IT is almost a year since the Craven Herald celebrated the publication of Settle Graveyard Project’s fascinating book, ‘Curious Tales from the Ancient Graveyard’ funded by Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust’s ‘Stories in Stone’.

Here researcher and U3A member Sarah Lister looks at the work of the project and how it is evolving, and also treats us to another tale the group has unearthed.

She adds the project is ‘chuffed’ to be working with the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line to find out more about the navvies who worked and died whilst building the Settle stretch of the line. At the church, Rev Julie Clarkson is seeking funding to commemorate all the burials in the ‘infants’ corner’ of the graveyard and provide a quiet area for parents who have experienced infant deaths. There is a new ‘Rathmell hub’. Sarah presented numerous entertaining talks in the area last year and as a result, a team in Rathmell are researching their graveyard.

Amazing stories continue to be unearthed, like this one.

George Wilkinson Newsholme was the illegitimate son of Bridget Newsholme. His father was the much older and wealthy George Wilkinson.

George (Jnr), a Settle cabinet maker and his wife Sarah had five children with the surname ‘Wilkinson Newsholme’. They lived in Bishopdale Court until George and Sarah died in their 70s.

This family seemed set to continue as hardworking tradesmen until 22 year old Mary married her second cousin, 67 year old William Wilkinson, a wealthy bachelor who lived at Hellifield Green.

William was founder of the delightful Dale Head Church in 1852, relocated during the construction of Stocks Reservoir in Gisburn Forest. When William died in 1860, there was an allowance for Mary but the estate went to her eldest brother John Wilkinson Newsholme.

John had married Agnes Bateson who was one of nine children orphaned when both her parents died within the month of September 1849. But their luck changed! Suddenly John became a wealthy land owner, no longer needing to work. What a difference money makes. They had servants, governesses and their sons went to Giggleswick School.

Agnes died seven years after the birth of their ninth child, Joseph. John died 20 years later leaving a sum worth over a million pounds today. Their three daughters married respectable men. Two sons became international iron merchants based in Preston.

Eldest son George Thomas Wilkinson Newsholme had a fantastic career. He set up a chemist business in Sheffield and became president of the Pharmaceutical Society. He was a JP for the City of Sheffield. He married and had four daughters and a son, Thomas Allen, who died from wounds in France in 1916. The daughters married a variety of successful businessmen and surgeons.

George’s obituary tells us he was an incredibly well respected man whose two main passions were improving the provision for the poor and raising the status of ‘chemists and druggists’ to be on a par with pharmacists.

John and Agnes’ youngest son Joseph Wilkinson Newsholme was just seven when his mum died. He graduated at Oxford and was ordained as a Clerk in Holy Orders. He was a curate in Halifax, Long Preston and then in Blackburn. So far so good.

But in October 1907, when Joseph was 40, a 14 year old choirboy claimed that Joseph had indecently assaulted him, and then told him not to tell anyone. But the choirboy did tell his parents. During the hearing it emerged that there had been a previous allegation of a similar nature in 1902 but the case was dismissed.

Joseph was found guilty, and again after an appeal and retrial. As Joseph was a clergyman, the case was heard at a Consistory Court run by the Church rather than in a court of law. The church removed him from his post and banned him from any other posts within the diocese. Joseph’s parishioners were outraged and requested a suspension of the sentence. Victorian values!

In the following census, Joseph was found in Brighton, working as a tutor living in a house with several young male students . . . Joseph ended his days at Ross on Wye, Herefordshire, aged 72.

Would George have believed what happened to his descendants? He must have turned in his grave!

The full story is on the Facebook Page. Contact if you have any information or would like one of the few remaining copies of the book.