by James Pigot (1818)
Dewsbury is a small but flourishing town, in the Agbrigg division of the Wapentake of Agbrigg
and Morley liberty of Wakefield, from which it is situated about five and a half miles,
eight from Huddersfield, eleven from Halifax, and 187 from London. It is pleasantly
seated on the north bank of the navigable river Calder, and being at no great distance
from coal, possesses almost every advantage for a manufacturing town. The chief trade
of the town and parish is the manufacture of blankets and coarse broad cloths. The mar
ket is on Wednesday, with fairs on the Wednesday before old May-day, on the 21st July,
and on Wednesday before old Michaelmas-day, for horned cattle, sheep, &c. The popu
lation of the parish, containing the three townships of Dewsbury, Soothill, and Ossett,
according to the census of 1811, amounts to 11.812, of which Dewsbury contains 5.120,
Soothill 2.609, and Osset 4.083. Dewsbury is a place of great antiquity, and has been of
i. some note ever on asince cross, the placed conversion on theoftop the ofSaxons the church, to Christianity. over the eastItwindow, appears that fromthis an
own was at an early period, honoured by the preaching of Paulinus, first Archbishop of
York, and was formerly considered as the mother church of that part of the country.
The endowment deed of the church, dated 1349, mentions the payment of, tithes, &c.
'from Halifax, and the other townships of that parish, to the incumbent of Dewsbury.
It is not easy to account for the beginning of this custom, unless we have recourse to the
opinion that Paulinus having officiated here in 626, before churches in common were
built, ordered something of the kind to be erected here, and for the support of those who
propagated Christianity at this place, caused tithes to be brought from distant parts of
the country. It has one church, two methodists chapels, one calvanistic chapel, two free
schools for boys and girls, and one Lancasterian school. -
HEckMondwicke is a large and thriving village nearly adjoining, and the manufacture
carried on is the same as at Dewsbury.