Background Information



GabroonRef 1-2898
A type of fustian cloth

GaiterRef 1-G8
A leather or cloth leg covering, often with buttons up the side

GaleRef 1-714
A local name for the sweet myrtlemyrtus communis – which was used to produce a blue dye. This was used in dyeing wool. The effects of the leaves and berries were much stronger when soaked in ale

GalkerRef 1-G20
A type of ale

Galleried HousesRef 1-2004
In some 19th century housing, such as top-and-bottom houses, a cantilevered walkway – with railings – from the street at the upper level gave access to the sections which were not directly on the street level.

There were many examples of such galleried houses in Hebden Bridge, and also at Green Lane, West Vale, St Peter Street, Boothtown and Waterloo Street, Boothtown

See Back-to-back houses and Up-and-over house

GalleryRef 1-1800
Galleries in churches were introduced from the late 17th century to accommodate the increasing congregation, although some of these were considered unsightly and were removed by the High Church Movement. The organ – and later the choir – were usually in the west gallery

See Million Pound Act and Pews

GalliardRef 1-445
A hard sandstone

GalliardRef 1-G5
A lively French dance for two persons, usually in triple time

Gallipoly oilRef 1-135
Or Oile. Recorded in the late 18th century: a superior type of olive oil

GallonRef 1-1396
A unit of capacity and volume equal to 4 quarts = 4·546 litres

GallowayRef 1-1279
Aka Gallowa. A small horse used as a packhorse. These were the most commonly used on the Pennine routes.

The animals were typically about 14-15 hands (56 inches) tall. They carried 2 panniers, each holding about 120 lbs of goods – see load. The horses were originally bred in the Galloway region of Scotland. They are now extinct

See Jagger and Limegal

Gallows, Right ofRef 1-1799
A privilege of the lord of the manor to hang criminals convicted by his court. This applied to criminals who had been accused of theft, and caught red-handed, with the goods on their person

See Gibbet Law, Hand-habend, Hanging, Infangthief and Utfangthief

GalvaniumRef 1-2356
Aka Galvanism.

A therapeutic treatment using electricity to stimulate the body.

These were available from independent galvanists – such as Samuel Fleming - and at medical centres such as the Sunnyside Hydro Institution, Southport

GamblingRef 1-G16
Some local connections with legal and illegal gambling include Seth Ambler, William Fielden, Aminadab Gaskin, John Russell Hadwen, Halifax Race Course, Samuel Halstead, Ladstone Rock, Norland Moor, Lottery, John Mitchell, Northowram Stocks, Edward Rookes, Jack Sharp, Southowram stocks, Sam Stead, Richard Stocks, Sun Woods, Shelf and PC Sykes

Game ListsRef 1-523
19th century newspapers carried extensive Game Lists of game-keepers and people who had obtained Game Certificates. An Act of 1784, required
every person qualified in respect of property to kill game and every person who shall keep any dog, gun, net or other engine for the taking or destruction of game

to register and take out a certificate annually

GangreneRef 1-803
A disease in which the body tissue decays and dies as a result of bacterial action. Treatment may involve surgical removal of the tissue or amputation of the affected part.

The disease sets in through loss of blood supply to the area, which may be due to injury, frostbite, thrombosis, or diabetes. The affected part gradually turns black as bacteria colonise the tissue, and cause blood poisoning.

Gas gangrene is caused by infection of serious wounds with the bacterium Clostridium perfringens

See Mortification and St Anthony's fire

GaolRef 1-1320
The words gaol and gaoler are alternative spellings of jail and jailer.

See Jails

Gaol deliveryRef 1-1722
A hearing of the charges against all prisoners awaiting trial in the local gaol to decide their guilt or innocence

Gaol feverRef 1-845
Another name for typhus which was prevalent in prisons where it was transmitted by body lice and fleas

GarderobeRef 1-2403
This was originally a mediæval lavatory – often within the thickness of the wall of a building – with a chute leading to an external pit, cesspool, stream or moat.

Because the smell of ammonia wafting up the chute repelled moths, the room was often used for storing clothes – thus giving rise to the name which is related to the modern wardrobe.

