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  • Books by Nicholas Rhea - complete publications listing A to Z
    Rhea Robert Hale 2005 Constable in the Dale Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1983 Reissued by Accent Press 2008 Constable in the Farmyard Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1999 Constable in the Shrubbery Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1995 Constable in the Wilderness Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 2003 Constable on the Coast Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 2006 Constable on the Hill Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1979 Reissued by Black Dagger Crime now a division of BBC Audiobooks 2004 Translated into Finnish as Aidensfieldin uusi konstaapeli 2010 Constable on the Prowl Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1980 Reissued by Black Dagger Crime now a division of BBC Audiobooks 2004 Reissued by Accent Press 2008 Constable on Trial Nicholas Rhea 2015 Constable on View Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 2007 Constable over the Bridge Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 2001 Constable over the Hill Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 2011 Constable over the Stile Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1998 Constable through the Meadow Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1988 Reissued by Accent Press 2009 Constable under the Gooseberry Bush Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1999 Constable versus Greengrass Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1995 The Courts of Law Peter N Walker David Charles 1971 The Curse of the Golden Trough Nicholas Rhea Constable 2004 D Dead Ends Nicholas Rhea Constable 2003 Death in Ptarmigan Forest Christopher Coram Robert Hale 1969 Death of a Princess Nicholas Rhea Constable 1999 Death on the Motorway Christopher Coram Robert Hale 1973 Divided Loyalties James Ferguson Fontana 1988 The Dovingsby Death Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1975 E Emmerdale Book of Country Lore James Ferguson Hamlyn 1988 Emmerdale Official Companion James Ferguson Weidenfeld Nicolson 1988 Emmerdale s Yorkshire James Ferguson Weidenfeld Nicolson 1990 Espionage for a Lady Tom Ferris Robert Hale 1969 F False Alibi Peter N Walker Constable 1991 Family Ties Nicholas Rhea Constable 1994 Fatal Accident Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1970 Folk Stories from the Lake District Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1993 Folk Stories from the Yorkshire Dales Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1991 Folk Tales from the North York Moors Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1990 Folk Tales from York the Wolds Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1992 A Friend in Need James Ferguson Fontana 1987 A Full Churchyard Nicholas Rhea NAG Press 2014 G Garland for a Dead Maiden Nicholas Rhea Constable 2002 Grave Secrets Peter N Walker Constable 1992 H Heartbeat Constable about the Parish Nicholas Rhea Headline 1997 Heartbeat Constable across the Moors Includes Constable on the Hill Constable around the Village Constable across the Moors Nicholas Rhea Headline 1993 Heartbeat Constable along the Lane Includes Constable by the Sea Constable along the Lane Constable through the Meadow Nicholas Rhea Headline 1995 Heartbeat Constable among the Heather Includes Constable Among the Heather Constable in Disguise Constable by the Stream Nicholas Rhea Headline 1992 Heartbeat Constable around the Green Includes Constable around the Green Constable beneath the Trees Nicholas Rhea Headline 1994 Heartbeat Constable at the Dam Nicholas Rhea Headline 1998 Heartbeat Constable at the Gate Nicholas Rhea Headline 1997

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/books/backlistaz.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Books by Nicholas Rhea - complete publications listing (in date order)
    Nicholas Rhea Constable Constable around the Houses Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1999 Constable in the Farmyard Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Constable under the Gooseberry Bush Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Death of a Princess Nicholas Rhea Constable 1998 Constable over the Stile Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Heartbeat Constable at the Dam Nicholas Rhea Headline Superstitious Death Nicholas Rhea Constable 1997 Confession Nicholas Rhea Constable Constable at the Dam Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Constable at the Gate Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Heartbeat Constable about the Parish Nicholas Rhea Headline Heartbeat Constable at the Gate Nicholas Rhea Headline Omens of Death Nicholas Rhea Constable 1996 Constable about the Parish Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Heartbeat Constable in the Dale Includes Constable in the Dale Constable on the Prowl Nicholas Rhea Headline Heartbeat Constable v Greengrass Nicholas Rhea Headline 1995 Constable in the Shrubbery Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Constable versus