This is the history of the Hardcastle family who appears to have been originated from Northumberland, near the Hadrian's Roman Wall. In the 13th century, the family settled in Yorkshire where land was granted to Fountains Abbey, and, in all probability, gave name to the place Hardcastle on Greenhow Hill in the Manor of Bewerley in Nidderdale. The first reference to a Hardcastle was in 1358 when Richard de Hardcastell held the lodge of a grange called Thrope House. The book describes the history of the Hardcastle family beginning with the emigration to Nidderdale in the 13th Century, explains their way of living from the 15th to the 20th century and finally describes their emigration to the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and other countries. Also you will find many sources relating to the Hardcastle family worldwide. Writing this book is my expression of gratitude to all Hardcastle descendants for contributing their information and stories in the past 30 years. Your assistance has made this book possible. With this book you hold the history of your ancestors and a piece of your Yorkshire homeland in your hands. I hope you are happy with it. Michael R. Hardcastle
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This book is dedicated to my beloved family,
companions, friends and especially
in memory of my dear parents
Ronald Hardcastle and Eva Berentroth
who would have been pleased.
Foreword and Acknowledgments
Chapter 1 The Beginning Hadrian’s Wall and the Northern Counties
Chapter 2 Emigration to Nidderdale in the 13
Chapter 3 Living in Nidderdale through the Centuries The 15
Chapter 4 The 16
Chapter 5 The 17
Chapter 6 The 18
Century Hardcastle Garth and the Quaker Movement
Chapter 7 The Hardcastles in the 19
Chapter 8 Emigration to America
Chapter 9 Emigration to Canada
Chapter 10 Emigration to Australia and New Zealand
Chapter 11 Emigration to Other Countries
Appendix A: Tables
Appendix B: List of Illustrations, Maps, and Plans
Appendix C: Sources
Appendix D: Glossary
"Happy the man who can recall his
fathers with joy, who with their deeds
and greatness can regale a hearer, and
with quiet pleasure beholds himself at
the close of that fair succession."
from: Iphigenia in Tauris
by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
translated by Charles E. Passage
(Waveland Press, 1963)
Anselm Feuerbach, Iphigenie, 1871
I n printing this book, my intention is not to infringe on anyone's former works. Since the price of this book and CD covers only the costs of preparation, production and publication, my sole purpose of writing and publishing it is to give help and assistance to researchers of the Hardcastle family worldwide.
On the other hand, it is my expression of gratitude for all the information I was able to gather within the past 30 years, which has made this book possible.
You will find a list of consulted works and sources in Appendix C (page →).
My special thanks goes to:
Our Heavenly Father, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit for the grace, the insight, and the vision to be able to write this book,
Frances (Fran) Misiaszek for your inspiration, comfort, help and strength,
David Hardcastle for all the information about the Hardcastle family from Yorkshire,
Al Jarvis for calling me a specialist on the Hardcastle research,
John C. Carter and Thomas Hardcastle from Virginia who provided information about the American Hardcastles and who gave permission to include their details into my book,
Norman Carpenter for the information about the Hardcastle family from Yorkshire, whose letters written in the 1980’s inspired me to write this book,
Late Joanna Dawson of Hardcastle Garth who provided information about the Quakers and the Hardcastle family of Hardcastle Garth. She is well remembered as a Dales historian, local preacher and a friend to all,
Richard Walker for providing the information about the Quakers of Nidderdale, and for the help completing and correcting the chapter about Hardcastle Garth and the Quaker movement,
Late Sheila Coe for all the information about the Hardcastle families from Dacre and Dacre Banks,
Anna Donnelly, Nidderdale Museum, Pateley Bridge for giving permission to photograph old postcards and photos at the Nidderdale Museum, and
Felicitas Harrison who provided the information about my ancestors from Yorkshire and who also gathered the appropriate documents.
The recent photographs are taken by myself during my visits to Nidderdale in 1993 and 2008. Old photographs are by courtesy of Mrs. Anna Donnelly, Nidderdale Museum, Pateley Bridge.
From time to time you will find updates on my website at
I hope you are happy with this book.
Every effort has been taken to ensure the accurancy
of the information presented in this book.
