PART 3: The Death of St Hilda's Churchyard, South Shields


Between 2009 and 2013 I transcribed fully or in part fifty one records from three research centres: South Tyneside Public Library, St George's Square, South Shields, Durham County Record Office, County Hall, Durham City and the National Archives, Kew, London.

Many of the references I extracted from the seminal work for local History, The Borough of South Shields by George B. Hodgson published in 1903 (ISBN 0 906617251). In 2014, I subsequently received an original copy as a present which I now use for my research.

I have taken the decision to include this aspect of my research as it was presented in 2013 copying the documents and extracts as accurately as I could do. The records are organised chronologically with regard to the information elicited. My research pre-dates access to computer-based research e.g. British Newspaper Archive and digitised records of local newspapers. Furthermore, my home computer system is much improved with iMac, photocopier, and scanner readily accessible. Plans and maps I will integrate into the presentation of my later research.

Mounted Sundial in the Burial Grounds of St Hilda's Church 1724

One of the only surviving monuments in St Hilda's Churchyard.

The inscription reads 'John Watson, Thomas Read, Churchwardens'

Item 1-Dates 647, 1154, 1256, 1322, 1347, 1367 and 1370 Origins of St. Hilda's Church: First References to Funerals at St. Hilda's

It may therefore, we think, be taken as conclusive that St. Hilda's first religious house was established over twelve and a half centuries ago, on the island peninsular of South Shields, and that the St. Hilda's of today is its lineal successor and descendant, while the fifteen acres of land with which Oswin endowed it represents the glebe, a great part of which was so foolishly bartered away by the incumbent of last century.

The first South Shields church of which there is any historical record was that of St. Aidan and endowed by the Saxon King Oswald about A.D. 647 (Rev. H. E. Savage 'Abbess Hilda's first Religious House,') ---- and placed in charge, of the Northumbrian Princess Hilda, which,---- occupied in all probability the same site as the St. Hilda of today*1. Although no doubt destroyed during the Danish invasions, the Church certainly existed in early Norman days, since, besides the mention of St. Hilda's yare or fishery in the Venerabilibus Patribus Charter of 1093, the Church is definitely mentioned in the Charter of 1154, and again in that of King John in 1204. Walter, the Chaplain of the Church of St. Hilda, is mentioned in the finding of the jury at Newcastle Assizes in 1256, and Robert the clerk or curate, of St. Hilda's occurs forty years later in the Halmote Court Rolls of the Prior and Convent, and again in 1303. The earliest known record of the regular appointment of a chaplain or minister of St. Hilda's is, however, that of Sir Robert de Dalton, who was collated to office in 1322.

This collation (Jarrow Account Rolls, 234) gives the first detailed account of the duties and revenues of the cure. It commits to the chaplain's care the parishioners of le Sheels, Harton, and Wyvestou. He is to perform Divine Service, and administer the Sacraments of the Church, and in return is to receive the Glebe and the Manse belonging to the said Chapel, together with half the offerings placed in the Pix (or Alms-Box) of Holy Cross in the Chapel of St. Hilda, and half of the wax offered for the use of the Chapel of St. Hilda, all petty offerings for churchings, baptisms and funerals.

In 1367 (Jarrow Account Rolls), 12s was paid from St. Hilda's (to Jarrow) in mortuaries-a fee payable at death out of the estate of the deceased, rendered either in money or kind.---In 1370 the total value of the mortuaries from Jarrow and St. Hilda's, together with the tithes of hay and flax, was £8.

Item 2-Date 4th January 1402 Entitlement to bBury the Dead at St. Hilda's

In St. Hilda's Baptism Register (1717 A.D.-1737 A.D.) there is an interesting entry on the last page made on March 19th, 1718. It is headed:

'The Copy of what is found in an old book belonging to the Cathedral Church of Durham, touching the Rights of the Chapel of St. Hilda's. Reg. 3 fol. 126 b.'

Then follows a Latin document, which we here are translating:
" John , Prior of the Cathedral Church of Durham to our well-beloved in Christ, Sir John de Gyseburne, salvation in the unfoldings of the Saviour.
Thy praiseworthy mode of life, and uprightness of manners meritoriously induce us to commit to thy charge the Chapel of St. Hilds, the end that thou mayst celebrate services the same for the Parishioners of Shields, Harton and Westoe, and mayst administer the Sacrament of the Church as other Chaplains dwelling in the same place heretofor were accustomed to do; thou shalt receive and hold the church house and lands belonging to the said Chapel, and half the oblations to the Pix of the Holy Cross of those coming before it; and [unsure] part of the Wax offered in the said Chapel, the small offerings at Churchings, Baptisms, Weddings, Burial of the Dead; provisions of Head- spence--

In witness whereof our seal with the consent of the Master of Jarrow was appended in our licence to endure to the end of thy life so at the aforesaid chapel, duly, more unreservedly and benignantly. Given on the 4th day of January, in the year of our Lord, 1402."

