The 2012 Gathering and AGM in Yorkshire took place over the weekend of Fri/Sat/Sun 27th/28th/29th July 2012. The event was held at the Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel at Willerby near Hull, which proved to be an excellent venue.

The weekend turned out to be a great success and it is hoped that everyone who attended found it to be an enjoyable, stimulating and unique experience. It was a great pleasure to have the company of such an interesting cross-section of DGS members from near and far, many of whom had not been to a DGS gathering before. We hope that you will now want to come to one of our gatherings again!

Below you will find the Chairman’s Diary, which gives an account of the weekend together with a small selection of photographs. Many photographs were taken by delegates over the weekend and the best of these are being assembled into a gallery, together with videos of the presentations and copies of the accompanying slides. David Preston has kindly taken on this task and his gallery appears here on the Dalton Data Bank website at I am most grateful to David for his work on this, and also to Dave Lynam, husband of our secretary, Pam and to committee member Howard J Dalton, who made video recordings during the event.

Below, we carry a selection of reminiscences about the weekend from delegates. We also hope that all those of you who were unable to join us in Yorkshire will enjoy the coverage of the gathering that you will find on our websites, and also in the next issue of the DGS Journal, to be published at the end of the year.

The Society is most grateful to Howard Dalton of Pickering who took on the task of Gathering Organiser. Howard is a past DGS Treasurer and well known to many DGS members. He organised previous DGS Gatherings in Scarborough in 1992 and in Pickering in 2002.

Here Michael Dalton gives his personal account of the Dalton Genealogical Society’s Annual Gathering for 2012 held in Yorkshire, UK from Friday 27th to Monday 30th July 2012. The weekend was based at the Mercure Hull Grange Park Hotel, Willerby, Hull.

Thursday 26th July, 2012

I had arrived in Yorkshire late on Wednesday evening in order to have a full day available on the Thursday to complete the preparations for the weekend. My day started with a meeting with the hotel staff to run through our programme. Lisa, our main contact during the past 18 months, introduced me to Jason, who was to be our event manager over the weekend. Any problems, just ask Jason and he will fix it! Jason and I struck up a good rapport and we were soon discussing the finer details on timings, the position of tables and chairs in the Garden Suite, refreshments for our entertainers on Saturday evening, place names for the dinner and a myriad of other points. Experience in the past has taught me how important the relationship is between us and the hotel and Jason turned out to be a star. Nothing was too much trouble.

So, happy that everything taking place at the hotel would be taken care of, I drove over to Beverley and visited the tourist office to check out the things taking place in the town, which delegates might wish to do on Saturday afternoon. A very helpful lady gave me all sorts of information and a supply of maps and leaflets to hand out to everybody. I then called in at Beverley Minster to confirm the numbers for the roof tour, and take a closer look myself at the interior of this magnificent building. I was also particularly keen to see a stained glass window designed and made recently by a fellow liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Glaziers, Helen Whittaker. After some shopping for items for Saturday evening, I returned to the hotel for a belated sandwich and then assembled the delegate packs and prepared the badges. By the time this was finished others had started to arrive and there was a party of eight of us to have dinner and spend the evening together catching up on each other’s news, committee matters and so on. I retired to bed feeling that everything was more or less ready for the next three days – mission accomplished and I was pleased to have had the whole of the day to deal with everything.

Friday 27th July, 2012

The day started with an early breakfast and then the task of setting up the Dalton family history displays of books and charts in the Garden Suite. This had to be completed well before 11.00 am when we started our committee meeting, the first time we had sat round the table together for a meeting since Worcester in 2007. Over the years we have developed very good procedures for conducting all our business by email and telephone, but we all felt it would be useful to discuss a number of key issues face to face. The meeting proved to be a very useful opportunity to share our thoughts on topics ranging from membership and subscriptions to the development of the DGS websites, and from the content of the Journal and "Daltons in History" to the next steps in the Dalton DNA Project. Altogether very worthwhile and we made a number of decisions which I was able to communicate to our members at the AGM on the Saturday. The meeting finished at 1.15 pm, only 15 minutes later than planned (!), and that gave us time to meet the many delegates that had arrived, and also have something to eat before departing for Hull History Centre. I am most grateful to John’s wife, Sheila for welcoming people who arrived while our meeting was in progress, making sure that the DGS registration desk was manned and handing out delegates packs and badges.

Thanks to Mike Dalton’s transport management, all those without cars found seats in the cars of those with, and everyone found their way to Hull History Centre for the scheduled 3.00 pm start. We were met by the City Archivist, Martin Taylor, who gave us a brief introduction to the Hull History Centre. We then assembled inside the lecture room for the official welcome to the City of Hull by the Lord Mayor, Councillor Danny Brown, who was wearing his chain of office and was accompanied by the Lady Mayoress, his wife Lynda. The Mayor explained the history of the chain, which includes the original gold chain presented to the City in 1554, and first worn that year by Thomas Dalton in the first of his three mayoralties. Martin then introduced Helen Good, a well known local historian and lecturer at the University of Hull, who had prepared an excellent presentation for us entitled "Dalton Mayors of Hull". Helen gave us a wonderful, and at times very witty, insight into life in Hull in the 16th century, and how the Dalton family would have lived their lives as prominent citizens holding the office of Mayor. This was illustrated with original documents from the City archives held in the Centre. She had also prepared transcriptions of a number of documents, referred to in her talk, including Star Chamber papers, Bench Books and Interrogatories, and collected together in a 16 page handout for everybody. We were all spellbound and I recommend that those who were unable to attend take the opportunity to look at the video of Helen’s talk. Helen has also agreed to write an article for the DGS Journal, which we will look forward to reading. Many thanks to Helen, and to Martin and the Mayor, for getting our weekend off to such a good start.

Martin Taylor, City Archivist, introduces delegates to
the Hull History Centre
The Lord Mayor of Hull welcomes
the Dalton Genealogical Society

In the evening there was an informal reception in the Garden Suite followed by a buffet supper, which gave everyone the opportunity to meet members of the committee and other delegates, and also view the displays of Dalton family history charts, books, journals and other items of interest. An enjoyable time was had by all, including a group of us, who later on in the evening, took the opportunity to watch the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games in the hotel bar!

Howard and Jen Dalton meet Ann Clarke, a descendant of the Dalton Mayors of Hull

Saturday 28th July, 2012

The programme for the morning conference was scheduled to start at 10.00 am and, with a very full morning planned I opened the proceedings at 10.00 am precisely with our own "Opening Ceremony". Although not on quite the same scale as what we had witnessed from the Olympic Stadium the previous evening, it was nevertheless a great pleasure to welcome all our delegates from far and wide, and the local ones too. It was particularly pleasing to see representatives from the United States (Jack Rudisail from Texas, a new DGS member), and from Australia, Maureen of course, together with Wendy Fleming and John Prytherch. We were also joined by a number of local Yorkshire Daltons, including Jim Dalton, with his wife Julia, and their first cousins John Dalton and Ann Clarke, all descended from the Dalton Mayors of Hull; David Dalton, with his wife Barbara, from nearby Hessle and with Hull Dalton descent; Adrian Dalton, with his wife Eve, from Poole, Dorset, but descended from Daltons from the nearby village of Kilnwick; also sisters Doreen Skiven and Beryl Skiven-Baker with Kilnwick Dalton connections. All of these were attending their first DGS Gathering. Add to them, Howard our Gathering Organiser, and his wife Jen and that completes the formidable group of delegates with Yorkshire Dalton connections!