Greengrass Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Heartbeat Constable along the Lane Includes Constable by the Sea Constable along the Lane Constable through the Meadow Nicholas Rhea Headline Suspect Nicholas Rhea Constable Yorkshire Days Nicholas Rhea Hutton Press 1994 Constable beneath the Trees Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Constable in Control Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Family Ties Nicholas Rhea Constable Heartbeat Constable around the Green Includes Constable around the Green Constable beneath the Trees Nicholas Rhea Headline Heartbeat Constable in Control Nicholas Rhea Headline 1993 Constable around the Green Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Folk Stories from the Lake District Peter N Walker Robert Hale Heartbeat Constable across the Moors Includes Constable on the Hill Constable around the Village Constable across the Moors Nicholas Rhea Headline Heartbeat Constable on Call Nicholas Rhea Headline Heartbeat of Yorkshire Nicholas Rhea Jarrold Heartbeat Omnibus Constable along the Lane Constable through the Meadow Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1992 Folk Tales from York the Wolds Peter N Walker Robert Hale Grave Secrets Peter N Walker Constable Heartbeat Constable among the Heather Includes Constable Among the Heather Constable in Disguise Constable by the Stream Nicholas Rhea Headline Heartbeat Omnibus Constable on the Hill Constable on the Prowl Constable in the Dale Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1991 Constable by the Stream Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale False Alibi Peter N Walker Constable Folk Stories from the Yorkshire Dales Peter N Walker Robert Hale Murders Mysteries from the Yorkshire Dales Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1990 Constable Among the Heather Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Emmerdale s Yorkshire James Ferguson Weidenfeld Nicolson Folk Tales from the North York Moors Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1989 Constable in Disguise Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Wives and Lovers James Ferguson Fontana 1988 Constable at the Double Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Constable through the Meadow Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale Divided Loyalties James Ferguson Fontana Emmerdale Book of Country Lore James Ferguson Hamlyn Emmerdale Official Companion James Ferguson Weidenfeld Nicolson Murders Mysteries from the North York Moors Peter N Walker Robert Hale 1987 A Friend in Need James Ferguson Fontana 1986 Constable along the Lane Nicholas Rhea Robert Hale 1985 Murder after the Holiday

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  • Buying books by Nicholas Rhea
    on this site Or use the search box to order any book from Amazon Search All Products Books Popular Music Classical Music DVD Video Enter keywords Books not in print Inevitably many of Nicholas Rhea s early books are no longer in print but collectors may still be able to buy them from a variety of sources Specialist bookshops The Aidensfield Stores stock many of the Constable titles including signed copies and paperbacks check their Gifts page which occasionally has special offers The Large Print Bookshop is dedicated to serving the needs of those who for whatever reason cannot read conventional print books or who simply prefer to listen to books or read a larger typeface They sell only large print books and audio books both abridged and unabridged including many titles by Nicholas Rhea Holman s Bookshop of Whitby host regular signings of Nicholas Rhea s new books and will accept orders for copies to be sent by post The Black Cat Bookshop in Leicester usually has books by Nicholas Rhea and his numerous pseudonyms in stock Their website gives details of opening times and where to find them or check the catalogue on line and order by phone

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  • Constable on the Hill - the inspiration for TV's enduring Heartbeat series
    Hill is my favourite because it was the beginning of something rather special and it was written while I was a serving policeman The book was a success and many other Constable books followed it One of their many admirers was the Head of Drama at Yorkshire Television As his colleague Carol Williams explained in an interview In the early 1980s our then head of drama David Cunliffe was very keen on the series of Constable books written by Nicholas Rhea and bought the television rights from his agent We held on to those rights for about ten years before being able to go ahead It was not until 1992 that the first episode of Heartbeat was screened The early series not only used the location and many of the major characters of Nicholas Rhea s books they also drew on his storylines As series followed series and Heartbeat won popularity around the world the connection between the books and the drama worked both ways the TV series gave many of the characters a clear visual identity and the later Constable books were more strongly based on the characterisation of the TV series Nicholas Rhea played an active part in the storyline process throughout the show s lifetime and his advice on police procedure and Yorkshire life in the sixties was always highly appreciated by the programme makers The original edition of Constable on the Hill published by Robert Hale became a collectors item and in 2004 it was reissued thanks to Black Dagger Crime The Black Dagger list was drawn up as a joint venture of Chivers Press subsequently a division of BBC Audiobooks and a sub committee of The Crime Writers Association In their own words It is designed to select outstanding examples of every type of crime