See The Powder Closet, Shibden Hall

GarnettingRef 1-199
A stage – similar to carding – in the production of shoddy and mungo when cotton and other materials were removed, converting waste fibres or yarns into a web of fibres.

See Seaming

GarnishRef 1-G27
Tableware. A garnish of pewter was a complete set of platters, dishes, saucers, cups, and small plates. These were often placed on display

GarthRef 1-142
An element used in place names which means an enclosure or a yard.

The word comes from the Old Norse garðr

Gas, Lighting & Sewage Act [1846]Ref 1-1229

Gascon Rolls Project [1317-1468]Ref 1-1191
A project to produce an online calendar of the Gascon Rolls which were drawn up by the English royal administration for Aquitaine, south-west France from 1273.

GassingRef 1-373
A stage in the processing of cotton and silk in which the thread is passed at high speed through a gas flame, or over a hot plate, to burn off stray ends of the fibre, making it smoother.

The terms polished cotton and silk finish cotton are also used.

The work was done by a gasser.

See Singeing

GateRef 1-649
Also yate. Used in place names – such as Lydgate – the element often means street and comes from the Norse gade.

It may also have the more obvious meaning of an entrance or exit.

In other parts of the Britain, the word has become yat.

See also the dialect form a-gate

GaukRef 1-771
The element – used in names such as Gauxholme and Gaukroger – may be derived from the Norse gauk [a cuckoo or a left-handed or clumsy person]

GavelkindRef 1-1364
An Old English custom – common in Kent and Wales – whereby a man's property was divided equally between his sons. If he had no sons, then it was divided equally between his daughters. If he had both sons and daughters, then only the sons benefited. It was abolished in 1992.

Compare this with Primogeniture

GearingRef 1-G28
Harness for horses which was used to pull the wagons and ploughs

Abbr: GEnealogical Data COMmunication.

A standard computer file format for exchanging family history data.

The standard is defined by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

GeldRef 1-1098
Saxon-Norman term for arable land. It was also the tax or rent paid to the lord of the manor. The money often went to pay for the royal fleet.

See Danegeld, Domesday Book and Ship money

GeldaleRef 1-G23
A tax or payment

GenappeRef 1-1091
A smooth worsted yarn and the cloth produced from it.

Named for the town of Genappe, Belgium where the material was originally produced

GenealogyRef 1-G30

GenerosusRef 1-2433
A title given to the sons of a squire who himself had the formal title of Esquire.

He might also be addressed as Mr.

When the first-born son & heir of a squire inherited the estate, he received the title Esquire.

In another of the squire's sons inherited substantial lands, then his sons were also given the title generosus. For example

in the 1517 Will of William Savile, generosus, (he was son of John Savile of Hullenedge and wife Alice Lister), which was witnessed by Hugh Stansfeld, generosus. Hugh's father Richard, was a second son, but inherited substantial lands

GENUKIRef 1-457
A family history and local history website for the UK and Ireland

An Internet project to collate photographs of scenes from every Ordnance Survey grid square in the British Isles.

With kind consent of the Webmaster at GEOGPH.ORG.UK, photographs from the collection have been attached to many of the entries in Malcolm Bull's Calderdale Companion

George IIIRef 1-515
[1738-1820] Son of Frederick, Prince of Wales, and grandson of George II. He reigned from 25th October 1760 to 29th January 1820.

He was succeeded by his son George IV.

In 1809, a number of people subscribed to a fund which was raised for the celebration of the jubilee of George III in Halifax, including William Gath and James Taylor

George IVRef 1-520
[1762-1830] Son of George III.

He was succeeded by his brother William IV

George NobleRef 1-2957
In 1526, Henry VIII issued a George noble coin worth 6s/8d and a half George noble worth 3s/4d

See Noble

George VRef 1-G1227
[1865-1936] On 25th July 1896, as the Duke of York, he visited Halifax with his wife, Mary of Teck, to open the Borough Markets and the Royal Halifax Infirmary. They paid a visit to Belle Vue.

He succeeded his father, Edward as King of the United Kingdom [1910-1936].

His coronation took place on 22nd June 1911.

