to the late minister.  The new chapel is well attended in the summer season but we are sorry to add that in consequence of the great poverty of the people a considerable debt remains upon the place.

The ministers who have successively laboured here were the Rev J Holland who removed, J Taylor died here, J Burgess removed, T Gardner died here, having laboured in the Lord’s work upward of 50 years, J Benn his son-in-law died here, A Meanly removed, D Simpson died in 1808.

Lord Wharton by a deed dated July 12 1692 appropriated an estate near York as a perpetual fund for the purchase of 1050 bibles, with other religious books yearly to be given to the poor children of certain parishes where he had property.

This article is not signed but it is highly likely that is was submitted by John Allason himself.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson, 11 Castle St, Finsbury Square, London 

Dated 26 May 1821.

Sir, I have been dilatory in answering you.  The fact is I have and still am very unwell, of a very dangerous complaint, which will soon kill me ie spitting blood…….

……. Allow me dear Sir to impose a little trouble upon you. Be so kind as to take the enclosed letter to Mr Field of Canonbury whom I presume is a Trustee of the Charity left by the Rev Mr Bearman an Ejected minister.  My predecessor was favoured by donations from the same which is a favour I at this time particularly need – should this not be the identical gentleman you can no doubt make him out or some other of the Trustees of that Charity to whom the letter may be presented.  You can favour me with the result as soon as convenient.  If I can be of any service to you you have only to command your willing servant.

John Allason, Feetham, Swaledale near Richmond, Yorks.


Letter from John Allason to William Field (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/3)

Addressed to Mr Field Esq or any other Trustee of Bearman’s Charity.

Dated 26 May 1821.

………Allow me in a few words to state a case …….. I am for some time assistant minister and afterwards succeeded the Rev David Simpson, Presbyterian minister of congregation in Swaledale, Yorkshire.   Mr Simpson died 22 March 1808 – has been minister here upward of 20 years – his wife Lydia sister of Dr Phillips – she died some years previous to her husband.  They never had any children.

My family consists of 9 persons – youngest son 2 years old – my salary has not averaged more than about 60 Pounds per annum over 14 years. While I have been here much of my time has been devoted to a small school consisting of poor lead miner’s children of which a trifle is obtained and nothing saved as I have many children of my own.

Am sorry to add that most unfortunately I have ruptured a blood vessel by exertion of preaching to numerous Congregation which has materially impaired my constitution and at times endangered my life especially when engaged in “best of causes”. My inadequate income delicate state of health and large family reluctantly compel me to applicate for abidance in my temperorallities.

I am induced to believe that you are the Gentleman who so kindly befriended my predecessor by granting him donations from a Charity at your disposal bequeathed by Rev Mr Bearman many years ago.

…….however small sum may be yet at this time it would be peculiarly reasonable.

John Allason, Feetham in Swaledale.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson Esq 11 Castle Street, Finsbury Square, London.

(Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/7)

Date 11 September 1821

(The main text is about ministers in Stockton)
…… Hope you will see Mr Field and if there is anything for me however trifling it would be a great favour or if at any future period that Gentleman have it in his power to serve me I hope it will for I much need it enjoying but a poor state of health.
Adieu for this time, John Allason.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/8)

Dated 28 December 1821.

(extracts)  Sir, my health of late has been indifferent preventing my writing.  I thank you for the trouble you have taken in seeing Mr Field and will thank you to hand him the letter which you will be so kind as to waxen having left it unsealed for your inspection.  


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/14)

Undated 1823

Sir, Have sent you what in part will yield you some information the bearer a neighbour of mine returns in the course of a few days when you can return the letters and your observations on my last communications.  Does Lord Wharton’s Will mention anything relative to the Charities to poor ministers.  The letters sent came into my possession on the death of our Vicar.  They must be returned as they may be of some use to me.  Pray call upon Mr Field and ask him if he received safe a brace of grouse which I sent him last November as the only acknowledgement I had in my power to make him for his kind present of 2 Guineas thro’ your hands.  Can you lend me the memoirs of the Marquis of Wharton send it per bearers it shall be returned.  I have a wish to send some account of the Bible Charity to be inserted in the Gentleman’s Mag in answer to some queries made last year.  I cannot refer to the page only having borrowed the work.  Such inscription with any query you think proper might drag out some further particular.  What think you of this?  The Congregation Mag I am too poor to take in but sometimes see it – excuse my paper I have no better. 