We then moved into the AGM and this will be reported on fully next month with the minutes of the meeting. I will just mention one thing here, the announcement of the DGS "Above and Beyond" Annual Award. The committee have instituted this award, open to DGS members who are not officers or committee members, to recognise exceptional contributions to the work of the Society. The committee will nominate the recipient each year and the award will normally be announced at the DGS Gathering or AGM. I informed the meeting that the first recipient for 2012 would be announced at the Annual Dinner.

With the AGM concluded soon after 11.00 am and following a short break, we resumed for the two talks – the first being by Howard on the Daltons of Garton-on-the-Wolds. Howard introduced his subject with some geography and then took us through the history of Garton from Roman times and speculated about the DNA that would have been introduced into Garton families over successive centuries with the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and then the French Normans being extant in the Yorkshire Wolds at different times over the period. Woven into this was the more recent documented history of his own Dalton descent from 18th century Dalton blacksmiths who lived and worked in the village. The talk was much enjoyed by us all and proved to be an excellent introduction to the visit to Garton planned for Sunday afternoon.

Our final talk was given by Charlie Cradock, Education Officer of the East Yorkshire Family History Society. I had invited Charlie to introduce us to the sources for family history research in the East Riding and in Hull. His talk, illustrated with online visits to many websites and searching specifically for Dalton records, was something of a "tour de force", and gave us all an insight into the many different sources and archives available, much of it at our finger tips sitting at our computer screens at home. The keen researchers amongst us all found something new to explore in more detail later, and the video of Charlie’s talk will be well worth a view by those who did not attend the Gathering.

1.00 pm came around all too quickly and I had to draw the conference to a close. There was no doubt that much ground had been covered during the morning. But we had to move on with a buffet lunch to fortify us and then off to Beverley for the afternoon.

Delegates at our AGM and Conference

Beverley Minster was the central attraction for the Saturday afternoon and about 25 of us opted for the roof tour with its climb up a very narrow and long spiral staircase to reach the roof space above the minster. We were guided by the experienced and knowledgeable verger, who ensured that we all reached the top safely. Exploring the roof space was fascinating and the photographs you will find in the gallery give a good impression of what we saw. The most amazing part of our tour was when the circular boss above the nave altar was lifted so that we could gaze down to the nave below. As we looked down, the distant Howard J looked up!

The North Door entrance to the Minster
The West Door and Great West Window
Looking down onto the Nave from the roof
Howard J Dalton looks up as we look down!

Following the roof tour delegates went their own ways to explore the narrow streets of the town and visit some of the delightful shops. Others visited the Old Treasure House. Howard and Jen and Kate and I elected to find one of the many old tea rooms and enjoy a quiet cup of tea in delightful surroundings before returning to the hotel.

On Saturday evening, we held the main social event of the weekend, our Annual DGS Dinner. This was preceded by a reception and we were joined by Chris Pomery, our DNA consultant, who gave us a very brief update on the Dalton International DNA Project. It was good that Chris, just returned from a rather soggy camping holiday in Scotland, was able to join us as a guest and many took the opportunity to discuss DNA matters with him during the course of the evening. Dinner was served and thanks go to Maureen and Pam for sorting out the menu choices and seating plan. Everyone had a seat to sit at, and was served the correct food; with the exception of the two David Daltons present, whose menu choices had been reversed, but this was quickly sorted out!

Following the starter and the main course, I introduced our entertainers "The Spare Hands", led by Steve Gardham, who regaled us with a wonderful selection of sea shanties and songs about the local sea-faring community, many going back to the days when Hull was such an important sea port and trading centre. Steve explained the work that his organisation, the Yorkshire Garland Group, is doing making recordings for incorporation into new exhibits at the Hull Maritime Museum. The DGS showed its appreciation to Steve and his two colleagues with a collection of over £100 as a contribution to their work.

After a break, the evening proceedings resumed with our awards and presentations, followed by the raffle. The two main awards were firstly to John, our Editor – I presented him with the framed certificate from the Federation of Family History Societies for taking second place in the One Name section of the Elizabeth Simpson Award for best journals in 2011, together with a celebratory bottle. As has already been reported this was a richly deserved award, originally presented to the Society back in March, when John and I attended the Federation AGM in London – many congratulations again, John! The second award was for our newly instituted DGS "Above & Beyond" Award and this went to Howard for all his work as Gathering Organiser, and as a former Treasurer of the Society and gathering organiser in 1992 and 2002. Again, a very well deserved award and it was a pleasure to present Howard with a celebratory bottle and promise him a certificate to mark the award, just as soon as it has been designed and printed. We then had some fun with fridge magnets – I had found some excellent ones with phrases relevant to family history and family historians for distribution to committee members and their long-suffering spouses, and these caused considerable amusement.

The final part of the evening was the raffle, as usual efficiently organised by Kate, which raised £116 for Breast Cancer Care, the charity chosen by the committee to be the recipient of the proceeds. I am grateful to committee members for supplying the considerable number of prizes on offer, which added to the fun of the draw. With the conclusion of the raffle the formal part of the evening came to a close, and many enjoyed the opportunity for further informal conversations and another drink or two.

Sunday 29th July, 2012

Sunday began at a more leisurely pace with plenty of time for breakfast and a final look at the displays, before the scheduled 10.30 am departure to the centre of Hull. A number of us attended the morning service at Holy Trinity Church, while others looked around the city. At noon we all gathered in the church for coffee and biscuits, followed by a fascinating tour, led by Jean Fenwick with her encyclopaedic knowledge of the history of the church and its artefacts. Central to our visit was of course the tombstone of Thomas Dalton, Mayor of Hull, who died in 1590, but everyone was very struck with the beauty of the church with its painted ceilings, wonderful stained glass and many other features. We are indebted to Jean for such an interesting and full tour.

Holy Trinity Church, Hull - the Nave with its
painted ceiling and the West Window
Jean Fenwick, our guide points out a feature
inside the church to Jim Dalton
Tombstone in the south aisle of Henry Dalton of Hull
who died in 1835 and three of his sons
The DGS gathered around the tombstone of
Thomas Dalton, Mayor of Hull, who died in 1590

Following the tour of Holy Trinity we had time to find some lunch and then departed for Garton. I gave Jack Rudisail a lift and enjoyed his company for a little longer than planned – we were so engrossed in conversation that I missed a turning and we ended up taking a delightful tour of the byways rather than the highways in the Yorkshire Wolds. Fortunately Jack enjoyed the experience – rather different from his home territory in Texas! On arrival at Garton, others had already visited the Forge and were gathered at the church, where the church warden had persuaded his contractors to restore temporary lighting in the church so that we could admire the wall paintings without having to resort to the torches we had all been asked to bring. New flood lighting is currently being installed inside to improve the illumination of the paintings. It was a most interesting visit and all enjoyed seeing the inside of this wonderful church.