Item 3-Date 1613 Consecration of Land to Extend the Graveyard of St. Hilda's

'.. in the latter year (1610) he was succeeded by George Carre, during whose incumbency in 1613, 'the town being grown into importance in a bout a century and a half,' there was need to enlarge the graveyard of St. Hilda's, and Bishop Howson consecrated a plot of land for that purpose'.

Item 4-Date 22nd September 1653 Compulsory Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths at St. Hild's during the Commonwealth; Appointment of Robert Chilton as Registrar; First Burial Records

-The Commonwealth also established a registration of births, marriages and deaths. The first register at St. Hild's dates from that period. It contains on its opening page this quaint narrative of its genesis:- ' Sept 20th, a.n.o. 1653. Whereas by an Act of Parliament of the twentie fourth of August 1653, touching marriages, births and burials, and that every parish should make choice of a register for that purpose, wee, the minister and foure and twentie and the rest of the p'ishioners of the Chappellrye of St. Hyld's, with in the Parish of Jarrow in the Countie of Durham, doe nominate, elect, and make choice of Robert Chilton to be register for the said Chappelrie for all such marriages, baptisms, and burials: THOMAS LUPTON, MINISTER

--'According to ye tenor of ye Act of p'liamt touching marriages beareing date ye 29th of August 1653, I doe approve of Robt. Chilton of South Shields to be ye parish Register for yo Chappelrie of St. Hild's, with in ye p'sh of Jarrow, September 22nd, 1653, JOB. CLAVERINGE.'

The signatures of this document furnish the earliest list extant of members of the Select Vestry or Four and Twenty of St. Hild's, which for so long took an important part in the local government of the town.

The register contains entries of ----- burials from Octtober 4, 1653, to December 28, 1684. In the Register of Burials the entries are arranged on the page in double columns, and fill fifteen pages, with four entries at the top of the sixteenth page. The first entry:-'Anno 1653, October 4th....fray Rodger, Talor; last entry buryed.1684, December 28th, Margret Gilchrist.'

Item 5-Dates (1731&1770) Development of St. Hild's Church; References to the Churchyard

St Hild's was a pretty little country church of antique design, described by Bourne in 1731 as 'going to decay, and is about to be rebuilt.' On the north side, in a small garden, and at right angles with the church tower, the parsonage, an unlovely square building, was erected about 1770. The churchyard on the south sloped down to the edge of the Mill Dam Creek, or the River Branin, as it was sometimes called, a fine sheet of water, up which the tide flowed as far as modern Catherine Street. The creek, when filled with water at high tide, formed a picturesque lake, the sides clothed with bright green salt grass, with fields and gardens sloping down to its margin on either hand, where today we have the unpicturesque and grimy outlines of St. Hilda Colliery and the Gas-works on the one side, and the squalid streets built early in this century (1800's) on the other. In a hard winter skating could be carried on where Waterloo Vale now runs. From the church gates a footpath ran diagonally across to the south-west corner of the churchyard, into a district known, from its abundance of trees and foliage, as' Paradise.'

Item 6-Dates 1768, June 24th 1801 Selling of Parts of St. Hild's Glebe Including 8 Acres for the Location of the Market

In 1768, the Dean and Chapter of Durham, encouraged the curate of St. Hild's, the Rev. Samuel Dennis, to enter into an agreement handing over to the Dean and Chapter eight acres of the Glebe land of St. Hild, in return for an annuity of £30 per annum secure to him and his successors from the Chapter funds. 'A more short-sighted policy in the interests of St. Hild could hardly be conceived, for, had the church enjoyed the income of those eight acres, the living would have been one of the richest in the county (1902)'.

The enclosed eight acres of land in the centre of the town was for the purposes of a market and buildings, and on July 26th The Dean and Chapter 'petitioned Parliament about Shields Market enclosed for the purpose.' and secured a private Act of Parliament ratifying the agreement.