A commemorative medallion was presented to schoolchildren in Hebden Bridge

Question: Does anyone know anything about the medallion? was it to celebrate the Coronation in 1911, or the royal visit in 1912? who funded the scheme? how many were distributed? were they only given in Hebden Bridge or were there similar medallions in other areas?


King George V and Queen Mary visited the district on 10th July 1912. This was the first visit by a reigning monarch.

His daughter was Princess Mary.

He was succeeded by his son, Edward VIII.

See Rev William Christopher Bell, William Crossley, George V Park, Lightcliffe, Halifax Madrigal Society, King Cross Band, Arthur Laycock, Manor Heath Mansion, Halifax, Royal Halifax Infirmary, Sandringham Time, The Stray, Lightcliffe, Tram Number 12, Tram Number 89, Tram Number 90, Reginald Alexander John Warneford and John Henry Whitley

George VIRef 1-G1228
[1895-1952] He succeeded his brother, Edward, as King of the United Kingdom [1936-1952].

The newly-crowned George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited Halifax on 20th October 1937.

He was succeeded by his daughter, Elizabeth.

See Conway's Limited and Rev William Foxley Norris

German Gas AttackRef 1-982
On 17th April-7th May 1915, the German captured Battle of Hill 60 in Flanders.

In early May, they used gas shells.

On 19th December 1915, the Germans made an attack on British Troops using Phosgene Gas.

Many local men die in the attack, and others died later from the effects of the gas.

See Horace Sykes

German U-BoatsRef 1-1107
German U-Boats: During World Wars I & II, a number of local servicemen were lost in naval incidents involving German submarines of the Kaiserliche Marine and the Kriegsmarine

Gibraltar, Siege ofRef 1-509
[1779-1783] During the American Revolution, the Spanish – assisted by the French – imposed a blockade of Gibraltar. The British destroyed the blockades.

See John Medley

GiftRef 1-G18
Many local charities were named after the benefactor, including Bates's Gift, Bentley's Gift, Boyes' Gift, Brooksbank's Gift, Chamberlain's Gift, Gledhill's Gift, Greenwood's Gift, John Greenwood's Gift, John Greenwood's Gift, Haworth's Gift, Hoyle's Gift, Naylor's Gift, Sutcliffe's Gift and Whitley's Gift

GigRef 1-1319
A light 2-wheeled carried pulled by one horse

GigRef 1-203
A knife which is used to remove knots from the surface of a piece of cloth

Gig millRef 1-180
A machine for carding / brushing the finished cloth to raise the nap by means of a set of teazels fixed to a rotating cylinder.

Also called a mozing mill, the machine was in use in some form from the 16th century.

They were used locally from the late 18th century.

By 1817, there were 72 gig mills in Yorkshire.

The gig mills were targetted by the Luddites.

See Carding, Cropping, Cloth dressing and Shearing frame

Gilbert UnionRef 1-1905
A parish or group of parishes which adopted the Gilbert Act [1782] to build a workhouse to house their poor

GildRef 1-G15
Old spelling of Guild

GillRef 1-1399
A unit of capacity and volume equal to ¼ pint = 5 fluid ounces = 0·1421 litres. In some parts of Britain – including Halifax – a gill is ½ pint

GillingRef 1-178
The cloth-making process of drawing a sliver between two pairs of rollers in which the movement of the fibres is controlled by pins on moving bars. Gilling performs three tasks: aligning the fibres, reducing the thickness of the sliver, and blending/mixing several slivers into one.

The process is carried out on a gill box.

Slubbing was a similar process

GinRef 1-1862
This cheap drink – distilled from malted grain and flavoured with juniper berries – became popular in the 18th century and was regarded as a cure-all.

It was also known as Calamity water and Hollands.

See Temperance

See Calamity water, Daffy, Hollands, Parliamentary brandy, Purl and Temperance

Ginger beerRef 1-391
A non-alcoholic drink brewed with ginger and sugar.

See Ginger beer brewers and Horehound beer

GinnelRef 1-G25

GinningRef 1-521
The process of removing seeds and impurities from raw cotton fibres.

See Batting and Scutching

Given namesRef 1-2443
Given names – or, in the present context, Christian names – were entirely a matter of choice for the parents.

