Papers of Kenneth A MacMahon

Scope and Content

U DDMM and U DDMM2 are collections of original and photocopied research materials relating to the East Riding of Yorkshire. They include miscellaneous deeds, photographs, maps and plans for numerous towns and villages, particularly for Beverley, and the collecting emphasis has been local politics, architecture and personalities and the history of education.

The resulting research materials have been arranged into the following sections: Aldborough (1732-1817); Beverley (1311-1969), almost 1000 items, detailed below; Bishop Burton (1426-1427), copy of an account roll; Bridlington (1837-1925), including prints and photographs, a programme from the visit of Prince Albert Victor to Bridlington Pier in 1888, circa 15 items relating to Bridlington grammar school, posters for the funeral of Queen Victoria, a booklet on the dissolution of the priory and a booklet entitled 'When Bridlington owned slaves' by the Reverend Freeman; Burton Pidsea (1811); Cowling, West Riding (1616); Fimber (1580, 1890); Flamborough (n.d.) a bookplate of the rood loft in Flamborough church and the tomb of Martin de la See in Barmston church; Hull (1426-1961) 84 items, detailed below; Kilham (1837), an apprenticeship indenture; Lowthorpe and Nafferton (1815) a survey of the estate of James Whyte; manor of Lund (1759); Molescroft (1830) conditions for leasing the turnpike gate; Patrington (1426-1427, 1804-1806) a copy of an account roll and the typed copy of a diary of James Dunn of the manor house; Riplingham (1839-1879, 1941) the nineteenth-century account book of Riplingham Grange and a newspaper cutting; Skeffling (1643) the warrant of the earl of Newcastle to Alderman James Watkinson of Hull to seize Risum Garth in Skeffling, the property of Sir John Hotham; Skidby (1426-1427) copy of an account roll; South Cave (1906) pamphlet on nonconformity; Stamford Bridge (1956-1957) a notebook on local history; Tickton (1662) a copy of the enclosure plan; Wauldby (1833) a pamphlet on farming; Waxholme (1880-1916) a minute book of the ratepayers; Wetwang (1426-1427) copy of an account roll; Withernsea (1761-1865) the constable's account book; Woodmansey (1859); York (1774); various townships (1787-1900) including the sale particulars of the estate of Roger Mainwaring Ellerker in 1787, the 1805 sale particulars of land in Beverley, Cottingham and other places, a list of parochial documents for the deanery of Weighton and likewise for North Holderness and Hull.

The extensive Beverley material in this group includes the 1311 gift of John Gorying to Reginald Tanner, the 1808 Beverley lighting and watching act, a letter from John Wharton to F Campbell about the provision of a bull for baiting dated 1818, the 1836 Beverley pastures act, engravings and plans of various local buildings including the court house and the mechanics' institute, notices such as those for anti-cholera precautions, the 1854 annual report for the Beverley dispensary for the sick poor, the apprenticeship indenture of John Poole, the appointment of George Clark as constable, some menus for the Holderness Hotel, newspaper cuttings 1884-1900, some Assembly Rooms material, Victorian jubilee and Edwardian coronation material, a postcard of Marista de Stuteville being taken through the bar before being burnt for witchcraft, the manuscript, typescript, copies and letters relating to J R Witty's 'History', a 1960 list of charters and municipal records in possession of the Beverley Corporation, the funeral service of Arthur Burgess Johnson, a notice to Dick Richardson to return the Duchess's jewelry in 1850, material relating to elections including broadsheets, election cards, lists of burgesses and poll books and an original bundle about Rutherford's cafe which includes the will of Elizabeth Coldwell.

The Beverley material also includes a volume of printed notices dated 1799 to 1852 relating to local and national politics and the social life of Beverley, including rates for carriage of goods, town meetings and religious services, law and order, the jubilee celebrations of George III, a notice banning bonfires and firecrackers, some anti-Napoleonic propaganda, notices for the corn market, verses in memory of Lord Nelson, some Minster material and the oath of William Gray. Education material includes a booklet on Beverley Grammar School 1912-1934, lists of Beverley schools and extracts from log books of St Mary's Girls' and Boys' Schools in the nineteenth century, a group photograph taken in 1890 of the staff and pupils taken on the closing day of the Foundation School and the 1842 proceedings at the Grammar School on the resignation of the headmaster.

Assorted material about Beverley's churches and religious societies includes manuscript notes about the Minster and the Domincan friars, a 1969 architect's report on the Minster, a notice of a nineteenth-century Bible Society meeting, a poster about the election of churchwardens at St Mary's, postcards and engravings of external and internal church architecture, a letter about the register of people seeking sanctuary at the Minster, a booklet on Bishop John Fisher (1469-1535), Beverley Minster's parish magazines and plans and photographs of the friary excavations.

