A photocopy of these notes, labelled DX/113/21, was kindly provided by Denis Perriam. They were handwritten by Cumbrian historian Henry Penfold as he interviewed Robert Barton (1828-1917) in ~1900. The handwriting is very hard to read in places. I have done my best, but there do remain parts that make little sense:



Robert Barton was born at Wigston on the 10 Dec 1828 in the reign of George the Fourth & consequently lived under the reign of 5 Sovereigns – Springing from an old Cumberland family the Bartons of Ivegill [a member of which was Bernard Barton the poet] his Mother an Irving of Middlemoor & a cousin of that old Bewcastle family the Dodgsons of Roanstree, Thomas being the most prominent. [An excellent history of this family, written by Robert Dodgson in 1843, is online here, and mentions Mary Irving (a daughter of Thomas Irving and Elizabeth Dodgson) and her marriage to Robert's father William Barton].



Robert's father was born at Oulton Hall in 1784 being a grandson on his maternal side of George Richardson of Easby near Brampton & his spouse Margaret Ewing who came over & left at Brampton Prince Charlie's army in 1745 [see *Wheatley 1903] & she has been depict in that old song so familiar during the Crimea & today as a marching tune when our soldiers are going away - in "The girl I left behind me" .



On the death of his grandfather - his grandmother & father left Oulton Hall & resided at Wigton.

The subject of this memoir was brought to Carlisle in swaddling clothes when 11 months old on the 11th of November 1829 - & lived in a house now the shop of Messrs Fairbairn[?] in English Street; the rental of which in those days was £70 per year. Owing to the close proximity of the gaol[?] - where culprits were hung in public, his mother insisted on their removal to the Crescent to the House now occupied by Mr. Kekwick[?] - on the failure of Forster-Bank in 1836 - Gate the owner & builder of the Crescent & who built & lived in the house so long occupied by Mr Barton - was forced to sell & William Barton Robert's father purchased the house & ground to Dents'[?] shop - of the large garden & extensive buildings ???? unto[?] Mary Sheil[?] - for between three & four thousand £s & where they have resided ever since 1837, the year of Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne a period of 80 years.

His father commenced his first Coaching business in Blackfriars Street, where Blairs[?] shop & back premises are now situated.

His mother was born in Lowther Street in a house latterly occupied by Mr Bawson[?] V.S. & now demolished - she inheriting that property the Three Crowns Inn & the Three Crowns public house in English Street - also property in New Bank Lane [Bank Street?] where a theatre which was run by "Daddy baby[?]" & which she closed on the advice of Johnny[?] Fawcett[?] - from her uncle Robert Jame's "an old Carlisle landmark".



The location of the Three Crowns Inn, determined from this old map, is shown below. Note that the Dodgson family history claims that his mother's parents (Thomas Irving & Elizabeth Dodgson) also kept (before or after this?) the Queens Head Inn at Wigton.





As a boy he remembers the old thached[?] Red Lion Repl[?] by Mary Bonstead & the pig market when held in Lowther Street near the Warwick road [& could remember his father having a herd of Cows in the incuuly[?!] of Fusehill Street which after being cut and stroked - every tenth stroke was marked & claimed for tithe they being afterwards sold by the Dean & Chapter to John Armstrong of Blackwell Wood]



Delicate in boyhood he stayed with his grandmother at Middlemoor & often accompanying the late Mr William Maxwell when ploughing on his father-in-law's farm over 80 years ago; the friendship extending to Mr. Maxwell's death. On Christmas day in the thirties & early forties the family left the crescent to spend the day at Middlemoor in an old-fashioned coach drawn by four apdurking[?!] horses & driven by avon[?] marlin[?] - or the two deydens[?] - 3 celebrated mail coach drivers.

