Background Information



Ice-breakerRef 1-2878
A narrow boat which was used to break ice on the canal. The boat would be rocked from side to side and there was a hand-rail for the boatmen to hold on to

Identity cardsRef 1-I16
Abolished 21st February 1952

Idle poorRef 1-544
A term used in the Poor Law system to describe those people who were of able body but were not willing to work. They were not considered deserving of poor relief.

See Vagrant

Illegitimate childRef 1-1556
A child conceived and born out of lawful wedlock. The status had certain legal and social consequences.

The birth record usually omits the name of the child's father. Some illegitimate children had two surnames.

Mothers were often sent to the workhouse to give birth to an illegitimate child.

The English terms base-born, bastard, byblow, chanceling, chance begotten, imputed, merrybegot, misbegotten, natural child, nephew, special bastard, spurious, and supposed and the Latin terms filius nullius, filius populi, ignotus, and spurius or simply the letter B – were also used to record an illegitimate child in parish registers.

Between the 16th and 19th century the Overseer of the Poor kept the parish records of illegitimate births and attempted to issue bastardy bonds to obtain support from the child's father.

The number of illegitimate births peaked with the increasing population of the mid-19th century, and there was great social stigma attached to having a child out of wedlock.

Abortion, murder, and abandonment of such a child were illegal, and baby farms were set up, as at Sun Longley, Norland.

A woman who has an illegitimate child was known by names such as Spruce girl.

See Bastardy bond, leyerwite and Town husband

ImperialRef 1-574
A small beard, such as was worn by emperor Napoleon III

ImpostRef 1-I14
Any tax, excise or duty

Impotent poorRef 1-542
A term used in the Poor Law system to describe those people who could not look after themselves or go to work. They included the ill, the infirm, the elderly, and children with no-one to properly care for them. It was generally held that they should be looked after

ImprimisRef 1-I2
Or Inprimis. A Latin term meaning in the first place, first of all, amongst the first things

InchRef 1-1709
Abbr: in or ins. A unit of length equivalent to 25·4 mm; a square inch is equivalent to 6·45 square cms; a cubic inch is equivalent to 16·38 cubic cms. The symbol " is used for inches; thus a length of 2 feet 6 inches could be written as 2' 6".

The inch is still valid as a unit for trade in the UK, following legislation of 1994/5 which replaced some imperial units by metric units In 1150, King David I of Scotland defined the inch as the breadth of a man's thumb at the base of the nail. This was calculated by taking the average of the measurements of the thumbs of a small man, a medium man, and a large man. During the reign of Edward II, the inch was defined as

three grains of barley, dry and round, placed end to end lengthwise

Income taxRef 1-I5
In 1799, Pitt the Younger introduced income tax of 2/- in the pound for incomes over £200 to raise money for the Napoleonic Wars. It was abolished in 1802, and reintroduced in 1803. It was abolished in 1816 to alleviate distress following the Napoleonic Wars, but the offset by increasing taxes to other products led to rising prices. In 1915, Lloyd George doubled income tax to pay for World War I. In 1923, Stanley Baldwin reduced income tax by 6d. On 6th April 1944, the Pay-As-You-Earn scheme was introduced

IndentureRef 1-I12
A written agreement between two people, usually in two identical parts, each signed by the two parties

Indentured servantRef 1-I1
Anyone who is bound into the service of another person for a specified period. In the 18th and 19th centuries, this was often done as a means of paying for passage to another country.

See Apprentice

Independent Labour PartyRef 1-2390
Abbr: ILP. The ILP was founded at a conference in Bradford in 1893 on the initiative of socialists, mainly from Scotland and the North of England and encouraged by such national figures as Keir Hardie and Robert Blatchford. In 1900, the ILP played a key role in the founding of the Labour Representation Committee, which became the Labour Party in 1906. After 1918, the Labour Party introduced its own individual membership, though the ILP retained the right to hold its own conferences and determine its own policies, even when they ran counter to those of the Labour Party. The ILP strongly opposed Britain's entry into World War I, whereas Labour supported the war effort. In 1932, the ILP disaffiliated from the Labour Party.

A local branch is recorded at 9 St James's Street, Halifax when James Horsfall was secretary [1917].

Some people who were involved with the ILP included

Indian MutinyRef 1-454
[10th May 1857] The Indian soldiers in the army of the British East India Company mutinied.

This led to the dissolution of the Company and caused the British to reorganise their administration in India.

See John Charles Dyson, Henry John Ellis, John Harrington, Joel Holmes, John Lord, Robert Johnston Stansfeld and Thomas Walsh

Indictment bookRef 1-I13
These record serious criminal charges brought before the county magistrates in Quarter Sessions from 1637 until 1971. Indictments are in Latin until 1733, apart from the Commonwealth period 1651-1660. Each entry gives the name, address and occupation of the defendant, together with brief details of the offence, a note of the plea, the verdict of the jury and the sentence

IndigoRef 1-2705
A blue vegetable dye used in the district for producing coloured fabric.