The north bank of the Mill Dam Creek, eastward of the church was occupied by the Broken Gardens, in which the Shields lads of that day could chase butterflies and 'bummlers' to their hearts content. The land formed part of St. Hild's Glebe, and in 1801 was sold by the then incumbent, the Rev. Richard Wallis, to Henry Robson and Nicholas Fairles, upon 999 years, building lease, at a yearly rental of £115. A private Act was obtained to sanction this agreement, which bears the date June 24, 1801. The incumbent was popularly supposed at the time to have made a remarkably good bargain (a view his modern successors are unlikely to endorse), the transaction being commemorated by a local couplet, declaring that

'Long Harry and Little Nick Were both outwitted by Skinny Dick';

On the sites so acquired, all of the streets between the Churchyard and Waterloo Vale east and west, and Barrington and Oyston Streets north and south were erected.

Item 7- Dates 1805, 1816 Overcrowding in St. Hild's Churchyard & the Subsequent Improvements

In the early part of the century the overcrowded condition of St. Hild's Churchyard occasioned great scandal. The churchwardens, in June 1805, advertised, inviting offers of about five acres of land for a new churchyard, but without result. The Bishop was thereupon appealed to on the subject, but was unable to offer anything beyond suggestion that the churchyard should be covered with ships' ballast in order to raise the surface, a proposition to which the churchwardens said 'there are some strong objections as well as a great prejudice on account of removal of grave-stones and the replacing them.' Eventually ten or eleven years later, the authorities were driven to adopt the Bishop's suggestion and to raise the level of the burying ground by the use of ballast from the High Ballast Hill before mentioned. The work was partly undertaken in the nature of relief work, at a time of great distress in the town following upon the reduction of the fleet and the disbandment of a great part of the army after the defeat of Buonaparte at Waterloo. The distress was accentuated by the currency panic which put stop to enterprise, a large number of shipwrights and other shore workers being thrown idle in addition to the seamen. At a town's meeting in December 1816 the suggestion to cover the churchyard with ballast was approved, a public subscription opened, and the unemployed of the town were engaged by the Committee to carry out the work, the hours of labour being from 7.45 a.m to 4pm with an hour's interval for dinner. Unfortunately the work did not stop with the levelling up of the churchyard, or Shields folk to-day (written in 1902) would not have so much reason to regret the 'improvements' then effected. (The remaining ballast was used to fill in Mill Dam Creek where tenements were built rather than converting the area to a wet dock).

Item 8-Date July 16th 1806 Inventory of the Assets of St. Hilda's including Burial Charges

'The Terrier or Note hereinafter written, was agreed to, and two parts signed- and the Entry herein as well as those two parts, were written by Mr. John Kimbell.'

  1. 'A true Note and Terrier of all the Glebes, Lands, and Houses and other Rights belonging to the Chapelry of Saint Hilda, South Shields, in the Parish of Jarrow, and in the County of Durham, now in the Use and Possession of the Reverend Richard Wallis, Clerk, M.A., Curate of the said Chapel, taken, made and renewed according to the old Evidences tis sixteenth day of July One Thousand Eight Hundred and Six, by appointment of the Right Reverend Father in God, Shute Lord Bishop of Durham.
'Imprimis.-There belong to the Curacy, a Parsonage House
  1. Item. Three acres of land or thereabouts lately demised, under an Act of Parliament, for nine hundred and ninety nine years to Nicholas Fairles and Henry Robson, Esquires at the Rent of one hundred and fifteen Pounds, payable yearly to the Incumbent for the time being (and on which there is as yet only one House erected), boundering on the West by the Church-yard, on the South by a road adjoining Mill-Dam, on the East by a Horse Road, and on the North by a street called Chapter Row.
  2. Item, the sum of ten Pounds annually for a small Portion of Glebe annexed to the Burying Ground, paid by the Chapel-Wardens to the Incumbent on the 12th of May.-
  3. Item, the fees payable to the Incumbent are, as follows, and are (in ordinary) for every Marriage by Banns four Shillings, for every Marriage by Licence eleven shillings, for every Baptism, and registering same, one shilling, for every Funeral and Registering same, one shilling, for every Churching eight pence, for erecting every Tomb-Stone, thirteen shillings and four pence, and for the erecting of every Head-stone six shillings and eight pence, and amount Communibus Annis, to about one hundred pounds.
  4. Item, to the Parish Clerk (who is appointed by the Incumbent) there is due every Easter, from each family keeping a separate fire, Five Pence, and the number of Families in the Chapelry, is about Two thousand nine hundred.
  5. Item, for every Wedding by Licence three shillings and six Pence, by Publication two shillings, for every Funeral six pence, for every Baptism six pence, for every Churching two pence, and for every Proclamation in the Church Yard two pence.
  6. Item, to the Sexton (who is appointed by the Majority of the Parish) five pounds per Annum is paid out of the Church Cess. In addition to this there is due to him sixpence for every Marriage by Banns and one shilling by Licence, two Pence for every Churching, one shilling for tolling the small Death Bell, and one shilling and sixpence for the large one, and eight Pence for making each Grave.
  7. The Number of Funerals at South Shields is annually, upon an Average or the last three years, Three hundred and fifty- Baptisms at Saint Hilda's Three hundred and seventy, Marriages there, ninety-six.