Garton Heritage Forge where today's Garton
blacksmiths continue their traditional work
St Michael and All Angels Church,
A detail from the wall paintings by Clayton and Bell
The painted walls and ceilings compete for your attention
Looking through the richly carved wooden chancel screen to the stained glass East window
The DGS group assembled outside Garton Church
with Howard pointing to the inscription and hand
R Dalton 1809 and the imprint of hand
clearly carved in the stonework for all to see

Our final port of call in Garton was to see the relocated hinges made by Robert Dalton in 1833 and now in West End Farm. The owners had kindly invited delegates to visit their home and view these hinges supporting two doors on opposite sides of the converted barn, now a splendid dining room.

After Garton it was back to the hotel for a short break and time to change before setting off again to go to South Dalton and the Pipe & Glass Inn. Here we were welcomed by the owner of the inn, James McKenzie. He and his wife took the Pipe & Glass over about six years ago and have turned it into an award winning Michelin starred pub. The conservatory had been reserved for our buffet supper, the final event of the weekend and what an enjoyable and relaxed occasion it was. James gave us a short account of the history of the inn and, after yet another group photograph, we settled down for a most sumptuous supper and a further opportunity to socialise and exchange information about our respective Dalton family histories.

The DGS group with our host, James McKenzie
outside the conservatory
Maureen Collins and Pam Lynam meet up with
their long lost second cousin, Barbara Watkinson
Adrian Dalton, Beryl Skiven-Baker and Doreen Skiven,
who share Kilnwick Dalton connections, joined by Howard
Michael Dalton, Robin Prytherch, Geoffrey & Jane
Dalton, John Prytherch all sharing Welsh ancestry

All too soon the evening came to an end, and it was time to bid farewell to those not staying at the hotel. On returning to Willerby, there was the opportunity for a final drink before retiring and reflecting on a busy and action-packed weekend.

Monday 30th July, 2012

The day of departure and saying goodbye. Inevitably all good things have to come to an end and I think all who attended agreed that it had been a most successful weekend. I eventually departed from Hull around lunchtime and, somewhat wearily, drove the 250 miles home to Reigate. I went through torrential rain at several points as I travelled south and reflected on how kind the English weather had been to us – hardly a drop of rain for the Gathering and mainly quite warm with sunshine. Weren’t we lucky?!

This has been something of a whirlwind "tour" through the weekend – well the Gathering was something of a whirlwind too, with so much to do and so many people to meet. Whilst I have been writing, I have been interrupted by grandchildren staying with us, and of course the Olympics and all the excitement that they have generated. I therefore trust I am forgiven if I have left out anything of importance. Inevitably this is a snapshot from my personal reminiscences. For further photos please follow this link. I look forward to all of you who attended filling the gaps with the reminiscences that you have been asked to send in to Dairne in good time for next month’s "Daltons in History". Please don’t forget to do this. Do it now!!

1. From Maureen Collins, DGS Secretary Australia:

What a good time we all had thanks to Howard Dalton’s wonderful organising with his wife Jen and with Michael.

I arrived on the Thursday evening at the hotel with Pam and Dave Lynam, with whom I had spent two nights in their new home in a lovely part of Cambridgeshire. The gathering virtually started an hour later when we met up with Michael plus John and Sheila and Wendy Fleming in the hotel bar for a light supper.

For once we managed to plough through a committee meeting on Friday morning before lunch and the very interesting visit to History House with its excellent research facilities and a talk on the historic Hull Daltons in the 15th and 16th centuries. By that evening many other delegates had arrived and were made welcome.

The meeting on Saturday morning ran smoothly and it was followed by one of the highlights for me: Howard’s highly original talk on Garton on the Wolds, illustrated by photos. The presentation by Charlie Cradock was also excellent and a surprise when Howard J and I found we were both researching the same family in Hull that Charlie spoke about.

The final highlight for Pam Lynam and me was meeting our cousin, DGS member Barbara Watkinson, for the first time ever at the Pipe and glass Inn. Barbara has been doing some wonderful research into our family in Hull but somehow over the years we had never actually met.

All in all it was a top-class week-end and I imagine a lot of ideas for research will come from it while we wait another year for the next meeting.

2. From Wendy Fleming, Australia:

Having just finished the required reading for this Gathering, A Selection of Articles, Ed Michael Neale Dalton, I now feel sufficiently informed to write a personal account on the event.

The City of Hull 154 miles from London, whose main industries are fishing in the North Sea, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, and fish and chips, has a remarkable history which entitles it to display three crowns as its crest. It is also a city in which Daltons played a part in the commercial and civic life of the city during the 15th and 16th Centuries, and of more recent times blacksmithing — a most suitable place for DGS Gathering.

The Hull Mecure hotel, 5 miles from Hull, formerly Grange Park Hotel, Willerby, is in a cul de sac off a major road, nestled in a wooded location. With many rooms and function facilities, (constantly in use for weddings), lawns, gardens and free Wi-Fi in the foyer, it proved to be a user friendly centre for our activities. In particular we found the foyer a very pleasant meeting place for relaxation. On Friday night we gathered there to vicariously share the excitement of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games. The central theme of England’s industrial might and subsequent demise was particularly resonant with me after seeing an abandoned coal mine, complete with silent windlasses and conveyers, on my train trip through the midlands.

At the AGM on Saturday, Howard Dalton, main speaker and descendant of the blacksmiths, speaking of his family from Garton-on-the-Wolds, set a laid-back friendly tone which was to characterise the whole weekend. Authenticity was given to our group by the presence of a number of descendants of Howard’s line, and direct descendants of the Mayors of Hull. It was a pleasure to meet up again with members of the DGS, Chairman Michael and Kate, DNA cousin, Mike Dalton and his wife Kate from Norfolk, Maureen Collins and John Prytherch also from Australia, and new US member Jack Rubiso from Texas.

The packed program actually began on Friday afternoon at the purpose built (courtesy of the National lottery Heritage fund) Hull History Museum, where we were met by the present mayor of Hull wearing a chain which included some gold from the chain originally worn by Robert Dalton 15th C Mayor.

Then Helen Good a local historian introduced us to intriguing issues about the Dalton Mayors of Hull, such as their acceptance as merchants, but exclusion as marriage partners for other merchants and their children.

Hull History Centre

Meeting and Dinner

Our meeting on Saturday and the dinner was a pleasant occasion with a raffle, special prizes from Chair, and wonderful entertainment by "The Spare Hands" who performed, singing sea shanties to raise money for the Yorkshire Garland Group.

Then it was churches, what a holy lot the Yorkshire people must be. On Saturday in between the AGM and Annual Dinner found us in the imposing Beverley Minster, climbing 113 steps in the spiral staircase to enjoy the Roof Tour. In a workroom many metres high above the altar we learnt how the workman, by means of a horse powered wheel, brought up building supplies from many metres below to complete the roofing. The size of beams and logs used in the construction was an indication of how hard it was for the horse and laborers.