A rough convention which was in operation from the 1500s was, for boys:

  1. the first son was named after the father's father
  2. the second son after the mother's father
  3. the third son after the father
  4. the fourth son after the father's eldest brother

For girls:

  1. the first daughter after the mother's mother
  2. the second daughter after the father's mother
  3. the third daughter after the mother
  4. the fourth daughter after the mother's eldest sister

The name of a godparent might also be used

GlazingRef 1-422
A stage in the processing of cotton in which the thread is heated and then coated with wax, starch or other chemicals to produce a hard, glossy finish

GlebeRef 1-1175
Land belonging to the parish church and providing income as a part of the priest's benefice. These were listed in the Glebe Terrier.

The word meant soil or earth

Glebe TerrierRef 1-1351
A document recording land, tithes, property and endowments belonging to the parish church and providing income as a part of the priest's benefice. A description of the church, graveyard, vicarage and other property are included. A cathedral record holds details of a cathedral's property.

See Glebe

GledRef 1-614
The element is used in local place names – such as Gledcliffe and Gledhill – and may be derived from

  • the name gled [meaning a kite] – because the birds may have once nested there
  • an old form of the word clay – because there was clay mining in the vicinity

GleeRef 1-1647
A song written for three or more male solo parts, usually without instrumental accompaniment.

Glee clubs and glee societies were popular in the 19th century.

See Brighouse Glee & Madrigal Society, Madrigal and Rastrick Glee & Madrigal Society

The Glorious RevolutionRef 1-T46
The victory of William over James II at the Battle of the Boyne

Go where he willRef 1-1496
A term which is used in Domesday Book for an Anglo-Saxon landholder who had freedom of jurisdiction over his land. This caused disputes after the Norman Conquest because, in the Norman system of landholding, tenants held land under a tenant-in-chief or the lord of the manor

GoadRef 1-2199
Aka Rod

GoitRef 1-G1
Local term for a water-channel – often an underground channel – or the small dam of a mill.

A tail goit channels the water from the mill.

Other spellings, such as: goyte and goyt are found

Gold RushRef 1-1254
The discovery of gold in various parts of the world, such as

stimulated the emigration of many local people

Golden DawnRef 1-2070
Aka The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. A 19th century occult secret society.

See Dr Bogdan Edward Jastrzebski Edwards

GonorrheaRef 1-821
A sexually-transmitted disease

Goods & ChattelsRef 1-2319
Another term for a person's effects.

See Personal chattels

Gordon RiotsRef 1-1243
Anti-Catholic riots which took place in London in 1780

The distillery owned by Thomas Langdale was destroyed by fire

GoreRef 1-146
A triangular – or irregularly-shaped – piece of land, often a difficult corner of an open field resulting from the terrain. The element is often used in place names and field names.

See Butt

GossipRef 1-1237
The word is derived from the Old English godsibb meaning a kinsman in God, and referred to a godparent.

The word is related to sibling.

Later [14th century], it was used to refer to any close friend, and then specifically for a friend of the mother who was present during childbirth – see midwife.

Later [16th century], it generalised to meaning a group of people taking part in idle talk, such as might be done to pass the time whilst awaiting childbirth

Gothic ArchitectureRef 1-493

Gothic RevivalRef 1-2658
Architectural style popular in the 19th century.

It was a reappearance of the Gothic Architecture which flourished between 1180 and 1520.


GoutRef 1-851
A disease – occurring mainly in men – causing the inflammation of the hands and feet, arthritis, and deformity. It was believed to be aggravated by drinking port wine

Goux systemRef 1-779
A domestic waste-disposal system – based on designs by Pierre Nicholas Goux – which succeeded dry earth closets.

The waste was collected into a tub and rammed down with a large plug before being covered with deodorising powder. The tub was then ready for re-use. The compacted waste could be removed and then disposed of.

Around 1870, Halifax was one of the first towns to use the system.

The Halifax Corporation Goux Yard stood on the east side of the Calder & Hebble Navigation at Caddy Field [1908].

In 1916, there are references in the Improvement Committee Minutes to changing them over to water closets.

From late 1923, a grant of around £4 5/- was being paid to householders who were using the system.