The Terrier is signed by R. J. Shortridge and James Kirton as Churchwardens, and by a 'few of the principal inhabitants,'

Item 9- Date May 28, 1810 Reference in a Letter to Improvements to St Hilda's and King Street

South Shields, May 28 1810

Dear Fanny,
* * * I must now reply to your Interrogatories respecting the News of the Town-as usual my Friend, little or Nothing. A few of the Ordinances of the Court Baron are carrying into Execution. The irregular Part of Mr Lodge's House is sliced off and a clear view of King Street displayed from End to End. And an obtrusive Building, which incommoded the Street near Mr Kirkley's, is also demolished. Our Chapel of St Hilda is about to undergo considerable Alterations and Improvements, but as I have not a clear Conception of the Plan, I shall suspend any Attempt at Description till the completion of the Work. Adieu my Fanny.
Your unalterable, E KIRKLEY

Item 10-Date 1816 Discontent at the condition of the Graveyard: Evidence of Repairs to Graves


For some weeks past, we have been publishing, in the Literary Supplement of the Gazette, a number of rare and interesting papers relating to South Shields. These have generally been regarded as valuable contributions to local history. There is an abundance of such material in existence, and we invite contributions from correspondents who have special knowledge, or who have a fund of recollections to draw upon. Extracts, manuscripts, or books bearing upon the history of South Shields, Jarrow, or the neighbourhood will be of great service, and will be carefully protected from injury and loss.


Whereas the old Burial Ground has, for several Years past, been a Subject of universal Discontent and Complaint throughout the Whole of the populous Chapelry, in Consequence of the Sexton having met with repeated Difficulties in completing a Grave without falling in with some Corpse, and having therefore obliged to fill up the Place, and go to some other Part and there make the intended Grave, whereby the Relatives have become divided, by being interred in different Parts of the Church Yard, and the Survivors much displeased, althro' it is not in the Power of the Sexton in the present State of the Ground to do otherwise. Therefore, as well for removing the great Evil, so justly complained of, as for affording the Employment to those willing to work for the Sum offered by the Committee in their Hand Bill of the 5th Instant, it has been proposed, and an Application has been made to the Rev. R. WALLIS, perpetual Curate of this Chapelry, for Leave to cover over the Old Church Yard with Rubbish, which has been most readily and liberally acceded to by him:- and also to the Rev. R. Bouyer, Archdeacon for Northumberland, and Official to the Dean and Chapter of Durham, for a Faculty for the above Purpose, which has also been granted. The Committee take the Method of congratulating the Inhabitants of the Chapelry on the Prospect of the early Accomplishment of their Wishes; and of assuring them that every Care shall be taken in the Execution of the Work, that the Head Stones shall be retained and secured in their present respective Situations,--and every other Arrangement made to give general Satisfaction. Chapel-Wardens South Shields, December 7th, 1816

Item 11-Date 1821, 1826 Bodysnatching to 1821; Incident Reported 1826 Proved to be False

A curious entry in the Vestry books shows that St. Hilda was not free from the crime of body-snatching, so terribly rife in England in the early part of the nineteenth century. So lately as September 15, 1821, Nicholas Fairles, the magistrate afterwards murdered at Jarrow Slake, wrote the incumbent and Churchwardens, informing them that 'a person now in the toen' had applied to one of the constables to procure for him dead bodies from the Churchyard, at five guineas for the first and four guineas for others. The Vestry charged the sextons and constables to use every possible means in their power for the detection of any persons guilty of such an offence, and offered a reward of five guineas for conviction of any such offenders, besides voting a reward to the constable, William Counsellor, for his conduct in the case. Counsellor's deposition states that he was formerly a chemist and a druggist, and now one of the constables for the township of South Shields. On Sunday, September 2nd, a Mr. A----- from Edinburgh called at his house in Waterloo Vale, and after some conversation stated that he could put him in the way of earning £50 to £60 per annum, and at a further meeting unfolded his plan for obtaining subjects or dead bodies from the Churchyards of North and South Shields.