Horse powered wheel

Sunday morning we visited England’s largest parish church, Holy Trinity, which is full of extraordinarily rich architecture and memorials to past and modern events all of which are well documented and photographed by other members of the party. I was intrigued to find among the many fine wood carvings some unusual creatures carved on the arms of the pews.

Pew carving in Holy Trinity Church
More pew carving

And then I found there is an Australian connection. George Henry Peck, born 1810 in Hull, painter, carver, art dealer, art entrepreneur and musician, emigrated to Hobart Town in June 1833. In 1837 he arranged the first general art exhibition held in any of the Australian colonies. He returned to Hull and lived there for a short period in 1841 when it is reported he carved these decorations. He returned to Australia and died in Sydney in 1863. So far I cannot find a Dalton connection but I will continue to look.

Sunday, still in progress, we made our way across country for the visit St Michael & All Angels church at Gorton-on-the-Wolds. A beautiful church which occupies a site on which there has been a church since the 12th Century, it is in the process of restoring Victorian wall paintings. The Dalton connection was a carved name R Dalton 1809 and a hand print on the outside all evidence of Howard’s ancestor, the blacksmith. Further evidence we were able to see was the signed door hinges at West End farm. The restoration of this farm house would send Kevin McLeod into raptures . A model of how to blend the new and old with careful integration of historical items, such as the door hinges, it seems an extremely liveable home. We were very grateful to the owners for allowing us to visit.

A fresh informal dinner at The Pipe and Glass at South Dalton ended a very successful Gathering. Next morning we went our separate ways. I went with Maureen to Hull History Centre where she and Howard J searched the archives for family connections which they excitedly found. I meanwhile read letters sent over a forty year period, by Philip Larkin to his friend and lover Monica Jones. At the railway station I said goodbye to Maureen , Howard J and Philip Larkin.

My thanks to Michael Neale Dalton and Howard Dalton for their careful planning which ensured a really interesting Gathering, to all my fellow attendees who got into the mood and made it such a sociable occasion, to the City of Hull for fish and chips, and friendliness.

A special thanks to Maureen Collins, Mike and Kate Dalton who provided my transport.

3. David and Barbara Dalton, Yorkshire, England

Our curiosity about the impending DGS Gathering in our locality was aroused by a small item in the Hull Mail. We contacted Howard, who assured us that we would enjoy the event, but we were still a little unsure about what to expect. As it turned out we thoroughly enjoyed taking part. We were welcomed most warmly and made to feel very much part of the group. Obviously Michael, Howard and the Committee had put a lot of hard work into organising the weekend, doing the groundwork and ensuring everything ran smoothly.

It was interesting to visit places we know well but to view them from a different perspective. We were surprised to learn of the extent of the influence the Daltons have had in the history of Hull, and Howard’s research involving local history gave us food for thought. Possibly being a Parisi sounds rather grand! We enjoyed seeing his blacksmith ancestor’s hand carved high up on the church wall (he must have been very tall!), and all of us trooping through the barn conversion to view the hinges forged by the same hand.

Other highlights included the Annual Dinner with the entertaining local ‘turn', "The Spare Hands", and rounding off the weekend at the appropriately named South Dalton with a splendid buffet meal at The Pipe and Glass.

We hope that everyone enjoyed visiting our patch and trust that they may be encouraged to come again to explore more or the Hull Old Town and other attractions in the East Riding area.

4. From Ann Clarke, Ripon, Yorkshire, England:

Thank you very much indeed to you, Howard and other committee members for an interesting, enjoyable and extremely well organised weekend in Hull. It must have taken a great deal of work and energy to accomplish. The whole atmosphere was most relaxed and friendly and it was good to meet other Daltons and to hear more about the Society. I was only sorry that time pressed so much on Sunday that there was no time to say a proper goodbye to everyone, but I hope you all enjoyed the visits to Garton-on-the-Wolds and your meal at the Pipe and Glass.

5. From Jack Rudisail, Texas, USA:

Really enjoyed the reunion. Keep in touch. Hoping to make it to Dublin next year.

6. From Steve Gardham of "The Spare Hands"

In response to my thank you note for the entertainment by "The Spare Hands" after dinner on the Saturday evening, Steve writes:

"The amount you raised for the Yorkshire Garland Group’s work with the Hull Maritime Museum was £115 so we are well pleased with that. Many thanks for contributing to the project. I will have a look at the website and video and will send on your message to the others".

7. From Howard J Dalton, Poole, Dorset, England:

It was a most excellent weekend enjoyed by all and in excellent company, and Howard and yourself provided a feast of events. Thank you again for the fridge magnet. I have now acquired a small collection of them!

8. From Robin Prytherch, Bristol, North Somerset, England:

Both John (Robin’s brother from Australia) and I thoroughly enjoyed the Gathering in Yorkshire - great fun and interesting.

9. From Kate Dalton, Reigate, Surrey, England:

A very enjoyable weekend and it was a pleasure to organise the raffle on the Saturday evening. I was delighted to collect a total of £116 to donate to Breast Cancer Care, a very worthy charity that does such valuable work. It was particularly pleasing to see the generosity of everyone, particularly bearing in mind that you had already dipped your hands into your pockets for the "Spare Hands" to support their work with the Hull Maritime Museum, another worthwhile cause. Thank you to you all and to those who donated the raffle prizes – there were so many of them, and they just seemed to go on and on!

10. From Jim & Julia Dalton, Ripon, North Yorkshire, England:

We greatly enjoyed the weekend, particularly Helen Good's talk and the visit to Holy Trinity.

11. Howard Dalton, Thornton Dale, North Yorkshire, England:

"I was delighted when the DGS chose Yorkshire, and in particular Hull, for their Gathering in 2012, but then to be asked by MND to help with the organising was an even greater honour.

There were so many highlights it would be unfair to single one out in particular, but mention has to be made of the visit to Beverley on the Saturday afternoon. Many members climbed up into the central tower and the guide lifted one of the huge ceiling bosses that gives access to the Nave below. Almost on cue Howard J appeared below and we all called down to him, though he couldn't see us. He later recalled that when he heard his name being called from above, he thought he was being summoned from on high, which he was!!

All the arrangements that MND and I had made worked out superbly and thanks have to go to all the parties we worked with; Martin at Hull History Centre, Helen Good, "Spare Hands", Jean at Holy Trinity and James at the Pipe and Glass, to name but a few. The main thanks, however, have to go to all the members who attended that weekend, and as I have said in the past, the variety of personalities make these Gatherings such memorable occasions".

12. Mike and Kate Dalton, Thetford, Norfolk, England:

The main impression Kate and I came away with this year was of a very relaxed atmosphere. The annual Gathering is always a very friendly affair with the opportunity to meet new Daltons and catch up with old friends but this one stood out as being more close-knit. Perhaps it was the impromptu occupation by Daltons of the hotel bar to watch the Olympic opening ceremony or the way we all squeezed into a few cars for the visits which mixed and matched folk up nicely or maybe the wonderful pub in South Dalton where we were looked after so well for our meal on the Sunday evening. Whatever it was, for us, it added a gloss to the weekend over and above the usual superb planning and organisation which goes into every Gathering.