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/books/conshill.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Blessed Nicholas Postgate: Nicholas Rhea's researches into Bridge Chapels
    is Egton Bridge which did not get its name before the 16th century It was of course the old pack horse road to Rosedale Abbey thence to Pickering and York c The Bridge Chapel By whatever name it was known the village we now call Egton Bridge has rarely been without a bridge across the River Esk A complete and dated list would be difficult to obtain but it is known that the bridge mentioned above along with a bridge at Glaisdale was washed away by floods prior to 1400 Beggar s Bridge at Glaisdale is built on those old foundations The presence of Beggar s Bridge originally known as Ferry Brigg or sometimes Ferries Brigg raises some interesting speculation relating to Nicholas Postgate The replacement bridge was commissioned by Thomas Ferris a wealthy ship owner former pirate and later Mayor of Hull hence its early name Ferry Brigg or Ferries Brigg and it made use of the fourteenth century foundations that had survived a huge flood in that century Beggar s Bridge was completed around 1620 although its head stone prepared earlier in readiness for its completion bears the date 1619 It seems that completion was a little late At this time Nicholas Postgate would be a teenager trying to raise money to pay for his priests training course at Douai then in the Spanish Netherlands He entered the College in July 1621 When he was earlier prosecuted in 1615 for vagrancy his occupation was cited as labourer There can be no doubt he worked on his widowed mother s smallholding at Kirkdale Banks only three quarters of a mile or so up stream from Beggar s Bridge which was then under construction at Glaisdale So did he find work on the bridge as a labourer Did our martyr actually work on the construction of this famous bridge He was of the right age he lived nearby during its time of construction he needed money for his course overseas and he was a labourer As a devout Catholic he would surely be aware of the old belief that to build a bridge was to engage in an act of faith He entered the English College at Douai in July 1621 within weeks of the probable completion date of Ferry Brigg I believe it is highly likely he worked on Beggar s Bridge as a tribute to its builders it is still standing having survived the 1930 floods which demolished 17 bridges on the River Esk including the one at Egton Bridge Beggar s Bridge was not built for lovers to cross the River Esk as legend suggests It was a memorial to Agnes née Richardson of Glaisdale who died in 1618 the widow of Thomas Ferris He ruined the romantic tale by re marrying in 1620 However we are concerned with Egton Bridge so the question we need to ask is what happened to the chapel at Holm Wath bridge now known as Egton Bridge It was not constructed as part of the bridge but erected very close to it Some references to chapels on bridges actually refer to those where a chapel adjoins the structure but is not part of the bridge Being built close to the bridge but not actually part of it would mean that if the Holm Wath bridge s foundations and other supports were washed away by floods the chapel could have survived on the river bank safely above the flood waters That could have happened even when the river was in heavy flood As the chapel was built on the down river side of the bridge it would derive some protection from the strength of the bridge structure A visit to the location will confirm that So when this bridge over the Esk at Egton was destroyed by floods in the fourteenth century did its chapel survive either in whole or in part Records indicate that further bridges were built at this location without chapels logically further chapels would be unnecessary if the original had survived That alone suggests that the chapel did survive but perhaps not always as a chapel After the Reformation local people might have found another use for it As late as 1758 a new bridge was built without a chapel by then of course the consequences of the Reformation had put an end to Catholic chapels at or upon bridges d Relics of the Chapel The RC chapel built at Egton Bridge 1797 8 It was one of the first in England following the Catholic Relief Act 1778 and later became known as St Hedda s Chapel When the large church was built next door the former chapel became St Hedda s School which remains in use Nicholas Rhea was educated there We might ask whether the remains of that old chapel were still visible near the end of