In 1926, it is recorded that they were being changed over to water closets on a gradual basis.

In 1933, Council Minutes indicate that they were still in the process of changing to water closets. In 1939, the task was completed.

Sowerby Bridge also used the system for disposal of night soil.

See Goux, Manure & Sanitary Company Limited

GovernessRef 1-G35
A woman responsible for teaching and caring for young children in a private family.

This was a popular occupation and was commonly found amongst the daughters of middle-class households in the 19th century. The equivalent male position was as a tutor.

The Brontë children had several such positions: Cottingley Old Hall, Greenhow family, Ingham family, Postlethwaite family, Robinson family, Sidgwick family, White family.

The characters in many of their novels take up posts as governesses and tutors, all based upon the sisters' own experiences

Governing documentRef 1-702
The formal document which sets up a charity and states, amongst other things, the objects of the charity, the powers of the charity, and the trustees who run the charity

GPRef 1-916
General practitioner (in medicine), a doctor

GrainRef 1-1393
A unit of weight equal to 1/7000th of a pound = 0·0648 gram. It was originally the weight of a seed of corn.

See Ounce apothecaries and Pennyweight

GrainRef 1-618
Used in place names – such as Brook Grains Hill, Rastrick, Brook Grains Lane, Rishworth, Graining Water, and Oxygrains Bridge, Rishworth.

The word comes from the Old Norse grein and usually implies a junction, or a place where 2 watercourses join or divide

Grains of ParadiseRef 1-524
The seeds of a plant – aframomum melegueta – used in North and West African cuisine. Quassia and Cocculus Indicus were also used for similar purposes.

In the 19th century, they were used illegally in brewing to create an illusion of strength in gin and malt liquors.

In 1870, these were advertised on for sale the Liverpool Produce Market at 22/- per cwt.

The use of the seeds was undesirable because (1) they replaced hops and thus avoided payment of the appropriate duty, and (2) they were considered to be harmful.

In 1816, legislation prohibited dealers, brewers and beersellers from possessing or using the additives (with a penalty of £200), and prohibited druggists from selling them (with a penalty of £500).

In the mid 19th century, a number of local brewers and landlords – including

- were fined and the renewal of their licences was challenged for having used the seeds in their brewing.

Druggists Richard Toone and Joseph Brice Walton were charged with supplying the grains

Grand MalRef 1-832
A severe epileptic fit characterised by convulsions affecting the whole body, and may result in loss of consciousness.

See Petit Mal

The Grand TourRef 1-1772
From the 17th and into the 18th and 19th centuries, it was common for the wealthy to go on a grand tour of Europe, visiting the cities and sites of classical antiquity – France, Italy, Greece, Turkey – to study the art and architecture. This was usually done by the men of the time.

See Harriet Smith Fisher, John Harper and Anne Lister

GrandamRef 1-G22
A word for grandmother

GrangeRef 1-G2
A farmhouse or land with barns, stables, granaries and other farm-buildings, often belonging to the church or a monastery.

The bailiff in charge of a grange was known as the granger

Granger ReportRef 1-329
In 1848, the Public Health Act laid down standards for the health, sanitation and water supplies in the growing and overcrowded towns and cities of Britain. To assess the situation in readiness for enforcing the Act, a young engineer – William Ranger visited Halifax. The chief areas which caused him concern were Crib Lane, Cross Hills, Haley Hill, Hodgson's Fold, Orange Street, the City, The Square and Winding Road. His findings were published in the Granger Report

GrannyRef 1-1028
This may be a form of the element Grain, meaning
a junction, or a place where 2 watercourses join or divide

See Granny Hall, Brighouse, Granny Hill, Halifax and Granny Hill Lane, Copley

Grant in feeRef 1-1651
Land given to someone in exchange for their services.

See Demise

GranteeRef 1-G29
Anyone who buys or receives property.

The grantor is the person selling, giving or transferring property

GraveRef 1-1448
See Body-snatcher, Coffin, Epitaphs, Graves, Memorials & Epitaphs, Graveyard shift, Infant vault, Private grave, Public grave and War Memorials

GraveRef 1-G3

Gravel workingRef 1-360
The gravels – which occur with the sand and clay of the coal measures – have been successfully gathered for making concrete. Lake Calder was the source of much local gravel.

