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The Hal of Kirklees 2

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Hal was well cared for at Kirklees, he was housed by Sir George in the servant's quarters and was even allowed to wear the livery (Uniform) of the household; he might even have been employed in some of the day to day household work. It seems Hal was popular with the family, guests and servants alike, although of a weak intellect, it was said he was extremely shrewd and even witty at times.

Kirklees Malt House.

The old Malthouse at Kirklees Hall, it remains to this day little changed
 from Hal Piersons time there.

The following accounts of Hal's exploits were published about one hundred years after his time but they were taken from the recollections of a guest who stayed at the hall in his day.

Hal was always ready to do errands, and sometimes did them well. At all events he was no niggard of his time or trouble, when he liked his employer. His will was good but his power weak. At one time a young lady, Miss Jenny Ayrton, being on a visit at Sir George Armytage's, to her great vexation discovered that she had forgotten a rich pair of ruffles and lappets. Everybody was busy; much company was expected, and a splendid toilet was necessary. Poor Miss Jenny, in all her sorrows of beauty and eighteen, addressed herself in vain to the servants for a trusty messenger to despatch four miles for these important articles. Not one could be spared, until a good natured little dairymaid, a little cowslip of the north, suggested an application to Hal Pierson. He could take a message; was very fond of Miss Jenny; it was a fine day and only four miles. But Hal had a dislike to carrying a note or letter, ever since a celebrated humorist, in the practical joke line, had given him a note desiring the bearer might be rewarded for his pains with a tumbler of hot salt and water. No Hal would have nothing to say to a note, but cheerfully undertook to go and fetch the ruffles and lappets. It was explained to him by Cowslip what they were, and he sapiently replied, "I naw, Jinny Ayrton wants her handy-cuffs and pinniers." As his habit was never to walk, but to dance along, clapping his hands as he went, this formed the burden of his song, which helped him on the way. Arrived at the house, he repeated his lesson, but no one knew what it meant, and to his evident distress, he had to go back without his errand. On his return he explained that they would not give him any "handycuffs or pinniers."

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