all those subsequent bridges at Egton For years a pile of large dressed stones was shown to pupils of St Hedda s school including me I saw them in the 1940s and thought they looked like a tumble down dry stone wall but were they actually the scant remains of that old chapel That ever dwindling pile of stones was in the right place ie the likely site of the bridge chapel And were the reputed foundations of a house or other building at that same location really those of the old chapel They were also in the right place And what about the remains of a building hereabouts described in 1838 as literally a cattle shed Was it also the remains of that old chapel Were local people aware of those remains over the years without knowing what they really were e Home for a priest The fact that all bridge chapels had a resident priest who said Mass for travellers and pilgrims and who accepted monies from them as a means of maintaining himself the chapel and the bridge means that the chapel was a continuing home

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/postgate/chapels.html (2016-02-17)
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  • Blessed Nicholas Postgate: Christmas in Postgate's time
    His Birth However there can be no doubt during his priestly Ministry of the Moors Father Postgate celebrated three Christmas Day Masses probably with one at midnight but these would not have been held in a church They would be secretly celebrated in safe houses large or small Illustration from A Christmas Garland By Christmas Eve most houses would be decorated with evergreen leaves such as holly and ivy or even mistletoe There would be lights from candles and from a blazing fire which on Christmas Eve would burn the traditional Yule log that required an open hearth It was ignited from remains of the previous year s Yule log It was important that a Yule log burnt throughout Christmas Day and that a piece was kept for the following year Some of us might associate these items the greenery and the Yule log with superstition and pagan customs and some people express surprise at finding such items in Catholic churches over the festive season However Pope Gregory I wrote to St Augustine of Canterbury to advise him that in hoping to convert the English he should permit or even encourage popular and harmless customs One very old example at the Roman Saturnalia and in some Scandinavian countries was the evergreens that adorned one s home Indeed the name Yule for Christmas is a pagan word whilst use of mistletoe dates to the druids Now we make good use of those pagan customs In addition to his priestly duties Father Postgate would surely have enjoyed the festive atmosphere During his long ministry around Yorkshire he would have tasted frummety furmety or frumenty a dish made from boiled wheat or barley which was allowed to cool be strained and then boiled again along with egg yolks milk sugar or broth In

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  • Blessed Nicholas Postgate: Nicholas Rhea's researches into so-called Witch posts
    doing enough to eradicate superstition He adds that people distressed by family problems would seek help from the parish priest and suggests the priest would then visit their house and lay the witch I stress that these events occurred long before he was born in 1870 with his parents and grandparents perhaps relying upon folk memory passed down to them from their own grand parents or great grand parents I doubt if a Catholic priest would be laying a witch but he might have been conducting a blessing of some kind However Joseph Ford adds When this mysterious ceremony was over it was the custom of the priest to cut the Roman figure X on the upright oak post Here we have the first known reference to the carvings being the work of a priest This was a local Catholic priest Canon Atkinson specifying that priests were Catholics and Church priests were Anglican In my opinion as a practising Catholic it is likely that the mysterious ceremony was a Catholic blessing in Latin with candles and holy water probably completely misunderstood by non Catholic observers of that time In a highly superstitious district as the North York Moors then was it would be easy to believe it was being done to deter witches and evil spirits Prior to the X mark being cut on the post it is highly likely the mysterious ceremony was a Catholic form of blessing the household an act that would be commemorated by the X mark being cut by the priest Thus it would become known as the priest mark and Ford referred to that name on p 96 of his book That mark appeared some years after its parent post had been installed I think those house blessings had another purpose ie a means of declaring that a particular house was suitable for Holy Mass to be celebrated in secret in the aftermath of the Reformation There is strong evidence to suggest that this priest mark originated as a widely known Catholic symbol during a time of persecution and this is reinforced by the stiepeltekens of Holland Like the English X marks they also appeared in the 17th century at a time of persecution of Dutch Catholics and the plundering of their churches