THE family story of the first vicar of Holy Ascension Church, Settle, has been unearthed in the church graveyard by researcher and Settle U3A Family Historians group member Sarah Lister, and is recounted in a new book she has compiled named ‘Curious Tales from the Ancient Graveyard’.

The book was produced as part of Stories in Stone, a scheme of conservation and community projects developed by the Ingleborough Dales Landscape Partnership led by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust, and supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Following on from the history of the Ratcliffe family in last week’s Craven Herald, here Sarah details another story behind one of the graves which relates to Reverend Hogarth Swale and the tragedies suffered within his family.

She writes: This grave commemorates the lives of Mary Swale, the wife of Reverend Howarth Swale, who died aged 24, in 1844, Rev Swale who died aged 83 in 1893. Also Hogarth’s mum Ann Swale who died in 1859 aged 86 and their grandson Charles, who died in 1913, aged 43.

Hogarth Swale was born in 1810, in Kendal.

His father, John, an attorney at law, died when Hogarth was only two. Hogarth went to Giggleswick School and his mum Ann (Hogarth) came to live in Langcliffe Hall.

Holy Ascension Church was built in 1837 and Ann contributed a third of the cost. As a result she has a church window dedicated to her.

Unlike most clergy today Hogarth was an exceedingly wealthy man.

He part-owned over 500 acres of land and was a trustee of the Craven Savings Bank.

Hogarth become the first incumbent of Holy Ascension Church where he remained for ten years.

In 1841 he married Mary Lambert, a local solicitor’s daughter. Mary died, aged just 25, at the birth of their second child, John Lambert Swale, in 1844.

Mary was keen to eliminate pew rents in the Church so that everyone could afford to attend. In her will, Mary donated generous sums for building new churches in Toronto and for convicts in Australia on condition that pews were free.

It wasn’t until 1908 that pews in Holy Ascension Church became free.

Hogarth remarried and had six more children. He spent nine years as chaplain to the British Embassy, in Paris, and eventually retired to Ingfield Hall, know known as the Falcon Manor, which he had built in 1841.

Mary’s son, John Lambert Swale, had a wonderful 21st birthday celebration at Ingfield in 1865 before embarking on his military career.

Soon after he married Blanche Voyle and they had a son, Charles Alured Lambert Swale. John worked his way up to become Captain of the 7th Hussars Cavalry, but in February 1876 he was reported missing from Tenby, Wales.

Adverts were placed in a number of newspapers asking for help to find him. He was not a tall man, we are told.

John’s body was never found. Son Charles was just six when John went missing. Understandably, John’s wife Blanche found this difficult to cope with and in 1880 was admitted to a lunatic asylum where she remained for over 40 years until her death.

Meanwhile, Charles qualified as a barrister. He came back to Settle to live with grandfather Hogarth at Ingfield Hall, who died when Charles was 23.

Charles was a trustee of Settle Church, president of the Conservative Club and vice president and captain of the First XI cricket team.

He was on the committee of several other sporting clubs and was a regular in the Settle Amateur Operatic Society.

The end of Charles’ life, aged just 43, was tragic. Charles had become depressed over local criticism that he had a pecuniary interest in the sale of some land. Dr Hyslop had ‘warned those living with him to watch him’. Later, the vicar of Giggleswick suggested that he was ‘morally murdered — hounded to his untimely end’.

Maybe Charles had inherited his mum’s tendency towards fragile mental health? At Ingfield Hall, Thomas and Margaret Bulcock had worked as his gamekeeper and housekeeper. When he died, unmarried, Charles left an annuity to them both and provision for his mum’s asylum fees — she died in 1923.