See Yorkshire Indigo, Scarlet & Colour Dyers Limited

Indoor-reliefRef 1-1936
Assistance provided to the poor within the workhouse.

See Out-Relief and Parish relief

Industrial diseaseRef 1-30
A great many diseases – such as Anthrax, Asbestosis, Black lung, Byssinosis, Cancer, Carder's cough, Grocer's itch, Halifax Legs, Kissing the shuttle, Mesothelioma, Pneumoconiosis, Rag-picker's disease, Shuttle, Silicosis, Sizing, Spinning mule, George Bruno Wakefield and Woolsorter's disease, and skin cancer caused by the mineral oils used on machinery - were a consequence of the working conditions in the mines, mills and factories

Industrial RevolutionRef 1-112
During the 18th century, an increase in technical and economic development resulted in the domestic and agrarian economy being replaced by one which was dominated by machinery and manufacturing

Coal mining
Domestic system
Factory Acts

Iron-working industry
Piece Hall, Halifax

Pollit & Wigzell Limited
Stone quarrying
George Bruno Wakefield
Woollen industry

Industries & TradesRef 1-I8

InfangthiefRef 1-1952
Aka Infangentheof, Infangenetheof. An Old English term for the right granted by the Crown to manorial lords and empowering them to judge and execute a felon who was caught within their jurisdiction and in possession of stolen goods.

See Right of Gallows, Gibbet Law and Utfangthief

Infant mortalityRef 1-331

See Child labour, Deaths in Childbirth, Longevity, Halifax Improvements Acts and William Ranger

Infant VaultRef 1-1289
An Infant Vault was a simple burial plot, much like a Public Grave, but a fee was charged for burials.

At Lister Lane Cemetery, Infant Vault No.170 was situated beneath the Mortuary Chapel

Infantile paralysisRef 1-I4
Aka Poliomyelitis

Infield-outfieldRef 1-1493
A mediæval system of agriculture where the infield – located near the village – was continuously manured and cropped – whereas the much larger outfield was beyond or separate from the enclosed lands near the village and was divided into smaller sections and cropped at intervals

InfluenzaRef 1-811
A viral infection affecting the air passages, and accompanied by fever, chills, headache, joint and muscular pains, and weakness.

In the Tudor period, the names new ague and hot ague were used.

England was badly affected in the period 1557 - 1558.

Between January 1918 and December 1920, 500 million people around the world were infected by an epidemic known as Spanish Flu.

Influenza Pandemic of 1918Ref 1-1210

See also Dr George Edward Scholefield

Spanish flu

IngRef 1-664
Used in place names – such as Blackledge-Ing, Coldwell-ing, Oldwell-ing, Hall-Ing, Luddenden, Pearson Ing, Slater Ing, Sydel-Ing, Wat Ing, and Wheat Ing - the word comes from the Old Norse eng and means pasture or a meadow, usually common meadow land, often those which were alongside a stream and liable to flood

IngrainRef 1-I11
Coloured material produced from dyed yarn, rather than by dyeing the finished pieces

InlandRef 1-1615
A mediæval term for land in a mediæval manor – owned and often farmed by the lord himself – which was free from tax

InnsRef 1-I9
An inn was originally a pub with some form of accommodation for travellers.

See Coaching inn and the separate Foldout on Pubs and Inns

Inquisitionis Post MortemRef 1-1587
Abbreviated to IPM. A document which records the results of an enquiry to determine the location and size of land after the death of a landowner, in order to discover the income and legal rights which were due to the Crown. These were produced until 1645

InspeximusRef 1-I10
A charter which reiterates and confirms an earlier charter

InstRef 1-315
The abbreviation is used to mean this month, as in

The meeting will be held on the 21st inst. 

See Prox and Ult

InstauratoresRef 1-435
The officers who had charge of the vaccaries belonging to the lord of the manor. They returned yearly accounts to the lord

IntakeRef 1-62
A moorland area which was reclaimed and enclosed, often by a large landowner, for letting to smaller tenant farmers. These were often on high, rugged terrain.

This process was significant from the late 15th century to the 17th century.

The word comes from the Norse word intek, and is related to the Middle English word innam, both with the same meaning.

See Enclosures and New Earth Head, Midgley

Internal Names: PhotographsRef 1-1045
Each photograph which is used on the Calderdale Companion is held as a separate .JPG file on the database.

Each photograph has a unique name in a form such as:

On some Pages, the Name is included in the text. The Name is displayed when you hover your mouse over each individual photograph.

This facility is not available on touch-screens, such as iPad or Tablets

The best that you can do on such systems, is to quote the URL of the relevant page, or the URL which is displayed when you jump to the appropriate entry


If you are sending me an email, and you wish to refer to a specific photograph without any confusion, you can use this Internal Name. This will enable me to identify the correct photo – amongst the 12198 which are used on the website – without confusion.

