Select Lofthouse Miscellany

Here are some Lofthouse stories and accounts over the years:

John Lofthouse of Bedale

In 1450 the court heard that John Lofthouse of Bedale had taken 20 beasts belonging to the lord of the manor and another 40 belonging to Thomas Rand of Crakehall and kept them in Bedale for two days and nights.

He admitted that he had taken six oxen of Thomas Rand's that had been breaking down the hedges in the field in which they were kept, but he seems to have claimed that the other cattle had strayed onto his land and that he in fact had saved their owners money by feeding him with his own corn "to the loss of his own beasts."  He clearly believed that attack was the best form of defence!

He disclaimed all responsibility for the straying of 160 sheep from Rand and the jury agreed that he was not to blame.  The case turned out to be a storm in a teacup.  John was merely put on good behavior for a year and two friends stood surety for him.

18th Century Lofthouse Admissions to the Freedom of York

Frank Lofthouse
silk weaver
John Lofthouse
Richard Lofthouse

John Lofthouse
brewer and victualler

William Lofthouse

John Lofthouse
wine cooper

These Lofthouses seem to have had a preference for the wine trade!

Lofthouses from Dallowgill and Kirkby Malzeard

There are two Lofthouse families that have been traced to this area of the Yorkshire dales, one starting with George Lofthouse (born around 1680) and the other with Ralph Lofthouse (born around the same time). 
Many of their descendants were buried in St. Andrew's Church in Kirkby Malzeard.  The family farms, Knott farm and Ladyhill farm, are still standing.

There are descendants in Utah of these Lofthouses because of James Lofthouse who emigrated there in the 1850's and founded the Mormon town of Paradise. 

The Lofthouse Colliery Disaster

On March 21 1973, miners at the Lofthouse colliery in West Yorkshire were working at a coal face which, unknown to them, was close to some 19th century mine workings that had become flooded.  There was a sudden rush of water and sludge into the mine.  Most of the miners fled to safety.  But it was discovered that seven were missing.

For six days strenuous and increasingly desperate efforts were made to reach them.  Eventually rescuers made it to the site of the accident.  They found a small air pocket.  But nobody was in it.  Only one of the bodies was ever recovered.

Nat Lofthouse - The Lion of Vienna

Nat Lofthouse's finest hour in an England shirt came in May 1952 at the Prater Stadium in Vienna where he earned his nickname of "The Lion of Vienna."

The Austrians were highly rated and regarded as one of the best teams in Europe.  What made it ever more demanding was the rough treatment he had to suffer from the tough-tackling Austrian defenders.  Twice Lofthouse was badly hurt and twice the Bolton player shook off the injuries to inspire his team to a famous 3-2 victory.

Midway through the first half Lofthouse opened the scoring with a tremendous left-footed drive from a short pass from Tottenham's Eddie Baily.  Austria equalized soon after before Jackie Sewell of Sheffield Wednesday restored the lead.  Then with the score at 2-2 Baily was again the provider with a delicious through ball to Lofthouse who ran from just inside his own half to fire the winner past the advancing goalkeeper.

Lofthouse of Fleetwood

Perhaps more than any other long-established Lancashire firm, Lofthouse of Fleetwood has managed to carve out a distinct market niche with a well-known product.

The company makes the famous Fisherman's Friend lozenges.  It was founded in 1865 by James Lofthouse, a resident of Fleetwood, then a shipping port.  He was the port's pharmacist and he created an extremely strong liquid containing menthol and eucalyptus which helped to clear the chests of rain-soaked fishermen. To make it easier to transport, this liquid was soon made into small lozenges.  For a hundred years, the lozenges were made by hand on a marble slab and packed by hand as well.

In 1971, the company expanded out of its cramped chemist's quarters in Fleetwood into a larger site on Maritime Street.  It remains family-owned, run today by Tony and Doreen Lofthouse and their son Duncan. 


Just Jessica

The Blackburn reference library on Library Street was a solemn and sombre place.  The sun never shone there and no voice was ever raised above a whisper.  It had a monastic atmosphere and the librarians would act in a suitably reverential manner.

All this changed when Jessica Lofthouse appeared.  The door would fly open and she would be there: a magnificent presence in flamboyant colors, twice as large as life and life was pretty large in her case.  She was without a scrap of self-conscousness and proclaimed her requirements in a loud voice.

Jessica was a well-known writer of more than twenty books on the Lancashire countryside and its history. She died in 1988 leaving a bequest to provide seats in the countryside for walkers to rest their weary bones.

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