He said that they would take from sixteen to twenty every year at the price named, and would send written instructions and instruments for the raising of the bodies and a fictitious address to which they were sent. He cautioned Counsellor at same the time as to how the body should be raised and handled, and especially against taking any shroud or other articles with it, 'as that would be felony if he took more than the dead body.' He further volunteered the information that they had got some dead bodies from these Churchyards some time back, but that the men then employed were strangers, and were suspected by being seen so oft in the Churchyard attending funerals.

The body-snatching scare was revived in 1826, when John Cowen, a bottle-blower, charged the then sexton with having removed and sold the body of his (Cowen's) father and others, lately removed, and eventually the grave was opened in the presence of the Churchwardens and incumbent, and the coffin found to be entire, whereupon Cowen signed an apology, which was circulated by handbill, declaring the statement to be false.

Item 12-Date 1821, 1824, 1870, 1902 The Tomb of William Wouldhave

Wouldhave's versatility did not bring him competence. At one time he was the successful candidate for the sextonship of St. Hild's, but resigned the post immediately, and was subsequently appointed Parish Clerk, supplementing his income by teaching singing to the children of the Charity School. He died, poor and neglected, in a cottage now in ruins on Nelson's Bank near the Mill Dam, on September 28, 1821, aged seventy-three years, and was buried in St. Hild's Churchyard. His tombstone bears a carved and gilded representation of the lifeboat, with this inscription:-

Who died September 28th, 1821,
Aged 70 years,
Clerk to this Church,
And Inventor of that invaluable blessing to Mankind, the Lifeboat
Heaven genius scientific gave
Surpassing vulgar boast, yet he, from soil
So rich, no golden harvest reap'd, no wreath
Of laurel gleaned, none but the sailor's heart,
Nor that ingrate, a Palm unfading this,
Till shipwrecks cease, or Life Boats cease to save.
Wife of above,
Who died March 24th, 1824,
Aged 78 years

*2 The tombstone has been moved several times to accommodate the widening of the road with the actual burials being underneath this. In 1902 it was covered by tramlines. Mr. John Hinde (1815-1890) bequeathed a sum of money to be held in trust by the Corporation for the purpose of keeping the grave and tombstone neat (1902).

Item 13-Dates 1825 and 1837 Re-internment of Bodies from the Baptist Church, Laygate: Evidence of Missing Non-Conformist burial records

---------there was undoubtedly, at the time of the Commonwealth, a Baptist Church in South Shields, which endured into the eighteenth century. The curate of St. Hild's recorded in 1734 that the licensed Meeting House of the Antibaptists was 'seldom made use of, ye teacher thereof having removed into ye south.' This is probably the Chapel mentioned in Richardson's 'Terrier' of 1768 as being in ruins, in the east of Laygate, and also referred to much later by Miss Green, the niece of Nicholas Fairles, as quoted by Brockie (History of Shields, 78). Its site is now partly occupied by part of Holy Trinity Schools, the last remnants of the old building having disappeared during the brick-making operations of the Cooksons about a century ago. It seems to have possessed its own graveyard, although we have been unable to find any trace of a register in connection with it, either locally or at Somerset House, where the ancient registers of non-conforming chapels were collected in 1837. Nicholas Fairles, long senior magistrate of the town, stated that when the old chapel was destroyed many human bones were dug up adjoining it and reinterred in St. Hild's Churchyard. The coffin of one of the ministers was found entire, and although it had lain for many years, on opening the lid the body was found perfect and the clothing quite fresh, Mr. Fairles securing a small piece of black ribbon therefrom, which was perfectly sound but discoloured.

Item 14-Date 1839 Explosion at St. Hilda Pit: Burial of Some of the Victims in St. Hilda's Churchyard

The interment of the victims on the following Monday formed one of the most impressive spectacles ever witnessed in the Borough. With the exceptions of one man buried in Jarrow and another at North Shields, the whole of the victims were interred in the two South Shields Churchyards. A vast procession mustered in Templetown, including thousands of miners from surrounding collieries, who had poured in to South Shields to pay the last tribute of respect to their fellow-workmen. Some of the coffins were place in hearses, but in many instances, where more than one victim had fallen in a family, two, three or even four were placed in one cart. The coffins and immediate mourners of twenty-three of the deceased men left the processin at Holy Trinity Church, where the burial service was performed by the Re. T. Dixon, while the remainder of the long-cortege wound on its way to St. Hild's, where the other twenty-six were interred in the north-west corner of the Churchyard in a series of large graves (now beneath the pavement of Station Road), the Rev. James Carrr officiating at the service.

