“Sweet Leavening, my native home,
How oft I think of thee;
Is there one left to whom I’m known,
Who still remembers me?”
He left a unique record of life in Leavening in his Topographical History of Leavening. He wrote it in 1831 at the age of 59, but he describes the events of the late 18 Century. He observed all the life of the village with a keen interest. As a boy he would have explored all the woods and lanes of the village and the surrounding countryside. Throughout his life he was able to look back on his childhood home, the village and the people, with fondness and perhaps a touch of regret.
He describes the village as:
“Pleasantly situated at the foot of the Yorkshire Wolds about 51/2 miles distance south of Malton; it is sheltered on the east and south east by the Wolds. It has but one principle street with straggling houses situated in garths and by places scattered here and there which give it a more more rural and village like appearance; at this period it has no public edifice church or chapel of any kind. Beyond the middle a little to the west of the village were crossroads intersecting each other, one from Malton in the north to the villages south of Leavening, the other from York in the west to Bridlington in the east; these roads make the village a constant thoroughfare and render it far more cheerful and lively than it otherwise would be were it not so.”
The inhabitants he describes as:
“.....Few in number and mostly deficient in educations. Yet they lived in great harmony and peace together except for two individuals namely Geo. Bean and Joseph Robson......the peaceable part of the community knew little of their feud.”
...The other inhabitants were in general people of good common sense and well suited for their respective stations in life: differing in sufficient character to produce an agreeable variety yet retaining their honest principle of action which made the whole highly interesting”.
From Leavening Through the Ages by Don Howarth
Download the whole document of Robert Addison below in PDF format. Thanks to Don Howarth for the transcription.
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