Another abiding memory is the tremendous surprise, when visiting Beverley Minster, of discovering that the climb to the roof was not, as anticipated, to see the view from the parapet but was actually - a visit to the roof! A fascinating insight to a hidden gem. The structure itself was impressive, as was expected, but to find a fully working man-powered treadmill which then operated a floor hatch allowing us to "cooee" like schoolkids at the people below... well I think a few folk felt rather god like at that moment, gazing down a looong way to the Minster floor and the mystified people below wondering from where the ethereal heavenly voices were emanating. For me the highlight was finding, engraved on the roof gable window, sketches of various aeroplanes. Unfortunately my camera refused to focus on them and insisted on looking at the scenery beyond. Who says computers are clever! A very successful trip indeed.

Annual Gathering for 2012
Friday 27th to Monday 30th July, 2012
Hull, Yorkshire, England


Friday 27th July 2012

from 12 noon

Check in at the Mecure Hull West Hotel and register at the DGS desk in reception. Light lunches can be taken at the Hotel.


Visit to the Hull History Centre in the centre of Hull, where there will be an official welcome to the DGS by the Mayor of Hull and afternoon tea will be served. Archivist, Martin Taylor, will introduce us to this state of the art centre and its contents. Then Helen Good, a noted local historian, will talk to us about 16th Century Dalton Mayors of Hull. Her talk will be illustrated with documents held in the Centre’s archives.


We return to the Hotel for an informal buffet supper in the Garden Suite, and the opportunity to meet other delegates and look at Dalton family history displays.

Saturday 28th July 2012


The programme will commence with the DGS Annual General Meeting. This will be followed by talks about Dalton family history and the work of the Society. It will take place in the Garden Suite at the Hotel.

Buffet lunch served in the Garden Suite.


A visit to Beverley is planned with the opportunity to explore Beverley Minster and the Beverley Record Office. There will also be free time to enjoy the delightful streets and shops in this historic town.


The DGS Annual Dinner will take place in the Garden Suite at the Hotel and it will be followed by entertainment.

Sunday 29th July 2012


We return to the centre of Hull to visit Holy Trinity Church, where Daltons are buried. Time will be available for further exploring of Hull city centre and a light lunch.


We will travel to Garton-on-the-Wolds, the home of one of a number of Yorkshire Dalton families. This will include the opportunity to see the magnificent and historic church in the village with its wall paintings.


En route back to the hotel we will stop in the village of South Dalton for an informal supper at the much acclaimed Pipe and Glass Inn, where our hosts will be James & Kate McKenzie, winners of the Michelin Pub of the Year 2012 award.

Monday 30th July 2012


The conclusion of the DGS Gathering. Check out from your accommodation. Arrangements can be made for those who wish to stay over.

This article was originally written in 1970 by the then editor of the DGS Journal and now Chairman of the Society Michael Dalton, and published in Volume 1 of the DGS Journal. It is being republished here as the first of a series of articles taking Yorkshire Daltons as its theme, and particularly Daltons of Hull and the Daltons who were Mayors of Hull in the 15th and 16th centuries. This article contains details of these early Yorkshire Daltons and their descendants. The original article was prepared in consultation with the late Major-General Sir Charles Dalton who is one of these descendants.

In order to provide sufficient background to the contents of this article, which is really a progress report, it is necessary to give a brief summary of the structure of the Pedigree of the Dalton family beginning with Sir Rychard Dalton of Byspham in Lancashyre, Knight, who was born circa 1230 AD. Sir Rychard is the earliest Dalton recorded in the official records of the College of Arms. The information shown in Chart I is extracted from the Visitation of Yorkshire in 1563-4 by William Flower, Norroy King at Arms, as printed in the Harleian Society Publications Volume XVI pp 84-89. It shows the connection between the Daltons of Thurnham and what is commonly known as the Junior Dalton Line, from which John Dalton (1780-1851), who married Hannah Neale, is descended.

Amongst the descendants in the Junior Dalton Line is a large family resident in the United States of America. The forebear of these American Daltons emigrated across the Atlantic before the American War of Independence in 1775-6 and a certain Mark Ardath Dalton of Long Beach, California, who is a seventh cousin of the Editor’s father, has compiled an extensive genealogy of this branch of the family. In his book “The John Dalton Book of Genealogy”, published by the Dalton Family Organisation in 1964, he gives an account of the family history right back to the Sir Rychard mentioned above. The information for this section of his book was, in the main, collected by one of his family, who visited England in the 1860s and again in the 1880s. Included in his details of the earlier part of the pedigree is the statement that the Daltons of Yorkshire described below are descended from John Dalton, the third son of Robert of Bispayne who married Margaret and was born circa 1400 (ref p3, John Dalton Book of Genealogy).

Chart II shows the pedigree of the Daltons of Hawkeswell and the Daltons of Sleningford in outline. The records of this family are held by the College of Arms right back to John Dalton of Kingston upon Hull who died 10th September 1458. It is known that John Dalton had an elder brother William who was "co-executor of his brother John’s will with his widow, Joan". The proposition (or hypothesis) is that this John Dalton of Kingston upon Hull is one and the same person as John Dalton, third son of Robert of Bispayne.

In January 1969, the Editor put this proposition to Major-General Sir Charles Dalton of the Yorkshire family with whom he had been in contact for some months. Sir Charles and the Editor had been investigating the possibility of a link between their families being lost somewhere in the haze of the 15th century and this suggestion, originating from Mark Ardath Dalton’s book, was the first really plausible hypothesis. Sir Charles’s reaction was one of cautious enthusiasm. On the one hand, there was the distinct possibility of his pedigree being extended back through five generations to Sir Rychard of Byspham; on the other hand, nothing had been proved, all was supposition with a considerable amount of plausible supporting evidence. Sir Charles and his brother, Major-General John Dalton of Hauxwell Hall, after obtaining the opinion of Mr J P Brooke-Little, Richmond Herald at the College of Arms, decided to ask the College to undertake the necessary research either to prove or to disprove the theory put forward. This work is now being done by the Richmond Herald’s genealogist, Miss Colwell.

Amongst the plausible supporting evidence are the following interesting facts. It cannot be emphasised too clearly that what follows does not constitute any sort of proof of the theory.

(i) It seems that Robert Dalton of Bispayne married Margaret about 1420 and that his three sons, Rychard, William and John were born between 1420 and 1425. This means that John would have been in his thirties when he died in 1458 which fits in well with the fact that his wife Joan married a second and a third time.