U DDMM contains an interesting miscellaneous section which includes an important copy of an autograph letter from Andrew Marvell to Sir Henry Thompson of Escrick (see DX72 and DDFA; this letter is dated 29 December 1675 and is not in H M Margoliouth, The poems and letters of Andrew Marvell, 1971 and does not appear to exist in its original form in a public repository), a sale document of Daniel Sykes (1683), an appointment and letters of admission to Jesus College of William Dawson, trade and political notices for Beverley, a letter of William Siborn, author of History of the war in France and Belgium 1815, a notebook of R B Machell, notes and letters of Edward Witty, nine letters of C Wickham Boynton (of Burton Agnes) to Carus Vale Collier, author of the Boynton family history, a pedigree of the Clapham family, old notebooks and exercize books including one with some early 'literary efforts' of MacMahon, a photograph album of the Hull Police fire brigade and some notes on early coinage.

This is followed by U DDMM/29 which is notes and newspaper cuttings, as well as letters on historical subjects, largely of local interest, arranged in alphabetical order as follows: Aldborough; Appleton-le-Street; architecture (domestic and ecclesiastical through the ages); Barrow (Goxhill) including the wills of Thomas Johnson (1504), John Wakefield (1525), Richard Wargane (1530), John Coke (1531), William Robert (1527); Barton; Beverley (including material on John Courtney, buildings, education, Congregationalism, hospitals and charities, the Minster, pastures, churches, streets, town and local records, trade and industry and people, for which, see below), volumes of extracts from the Beverley Governors' Memorandum book 1558-1573 and extracts of the minute and account books of the Beverley Corporation 1597-1838; files of biographical notes (for which, see below); Bishop Burton; Bridlington (smugglers' passages at Reighton hall); Burton Constable; Burton Pidsea; Cottingham; Domesday Book; Driffield; Easington (including notes of a letter at Sledmere from Edmund Spencer to Richard Baxter concerning hauntings); East Yorkshire (historical, topographical, geographical and parochial notes, from prehistoric times onwards); education (including notes on a grant to establish a school at Halsham in 1584); Etton; Filey; friars; gilds and medieval drama; Grimsby; Hedon; historical geography; Hornsea; Howden; Hull (including notes on the great exhibition of 1851, the docks, Holy Trinity church, shipping and fishing, streets, the Maister family and Maister house, Trinity House, the general strike of 1926 and the demolition of the Royal Hull Infirmary); Humber ferries; Killingwoldgraves; Kirkburn; Kirk Ella; Langton; Lastingham; Leavening; local history; Lockington; Lund; Malton; Market Weighton; Meaux abbey; miscellaneous (largely medieival and early modern historical notes); Newbald; New Holland; newspapers; North Yorkshire (monasticism); Ottringham; Patrington; Preston (including Alured and Tennyson families); Pocklington; railways; Scarborough (including notes on the civil war); Selby (abbey); Skipsea; Snaith; social (history); sources (archival); Southwell; Stamford Bridge; Sutton-on-Hull; Swine; transport history; Warter; Winterton; Withernsea; Woodmansey; York (notes on medieval and modern history).

K A MacMahon's research files include notes on local personalities for Beverley specifically and the East Riding in particular. U DDMM/29/36 is a file on Beverley 'personalia' and includes notes on the Dales, Wilford, Swainson, Wauldby and Poskitt families; John Kyd, Thomas Tatham, Robert Walker, Matthew Turner, Dr Humphrey Sandwith, Henry Marten, Dr Charles Brereton; James Hall, Gillyat Sumner; Canon J Birtwhistle, Henry Jefferson, John Green, Richard Bently, Ralph Markham, Joseph Lambert, Samuel Johnston, Thomas Clarke, John Brereton, Richard Henry Dawson, Dr William Beilby, Scott Samuel Hall, Charles Eastham, Dr Frederick Ross, Thomas Autten, Charles Henry Burden, Robert de Beverley (king's mason).

General biographical notes are at U DDMM/29/62 and the following families and people are covered: Popplewell/Boldero family, Reverend Sydney Smith, F R Pearson, Mary Elizabeth Braddon, A S Harvey, Joseph Page, Sir Alfred Gelder, John Catlyn, Joseph Rank, Dr W T Wainwright, William Duncan, Joseph James Forrester, Dr James Primerose, Thomas Thompson, Thomas Thompson, Thomas Earle, Marmaduke Charles Frederick Morris, Andrew Marvell, William Frothingham; George Birkbeck, Avison Terry, Dr John Alderson, the Brodnick family, John Harrison, William Middleton (architect; 1730-1815; includes two letter from Rupert Alec-Smith and manuscript notes on the Hall-Watt and Gee family), William Wilberforce, John Arden of Beverley (d.1762), Richard Beatniffe (d.1792), the Beverley family of Beverley, Dr John Bilson (1856-1943), the Bowes and Foord families, John Roberts Boyle (1853-1907), the Burstall family, Joseph Coltman (d.1837), the Constable family of Wassand, Captain James Cook and descendants, Cortesi family (1565-1588), Curtis family (1776-1812), Duncum family (1564-1897), John Courtney, William Crashaw (1572-1626), the Crathorne family (1886), George Croft (1747-1809), the Croskill family, Richard Ferrand (d.1560), Charles Frost (1781-1862), Thomas Gent (1693-1778), John Green, George Hadley (d.1798), Thomas Hinderwell (1744-1825), the Machell family, the MacMahon family, the Maister family, Andrew Marvell (1621-1678), Professor E A Milne (1896-1950), Carleton Monckton (1708-1788), the Moyser family, George Oliver (1782-1867), Charles Overton (1805-1889), the Pennyman family, George Poulson (1783-1858), Abraham de la Pryme (1671-1704), Annie Mutch Robinson (1824-1905), J J Sheahan (d.1893), Samuel Shelton (17th century builder), William Spencer (1826-1910), Gillyatt Sumner (d.1877), the Sykes family of Sledmere, John Tickell (1745-1823), the Tigar family, J Travis Cook (d.1915), William Ward (1708-1772), the Warton family, Mary Wollstonecraft (1757-1797), Archdeacon Francis Wrangham (1769-1842).

