Records of Airton Estate Apprenticeship Fund of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Deed polls, copy wills and probate documents of William and Alice Ellis, 1709-1719 (6 items) [U 4/15-20]; Title deeds for land in Airton, including sealed order for sale of land, 1624-1903 (27 items) [U 4/1-14, 21-29]

Administrative / Biographical History

Land at Airton near Skipton was conveyed to trustees over the period 1709-1720 by William (1658-1709) and Alice Ellis (d.1720), the rent to be used to fund apprenticeships for young people. The funds were to be distributed on a three-yearly cycle: in the first year, to poor children from Quaker families within Settle Monthly Meeting; in the second year, to poor children from Quaker families within Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting as a whole; and in the third year, to poor children from families of whatever religious persuasion living in Airton, Calton and Scostrop. This was a particular concern for the couple; many young men had been apprenticed to William Ellis over the years to learn the craft of linen weaving. The trustees, who included Henry Jackson of Holmfirth and Boswell Middleton of Boroughbridge, received the first payment in 1711. Josiah Box of Harlington was apprenticed to Simeon Wilkinson, a linen weaver from Otterburn, the following year. A list of recipients of the Ellis Fund over the period 1712 to 1743 is given by W Pearson Thistlethwaite. By 1872, the Fund had an income of 20 pounds and was administered by Brighouse Monthly Meeting. The land was sold c.1903.


The records are numbered and arranged according to the system used when they were in Carlton Hill Meeting House

Access Information

The conditions of deposit include a clause requiring written prior permission from a Friend Custodian for access to consult current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old

Acquisition Information

The collection of archives of the Society of Friends formerly held at the Friends Meeting House at Carlton Hill, Leeds


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 99, "Inventory of the records of Brighouse, Knaresborough, Leeds, and Settle Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends Meeting House, Carlton Hill, Leeds", 2nd edition, 1997

Conditions Governing Use

As with access, the photocopying of current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old requires the permission of a Friend Custodian

Related Material

Related material in Leeds University Library: Records of Airton Preparative Meeting and Settle and Brighouse Monthly Meetings


J. Backhouse, The life and correspondence of William and Alice Ellis of Airton (Charles Gilpin, 1849); W. Pearson Thistlethwaite, Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting of the Society of Friends, 1665-1966 (author, 1979), pp. 57-59

Additional Information

The records are deposited and remain the property of the Society of Friends