by the Calvinists In the English case Catholic churches were raided by the Protestant authorities during the Edwardine Visitations 1547 1553 To further develop the religious strand of this theory rather than relying on the superstitious strand we know that inglenook hearths and heck posts date from the early 17th century This was a time of massive religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants in Holland and England with the English state wielding the upper hand in its own country Laws were passed to criminalise many Catholic actions eg failing to attend C of E church services or being educated overseas to be trained for the priesthood The latter was considered treason with a dreadful death penalty it was also treason in England to deny the sovereign was head of the church Despite these strictures along with many more a busy Catholic priest was operating in secret on the North York Moors then known as Blackamoor He travelled on foot disguised as a gardener always aware that his priesthood meant he was liable to fiendish execution as a traitor if he was caught practising his faith His name was Father Nicholas Postgate whose family home was a smallholding at Kirkdale Banks near the River Esk at Egton a few miles up river from Egton Bridge As a complete side issue during this research I discovered I was born some 400 yards from that location something I had never previously realised After training in the Spanish Netherlands at Douai University now in northern France Father Postgate worked in the West and East Ridings of Yorkshire before returning to his native North York Moors around 1662 There is no space here to outline all his activities but it is known he had great devotion to the imagery of The Five Wounds of Christ That had long been used as the symbol of Christian resistance to tyranny both in England and overseas including Holland The Five Wounds abbreviated into the form of an X represented the crucified Christ being spread eagled on the cross with wounds to his hands and feet plus another in his side from a soldier s spear The symbol had been displayed on banners during the Crusades the Pilgrimage of Grace and the Rising of the North Even as a child Nicholas Postgate had witnessed the potency of that image During his moorland mission when aged over 60 he served the North York Moors between 1662 and 1679 the date of his execution at York s infamous Knavesmire to carry out his work Father Postgate needed safe houses in which to celebrate Mass baptise and confirm children and conduct weddings When the use of a suitable house was offered as a substitute and secret church he would surely bless it the mysterious ceremony and then carve the symbol of The Five Wounds of Christ on a suitable base the X on the oak post at the hearth In that way a house was identified as safe but how did the faithful know which house out of many would be used for the next Mass To maintain the utmost secrecy regular changes of venue were necessary if raids and arrests by the authorities were to be avoided Local Catholics were familiar with such houses and understood the code of the wooden scrolls on individual heck posts To inform the faithful of the house that had been secretly selected white sheets were hung on hedges or spread across the heather as if to dry They were visible from long distances in those hilly moorlands In his pamphlet Ven Nicholas Postgate 1928 Father William Storey wrote More quickly and more surely than any other messenger the sheets signalled where Mass was to be said

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  • Blessed Nicholas Postgate: Family Home and Birthplace
    not show a building on the banks of the River Esk that might have been Kirkdale House or the Bridge Chapel The Postgates then lived two miles away across country at Kirkdale Banks and the chapel might have been in ruins However it does show other buildings for it was meticulously compiled by The Lordship of Egton to indicate properties and to record the square measurements of fields NOTE When I first examined this map at the North Yorkshire Record Office at Northallerton I found it most difficult to understand but having grown up in Glaisdale and played cricket on its cricket field I recognised the site of what is now Glaisdale cricket field in a loop created by the River Esk I then realised the map is drawn upside down unlike modern maps north is at the bottom By turning this map so that north is at the top and then comparing it with a modern OS map it does make sense It is surprisingly accurate despite the annotations being upside down As a matter of further interest close to what is now Glaisdale cricket field the old map identifies an area called Oak Bridge Holme I refer to this as it may have caused confusion in the past because across country it is within half a mile of Kirkdale Banks and close to the banks of the River Esk In 1892 this location was sufficiently important along with Westonby Lodge Egton to be included in a map of North East Yorkshire in John Leyland s book The Yorkshire Coast and the Cleveland Hills and Dales Oak Bridge Holme also appears on a map in the renowned book Forty Years in a