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Edward Hailstone
The Jovial Tenant of Walton Hall
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Edward HailstoneEdward Hailstone (1818- 1890) took out a 21 year lease of Walton Hall in 1871, when the Hall was still Waterton property. He lived there until his death in 1890.

When Charles Waterton died in 1865, his son Edmund soon plunged deeper into debt. In 1877, the estate was sold by Edmund to Edward "Soapy" Simpson, the son of the Squire's old enemy, Edward Thornhill Simpson, who was infamous for his pollution of Walton and the surrounding countryside. Despite Simpson's attempts to end the lease, Hailstone remained in residence until his death.

Born in 1818 in Bradford, Hailstone's family home was Horton Hall (now demolished). From his father, Samuel, he inherited a love of archaeology and antiques. He became a solicitor in 1840 and was a man of good taste, blessed with wealth.

He was a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries (F.S.A.).

On taking out the lease on the Hall, he brought all of his literary and antique treasures with him. He had amassed a large collection of English and foreign historical furniture. In addition, he possessed a library that included notable works by Yorkshire authors and by others about Yorkshire. He also had a collection of prints and engravings of Yorkshire portraits and scenes. His treasures occupied much of the Hall.

A knowledgeable collector, he was also of jovial disposition and, in his own words, "the biggest Hailstone that ever dropped". (1)

When Hailstone died in 1890, some of his collection was sent to London for auction. Other treasures were auctioned at Walton Hall during the period 2nd to 7th February 1891. (1)

Edward Hailstone - an extract from the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Edward Hailstone  (1818-1890)  was born in Bradford on 17 February 1818. He qualified as a solicitor in 1840 and succeeded to his father's practice, of which he was a sleeping partner. He devoted himself to collecting books, especially about Yorkshire, but did not neglect local and national responsibilities. He was churchwarden at Bradford parish church, where he stopped the supply of beer to the choir on Sunday, promoted the building of St George's Hall, and helped to found the Bradford Festival Choral Society. He was a commissioner for the 1851 exhibition.

A lifelong Liberal, he married on 6 June 1855 Sarah Harrietta Lilla, only daughter of William Ferrand, of St Ives, Bingley, a Conservative MP. She was an authority on lace, which she collected. In 1871 Hailstone moved from Horton to Walton Hall, near Wakefield, where he lived as a recluse, savouring his library, which occupied the whole of the upper floor.

Edward Hailstone suffered repeated attacks of rheumatic fever. He died at Walton Hall on 24 March 1890 and was buried at Crofton, near Wakefield, on 28 March. He was suspicious of public libraries as spoliators of books, and left his unique Yorkshire library of manuscripts and about 10,000 printed works to the dean's library, York Minster. The sale of two portions of Edward Hailstone's library in 1891 generated £8992 for 5,632 items.

His wife survived him.

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 1890.

(oxforddnb.com, accessed 18 Sep 2017)

Click to enlarge

Some of Edward Hailstone's collection of early material for Yorkshire is housed in the Minster Library, Dean's Park, York Minster.

"We can look back with immense gratitude for the life of this jovial man because not all his collection was put up for sale. He bequeathed his 'Yorkshire Collection', by this time some 10,000 printed books, to the York Minster Library. This was reported as the 'largest and most valuable gift ever received by the Library'."
- Mary Ingham and Brenda Andrassy (2)

■ Bold Nevison The Highwayman (PDF) was one of the items of Yorkshire lore collected by Hailstone and published in The Ballads and Songs of Yorkshire, C.J. Davison Ingledew, Bell & Daldy, London, 1860.

 

 

Notes

1. A History of Walton
By Peter Wright, 1985, published by Countryside Publications Ltd, ISBN 0 86157 1916. A rich source of local facts. Illustrated. (Out of print, but may still be available on Amazon, visit the book shop.)
2. Sandal Magna - Another Look Back, by Mary Ingham and Brenda Andrassy, ISBN 0 9506442 1 8. (Out of print, but may still be available on Amazon, use the Amazon search in the righthand column.)

See also
■ York Minster, Treasures and Collections.


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