Small stones – such as would be of no use as flags or for other purposes – were often crushed to make gravel.

See Calder Valley Sand & Gravel Company Limited, Clay working, Elland Gravel Pits, Halifax Sand & Gravel Company Limited and Stone quarrying

Graves, Memorials & EpitaphsRef 1-G26

GraveshipRef 1-1425

Graveyard shiftRef 1-1809
In Victorian times, a fear of being buried alive led to the practice of making a small hole to carry a thread from the corpse's finger to a small bell on the grave.

A member of the graveyard shift would be on duty to listen for the bell and exhume the person on hearing the bell ring.

In 1895, Dr J. C. Ouseley wrote that as many as 2,700 people were buried prematurely each year

Greasy pieceRef 1-924
A piece of cloth straight from the loom

Great beastsRef 1-G9
Those animals which were part of a tithe. The equine beasts included horses, mules, and donkeys; the bovine beasts or rother beasts included oxen, bullocks, and cattle

The Great Exhibition [1851]Ref 1-1246
Prince Albert was a patron of industry, science and the arts, and he planned the Great Exhibition of 1851 as a showcase for industry and enterprise from Britain and the British Empire, and other parts of the world.

There were over 10,000 exhibits, and over 6 million people attended the exhibition which was held in the specially-built Crystal Palace designed by Joseph Paxton in Hyde Park, London.

Several local businesses exhibited their products at the Exhibition, including J. Aked & Sons, James Akroyd & Son, William Barraclough, Erasmus Bigelow, M. Bottomley & Sons, William Brown, Carpet mosaics, J. T. Clay & Sons Limited, John Foster & Son Limited, T. Gregory & Brothers, John Hadwen & Sons Limited, Hoadley & Pridie, John Holdsworth & Company Limited, Henry Charles McCrea, Jonathan Schofield, J. Schofield, Shepherd & Perfect, Samuel Wallis, Ward & McRea and John Wilson

Great PlagueRef 1-G17
This was the most famous epidemic of the bubonic plague, and it struck Britain during the period 1665-1666. In 1665, the Court and Parliament moved to Oxford

Great PoxRef 1-880
Aka Syphilis as distinct from smallpox

Great Tithes disputeRef 1-1217
The Waterhouse family of Halifax were the bailiffs in the North for the Priory of Lewes, and collected tithes and administered the lands in the Parish of Halifax. Because of the distance to Lewes, the monks encouraged the landowners to commute their tithes into money payments.

Robert Waterhouse of Shibden Hall triggered off a dispute over tithes in 1535 when he demanded a tenth of the harvest instead of the fixed sum of money which had become the custom.

A lawsuit followed and Gilbert Waterhouse, a kinsman of Waterhouse, killed with a dagger worth 20 pence George Crowther, one of the many who had opposed the demands. In 1607, David Waterhouse made an abortive proposal for the more rigorous exaction of first fruits and tithes

Greater titheRef 1-G7
See Tithe

GreaveRef 1-1222
Also Grieve, Grave, Reeve. A minor local official, bailiff or foreman whose responsibilities included the collection of rents and dues for the lord of the manor from the people of the graveship.

The word comes from the Old English gerefa

GreaveRef 1-2558
When used in place names – such as Good Greave, Hardcastle Crags, Great Greave, Soyland, Greave Clough, Hebden Bridge, Greave Head, Soyland, Greave House, Midgley, Greave Mill, Stainland, Raistrick Greave, Heptonstall, and The Greave, Midgley - the element may mean a woodland area, a grove [of trees or other plants].

See Grove

GreaveshipRef 1-1428
Aka Graveship. The area for which a greave was responsible.

See Manor of Wakefield

GreenRef 1-G11
An area of common grassland within a village which was used for grazing

Green FeverRef 1-806
Aka Green sickness. A form of anæmia

Green trackRef 1-G6
An unpaved track such as was used by packhorses. As these became quagmires with the frequent traffic, many were changed to paved causeways

GreesRef 1-657
Various forms of this element are used in local place names – such as Black gress, Brighouse, Greece Fields, Halifax, Greece House, Halifax and Thorngreese, Todmorden.