Moorland Parish by Canon J C Atkinson 1891 Oak Bridge Holme also known as Okebar Holme was formerly a thriving community and the 1636 map depicts several dwellings there this site is now below The Grange at Glaisdale Perhaps with Egton meaning town of oaks this might have once been called Egton Bridge Holme It appears on the map of The Lordship of Egton so could it have caused some confusion with the other Bridge Holme not far downriver at Egton Bridge and which was close to the fabled Kirkdale House If there is no documentary proof that Kirkdale House existed at Egton Bridge could Nicholas Postgate have spent his childhood elsewhere The answer is an emphatic Yes and there is evidence to support such a theory In his chapter about Father Postgate in Forgotten Shrines 1910 Dom Bede Camm one of the first to chronicle the martyr s life stated Nicholas Postgate was born at Kirkdale House in the parish of Egton near Whitby He adds Kirkdale or Kirk House our martyr s birthplace stood near Egton Bridge I have referred to Kirk House in my notes about Bridge Chapels on this site Bede Camm may have been shown the remains described in 1838 by an unknown author as literally a cattle shed and been told they were those of Kirkdale House or perhaps he viewed the remains of the bridge chapel once the home of priests and possible the Kirk House to which he refers He commented It must have been but a poor cottage in spite of its high sounding name It would be interesting to discover how long those remains survived after 1838 Thus we have two locations and two names Kirkdale or Kirk House in Egton or Egton Bridge This suggests that Bede Camm was unfamiliar with the geography of the locality It seems he did visit the district during his research but did he fully understand the dialect and accent of local witnesses More importantly was he given true facts for his working notes and did he check the statements of witnesses for their accuracy It is acknowledged that his research would be difficult due to the detail involved and human error is always a factor Mistakes can be made as any author knows only too well We remember too that it was local accents and dialects that presented problems to the OS mapmakers hence changes from local place names to standard English c 1849 We should understand that a resident of Egton Bridge or someone living in the vicinity may have innocently repeated hearsay and tradition in the belief they were true facts showing the familiar pile of stones and tumbledown cattle shed as proof In this way tradition and local lore can become accepted as factual when recorded in books and articles However neither Camm nor several other authors who followed him established the existence or whereabouts of Kirkdale and Kirkdale Banks Egton Perhaps like many others they may have thought Kirkdale Banks was near the river at Egton Bridge when in fact it was some miles away Post 1849 maps do not record Egton s Kirkdale they depict it as Church Dale and Bede Camm would have no reason to associate Nicholas Postgate with Church Dale Church Dale is a small valley to the west of Egton It surrounds Church Dale Beck formerly Kirkdale Beck as it flows down the dale to enter the River Esk opposite what is now Glaisdale cricket field Egton Mortuary Chapel formerly St Hilda s Church The 1636 map reproduced in my book Blessed Nicholas Postgate Martyr of the Moors contains information about Kirkdale It identifies Kirk Fields Kirke Fields Kirk Cliff Kirkdale Intake Low Kirk Intake and more importantly Kirkdale Banks Rather curiously St Hilda s tiny chapel now Egton Mortuary Chapel which overlooks the former Kirkdale is shown as Church not Kirk Thus we know that Kirkdale was an important area near Egton and location of Egton s former church of St Hilda This compact locality produced huge numbers of recusants to become known as A bishopric of papists with Grosmont Abbey as its head house Appendix E IV It became a thorn in the side of the Protestant authorities and many references in the Civil Recusants Returns for Egton 1604 1614 refer to locations in the former Kirkdale In fact Kirkdale was a valley rich with recusants The 19th century name changes on maps were the result of Ordnance Survey map makers removing local names so that locations would be understood nationally They tried to avoid confusion with nearby places of the same name such as the other Kirkdales near Kirkbymoorside and Ebberston Thus Egton s Kirkdale became the modern Church Dale about 164 years ago which is probably why so many writers were unaware of its existence Indeed the addresses of some of Church Dale s current properties are now within the postal district of Glaisdale Coincidentally however the former Kirkdale and its Church of St Hilda are now central to the Postgate Parishes of Egton Bridge Ugthorpe and Lealholm Of major importance is that the district was known as Kirkdale in Father Postgate s time It was part of the chapelry of Egton in Lythe parish Indeed it continued to be locally known as Kirkdale during my lifetime a former resident of Westonby Lodge Jossy Foster with whose daughters I attended St Hedda s School at Egton Bridge always referred to the