My health is moderate – my wife has added a 7th child to our family and I remain Dear Sir your willing servant.
John Allason


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/15)

Dated Swaledale November 28 1823

Dear Sir,
I received your last short note with the letters and very acceptable gift of a Sovereign for which I beg my best thanks.  In my last I desired you to take the trouble of calling upon Mr Field and ask whether he received safe and good order a Brace of Grouse which I sent him.  I fear he did not as I never heard from him. You will perhaps have no particular objection to enquire of him if there is any probability of my obtaining a little pecuniary aid from Bearman’s Charity his help and advice should be glad of in this matter you can if you please consult the other Trustees.  The Rev Dr David Simpson my predecessor enjoyed the Charity for many years down to 1806 and he received what is called Extra Benefaction of 5 Pounds from the Presbyterian Fund (last received 1806).  The Yorkshire ministers are not regular recipients of Presy Fund because of Lady Hewley’s Charity which is considered as confined to this county but that is not the case, it is all over England distributed to ministers and those denominated Presy are said to be served in the amplest manner.  Yorkshire ministers are allowed from the Presy Fund, London, what are called Extra Donations which are occasionally or annually voted for there at the instigation of some Member of the Fund Board. In 1805 an Exhibition of 5 Pounds was received by me predecessor being a part of the Rev Hen. Deerman’s Legacy at the disposal of the Presy Fund Board.  Have you no candid feeling acquaintance known of Dr.Rees or any of the members of the Presy Fund Board whom you could interest on my behalf in that quarter – several of my neighbours in less necessatious circumstances than your humble servant manage to obtain occasional benefactions. My income has decreased of late and must suffer much more in consequence of the reduction in value of lands my benefaction from Lady Hewley’s Charity has been reduced 5 Pounds per annum for the above reason. My family consists of 10 persons.  My two oldest I wish to place out as Apprentices.  There outfit will cost me at least 30 Pounds which I have not a prospect of raising without charitable abidance.  None that I know have made more sacrifices or suffered more privations considering my family circumstances than I have done to rescue an ancient decayed cause who had a noble and pious founder from the jaws of perdition. (during the past 17 years my salary has averages about 60 Pounds per annum). Can you give me any particulars relative to Durham ……

Last year in consequence of the decease of the Vicar of this Parish and removal of 2 Curates the returns for Lord Wharton’s Bibles fell into my hands.  I preached the Annual Sermon and have received 10/- for it from the Trustees.  At my request the 60 bibles sent into Swaledale have been divided into three equal parts and have been sent this year one to the Vicar, one to me and another to the Curate of the chapel of ease – this arrangement the church men do not like but they cannot hinder it – at least I hope so.

My health is very indifferent.  I have been much employed these last 3 months in supplying gratuitously a neighbouring congregation 8 miles distant their minister having off collecting for a new place and 2 of my children are under the Doctor.

Am glad to be able to send you a brace of grouse which will cost you more than they are worth hope to have a line from you soon which will oblige your poor suppliant.
John Allason.

Attached with a pin. Side 1.
I lately saw a copy of a return of the Names and Numbers of the Dissenting Congregational Ministers in the County of Durham sent to Wm Smith Esq MP.  I pointed out the deficiencies which will be rectified then a copy should be sent to you.  There are about 20 religious interests in the County, 12 Independent, 7 Baptists, 6 Scotch Presbyterian, and 1 Unitarian in Durham, one place shut up.  An old place in Hartlepool long unused Baptist I believe.

Side 2.
Perhaps you would oblige my numerous and very poor congregation by begging of some of your numerous friends who are members of the Book Society for Promoting Religious Knowledge among the Poor any of the books would be useful here but more particularly Watt’s Psalms and Hymns Catechisms. I could get a friend to call and bring them at Xmas.  My Congregation formerly received donations of books from Dr William’s bequest but I have no friend in that quarter who can put a spoke in my wheel.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/19)

30 Nov 1828

My Dear Sir,
I do not forget the little acquaintance subsisting between us – hence I make an humble effort to keep up our correspondence.  I have sent you a Brace of Grouse with my afflicted daughter had given her by a neighbouring Gent. During the last two years my family has been literally a Hospital on account of Affliction.  My eldest daughter has been a severe sufferer for 2 years of a liver complaint and is now in a very reduced state not likely to survive the winter – my 2nd daughter a fine tall girl died in April after 28 weeks of painful indisposition first in the Typhus fiver and Consumption.  2 others of my child were severe sufferers of the same terrible malady my poor wife is laying this moment in a state of insensibility.  I have in my possession an account of Dr Richard Gilpin from the family, one of his descendants – Lord of the adjoining Manor who recently furnished me with a copy which I will send you shortly.

