Thursday 24 May 2012

Halsted Sunday

My apologies for this being slightly later than I had planned but family life does get in the way of family history at times.

I said that I would write about Halsted Sunday and I will. I hope to add a full page to the website (under the notable people page) in the near future to explain more fully.

Halsted Sunday is the modern name that has been given to an event that started back in 1845. That year Henry Halsted died 11 January and is buried in St Peter Church, Burnley. He had been a shoemaker by profession and lived to the ripe old age of 83 - no mean feat in those days. He left a will of 8 pages and a value of under £3,000 (not a small sum of money in those days). Amongst his bequests was the following

I DO HEREBY Further charge and make chargeable all those two messuages or dwellinghouses situate in Saint James Street Burnley aforesaid and now in the occupation of Mr. Samuel Haworth surgeon and Mr Robert Tomlinson Cordwainer being part and parcel of my said real estates hereinbefore mentioned to be or to have been surrendered to the uses of this my will and hereinbefore devised and bequeathed to my said trustees and executors as aforesaid with the payment for ever of the yearly sum of two pounds unto such a celebrated popular Reverend Minister of the Church of England as by law established who shall from henceforward for ever from time to time on the first Sunday Morning in the month of May in every year preach for the benefit of the congregation who shall from time to time be present attending the Worship of Almighty God a sermon from the fourteenth verse of the thirteenth Chapter of the Book of Hebrews the words "For here have we no continuing City but we seek one to come"

The sermon has been preached every Sunday ever since - the funds having been added to over the years.

This year I took the opportunity of going "up to Burnley" a day earlier and spent the Saturday in the very capable hands of Christine Bradley, the Frontline Manager of Colne Library. It was a very useful time and I came away armed with lots more information to be added to the Halstead tree when I get the time! Earleir I had spent some time looking round the graveyard of St Peter, Burnley in the glorious sunshine looking for some of the Halstead graves and trying to resolve an issue for Dan Greenwood, who had contacted me about the grave of one of his Stanworth ancestors.

The Sunday I attended the service at the church, together with three of the trustees of the Halsted Trust (Jim Halstead, Else Churchill and Alec Tritton). After the service 18 of us had an enjoyable lunch (which has become a bit of a tradition in recent years) and gave the opportunity to discuss with several new faces their Halstead connections.

The last couple of weeks has also seen some extensive work on a couple of trees following contacts from Lindsey Randall and Melvin Steele.

John Hanson