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Ismay Writings 3

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They were increased from three to eight by Daniel Heddersley, in 1725, and are
now as fine a ring of bells as any in ye county of their weight.
The steeple is 47 feet to the battlements, and 57 ft. to the top of the pinnacles. The mottoes on ye bells are, ''peace and good neighbourhood.'' ''When you hear me sound let peace and unity be found, 1725.'' There is an inscription in ye western wall near ye font, which shows that the plague raged with great violence in 1681. There are no remarkable monuments of any illustrious persons in the church. One of ye Nuns of Kirklees Monastery was interred here Feb. 5th, 1561, as appears by the parish register. Dr. John Hopton, who was made Bishop of Norwich in 1554, was born at Mirfield, as we may learn from ye history of that prelate's life. On a Table erected in 1745, is a list of ye pious and charitable benefactions to ye church, school, and poor of ye parish of Mirfield.
The arms of the Hoptons, Saviles, Mirfields, &c., are curiously painted in ye East Window. There is a large candlestick consisting of 12 branches, and 8 more on the reading desk, with a curious font made in 1662. There are upwards of 70 tombs and gravestones in church and churchyard, with sepulchral inscriptions too long to insert. The Church is in the honour of Pontefract, Diocese of York, hundred of Agbrig and the deanery of Pontefract, dedicated to
ST. Mary, built 494 years ago, and consecrated to be a Chapel of ease under Dewsbury in 1261. It continued in subjection to its Mother Church, All Saint's, in Dewsbury, (where it is said Paulinus, the first Archbishop of York, preached and celebrated divine service,) till 1302. being the space of 41 years. Pope Urban 4th, at the request of Sir John Heton, Kt., made It parochial, and vested the right of nomination in Sir John, who presented his younger son to the living. He was the first Rector, built the parsonage house or manse, and died 1302.
Wm. Cressacre was the 2nd Rector, who died in 1308. The next we have upon record is Wm. Willinge, who died in 1402. After the death of this incumbent, the predial tithes were alienated from the church and given to the [monks?] of Kirklees to pray for the soul of John Burgh. This Church continued a Rectory for the space of 141 years, and then was reduced to a small Vicarage to aggrandize monkery and support a nest of drones. It remained in this poor distressed condition for the space of 3 centuries, till it was relieved by a parochial subscription which obtained the Queen's Bounty about 35 years
ago, and invested in land for a perpetual augmentation. It was augmented a second time by a lady's benefaction and the bounty in 1642, since which time it received 100, the donation of Sir Geo. Armytage, late of Kirklees, Bart., and
about 7 lIs. per annum in houses and land given by ye late Mrs. Ann Horsfall, by a deed bearing date Oct. 30th, 1737, duly enrolled in Chancery. It devolved to the Church in 1749. The names of the Vicars as appears by the registers are as follows :-
Sir John Chrissmor, buried Feb. 18th, 1568.
Sir Richard Wordsworth, buried Nov. 1577.
Antony Crowther inducted March, 1568, and buried Aug. 31st, 1628. He had five sons and one daughter, and was Vicar of Mirfield 50 years.
Richard Senior inducted Sept. 1st, 1628, buried Oct. 25th, 1689.
Robert Allenson inducted Dec. 21st, 1639, buried Dec. 8th, 1676. He enlarged the N. side of the church, and was buried at Cumberworth, where he had been Minister. He was 37 years Vicar of Mirfield, and had five children.
John Gibson inducted Dec. 12th, 1677, he resigned ye vicarage for the Rectory of Kirkby.
Thomas Gledhill succeeded Mr. Gibson, and was buried Dec. 20th, 1687. He left a widow and two daughters.
Richard Margerison, A.M., was inducted June 14th, 1688. He was baptized at Birstal Church, and buried at Mirfield, where he had been Vicar 27 years, on the 10th of Jan., 1715. He left three children who all arrived to maturity. He died in
the 53rd year of his age.

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