I remain, dear Sir, yours John Allason, Feetham, Swaledale.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/20)

Dated Swaledale 26 December 1828

My Dear Sir,
I am glad to have an opportunity of sending you the account of Dr.G.  I have an extensive Pedigree of the Gilpin family which if you wish to see I will send you when transcribed.

Please to accept of my best thanks for your highly acceptable pecuniary favour which was received quite unexpectedly but exceedingly opportunely – give my best respects to your venerable and benevolent Father – a thousand thanks for his commiseration to my deeply afflicted family – we are still in the furnace – my poor industrious wife in consequence of her indefatigable labour night and day has been dangerously ill – during more than a week she could not leave her bed – she is thro’ mercy in the way of recovering – my eldest daughter becomes weaker and weaker every day.  For your kind exertions with Mr Procter I feel exceedingly obliged, but I shall not send the requested documents till against the spring meeting of the committee of the Associate Fund lest I be considered as too clamorous.

I have no time to add more at present, then believe me dear Sir,
Your very thankful humble servant,
John Allason, Swaledale, 26 December 1828.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/21)

Dated Swaledale 18 March 1829

My dear sir,
Long protracted and deep domestic woes have kept me at home during the two past years so that I have paid but little attention to the subjects of our correspondence……….

………Perhaps you can obtain a few of the books given away by the Society for Promoting religious knowledge among the poor Tracts which will be exceedingly acceptable in this miserable country.  I saw at Ravenstonedale a copy of Dr Pichies application to the Ld Chancellor at the commencement of the lawsuit………

My eldest daughter finished a life of pain 19th January aged 23 she had been ill upwards of two years – a week after her burial our third daughter was attacked severely and we fear she will fall into a consumption we have had a most distressing house now for a long time and our troubles fall heavier and heavier upon us.

I remain dear Sir your humble servant, John Allason, Swaledale 18 March 1829.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/22)

Dated Swaledale 12 December 1829

My Dear Sir,
Having hastily transcribed the document relating to the Ravenstonedale litigation and having had 2 brace of Grouse sent me – I take the liberty of forwarding them to you who have been a kind friend to me in my troubles.

The hand of the Lord still lies heavy upon my domestic circle – our eldest daughter exchanged worlds in February she survived her next sister 9 months – our 3 daughter has never held up her head since the day of her latter sister’s interment – she is confined to her bed and may put on a few weeks longer.

My industrious wife who is in the family way after a pause of 8 years has been confined to her bed dangerously ill for a week and how her complaint will terminate is hard to say – the Game box may be returned with the Gilpin Pedigree and if you could fill it with a few books that may be useful for Sunday School of which we have one it will be a great favour.  The Box may be left at Mrs Calvert’s Fleet St Ivory Turner addressed to me to the care of Mr Knowles.

I remain Sir yours,
John Allason, Swaledale, 12 December 1829.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/23)

Dated Swaledale 19 March 1830

My Dear Sir,
Having to send our neighbour Mr Procter I have sent you some scraps which may be used as notes to what is recorded relative to the unfortunate Hicks who was a native of this part of the world – I beg my best thanks for the book tracts which I understand are left at Mrs Calverts in Fleet St.  I have requested a friend to forward them hither.

I had a painful office of committing to the grave my third daughter a few weeks ago she was hard by the side of her two elder sisters.  My poor wife is very ill and has been so more than three months – my Father upwards of 83 lies at the point of death my sorrows are many and great which prevent my lengthening my epistle.
John Allason, Swaledale, 19 March 1830.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/24a)

Dated Swaledale 5 November 1830.

Dear Sir,
I hope you will not think me negligent because I have not sooner acknowledged the receipt of the acceptable books and 3 Pounds in gold which you kindly sent me which came safe to hand.

