NameWilliam LAIDMAN, 2370, M1935
Death13 Oct 1801, West Chevington, NBL
Death MemoBullock’s Hall
Burial16 Oct 1801, Woodhorn, NBL
Hodgson's pedigrees has a burial for William on 16 Oct 1801 aged 56 and a marriage 23 April 1769 (Hodgson’s entry reads: William Laidman of Widdrington Middle Steads afterwards of Small Steads and ultimately of Bullock Hall). The I.G.I. has a marriage for William and Jane Crispe 18.5.1760 but no children born until 1770 apart from the baptism of a William Laidman, son of Jane Crisp (no father given) 18.5.1769. This baptism giving no father would suggest that this William was conceived before marriage, and therefore the marriage date given by Hodgson would seem more likely to be correct. Thus, apart from William bap. 1769 and named after his own father, the next child was Mitford and named after William senior's probable father (supported by Hodgson’s Pedigrees).
Longhorsley, where William and Jane were married, is a small village of little interest on a crossroads to the north of the moor of the same name, and about 12 miles north of Morpeth. The church where this took place is a surprising distance south-east of the village, isolated in the fields. It is now sadly derelict, the roof long gone. This ruin was built in 1783 on earlier, medieval foundations, so the edifice that saw William and Jane walk up the aisle disappeared centuries ago. The marriage register for Longhorsley reads: “William Laidman of ye Chappelry of Widdrington and Jane Crispe of U--- ---- ---- married by Banns in ye Church May ye 18th by me Jas: Middleton vicar/ This marriage was solemnized by us William Laidman Jane Crissops In ye Presence of John Charlton Jno Humphrey”.
William and Jane were living at Middle Steads, Widdrington, when their children William (1774), Christopher (1777) were christened. They had moved to South Steads by 1779 when Jane was christened, followed by Thomas in 1780. George was christened in 1781, and they had by then moved to Bullocks Hall, where William senior died (see notes on his wife Jane Crispe). William was an assessor for the collection of the 1798 Land Tax for Chevington (PRO item E184/12) where he is inscribed as “William Laidmain”. The Assessors appear mainly to have been drawn from the class of large tenant farmers of substance - the Land Tax was conceived as a local tax and therefore local knowledge was essential in setting the various assessments.
Birthca 1748, Widdrington, NBL
Death7 Feb 1814, West Chevington, NBL
Death MemoBullock’s Hall: Newcastle Courant. Bullock’s Hall was a farmstead, recently (1997?) demolished for the open-cast mine directly adjacent.
Burial10 Feb 1814, Woodhorn, NBL
Bullock’s Hall, where Jane Crispe died in 1814, proved most elusive. I had previously presumed it to be a superior kind of residence, and Hodgson mentions it to have been part of West Chevington, which I was able to locate on the map. West Chevington proved to consist of a good, but dilapidated Queen Anne farmhouse surrounded by what I can only describe as godforsaken hovels, the whole on the edge of an open-cast mine, which reduced the landscape for miles around to something lunar. It was all surrounded by barbed wire and “danger of explosion” notices. The farmhouse was approached by a short drive full of mud and potholes with a broken-down gate bearing a notice to beware of the dog. I drove up with due caution, and rang the bell. No one answered for a few minutes, until a kind lad of about 14 came to the door. I inquired if this house were Bullock’s Hall, but he said no, I should ask at the house about half a mile up the road. This was nothing more than a shack made of boarding and chicken wire, but the friendly farmer there was most helpful. “Bullock’s Hall has been demolished” he said, “when they made the open-cast. It’s a mile or two down the road past West Chevington - you’ll see a pile of bricks. Jim Meek, the open-cast foreman, will be pleased to show you around.” Thus, I finally located Bullock’s Hall, a pile of rubble as the farmer had said. It must once have been a farmstead like that at West Chevington, but after taking a photo of the ruin there was nothing more I could do.
In March 2000 Brian Pears (Northumbria Mailing List) reported: Bullock’s Hall was a township, i.e. an administrative subdivision of a parish - Warkworth Parish in this case. It was around 5 miles SSW of Warkworth and contained an area of only 205 acres. In 1801 it had a total of 7 occupants - and by 1851 this had risen to 20. As you might guess there weren’t many houses there. - in 1851 there were only three. One was an old mansion (presumably the original “Bullock’s Hall”) and another was a farm, also called “Bullock’s Hall”.
The old mansion was demolished before 1900 and the township disappeared in 1955 when it was added to West Chevington township, but Bullock’s Hall (the farm) still exists at OS grid reference NZ241980 - about 1 mile NE of the hamlet of West Chevington.
Marriage18 May 1769, Longhorsley, NBL
18 May 1769, William Laidman of ye Chapelry of Widdrington & Jane Crispe of this parish ... by banns ... Both parties signed their names clearly. Witnesses: John Charleton & Jno. Humphrey.
"LONGHORSLEY is bounded by the parishes and chapelries of Rothbury, Framlington, Felton, Hebron, Mitford and Netherwitton. It is about 7 miles in length, and 3 in breadh, and contains both coal and limestone. The soil is generally clayey; and, though the surface is very monotonous, yet it lies high, and the air is sharp and piercing. This parish contains eight townships..."
[From History, Directory, and Gazetteer, of the Counties of Durham and Northumberland, Parson and White, 1828.]
ChildrenMitford , 2526, N1029 (1770-)
Henry , 2808, N1888 (ca1771-1844)
Mary , 2527, N1030 (bp. 1773-)
William , 3804, N1031 (bp. 1774-1801)
Francis , 2525, N1032 (bp. 1776-1831)
Jane (Died as Child), 2529, N1034 (bp. 1779-1784)
Thomas (Died as Child), 2530, N1035 (bp. 1780-1784)
Joseph (Died as Child), 2850, N1947 (bp. 1781-1783)
George , 2531, N1036 (1781-1824)
Thomas , 3472, N1005 (1784-1854)