area as Kirkdale Addendum I have not lost sight of the fact that a water colour painting of Egton Bridge reproduced above said to be dated from around 1800 and highlighting this famous village s chapels over the centuries also depicts a handsome stone bridge with a small building at its south west corner There is another substantial building nearby on the side of the road The former may be seen to correspond with reports of remains of a building in this locality or the report of 1838 which describes a building at or near this locality as little more than a cattle shed Ven Nicholas Postgate CTS 1928 There are suggestions that one of these buildings may have been Kirkdale House the birthplace of Blessed Nicholas Postgate Likewise reports of a dwindling pile of stones that remained for years at this location close to the end of the bridge even as late as the 1950s suggest these may have been the remnants of Kirkdale House They were on the left as one crosses the bridge towards Goathland and Rosedale if this was the site of the bridge chapel then it would be well protected from the force of flood water rushing downriver The bridge itself would provide that protection However we must not overlook the fact that the bridge at this location which was apparently destroyed by floods in the 14th century had its own chapel see my separate account on this site It is unlikely it was built upon the bridge or comprised part of the structure as this practice was restricted to bridges of great importance Whitby Bridge and Ouse Bridge York are two local examples Less important bridges had chapels close to them these being for the welfare of pilgrims and other travellers There travellers and pilgrims could rest awhile receive rest and refreshment and attend Mass albeit at a cost The money thus raised was supposed to be used to maintain the bridge and the chapel Many such chapels had a resident priest whose living expenses came from donations given by travellers and pilgrims The bridge with a chapel at Egton Bridge was probably destroyed by floods in the 14th century but these flood waters strong enough to destroy the fabric of a bridge may not have reached the chapel on higher ground It may have survived even if damaged to continue its role with a resident priest but later destroyed in the aftermath of the Reformation and reduced to a pile of stones It may have been on the site of the noted pile of stones that survived into my schooldays at Egton Bridge piles of stone did survive for centuries as some old maps will reveal and as visits to pre Reformation churches will also show As that chapel would have supported a priest for many years is it possible that local folklore and tradition has confused that chapel and its resident priest at Egton Bridge with the family home and birth place of Nicholas Postgate in Kirkdale Stories of the chapel near the bridge with its resident priest would have been told perhaps becoming distorted over the years The possibility of creating a local but inaccurate legend and tradition cannot be ignored APPENDIX A Available evidence indicates there can be no doubt that the Blessed Nicholas Postgate s family home was in Kirkdale More specifically it was the area known as Kirkdale Banks This is the name of a location a large hilly field not a house It is not at Egton Bridge but lies about four miles up river where Stonegate Beck joins the River Esk almost opposite Rake Farm Glaisdale This can be seen on the copy the 1636 map in my book Blessed Nicholas Postgate Martyr of the Moors and matched with the OS map of the locality The following publications refer to Kirkdale Banks or sometimes Kirkdale as the location of the Postgate family home Players of interludes in North Yorkshire in the early 17th century by G W Boddy North Yorkshire County Record Office Publications No 7 Journal No 3 1976 The extract on p 123 reads Nicholas Postgate was born in 1599 son of James and Margaret Postgate of Kirkdale Banks Egton Bridge This is fairly conclusive evidence that Nicholas was born at Kirkdale Banks despite Mr Boddy making the common error of believing Kirkdale Banks was at Egton Bridge Further references follow in Appendix C featuring the Civil Recusant Returns for Egton Was Christopher Simpson a Jesuit by Margaret Urquhart Journal of the Viola da Gamba Society No 21 1992 She states James Postgate the father of Nicholas Postgate lived at Kirkdale Banks Egton It is not stated here that James lived there before marrying Margaret although it seems that the house smallholding at Kirkdale Banks previously belonged to the Postgate family See para 4 hereunder and para E in Appendix D In Ven Nicholas Postgate CTS 1928 Father William Storey writes Nicholas Postgate s father was apparently the son of William Postgate of Kirkdale He adds that Father Postgate was born in 1596 at Kirkdale House in the parish of Egton but goes on to say the house was probably near the bridge Clearly he neither located Kirkdale nor realised its true location but Kirkdale was the family home before Nicholas was born his grandfather William and father James lived there Appendix E notes I II Father Storey confirms those points Camm also refers to