Early Days 1725-1802
When did ropemaking begin in Hawes?
Askrigg parish records describe John Brenkley of Setbusk (Sedbusk, near Hawes)
as a ropemaker at the time of his death in 1725.
The surviving records of Hawes church include detailed accounts for the years
1726 -1802. The church's expenditure on bell ropes and related work has been
extracted from these records.
In 76 years, Hawes church bought 39 bell ropes and two ropes for the font.
Cord was purchased on four occasions and in 1757 and 1798 payment was made for
hanging and putting up the new bell rope. Work done included mending the bell
wheel (1/- in 1734), work "about the steeple" (11/9d in 1765) and
" Repairs at Bell and Clapper" (2/- in 1800).
In 1765 Isaac Metcalfe was paid 4/6d for a new Bell Wheel - a substantial
figure at that date when two men's board for 29 days whilst working cost the "chappell
wardens" 16/6d (82½p).
Most tantalizing are the names in the church records, mentioned only
occasionally in connection with bell ropes, though often in the case of builders,
joiners and other workmen. The following people are known, from the records,
to have been paid for supplying ropes:
- 1734 To James Constantine for a Bellroap - 1/2d
- 1761 To Thos. Archer for a Bell Roap - 2/-
- 1775 To Thos. Archer for cording - 2d
- 1781 To Mr. Stubbs a new Bell Rope - 1/9d
These men may have been ropemakers in Hawes or district, or merchants who
dealt in rope. When did ropemaking begin in Hawes? Perhaps information
from local sources may yet come to light to provide an answer.