His first school was the only house then on Warwick trace opposite warwick square - finishing his education at Mr Coulthard's Croft House Brampton where he became a contemporary of Tom Wright, the three Donalds[?] - William & George Robinson & Gren[?] Cane[?] & his lifelong & favourite friend John Barlin[?] of the Jauld[?] [afterwards residing at Alstonby];

While busy one day in 1844 as Senior boy editing the Croft House Magazine Lord Morpeth then Chief Secretary of Ireland visited the school & publicly thanked the boys for helping to extinguish the fire at Naworth. He personally spoke to Mr Barton & thanked him - saying if ever he required a service he had to let him know & thus Robert had pleasant recollections of George William Frederick Howard 7th Earl of Carlisle.

After leaving school he went to Wilson & Gilks the great engineers of Stockton & Darlington Railway & who subsequently went to Middlesbrough - & he helped to survey the roads in the Alston district - he had every prospect of becoming a famous engineer, his father negotiating for him a partnership in the firm of Cowan Sheldon & Co of Carlisle, but unfortunately his father dying at this time 1846. The deed which just required signing was never completed, & thus Robert was thrown into his father's business that of coach building & supplying the mails & coaches with horses he & leather housing the Mails route & subsequently along with John Croall (Leather) falling out of the business [& John & Pattinson Dalton of Cummersdale - 11 of that family he followed to their last resting place].



Croall became a remarkable man, starting life as a village blacksmith & dying with a shug[?] fortune of seventy thousand.

They housed the two mails daily to Glasgow & Edinburgh - as well as the Portpatrick mail for Ireland via Dumfries - the horses being changed every eight miles of the road.

The old mail coaches were fashioned & some built by the Bartons according to Government contracts & were allowed 8 passengers 4 inside & 4 out along with the driver & guard. The Caller a Government official sat by himself on a single seat with "blunderbuss" dressed in Scarlet - wearing a white beaver hat.

His father & John Dalton of Cummersdale in those days previous to '46 - were the chief purchasers of corn & hay in Carlisle. The former had a private room at the Three Crowns Hotel while the latter favoured the White Hart :- buying corn in the market in the morning - they paid their clients in Gold in the afternoon - & thus the bond of friendship between purchaser & Vendor was more closely Permitted[?] than it is today with up to date methods.

He inherited on the death of his father Thomas Close - which his grandfather had purchased & left to his Second Son - Robert's father - the elder son inheriting the Ivegill Estate. Thomas Close will ever be remembered in the political history of Cumberland as the place where an accident was supposed to have happened [in 1839] to the Great Brougham & Mr Leader M.P. on their way from Highhead Castle to Thackwood nook - where they were going[?] to partake of tea with William Blamire & his sister Jane - but instead of going to Thackwood they turned up at Penrith[?] - the news of the accident leaked out. As Brougham wished it - & he had the satisfaction of reading his own obituary - & the scathing attacks on him in the leading daily London papers.



This incident is described, somewhat differently, in Memoirs of the Right Honourable Henry Lord Brougham (1840), by J. Harwood (online here):



Robert farmed Thomas Close for six years (which he left on purchasing Barrockstown in 1852) & having only had two tenants in the long period of 65 years on Thomas Close & where some of the old chains[?] of Rork's[?] invention may still be seen.




By good management he has made Barrockstown one of the best farms in the county: reaping large crops & feeding fat cattle has been his final object[?].

He owned the first horse that was chloroformed in Carlisle to have a "seaton" [seton] in its leg by the late Mr Carlisle V.S. who then had his establishment where the Bowling Green Hotel now stands close on 70 years ago - in those days farmers & grazers[?] drew a "Seaton" through the "dewlap" in their cattle to keep them from taking "Black quarter" [this procedure is described here] - Foot and mouth disease was rampant all over the country - but no cattle were destroyed - they recovering & improving afterwards; occasionally his old friend William Graham would ask permission to place his bullocks amongst Mr Barton's cattle recovering from the disease so as they would take it and & have recovered - & so as he would be able to show them at Penrith Fair.

In the 12 years which unlivina[?!] from this purchase of Barrockstown to the cattle plague "the Rinderpest as it was known." he had gathered together a good herd of cattle - all of which he lost, except a very good food cow which was Repl[?] in the peal[?] house.

