New Records from the North-East coming out this week: the Fewston Records

The Records of Early English Drama North-East team is pleased to announce the release of several new Records this week, starting with those from the tiny village of Fewston in the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The West Riding co-editor Ted McGee writes:

‘The records of performance activity in the small village of Fewston arose from conflicts occasioned by rushbearings in 1596 and 1619 brought to the Church of St. Matthew and St. Lawrence. The conflicts led to charges heard in the Archdiocesan Court of York and the Court of Star Chamber. At the time of the first case, Nicholas Smithson was the vicar of Fewston, though he was not directly involved. In the second case, Smithson and three of his sons were the principal defendants, arguing against the complaint of Thomas Herryson, a local husbandman, that they had violently resisted the performance of the local custom and openly criticized King James’ Book of Sports as contrary to the law of God.’


Sowerby Bridge Rushbearing Festival 2018, courtesy of the Halifax North and East Blog (

* We are grateful to Ted McGee for making these pre-publication records available. They may be accessed here:

Yorkshire, West Riding

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