The element means steps or stairs

GrieveRef 1-G14
Aka Greave

GripRef 1-1302
An artificial channel dug into the peat and moorland to allow the land to drain.

Unfortunately, these lead to flash flood effects, allowing the water to run off quickly and, in turn, leading to flooding of the rivers. This has been particularly bad in Swaledale.

See Drain

GroatRef 1-2990
An obsolete silver coin which was worth four pence = 4d = issued by Edward I in 1279, and in circulation until 1662. A half groat coin was issued in 1344 by Edward III. The helmeted figure of Britannia first appeared on the silver groat of 1836. The last groats were issued in 1855. The coin is still used as Maundy Money. The name comes from Middle English and Middle Dutch word groot, meaning great referring to a thick penny

Grocer's itchRef 1-33
A skin disease caused by mites found in sugar or flour

GrogramRef 1-169
A coarse fabric, often stiffened with gum

GroutRef 1-488
A type of beer

GroveRef 1-653
When used in place names, the element may mean a grove [of trees or other plants] or a mine.

See Greave

GruelRef 1-2389
A thin porridge made by boiling a little oatmeal in a large amount of water

Guardian of the PoorRef 1-G4

Guide stoopRef 1-G13

GuildRef 1-2241
Aka Gild. A body of skilled workers established for mutual support, for relief of the poor, and for standardisation, control and protection of their trade and prices.

There were often grades of membership: an apprentice progressing to a journeyman, and then to a master. Each grade had its own rules, its obligations and its privileges. They specified and controlled factors such as how long an apprentice must serve, how many apprentices a master may have.

The word guild is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word for money, and reminds us that members of the guilds paid a fee.

There were guilds involved in cloth-making in London, Beverley, Nottingham, Norwich, and York, but there are no records of any guilds in the Halifax district. This led to complaints of unfair competition from weavers outside the district.

Religion played an important part in the life of the early guilds and each company had its own patron St and was associated with a particular church. The name of the patron St is often incorporated into the name of the guild.

The guilds and their monopolies were protected by, and paid money to, the sovereign.

In 1504, Henry VII placed guilds and companies under state supervision.

As the companies grew and prospered, they bought or built halls in the large towns and cities for use as meeting places. These were often known as Livery Halls, referring to the livery or uniform which members of the guild wore.

Social, economic and political events – such as the Industrial Revolution, overseas trade and the Reform Act – ended the dominance of some of the guilds, but others continue to the present day.

See Livery company and Mystery

GuillotineRef 1-1239
The French version of the gibbet was named after the French physician, Joseph Ignace Guillotin who visited Halifax in his search for a means of execution during the time of the French Revolution.

In 1790, Guillotin demonstrated his new, humane and painless method of execution.

The design of the French guillotine is attributed to Antoine Louis, a surgeon, and originally the machine was named after him Louison or Louisette

Guillotine lockRef 1-2877
A type of lock in which the gates are raised and lowered vertically. These are where there is insufficient space for conventional lock gates.

Two local examples are Brooksmouth Lock, Salterhebble and Library Lock, Todmorden

GuineaRef 1-G24
Unit of currency before decimalisation equivalent to £1 1s = 21s = 21/-. The first guinea was worth £1 and minted with gold from the Guinea Coast in West Africa in 1662 when Charles II ordered that all coins be produced mechanically. It was coined for trade with Africa.

The guinea was often used in prestigious contexts, such as the prices of expensive goods and clothes, horse-racing prizes, and fees. The value of the golden guinea was fixed at 21 shillings in 1717. The coin was last minted in 1813.

Charles II introduced a two guinea coin in 1664, a five guinea coin in 1668, a half guinea worth 10s/6d in 1669. A quarter guinea worth 5s/3d was introduced in 1762, and a third guinea worth 6s/8d in 1797

GulesRef 1-910
An heraldic term referring to the colour red

Gules of AugustRef 1-G10
The 1st of August

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 16:49 / 2nd November 2023 / 73030

Page Ref: B113_G

search tips advanced search
site search by freefind