At this time the Judges lodged at his Crescent House two or three whom he was acquainted with Baron Parke - Baron Martin, Sir Creswell Cresswell : & Mr Justice Williams - known to all as Johnny Williams except as they had when on the Bench 'a junior counsel' to Brougham & Denman in Queen Caroline's & George the Fourth's unhappy matrimonial controversy - forming one of a shooting party he being an excellent shot - Muy down whatever job. up before his gun a game Rupe said to a comrade "I say they say this old bloke is a Judge - I should say he has been a poacher"

His fine[?] elders had been Whigs - for they lived at Ivegill when the Richmonds lived at Highhead castle. The Simpsons of Thackwood Nook (William Blamire's Great Uncle & Aunt George & Mary Simpson - his grandfather was one who formed that Cavalcade [of 200 horsemen] headed by Edward Bond of Gatesgill - who marshalled before The Oaks in 1828 [According to Lysons (1816), '"The Oaks" is the residence of Mrs. Blamire, widow of William Blamire, Esq.'], to accompany the then High Sheriff William Blamire towards[?] the judges assize. The fine yeoman of Cumberland of '28 were described by a leading statesman as the finest cavalcade of men he ever saw in his life.

His father signed the requisition for the Great Blue dinner at 2 o'clock on Thursday Aug 5th 1830 at Dalston - amongst others who signed were Henry Howard of Corby Castle also Philip Henry Howard - William Dobinson [of] Carlisle unto whose hands anwen[?] gave the old blue flag & asked him likup[?] & unsorlia[?] & uutamishia[?] as it had been of yore - & who resided in English Street in premises now occupied by the editor of the Carlisle Journal. Also Robert Livelyman[?] of Hawksdale; Joseph Rook of Rosley, William & Eliza[?] Sutton of Lovly[?] John Rallinson of Micklethwaite (Mr Joseph Jefferson [of] Longpark's grandfather) the Jeffersons of Woodside, Evening Hill & Green Rigg [Greenrigg?] John Rooth of Anehead[?] & Tommy Wannop of Holm Gate - who used to write letters to the Journal - under the nom de plume of "John i' in the Gate" in 1837 -

With such a past political history Robert followed in the footsteps of his ancestors & recorded his first vote for the blue candidates - who were successful in the 1852 city election. He remembers the death of Major Aglionby in 1840. He ??? succeeded by the Hon Charles Howard & the great election of '41 - when Mr Serjeant Goulburn [who on the 27th May 1839, when representing the university of Cambridge in the House of Commons was defeated for the speakership by Mr Shaw Lefevre] was conservative candidate for Carlisle. Mr Wilbeck issued an address as a charlist[?] - & Mr Henson[?] was nominated but rather went to the poll - Charlie Howard & Willie James being returned for Earl Cumberland - Pitt Howard & Willie Marshal for Carlisle - & at Cockermouth H.A.Aglionby[?] & E.Housman - defeated General Wyndham.

It was in this year 1852 that T. Salkeld of Holm Hill stood as yellow candidate for the coming[?] - although 15 years previous 1837 he championed the blue cause on the hustings. Described by his opponents as the "screw" & his friend W. N. Hodgson as the "Artful Dodger" - the result of the poll being Howard 2,375 - Marshall 2,355 & Salkeld 1,964.

Mr Barton would not vote for Mr Salkeld & refused the candidate his support when he called upon him to ask for that farmer, so annoyed that he withdrew his trade - as did Sir James Grant of the Hill & all the leading tries[?] - (although Geo.[?] Head [could this be George Head Head who became the brother-in-law of John Barton Senior (1789-1852) and caused some trouble for him?] & T. Hodgson (the clerk of the peace) never left him. They not only withdrew their support from him but they got his coach-building foreman & his son to leave - & financed them in business in premises now occupied by Mr. Cauuuy[?!] at the foot of Devonshire Street - the business not being successful was relinquished & Mr Barton got a surprise one morning on opening his letters to find that Mr Salkeld in most polite terms requested the Jarom[?] of Mr Barton removing his mother down Carlisle from Sebergham & to repair the same if he would kindly call at Holm Hill on his way out they would send assistance to help. On Mr Barton calling at Holm Hill he was graciously received, lunching there he proceeded to Sebergham - the carriage was removed & done up at Carlisle & the unpleasantness forgotten by both, they remaining fast friends to Mr. Salkeld's death.