My head, heart and hands have been full since I last wrote to you. My family circle has been increased and decreased – my dear wife was delivered of her 8th child a daughter on the 5th of April. Mother and babe died within a few days of each other and were interred in the same grave together on the 20th of last month. Mrs Allason was near 44 an excellent wife and mother much regretted by all her acquaintances and died full of hope as to a better world. During the short period of two and half years six of my family have sickened and died – my beloved partner to whom I was married when she was under 16 – my aged father upward of 83 and 4 amiable daughters.  My own state of health and that of my two eldest surviving children is very indifferent.  We have a dreary winter to encounter in an inhospitable climate – upwards of 300 people have emigrated from this township during the six month past in search of employment, the poor rates are 2 Pounds per acre upon some of the lands and the greatest distress prevails. 

I am glad to have it in my power to send you 2 Brace of Grouse.  I begged them for you of Mrs Gilpin the Lady of our neighbouring Manor. Please to accept of my best thanks for the money wh was exceedingly acceptable under our expensive sufferings which have been very considerable above my income & have involved me in some debts wh I cannot at present defray without the aid of my friends.

Should you never hear from me again believe me my dear Sir your truly grateful tho’ present sorrowing & suffering humble servant.

John Allason, November 5 1830, Feetham, Swaledale, near Richmond, Yorkshire.


Letter from John Allason to James Gibson Esq, Great St Helen’s, London (Dr Williams Library ref: L/53/3/68/1)

Dated 25 February 1831

Hon Sir,
I received your kind epistle in which you were so good as to permit me to draw upon you for the acceptable sum of 10 Pounds which I have done.  I now beg to return you a thousand thanks for your very opportune favour.  I regret to learn that you are again indisposed.  I can sympathise with you having been a suffered since Christmas.  By over-exertion in preaching I brought on a dangerous complaint to which I have been occasionally subject for 26 years – a spitting of blood which continued two days alarmingly.  I had recourse to Spruce on black beer which I believe relieved me – was next attacked by lumbago so severely as to be unable to walk without the aid of two stick.  Thank God I have been able to discharge my Ministerial labours.

I received a letter the other day from the friends of my dear wife, which says that they were glad to have it in their power to send you something, which they had sent carriage paid, but did not specify what was sent so that I cannot augur what the irregularity was to which you allude in your letter, unless that some part of the contents of the basket had been purloined.

Mrs Allason was a native of Uppingham in Rutland where I married her about 26 years ago.  There her friends reside.  There I ministered about 5 years as successor to Rev Wm Wardup, his being raised to the Classical chair at Wymondley College. My wife’s sister came to see her before she died.  I desired her to end you a Hare or brace of Pheasants or both by some safe hand as I was under very great obligation to you for the pecuniary favours you had sent to our poor suffering family.

During the short space of 27 years our domestic circle has suffered egregiously by Typhus and Consumption.  I have buried my father aged 83 – four daughters- but my most painful bereavement is the death of my dear industrious wife.  She exchanged worlds in a happy frame of mind aged near 43 after being mother of 8 children.  She and her infant 7 months were interred together – a trying scene. 

During the last 6 months upwards of 600 persons have emigrated in all directions out of this township.  They have been literally starved off.  Here is work enough but next to nothing for it.  The Miners dig and delve in the rocks 200 yards below the surface, but if they obtain no Ore they receive nothing for their dangerous toil.  Only 9d a month many have received.  Many have providentially met with employment in the Coal Pits, upon the line of the Stockton railway in the County of Durham where they obtain from 15s to 20s per week.

Have sent you a tasty trifle – a cheese and 3 tongues which I hope will come safe to hand and be acceptable.  My pen cannot describe in adequate terms the gratitude I feel for your commiseration towards me and my poor motherless children.  I beg you to excuse my prolixity & tautology. 

Believe me My Dear Sir, your very thankful but much troubled humble servant.
John Allason.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/25)

Dated Swaledale 10 November 1831

My Dear Sir,
I at length return you my best thanks for the kind and very useful donation of 3 Sovereigns which you sent me last year by Mr Procter’s parcel.  My health and spirits have been indifferent since the loss of my amiable wife.  I have many difficulties to cope with in my family in this poor wretched country out of wh an amazing number of people have necessitated to remove & my eldest son lately among them – he left his distressed parent bought baggage intending to embark for America.  He then married a wife who had engaged to go with him but they shall remain in England.  I am truly sorry to be so circumstanced as to be obliged to apply for help from the Associate Fund – have sent you some Grouse, some scraps & an old book.  I should be glad of a line when convenient. 