Item 15- Dates 1831, 1832, 1844 Cholera Outbreak; Formation of the Board of Health; Report of 1844

South Shields shared in a terrible epidemic of cholera which ravaged the district in 1831, when a 'Board of Health' was formed, consisting of the clergy, medical men, and principal inhabitants, with Mr. R. Fell as Secretary, its object being to take every possible precaution to prevent the outbreak or spread of epidemic. id, however, employ an additional number of street sweepers, and took measures to cleanse and whitewash all the courts and closes in the town. January 11, 1832, was observed as a fast day in South Shields. All business was suspended, all shops closed, and services of intercession were held in St. Hild's and the various chapels that the cholera scourge might be stayed. The Select Vestry expended about £250 in precautions against the spread of the epidemic.

In view of the frequent outbreaks of cholera and other epidemic diseases, Sir Robert Peel's Government, in 1843, appointed a Royal Commission to inquire into the health of large towns and populous districts. A South Shields Committee was formed, Its report, dated February 1, 1844, the nuisances most strongly complained of were the smoke from the glassworks and manufactories, the exhalations from the alkali-works, the overcrowded condition of St Hild's Churchyard, and the want of suitable slaughterhouses.

Item 16- Date 1850 Churchyard Over-Crowding at Incorporation of the Borough of South Shields

There was no efficient drainage system; the streets were ill-paved and badly cleansed; there was no public cemetery, while two of the three existing churchyards were over-crowded to a scandalous degree-St. Hild's, of two and a quarter acres in extent (including the site of the church), which had been in use since the fourteenth century; and Holy Trinity, of little more than an acre, opened in 1836. Both were situated in densely populated districts. The new burial-ground at St. Stephen's, two acres in extent, only came into use in the year of the borough's incorporation. As at that time the burials in the town averaged over 800 per annum, the provision was obviously inadequate.

Item 17-Dates 18th October 1854; 20th March 1857 Extracts from Orders in Council re the Closure of St. Hilda's Churchyard

Extract from Order in Council held at Windsor on the 18th day of October 1854 South Shields - No burial to take place in St. Hilda's Churchyard within twenty feet of the Church or of any dwellinghouse. One body only to be buried in each grave, no burial to take place in any grave without a covering of earth four and a half feet in depth at least, measuring from the upper surface of the coffin to the level of the ground, and burials to be wholly discontinued therein from & after the first July, one thousand eight hundred & fifty five.

Extract from Order in Council held at Buckingham Palace on the 20th day of March 1857 - And it seems fit that the said Orders may be varied, now, therefore, Her Majesty, by and with the advice aforesaid, is pleased to order, and it is hereby ordered that such now existing vaults and brick graves in the said two church yards as can be opened without disturbing soil that has already been buried in, may be used for the interment of widowers, widows, parents & unmarried children, and brothers and sisters of those already buried therein, provided that each coffin be imbedded in charcoal and separately entombed in an air-tight manner.

Part 4 Commences with Item 18


Item 1 : South Tyneside Public Library-(1996) Extract from The Borough of South Shields by George B. Hodgson pages 34, 234-235, published in 1903 (ISBN 0 906617251)
Item 2 : St. Hilda's Baptism Register (1717.-1737), St. Hilda's Parish Magazine; Aug 1927
Item 3 : Hodgson, page 237
Item 4 : Durham County Record Office (DCRO), Ref: EP/SS.SH, Hodgson pages 237-239
Item 5 : Hodgson, page 121
Item 6 : Hodgson, pages 123 &137
Item 7 : Hodgson, pages 139-140
Item 8 : Hodgson pages 248-249
Item 9 : DCRO, 'Shields Gazette' 1885
Item 10 : DCRO, 'Shields Gazette' 1885, p. 9
Item 11 : Hodgson, pages 250-251
Item 12 : Hodgson, page 488
Item 13 : Hodgson, page 277
Item 14 : Hodgson, page 378
Item 15 : Hodgson, pages 151 & 152
Item 16 : Hodgson, page 186
Item 17 : DCRO, Ref: EP/SS.SH 4/659