The tories of those days would do anything for a vote - in some instances he was sent for & a carriage or two pulled out of the Coach House which requested repairing & painting - in one instance 16 carriages were pulled out of their places & shown Mr Barton but he would not sell his principles for their trade. Nicholson Hodgson accompanied & his kinsman C. B. Hodgson called upon him to solicit his vote & were dismayed at Robert's refusal. He stood steadfast to his principles to the last, he had that fine independent yeoman spirit - &n did not the Bartons ride from Ivegill to Cockermouth to record their vote for freedom in that great shuffle of 1831 & to record their support to their friend & highborn "Willie" Blamire.

It could never be said that Robert Barton was a Tory - as an old Whig he left his party at the Home rule crisis of 1886 - I always lamented at the method used - in sh??ing Robert Ferguson. He could recall the names of men like Melbourne - Palmerston [Aberdeen - &n Robert Peel] Wellington - Labouchere (Lord Taunton) a brother-in-law of the Hon Charlie Howard, Rowland Hill Joseph Hume [for a John Russell] on Robert Inglis John Roebuch Richard Bobden - Lyndhurst & Brougham - & William Cavendish - Earl of Burlington afterwards Duke of Devonshire & he would pathetically say these were the men of my young days.

As a young man along with Mr James Furech[?] of Sealy[?] Castle, John Armstrong of Blackwell Wood assisted the bailiffs from the Knells & HolmeEden - He valued the farm stock of Dixon & Jardings[?] (son & son-in-law of Mr Dixon of the Knells, who were at that time farming under the Earl of Lonsdale on the Boggs Farm - on a Yearling being brought into the farm to value the two older men stated 17£ Robert £20 - on his persisting & that figure being recorded. Dixon & Jardings held a consultation, asking Robert if he would give that price, they sold it to him, at that figure. Richard "Dicky" Ferguson of the Frarhur[?!] who bought long tails to show at Kelso. Where he received large sums for such like sorts. Met Robert in Lowther Street & asked for the purchase - but was stiffly asked 40 gs; he became amazed & withdrew his trade for a time. But Dick thought better of the bargain & gave Robert his 40 gs & they became better friends than ever.

He could recall incidents related ??? the old Main guard & fish market - when the weigh bridge was before Shurmanns Shop & remembered the sad accident which befell a bridegroom returning from his honeymoon - & being served with fish by Libby[?] Reid - & when the judges lodged at Mrs Warwick's 43 Fisher Street.

He had many stirring tales to tell of the runaway couples hastening to Gretna Green - from the Bush, White Hart & Royal & of irate parents, friends & guardians giving chase.

He was a personal friend of Sam Bough the artist & used to tell with delight of one visit to Sam at Edinburgh accompanied by his friend Robert Greyston[?] - & of their meeting there John Nanson - the Town Clerk [of Carlisle?] - the sumptuous dinner, the visit to the theatre & the happy evening afterwards spent - & in his dining room may be seen one of Sam's paintings "Borrowdale" [Now held by the Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery in Carlisle, and viewable on their website; Robert bequeathed this painting to them in his will. A biography of Bough is online here.]

As a young man in one of his visits to London he went to Covent Garden - Evans Hall. When Mr Green (Paddy he was called behind his back) was proprietor who with a rotund figure, rubicund face, yellow wig & rather shaky on his legs offered with courtesy his snuff bot[?] to his patrons hoping at the same time that they had been supplied with all they wanted - while another pathetic figure to be seen there was Herr Von Joel, the great singer who wandered from table to table to sell his cigars & who would when "Paddy" was not in sight pull from his pocket a well worn card & express the hope that the visitor would honour the concert which would be held shortly but alas - no one ever witnessed.