I remain yours etc, John Allason


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/26)

Received October 22nd 1832

My Dear Sir,
I have sent you a poor communication with some Grouse also my best thanks for the Sovereign & book you so kindly sent me by Mr Procter’s parcel.  My state of health is very imperfect – I fancy I shall not be much longer in this vale of tears.  I have 4 poor motherless children to leave behind me which troubles me much.

My eldest son by an accident received a confusion on the head wh has affected his brain & I fear rendered him useless.  This has been a source of much trouble & expense to me wh is likely to continue

Some of the ministers in this part of England suffer egregiously by the suspension of Lady Hewley’s charity.  Some of them are obliged to go round the country as Mendicants, a neighbour of mine is come to London to beg and being acquainted with Lord Brougham means to hear from this charity that truly philandthropic institution. The Associate Fund assisted some of us in our distresses, am sorry to say have withdrawn their charity from the North this altogether with the want of Lady H’s bounty  places us very awkwardly not knowing wh way to turn ourselves – near half the population of this neighbourhood are forced to to seek work & bread & such as remain are generally miserably poor, shall be glad to hear from you & it will afford me great pleasure to be able to furnish you with any information I can meet with – were I not much confined with a family I would go to the Antiquarians of Dm & see what they have relative to the University.
With due respect I remain yours etc.
John Allason. 


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson, Pinners Hall, London (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/28)

Dated Swaledale Nov 16 1833

My Dear Sir,
Am glad to have it in my power to send you a humble thank offering for your great kindness to me last year for 5Pounds procured from the Rev Gent at Redcross St.  I thank you for the books and Sovereign sent by Mr Procter.  The last and present years have been the most trying in my life in consequence of the affliction of my eldest son, who at times threatens to put an end to his life – my 2nd son in on trial as an apprentice to a Tailor to finish his outfit fee will put me about, excuse brevity and believe me your very grateful Servant.
John Allason.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/29)

Rec’d Oct 30 1834

Hon Sir,
I am glad to have it in my power to send you a humble thank offering for your kind remembrances of me and which is the only communication I have at this time.

I return you my best thanks for your short note and acceptable pecuniary contents forwarded to me my Mrs Procter’s parcel.  My domestic sorrows have been upward of 7 years duration.  My eldest son became deranged two years ago.  He has also been attacked with a liver complaint by which he has been dying by inches during 9 months past.  On the 10th he exchanged worlds and appeared well prepared for his great change. This long and severe family visitation has been a copious source of woe and expense to your humble servant.    John Allason.


Letter from John Allason to Joshua Wilson (Congregational Library ref: Hb 11/30)

Rec’d Nov 1835

Hon Sir,
I sent you 2 Brace of Grouse last year addressed to you at the Congregational Library.  Did you receive them?  I have sent you two more – was sorry to hear of your serious indisposition by Mrs Procter.  Hope you have recovered. 

I regret to say that I have been confined to my bed near 6 weeks – have suffered egregious pain and been compelled to have a great deal of expensive medical attendance and medicine wh I can ill afford.  My illness was occasioned by the severe labours of a Sabbath on which I preached twice at home and performed extra services, rode 10 miles in the evening and preached on my return in the evening I got drenched in wet wh brought on a severe and dangerous palpitation of the heart and my limbs became paralysed with rheumatism.

Mr Procter am sorry to say hints that I am not to expect any further relief from the A Fund because I have been so frequent a recipient and also because no money is raised for the fund by any of the opulent Congregations in Yorkshire.  I shall venture to send my Case and hope for some help however small as I shall have an ugly medical bill to discharge as soon as I can raise the money – should you have any parcel or communication for me please to leave it to the care of Mr R Knowles No5 Lawrence Lane and it will be sent hither.

I have much to ask but am indisposed that I must lay down my pen, hope to hear from you soon and believe me your most respectful, John Allason, Feetham, Swaledale near Richmond, Yorkshire.


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