This does not apply to photographs held on other websites – such as GEOGRAPH or FLICKR – which are reached by links from the Calderdale Companion

See Internal Reference

Internal ReferenceRef 1-1043
Each entry on the Calderdale Companion is held as a separate record on the database.

Each record is identified by a unique name = the Internal Reference. This may be in a form such as:

The Internal Reference is displayed to the far right of the red keyword for every entry.

If you are sending me an email, and you wish to refer to a specific person without any confusion, you can use this Internal Reference. This will enable me to identify the correct person – amongst more than 20,000 people on the website – without confusion. It is invaluable with names such as John Crossley, of which there are currently about 60.

If you wish to refer to any information which does not have an Internal Reference, it is most helpful if you can quote the URL of the page where the information appears.

See Internal Names Photographs

International Genealogical IndexRef 1-2065
(Abbr) IGI.

A collection of copies and transcripts of baptismal, marriage and other records produced and maintained by the Latter Day Saints

IntestateRef 1-1578
Without a will, or a person who dies without making a will.

See Administrator and Letter of administration

InventoryRef 1-1566
Aka Probate Inventory. From the early 16th century, a court required to prove a will could require the executor to appoint a small group of local men – the appraisers – to make a true and perfect inventory of the deceased's estate, listing the possessions of a house owner. These were common before 1720, and, typically, show the name of the rooms in the house and a list of all the items in each room. They often accompanied a will.

See Personal chattels

Irish Home Rule MovementRef 1-84

See Home Rule Club, Irish in Calderdale and United Irish League of Great Britain

Irish immigrantsRef 1-516
From the early 1800s, Irish agricultural labourers came to England and Scotland to help with the annual harvest.

Social conditions – such as the Potato Famine [1845-1852] – resulted in large numbers of Irish immigrants arriving in England. Calderdale was no exception, and there were considerable Irish communities in the district.

On 1st April 1839, groups of Irish workers were threatened by a mob because they were working for lower wages.

See Black Bull, Hebden Bridge, Cellar Dwelling, Richard Commons, Tim Cowbrain, Fenianism, Hardcastle Crags Railway, Irish in Calderdale, Little Dublin, Stainland, Lord Nelson, Luddenden, Solomon Marshall, County Mayo, Model Lodging House, Brighouse, Patrick Morley, John Mulroy, Navvy, Prince Albert, Brighouse, St Mary's Catholic Church, Gibbet Street, Shibden Industrial School, Tanistry, Wellington, Brighouse and Zingo Nick, Brighouse

Iron AgeRef 1-3014
The period of human development after the Bronze Age when tools and weapons were being made of iron. In Britain, this began around 100 BC and extended until the Roman Occupation. There is evidence of Iron Age occupation in the district, including

Iron cageRef 1-2539
In mediæval times, the dead bodies of those accused of certain crimes were hung in chains, and then later inside an iron cage. The cage had the approximate form of a human body, with arms, torso and legs.

In some places the cage was known as a gibbet.

See Punishment

Iron-gangRef 1-2235
A number of convicts joined together by fetters

Iron-working industryRef 1-349
Iron-working and smithies have been recorded in the area since the Middle Ages, and many place names – such as Cinderhills – are testimony to this.

In 1274, Richard the Nailer was given permission to mine coal at Hipperholme for use in forging. In the 14th century, there were forges at Rastrick, Hipperholme, and Erringden.

Iron tools – shears, combs – were widely-used in the woollen industry and the cotton industry.

Production was by means of simple bloomery furnaces in which a stream of air – produced by hand-operated bellows – was blown through a heated mass of crushed ore and charcoal, and then – after several hours – the whole was left to cool and broken open to retrieve the solid lump of iron or bloom.

Discarded bloomery slag has been found on the sites of mediæval houses at Boothtown and Northowram. There was iron-working at Walsden.

Great changes were made to the production of iron during the Industrial Revolution.

See John Emmett and Industry

IronsidesRef 1-1777
The cavalry forces raised by Oliver Cromwell in 1643 during the Civil War. It was noted for its discipline and religious fanaticism, and first won fame at the Battle of Marston Moor.

The name came from a nickname given to Cromwell by Prince Rupert.

See Parliamentarian

IronstoneRef 1-I6
A hard rock which is rich in iron, particularly the carbonate of iron and siderite which occurs in coal-mining regions

IssueRef 1-2286
A general term for children, offspring. A marriage which did not produce any children is said to be without issue.

See Failure of issue

ItchRef 1-830
An eruptive disease of the skin, such as scabies, caused by a parasitic mite

© Malcolm Bull 2023
Revised 18:48 / 17th December 2023 / 37674

Page Ref: B113_I

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