(ii) There are heraldic similarities between the two families. The arms and crest of the Dalton of Thurnham Line are as follows:

Arms: Azure, semee of cross-crosslets or, a lion rampant, guardant, argent

Crest: A dragon’s head couped vert, between two wings or,

Those of Dalton of Hawkeswell are described thus:

Arms: Azure, semee of cross-crosslets or, a lion rampant, guardant, argent, a chief barry nebulee of three of the last and sable

Crest: A dragon’s head with wings displayed vert, the outside of the wings or, gorged with a collar nebulee of the last.

The Dalton of Thurnham Arms and Crest are those used at the beginning of this Journal. Those of Dalton of Hawkeswell are similar with what are known as "differences". In heraldry, in order to distinguish between the senior line of a family and the line of a second or subsequent son, the arms granted to the junior line are, to use a technical expression, "differenced". Here we have the addition of a chief barry nebulee to the arms and a collar nebulee to the crest. This fits in with John Dalton being third son of Robert.

Regrettably the work of Miss Colwell has yet to establish the validity or otherwise of the link put forward. There have been two progress reports on the research so far and her findings have served to confuse rather than clarify the situation. Searching of Wills, Chancery Proceedings and other documentation available in London and in Hull has produced a mass of information, including the complication of there apparently being not one but two Dalton families extant in Hull in the 15th century. However, conclusive proof or evidence to disprove has yet to be found. Major-General Sir Charles is continuing to support the work of Miss Colwell so that she can follow up various leads as yet unexplored but the present situation leads one to believe that it is unlikely that evidence of the kind required is in existence today.

It was stated at the beginning of this article that it would be a progress report. It is hoped that, by the time the Volume of this Journal for 1971 is published, there will be a final report available from the College of Arms.

Sadly, the further work undertaken by Miss Stella Colwell did not result in any changes to her conclusions and therefore the link remains unproved to this day. It should also be pointed out that the link between the Junior Dalton Line and the Daltons of Thurnham is not proved – this has been the subject of a series of articles in the DGS Journal by the late Dick Hamilton (see DGSJ Vols 14, 15 & 16).

CHART I – Sir Rychard Dalton of Byspham in Lancashyre, and his descendants

CHART II – Pedigree of the Yorkshire Daltons in outline
(Daltons of Hawkeswell and Daltons of Sleningford)

This article originally appeared in the DGS Journal Volume 11 Number 1 published in July 1982. It was written by the then editor of the DGS Journal and now Chairman of the Society Michael Dalton. It is being republished here as the second of a series of articles taking Yorkshire Daltons as its theme, and these include Daltons of Garton-on-the-Wolds, a small village which we visited during the gathering on Sunday afternoon. The 2012 DGS Gathering Organiser is Howard Dalton, a descendant of the Daltons of Garton-on-the-Wolds and the organiser of the Dalton Jamboree in 1982.

Unbeknown to the DGS and equally without knowledge of the DGS, a Dalton genealogical event took place at Garton-on-the-Wolds, East Yorkshire on 9th May last. This came about through the enterprise of Howard Dalton from Northumberland who it turns out is descended from the same John Dalton of Garton-on-the-Wolds as DGS members Mark Dalton and Dr Antony Cox (see DGSJ Vol 10 No 1 pp 12-14 and MN&Q 10.10 & 11.6). Howard was interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme on the Friday morning preceding the Sunday of the event and one of those who heard the interview was Mark. He arranged to attend and so the DGS was not unrepresented! The account of the event given below appeared in the Yorkshire Post on Monday 10th May as a ‘Weekend People’ feature:

Keith Nicholson attends the first gathering of some of the descendants of an 18th Century Yorkshire blacksmith.


Nearly 30 descendants of an 18th Century blacksmith made a pilgrimage yesterday to his East Yorkshire village.

At Garton-on-the-Wolds, near Driffield, they saw the site of the old forge, long since demolished and now part of a garden, where generations of Daltons worked.

On Saturday, the 20th Century members of the family had gathered in York for their first reunion and self-styled “Dalton Jamboree”. Some met for the first time at a dinner at Naburn Banqueting Hall, near York.

The gathering was organised by Howard Dalton, a 32 year old accountant, of Cresswell, near Morpeth, Northumberland, who with the help of others has traced the family history back nearly two centuries.

Mr Dalton carried out much of his earlier research into parish records and census forms with his late father Mr Eric Dalton, an organist at Dringhouses Parish Church, York, who died ten years ago.

Among those wearing “Dalton Jamboree 1982” badges during the weekend were Reg Dalton, 70, of Cossington, Leicestershire, his son, Jim from Carlisle, and his brother Professor Godfrey Dalton, of Queen’s University, Belfast. Reg and Godfrey are uncles of Howard Dalton, who had the badges made.

Professor Dalton was accompanied by his wife, Hilary, and their children, Margaret, 26, Elizabeth, 23, and Nigel, 17, who swims for Ulster.

The Dalton connection with Garton dates from the days when John Dalton arrived in the village in the 1700s to take over the smithy. It was passed down from father to son and the last Dalton to be blacksmith there, Robert, achieved fame through his habit of putting his name on nearly everything he made.

Howard Dalton yesterday pointed out Robert’s signature carved on the tower wall of the village church in 1809, together with the imprint of his hand. Family sleuths then went in search of a barn door hinge, also said to bear Robert Dalton’s name.

Another branch of the family was represented by Mr Mark Dalton, 32, of Kirkwood Way, Cookridge, Leeds, who can also trace his ancestry back to the 18th Century blacksmith, John.

Mark had travelled to Garton with his brother, Andrew, who played cricket for Yorkshire from 1970 to 1972 and is now the managing director of a Leeds printing firm.

Howard explained that the reunion was suggested during a visit to his aunt, Mrs Rene Whiteman, of Bridlington, who has helped with research.

He added: “Although John Dalton’s first child was born three months before he married a local girl, I haven’t found any family scandal. Apart from blacksmiths, they were farmers and policemen – and not surprisingly, they seem to have been very law-abiding.”

Howard Dalton has become a member of the DGS and the publicity given to the Dalton Jamboree has brought about a number of enquiries from Daltons in various parts of the country. Howard has kindly referred these to the DGS and this has resulted in several new members for the Society.

It is hoped that more details of the descendants of the Garton-on-the-Wolds Daltons will be published in a future issue of the Journal. They certainly have a formidable team of enthusiastic genealogical researchers!

This article originally appeared in Volume 5 of the DGS Journal published in 1974. It was written by the late Major General John Cecil D’Arcy Dalton and tells the story of his Yorkshire Dalton family descending from Daltons living in Kingston-upon-Hull in the middle of the 15th Century. The Gathering took Yorkshire Daltons as its theme, and these included this Hull based Dalton family, who were Mayors of Hull in the 16th Century and were the subject of a talk by Helen Good at the Hull History Centre on the Friday afternoon.

1. Kingston-upon-Hull

Whether or not there is a link between the Thurnham and the Yorkshire Dalton families (and the evidence is very strong even if proof is lacking), there is no doubt that the Daltons were well established in Kingston-upon-Hull by the middle of the fifteenth century.

The family were merchants of the staple (the staplers traded in wool and had their chief office at Calais) and must have been both prominent and prosperous, for as early as 1487, John Dalton was elected Mayor. The city had been founded in the reign of Edward I and the first Mayor was appointed in 1322.