K A MacMahon corresponded with many people about his local history research and U DDMM/32 is a series of files of notes and cuttings on various topics compiled through his correspondence with the following: John Bilson (largely about early church architecture and including some of Bilson's corespondence), W E Wigfall and John Reay Forster (about Beverley Minster and including correspondence), A S Harvey (about assorted local people and places and including correspondence), J G Patton (largely about Congregationalism and including corespondence), George Webster (about the East Riding Police), J R Witty (about Beverley Grammar School).

U DDMM/30 consists of eleven files of photographs, largely of Hull and Beverley (including circa 300 photographs of Beverley Minster), local domestic buildings such as Everingham Park, Ferriby House, Sledmere House, the Maister house, Welton Grange, Wilberforce house and Grimston Garth and local civic buildings and public places such as Holy Trinity church, Trinity House, the Grammar School, the Royal Infirmary, 19th century workers' cottages and several medieval plans of Hull. The files also include postcards of various places and eleven aerial photographs of Beverley and Bishop Burton.

U DDMM/31 contains files of printed material of use for local history research. They include 1743-4 acts of parliament for road repair; miscellaneous booklets and pamphlets including one on 'notable Yorkshire churches' and five on Yorkshire nonconformism; newspapers including 'The Times' (1793-1821), 'The Independent Whig' (1818) and copies of 19th and 20th century local papers such as 'The Hull Packet', 'The Beverley Guardian', the 'Hull Daily Mail' and 'Pocklington Weekly News'; newspaper cuttings covering a variety of topics particularly relating to local churches, place names and local families and the poems of J W Ellis of New Walk, Beverley (1878) as well as snippets of national historical interest such as a cutting of the warrant to execute Mary queen of Scots.

U DDMM/33 contains 91 maps and plans (1640-1950) of Beverley, Hull, Watton Priory, the distribution of East Riding schools, plans of parish churches, the river Humber and Sunk Island and some local ordnance survey sheets.

U DDMM2 falls into the following sections: Beverley (including a volume of press cuttings 1957, material on the pasture masters, corporation and council material, the typescript of MacMahon's History of Beverley, a volume of 16th, 18th and 19th century title deeds and legal documents compiled by Gillyatt Sumner); Keyingham (enclosure, 1805); Sutton on Hull (two sale plans, 1890, 1941); various townships (parochial documents for South Holderness by A R Gill, 1915); miscellaneous (including a copy of the diary of Francis Iles of Healing in Lincolnshire and the notebook of G F J Miles); miscellaneous files of notes (including 7 files relating to the life of James Acland (1799-1876), journalist and radical populist reformer), extracts from Hull bench books and corporation accounts, material on York Minster and bibliographical material; photographs of Beverley; various manuscripts (lecture notes); Cottingham ('Cottingham church' by A S Harvey); Hessle ('The story of Hessle church' by John Bilson).

Administrative / Biographical History

Kenneth MacMahon was born in Beverley in the East Riding of Yorkshire in 1914. He was schooled in Beverley and became a noted antiquarian and historian, latterly working in adult and continuing education at Hull University. He was one of the earliest members of the East Yorkshire Local History Society and was also a fellow of the Royal Historical Society and fellow of the Society of Antiquaries. He published a number of articles on local personalities and topics and produced an edition of the Beverley Corporation Minute Books 1707-1835 for the Yorkshire Archaeological Society Record Series cxxii (1958). He worked on a biographical study of James Acland and published 'James Acland and the Humber Ferries monopolies' in Transport History (1969), but was unable to complete the full study. He produced a number of small histories of Beverley and the history of Hull he worked on was brought together after his death by Edward Gillett as A history of Hull (1989). He died in 1972.

[Information supplied by Dr David Neave]

Access Information

Access will be granted to any accredited reader

Other Finding Aids

Entry in Landed family and estate archives subject guide

Custodial History

U DDMM was donated by Mrs MacMahon on 6 September 1972 and DDMM2 in October 1974 and July 1978.


KA MacMahon and E Gillett, A history of Hull (1989)