William Postgate of Kirkdale who taught children William was a retired farmer so it is likely he farmed the family smallholding at Kirkdale Banks handing it over to James whilst continuing to live there in retirement and teach children James Postgate father of Nicholas lived at Kirkdale Banks but died in 1602 3 when his wife Margaret inherited the smallholding at Kirkdale Banks which she worked see below note 4 Nicholas was then about three years old with two older brothers Matthew and William There may have been a fourth child age and gender not recorded The Father Postgate Story by Father David Quinlan Whitby Gazette 1967 He wrote His Nicholas Postgate s mother is definitely identified as Margaret by the conveyance of a farm or small holding which she worked at Kirkdale Banckes sic in 1620 Father Quinlan gives no indication of the location of Kirkdale Banks nor does he suggest it was at Egton Bridge Kirkdale Banks is shown on the 1636 map of the Lordship of Egton but not on the 1849 Ordnance Survey map of that locality and not on modern OS maps No area of Egton Bridge was known by that name APPENDIX B It is perhaps prudent here to refer to the confusion over names of the various Postgate characters There were other Postgate families in the district based at Sleights Ugglebarnby Dean Hall Eskdaleside and Goathland It is possible they were related Appendix E VII The surname was variously written as Poskitt Poskett Posket Posgate and Postgayt the latter being the martyr s own spelling in a book signed by him It is now in St Hedda s Church Egton Bridge The same forenames appear in different areas for example an older Nicholas Postgate lived at Sleights In addition to Nicholas father called James another James Postgate lived at Dean Hall and yet another James was employed by the Constables of Burton Constable In the Eskdale Chapelry there was a William Postgate the Younger who was not grandfather of the martyr With such a large concentration of Postgates in Eskdale we can imagine the martyr s family being identified from the others as the family at the Kirkdale House This was a location not a house name A source from America indicates there was a William Postgate who owned land at Low Dale Sleights in the Eskdale Chapelry This might have been William Postgate the Younger above Of further interest is the fact that in 1704 a landowner called Michael Postgate donated land for the building of a school for the poor at Great Ayton on the northern edge of the North York Moors Later the navigator Captain James Cook was educated here and the building is now the Captain Cook Museum There is a suggestion that Michael Postgate may have been a nephew of Nicholas the martyr but I have been unable to substantiate this It was Father David Quinlan who settled the issue over the name of James wife Nicholas mother in some accounts she is called Jane Inevitably these names have led to problems with the name of James wife but it is certainly not Jane Jane and that particular James might have been relatives with the same surname Alternatively Jane Postgate may have lived near or possibly at the Postgate family home if she was William s daughter ie James sister and aunt of Nicholas She is identified as a widow but this term was sometimes used to indicate a woman who had never married And she did bear the surname of Postgate When James died at Kirkdale Banks in 1602 3 to leave Margaret a widow aged 23 with three sons Nicholas was only around three years old The dates of those years are written as eg 1602 3 because New Year s Day was Lady Day March 25 not January 1st as it is today This may explain why Nicholas year of birth is sometimes given as 1599 and sometimes as 1600 A single year January to December is written as 1599 1600 I tried to contact Margaret Urquhart to clarify her dates of the Postgates occupancy of the smallholding at Kirkdale Banks but sadly she died in 200l after being a lecturer probably at Durham University My enquiries at various Durham colleges and the university library have drawn a blank simply because such records do not exist Urquhart did not leave any research papers with the university I wanted her to confirm that Nicholas could have been born at the family home at Kirkdale Banks It certainly appears to be the case Margaret Urquhart argued that Christopher Simpson born 1604 was a contemporary and also a relation of Nicholas Postgate Appendix A para 2 He lived at Westonby about a mile from Kirkdale Banks near the head of Kirkdale From educated yeoman stock as were the Postgates he achieved international renown as a composer and player of the viola A youth called Nicholas Postgate joined the Simpson Players known also as the Egton Players a group of touring performers organised by the Simpsons of Westonby in Kirkdale As Westonby was only a mile or so from the Postgate home at Kirkdale Banks and as Nicholas and Christopher were relations and contemporaries there is little doubt they would know one another or even be friends This closeness and the fact the Players

    Original URL path: http://www.nicholasrhea.co.uk/postgate/birthplace.html (2016-02-17)
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