Select Sutcliffe Miscellany
accounts over the years:
- Foreign Origin of the Sutcliffe Name
- Mayroyd House in Hebden Bridge
- The Sutcliffes at Stoneshey Gate
- George Sutcliffe’s Misdemeanors
- Abraham Sutliff in America
Foreign Origin of the Sutcliffe Name
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
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
The Sutcliffes at Stoneshey Gate
Joseph and Martha Sutcliffe had lived at Cross
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 was
a coal mrchant at Rastrick. In 1869 he was charged at the West
Riding Court in Halifax with neglecting his wife and
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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