All through the sixteenth century the family kept on producing the Chief Citizen, several of them serving twice or thrice over a period of years, often holding the office of Sheriff before being elected Mayor. One of them, Thomas, an Alderman and Merchant, was also very holy. By his will dated 1497 (the year Cabot sailed to Newfoundland and Labrador) he founded a Chantry in Holy Trinity Church. He also left his house near the church to the table-priests and their successors, and gave them his "great picture of beyond sea work which cost him 8 pounds sterling to set up over the Altar of St Corpus Christi in the Church". And he asked to be buried on the north side of the aisle.

The family’s activities as Mayor, however, were not always plain sailing. In 1540, King Henry VIII visited Hull on his way to meet his nephew, James V of Scotland, at York and, after being suitably entertained he left for that city. Meanwhile the election for Mayor was due, and the candidates were Mr Dalton and Mr Johnson. Alas! Before the votes were cast the King unexpectedly returned; the election was postponed and the candidates went to meet him. When he heard about the election, Henry ordered the Corporation to meet again and mentioned that Sir John Eland should be nominated along with the other two. At the election, the King voted for Sir John, and of course the latter was elected. I suspect that democracy was but skin-deep in those days, and in any case it was discreet not to thwart a Tudor monarch.

Another Dalton, Thomas, during the first of his three mayoralties, was in office in 1554 when a rich citizen called Sir William Knowles presented the Corporation with a gold chain weighing 4½ ounces upon condition that the Mayor should wear it every Sunday, holiday and on particular occasions or else forfeit 40 pence for every omission. This story has a sequel. The chain, presumably first worn by Thomas Dalton in 1554, is still the basis of the chain worn by contemporary Lord Mayors of Hull, and was worn when the writer, 10th in descent from Thomas, during his year as High Sheriff of Yorkshire, entertained the Lord Mayor of Hull to luncheon at the Assizes.

The last Dalton to be Mayor, in 1588, was Robert and I am sorry to say he brought discredit on the family. He was accused later of having "ingrossed most of the mills in his hands, taking (instead of money) moultercorn, and more of it than he should, and aggravated his offence by mixing plaster with it to increase the weight". For this grave offence he was "severely reprehended" and might well have been fined too had he not apologised and promised never to repeat the crime. Honesty compels me to record this blot; family pride makes me add that the culprit was not a direct ancestor of the present Dalton line!

By the end of the sixteenth century the family was ready to expand its life away from the channels of commerce. For some time they had married into the families of the landed gentry, and had been well educated. In particular, William Dalton, second son of that Thomas who had three times been Mayor, became a lawyer and was Recorder of Hull. He then moved and settled at or near Otley in the West Riding of Yorkshire. He was made a member of the Council of the North at York, was subsequently (in the language of the period) Attorney-General of the Northern Court – which probably meant Secretary to the Council in modern terms – and became also Recorder of York. His office was at King’s Manor in York, which is still in existence and is now part of York University. He was knighted by King Charles I at Whitehall Palace in 1629. A few years later we find his signature on a letter from the Council to the Mayor and Aldermen of Hull about the fortifications of the town and the payment for them. I hope it gave him satisfaction to take some part in the affairs of his native place. It is not known when he was born, but he died in 1649, a staunch but doubtless saddened Royalist, and was buried in York Minster. There is a portrait of him as an old man at Hauxwell Hall. It was in 1631 that he had bought Hauxwell for his son John, of whom more in a moment.

Before finally leaving Hull, it may be of interest to quote from an eighteenth century history of the town concerning the duties of Mayor in the earliest days, to show that the holders of that office were persons of consequence and had heavy responsibilities.

During his year of office he is to see the laws executed, and the King within his district exercises his authority by the Mayor’s administration, so that he is the King’s Lieutenant in his absence. The Mayor of Hull gives place and drops the insiginia of authority only to the Sovereign himself or the presumptive heir to the Crown, in the presence of whom only he is dispossessed and on such occasions carries himself the mace before the King.

2. Hauxwell

The manors of East and West Hauxwell and of Barden in Yorkshire belonged after the Conquest to Earl Alan of Richmond and his brother. They descended through various families over the years and early in the seventeenth century were possessed by the Jopsons. From this family they were acquired in 1631 by Sir William Dalton for his son John, who thus became "First of Hauxwell" for our family. John had married Dorothy D’Arcy of Hornby Castle near Bedale and only three miles from Hauxwell. The house at this date was small and simple and John was perhaps some sort of agent for the D’Arcys. He was certainly "of their party" politically and shortly became second-in-command of his brother-in-law’s troop of Royalist horse. Several pieces of armour of the period are still to be seen in the museum at Hauxwell. The family’s Hull origins were kept in mind by the inclusion in a window of Hauxwell Church of an heraldic shield of sixteenth century painted glass depicting Dalton impaling Tyrwhitt. Ann Tyrwhitt had been the second wife of Thomas Dalton of Hull and was John Dalton’s grandmother.

Whatever plans John, with his wife Dorothy, may have had as squire of Hauxwell, were shattered by the Civil War. John took service with his brother-in-law D’Arcy and in 1643 they were assigned the duty of escorting the Queen, Henrietta Maria, on her journey across England. The Queen had landed at Bridlington on the Yorkshire coast in February, and after a delay in York began the hazardous cross-country journey to join the King at Oxford. She arrived there in July, but regrettably John Dalton was no longer with her. At the crossing of the River Trent at Burton there was a skirmish with the Parliamentarian troops; John was badly wounded. He was taken back to Yorkshire, where he died a year later and was buried in York Minster. This melancholy event was recorded by his father, Sir William, in his own handwriting on one of the fly-leaves of his law manual (still at Hauxwell):

My only sonne John Dalton was wounded at Burton upon Trent the fift of July 1643 and thereof dyed 1644 the 24 or XXVth July who was a valiant man and a duetyfull and loving sonne.

Would not any of us be satisfied with such a simple and moving epitaph?

One can imagine the disruption and distress caused by the Civil War, with allegiance divided even within families. Yet things soon returned to normal, and after his restoration, Charles II now King remembered those whose families had loyally supported his parents. John’s son William was one of those knighted by Charles II. This second Sir William lived at Hauxwell and before he died had begun to enlarge the house. So far as is known, no celebrated architect was employed, but the work attributed to this period is typically restrained and eminently suitable for a squire’s house.

The Daltons continued in the male line all through the eighteenth century when their most important member was Sir Charles, younger son of the second Sir William. He had been born in 1660 and in middle life obtained some minor appointment as an Usher at the Court in London. Here he mixed with fashionable and cosmopolitan people and acquired knowledge (and possessions) which were to influence Hauxwell permanently. It was in 1717 that he became the owner of the property and commemorated the event by erecting a stone obelisk in front of his house. This monument stood sturdily for nearly 250 years before being severely damaged in the great gale which ravaged this part of Yorkshire in 1962. It has since been repaired.

