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GISBURN HIT BY HURRICANE 1839 !

THE GISBURNE MARTYR

PENDLE WITCHES

GISBURN HIT BY HURRICANE 1839 !  top

On January 7th an alarming catastrophe struck Gisburne, Rimington, Newsholme and Paythorne. A hurricane hit the whole area, and as it happened during the night, people were unable to prevent great damage to their property or to save the materials. Slates were broken, straw was blown away. This was a serious problem as both were scarce and expensive to replace.

Havoc and destruction were also caused to matured timber, young plantations and especially to the "beautiful and majestic larches near to the mansion house (Gisburne Park), which are known to be the largest in England", wrote J Croasdale (see tablet on east wall of the Church. Five were torn up and other great ornamental trees in the Park were destroyed, particularly in the area nearest the Lodge gateway. 

Great suffering must have been caused tor the people of Gisburne, as James Croasdale recorded damage to 20 slated houses, 8 thatched houses and 10 barns. In total, 41 houses were damaged in the four villages and over 30 barns. What a dramatic change this must have brought to the property across the whole parish.

THE GISBURNE MARTYR  top

 In Robert Smith's book entitled 'Ye Chronicales of Craven', there is an interesting story of Richard Simpson, Priest, Schoolmaster and Martyr. Richard vas, at one time, a Protestant Minister and a Schoolmaster. He became a Roman Catholic member and, for this, he was imprisoned in York. In 1577, he became a Roman Catholic Priest, after his imprisonment at York. He was hounded by the Protestants and, though doing missionary work in various parts of Lancashire, he appeared to go into hiding from time to time. Whilst at Gisburne as School Master, he was known by the nickname 'Guile'. In l582 he was captured whilst on the run and, after a time in prison, he was banished, but returned and was captured again and condemned in 1588. He was reprieved for a few months but was later caught, so he, repenting of his mistake, punished himself by fasting, watching and wearing hair cloth next to his skin. In July 1588, he met his end. He was executed near Derby with two other men. 'Their heads and quarters were set on poles in divers places'. Later, these were stolen by night and given a decent burial.

PENDLE WITCHES  top

Pendle area which is well known for its stories on witches, has its connections here in Gisburn. Peter Wightman in his 'Pennine Panorana' writes: 

'In 1912 was printed in London a pamphlet on the Arraignment and Trial of Jennet Preston of Gisburn in Craven. Jennet had free access to the house of Westby, had kind respect and entertainment and nothing denied her. But she began to work mischief according to the course of all witches, in spite of having been indicted for murder of a child. Within four days of her release from York Castle on this charge, she was present at the great assembly of witches at Malkin Tower, where she sought help for the murder of Martin Lister, who was her prosecutor at York Assizes. Shortly afterwards Martin Lister was dead. Witnesses at her second trial swore on oath that Martin Lister on his death bed

'cried out unto them that stood about him that Jennet Preston was in the house, look where she is, take hold on her, for God's sake shut the doors and take her, so she cannot escape away'- When Jennet was brought to Martin Lister, 'after he was dead and laid out to be wound up in his winding sheet', she touched the dead corpse and it bled fresh blood. Based on this conclusive evidence, Jennet was found guilty. The bleeding of a dead corpse could only occur at the touch of a murderer. At the gallows she died, 'impenitent and void of all fear and grace'. At the execution was her husband, 'who cried out and went away fully satisfied his wife had justice and was worthy of death.'  

MISC

Mr Winston S. Churchill, MP for Oldham, was present as guest of Lord Ribblesdale at Gisburne Park.

100 years ago Wilfrid Allison and Joseph Hartley were fined for "furiously riding their bicycles" in Gisburn. PC Firth told the court that the boys had been unable to turn into
Skipton Road from Raikes Hill and had to go a considerable distance down the drive to Gisburn Park before they could pull up. 

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