Select Sutcliffe Miscellany

Here are some Sutcliffe stories and accounts over the years:

Foreign Origin of the Sutcliffe Name

There are many stories around the origin of the name.  Some say that they came from originally from the Low Countries and settled in England following persecution; that sons of Gamel de Zoetcliffe, a Flemish clothier, erected fulling mills in Lancashire, and Yorkshire in 1311. That is unlikely to be true.  But it is possible that immigrant families might have adopted a more English name.

Mayroyd House in Hebden Bridge

The house on the Burnley Road, held by the Sutcliffe family since 1435, had originally been called Meherrode.  Matthew Sutcliffe, the famed Dean of Exeter, had been born there in 1550.  In 1584 Adam Sutcliffe sold the house to Brian Bentley and it later passed to the Cockroft family.

The Sutcliffes at Stoneshey Gate

Joseph and Martha Sutcliffe had lived at Cross Ends in Wadsworth in the early 1700's.  They raised four sons (Garmwell, Thomas, John and Joseph) and two daughters (Mercy and Sarah) there before moving to Stoneshey Gate in Heptonstall. 

Garmwell was an overseer for the Poor at Heptonstall in 1767.  His son Gamaliel started the two Lumb cotton mills at Hebden Bridge in 1802.  When he died in 1840, his two sons Richard and Thomas took over the running of the business.  The mills were to stay in family hands through most of the 19th century.

George Sutcliffe's Misdemeanors

George Sutcliffe was a coal mrchant at Rastrick.  In 1869 he was charged at the West Riding Court in Halifax with neglecting his wife and family.  

His wife - who looked a respectable woman - said that for the past two years he had not given her a half penny towards the support of her or their children.  During that time he had frequently gone home drunk and ill-used her.  Last Easter he sold the greater part of their furniture and she had since been partially dependent on her mother for support.

Her husband had previously been in good circumstances, but reduced himself to penury by his inebriate conduct.  After hearing that a warrant had been issued against him, he absconded.  But he was apprehended at Barnsley shortly before the court case was to be heard.

Abraham Sutliff in America

It was through the patronage of his uncle Matthew Sutcliffe that Abraham became an early settler in America.  Matthew Sutcliffe was the long-time Dean of Exeter, chaplain to King James I, and a leading official of the Angican church.  He was also one of the wealthiest men in England and an early investor in the New England colonies.

Abrham from Heptonstall in Yorkshire was an avowed Puritan, which present the Dean with a tricky problem.  He resolved it by giving his nephew a land grant in New England.  Abraham set off for Plymouth, Massachusetts in 1623 and changed his name there to Sutliff.  From Plymouth he led a small group of settlers to a new spot of the coast of Massachusetts between Boston and Plymouth which they named Scituate.

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