Sir Charles never married. In 1727 he became Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod, a position of some consequence in those days, which he held till his death twenty years later. During this time he built a wing to the house, the ground floor being a beautifully proportioned room decorated with carved wood panels and plaster work, and imported some notable pieces of Flemish tapestry which family tradition believes he "acquired" from the Palace of Westminster! He also collected books, many of which have survived, as has also his court dress sword and part of his black rod.

After Sir Charles’s death in 1747 the property passed through a somewhat twilight period. For more than 40 years his parson nephew, another Charles, was in possession and must have planted trees near the house where some very fine hard-wood specimens still stand. He in his turn was succeeded for a short time by his brother Francis. This brother had married a lady who was related to the Bathurst family and who inherited some family portraits as well as a house in Kent. This house was sold and the proceeds used to enlarge the Hauxwell estate. Francis and his wife had an only daughter who married into a distinguished local family called Gale and lived to be 95 years old. Her granddaughter, who inherited Hauxwell, took the additional name of Dalton to her married name of Wade. After three generations of Wade-Daltons, the last of that line being childless, gave the estate to his distant kinsman, Richard Dalton, born 1948, whose direct ancestor had bought it over 300 years previously.

3. Sleningford and The Hutts

We must now go back in time to chronicle the affairs of the present family.

Sir William the second, who lived at Hauxwell after the Restoration and who has already been mentioned, had a younger brother, Thomas. Nothing is known about him except that he lived at Bedale, a small country town a few miles east of Hauxwell. He had a son John, equally obscure, and this John’s only son was James, who grew up to obtain a commission in the army. So started a remarkable military tradition in the family. He himself was apparently hot-tempered and earned the nickname of "Fighting Jim" because of his propensity for duelling! His regiment was stationed for some time in Southern Ireland, where he married a Limerick lady. Later he was in Scotland, and in 1741 (having made his will and left everything he possessed to his wife Elizabeth) he set sail with his regiment for the West Indies where England was at war with Spain. He did not long survive, and within six months of leaving Scotland he had been drowned when making a landing on one of the islands.

Meanwhile his only child, a son John, had already been placed in the army and had been commissioned – at the tender age of 15 – into one of the new marine regiments raised for the Spanish war. A year later his father was dead, and what odds would have been laid against the survival of the family, vested only in young John about to go to war? Not only did he survive, but he became the head of a family that was to proliferate through several generations.

John’s career was remarkable, and started with five years as a second lieutenant on board HMS Preston of 50 guns, cruising in the East Indies and off the coast of Southern India. He then left the sea for the land and transferred to the East India Company’s service as a captain in command of the Grenadier company. This was in 1749. He became "a very intimate and worthy friend" (his own words in a letter home) of Robert Clive, a friendship which lasted for life.

From now onwards, John saw much active service in the Company’s war against the French. From 1752 he became the commander of the fortress of Trichinopoly, a key post which carried much responsibility both military and civil and which was not without excitement. Beleaguered by the French and their native allies, the commander of the fortress was the obvious target for assassination, and this was duly attempted. The would-be assassin however was caught and summarily killed by the gruesome (but effective) method of being blown from the muzzle of a gun.

By 1754, after nearly eleven years continuous service in the East Indies, John resigned his commission and sailed for home, having amassed a fortune of £10,000, and still being young and healthy. The journey home by sea took six months and covered 14,000 nautical miles. He lost no time in visiting his mother, to whom he had written many tender letters over the years and who had been living at Kendal in Westmorland since her husband’s death. It was on his journey north to see his mother that a charming and romantic episode took place. Having arrived at Bay Horse Inn at Green Hammerton, one stage out of York on the road to the north, he stopped for the night and occupied the only sitting room available. Later a coach arrived, carrying Lady Wray and her two daughters. John very naturally gave up his room to them, whereupon Lady Wray equally naturally invited him to have supper with them. He fell in love with one of the daughters, Isabella, and married her in Ripon Minster the following year – and lived happily ever after! The Church register of marriages records "John Dalton, Esq of the parish of Hauxwell and Isabella Wray of this parish". The Wrays had a property, Sleningford near Ripon. Some years later, John bought this from his brother-in-law, Sir Cecil Wray, and it remained in the family of his descendants for more than 150 years. He was a notably handsome man, perhaps a vain one too. On his visits to his mother in Kendal, he had himself painted twice by the well-known artist, George Romney, at 2½ guineas a time. Both pictures are still in the family. Later, when Romney went to London, the price went up to 5 guineas.

John had several sons. The youngest James went into the Church and became Rector of Croft in Yorkshire for over 40 years. (He was succeeded there by the Reverend Charles Dodgson, whose son "Lewis Carroll" wrote part of "Alice in Wonderland" in the Rectory garden.)

One of James’s brothers, and his son, grandson and two great grandsons all served in the army in the Royal Artillery, and all became generals. The grandson, James Cecil, retired from the army before World War I and settled at The Hutts, a small property near Ripon and not far from Sleningford. He had married Mary Caroline Barker, great granddaughter of John Barker of Clare Priory, Suffolk, who as a young officer fought in the English army in 1774-6 at Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill in the American War of Independence. The Hutts was and still is a remote and lovely place high up on the edge of moorland country and with superb views for 30 miles over the Vale of York. There he raised his family, including the author of this article and his elder brother Sir Charles, the latter going to live there on his retirement from the army. Both brothers incidentally, have served their year as High Sheriff of Yorkshire. Meanwhile the younger brother lives at Hauxwell as caretaker for one of his sons, Richard, who as has been noted above had received the estate in trust while still a child. In 1972 the wheel came full circle and Sir Charles’s son John married Amelia Stanley-Price in Ripon Cathedral 216 years after his great great great grandfather had wed Isabella Wray in the same place.

Here we leave the record of the Yorkshire Daltons for the last five hundred years. There is nothing exceptional in it, and many families could record the same sort of story. Yet, in these times of rapid change, it is a matter of gratitude to former generations who made the record that the story can be told.

The author acknowledges help from various family memoirs and papers; also from Gent’s History of Hull (1735) and History of Kingston-upon-Hull by the Rev John Tickell (1796).

The Chairman, Michael Dalton and his wife Kate visited the Hockney Exhibition at the Royal Academy in London in early 2012. This major exhibition concentrated on David Hockney’s native Yorkshire and the prolific studies that he had made of the Yorkshire countryside. At our Yorkshire gathering we visited the Yorkshire Wolds, from where Daltons hail. Kate Dalton took up this theme and gave a foretaste of what was to come.

A Foretaste of Yorkshire

Garrowby Hill by David Hockney 1998

Is it really only April? I feel as if the Dalton Gathering is upon me already as I meander through The Royal Academy studying the David Hockney paintings and drawings of East Yorkshire. Is this area so beautiful and does the countryside sport blue tree trunks and purple roads? The senses are touched as I feel the Yorkshire Wolds through the eyes of the artist as his imagination runs wild.

I look forward to us all meeting up in July when I hope the weather will be bright, and I will be able to remember Hockney’s interpretation of this relatively undiscovered part of Britain.