He had been to Crockfords being introduced by some member & had seen Jim Bland in top boots & buckskin breeches who had a remarkable memory never loosing a bet.

His business brought him into contact with all the nobility of the county: & in the buying of timber for trade purposes - with William James, Banock Park, Sir John Heron Maxwell & Col Graham - Mossknowe - but it was at Springkell where he was most welcome & the hostess a niece of the 8th Earl of Galloway a cousin of the then laird of Netherby & the Duke of Marlborough & when the footman had retired Robert had wulate[?] to Sir John which he greatly relished his authentic stories & bon mots of the day.

In Carlisle alone he had seen trade revolutionized - also habits & customs from water being sold out of barrels on the street during harvests where now stand large blocks of shirts[?!] - electric light to supercede gas oil & candles - he had seen superb railways & luxurious motors - set aside the old mode of travelling by coach in chess & labels he had seen wonderful changes from the stiff stock [cravats - frills & ruffles & top seals] bottle green cut away coals with has's bullions, knee breeches buckled shoes to something more conversly[?]

As a young man of 19 he could recall the prominent citizens of Carlisle. Rev. John Fawcett (Jacky) who was on visiting terms at their house - the Rev. Mr Rees (Belly) Rev Mr Wilkinson (Lorry[?]), Canon Harcourt, Rev. C. J. Burton who was then Bishop's chaplain. & afterwards Chancellor of the Diocese of Carlisle - author Cramer, Dean - the canons Goodenough, Vansittart & Gipps while the 55th Bishop of Carlisle was Hugh Percy 3rd son of the Earl of Beverley & whose second wife was a maid of honour to Queen Adelaide.

Wm. Forster post master of Carlisle 70 years ago who married a daughter of Deanclose[?] & who subsequently resided & died at Houghton Hall.

Since 1846 he had been a patron of the Carlisle Journal the year of its then editors mayorality a circumstance he often related & was an old personal friends of the late James Steel.

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the xmas dinner to the poor at their houses owed its origin to Mr Barton in 1887. In the previous year of '86 a similar movement was started in Liverpool which so greatly impressed Robert that he mentioned the fact to the Castle Joe[?] Blair[?] while making some purchases in the latter shop in Blackfriars Street. '87 was in the mayorality of the late Mr Maxwell & he helped the cause by giving along with Mr Barton & the late Sam Boustead a donation in money while good hearted Joe Blair supplied the tins free...

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a personal friend of the late Sir John Dunne he was a witness in a case which aroused great interest in this district thirty years ago. When the chief constable of Cumberland & Westmoreland was charged with removing cattle from the lands through a prohibited area, namely the City of Carlisle to his farm at Warwick, had he taken
Robert's advice & sent them to Linstock - crossing the water there & thus proceeding to Warwick, there would have been no litigation as Eden Bridge in those days was in the county[?] & they could have safely crossed by that route - but Sir John Dunne was fined by the Carlisle magistrates - but on his appealing to a higher court their decision was reversed. Robert in the witness box came into conflict with the prosecuting solicitor refusing to answer a question - thus following out Spencer's dictum "to follow reason always but authority never".

His mother, sister, & he visited Paris 54 years ago, their guide being Gaspard a retired French army officer. The scenes of which he never forgot & often related, in latter years ensconced in arm chair, wearing his dark skull cap - his trousers a little brown by the heat of the fire, an old man 86 years of age speaking of auld lang syne, sweet memories flitting through his still active mind, to those distant days & to him as only yesterday.

"When all the world was young lads
and all the trees were green
and every goose a swan lads
and every lass a queen
then hey for boot & spur lads
and o'er the world away
young blood must have its course lads
and every dog its day" [a variation of "Young and Old" by Charles Kingsley]