Any errors which may have been made inadvertently
should be reported to the author whose contact details
are published on the back cover of this book.
© 2009 Michael Ronald Hardcastle
Production: Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt, Germany
T he Hardcastle family appears to have been originated from Northumberland (near the Hadrian's Roman Wall). It is presumed that a turret or milecastle has given its name to the Hardcastle family. In Saxon times the family settled in the counties of Northumberland and Durham.
The literal meaning of the name is "strong tower" or "strong castle". The name appears in those early times to have been variously spelt: Hertcastell, Hardcastell, Hardcastill, Hardcassel, Hardekastel, Hercastell, Herdcasell, Hertcastel and similar spellings.
The Coat Of Arms
The Family Coat of Arms is from the 12th century and was duly registered in the British Heraldry as sable on a chevron argent (silver), between three castles or towers, as many (three) leopards' faces gules (red), the crest is a lady attired azure (blue), holding in her right hand the sun, and in her sinister (left hand) the moon.
The crest implied that the family was empowered and required to raise armed men in support of their lord and to put at least one knight into the field of battle in horse and armour.
For my branch of the family, the motto in Latin is "Turris Fortis Mihi Deus" (i.e. God is my strong tower). In all probability this motto was taken from Psalm 46. Martin Luther used these words for his choral "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" written in 1529.
Coat Of Arms Hardcastle
T he Hardcastle family originally occupied a very ancient tower in the neighbourhood of the Hadrian's Roman Wall (also known as Brigantes, which is the borderline between England and Scotland), from which they took their name Hardcastell first. Until today the exact locality of this ancient tower hasn't been found.
Map of Hadrian's Wall
The Hadrian's Wall
Hadrian’s Wall was continuous from Newcastle in the east to Bowness-on-Solway in the west and had a total length of 73 miles.
Width of the Hadrian’s Wall
Northumberland and Durham
The Counties Northumberland (No. 1) and Durham (No.2)
After invading Cumbria in the 11th century, the aggression of the Scottish Kings became more violent and the English living in Northumbria were the focus of these attacks. Just before the beginning of the 13th century, the situation in Northumberland became worse.
The Scottish King Robert the Bruce (1274-1329), who erased the Scottish independence in 1314, ruled the English King Edward II (1284-1327) and his army at Bannockburn near Stirling. Robert sent the Scottish army into the north of England and laid waste huge areas at the borderline, destroying almost everything in his path. As the English King Edward II wouldn’t accept the freedom of the Scottish crown, Bruce and his successors invaded the north of England for a period of about ten years. This may have been the reason that the Hardcastle family emigrated during the reign of Edward III (1327-1377) to Nidderdale in Yorkshire to find themselves a new home and to live in peace.
Welcome to Nidderdale
T he Hardcastles chose a good time to come into Nidderdale as the Abbeys were seeking farmers to take over their granges and release the monks from their farming duties.
A Nidderdale View
Yorkshire originated as the Kingdom of Jorvic, which is how the Vikings pronounced Eoforwic, the Anglian name of the traditional capital of the north.
The county Yorkshire was originally divided into three ridings, derived from the old Viking expression "thrithing", meaning a third part, i.e. West, North and East Riding as shown on the following map.
The people of Yorkshire are traditionally renowned for identifying with their county, above their country of England. There is a long standing and powerful view that "Yorkshire is a country on its own inside of another country" and that Yorkshire has a significantly strong regional identity.
West Riding (No. 6), North Riding (No. 7) and East Riding (No. 8)
In the 1970s there were major reforms of local government in England by the Local Government Act of 1972. Under this act, the ridings lost status in 1974, which was unpopular and controversially. The area of Yorkshire was divided between a number of metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties.
Earlier Yorkshire was connected through a fairly narrow passage with the south of England between the Pennine Hills in the west and the marshlands in the east, the old Roman route, called the "Great North Road" (the main road from London to York and Edinburgh), which today is the motorway A1 (M).
In 1799 Thomas Reynolds published the "Roman Great North Road" from London through Royston, Lincoln, Boroughbridge and on to the Hadrian’s Wall.
Roman Great North Road by Thomas Reynolds
In Yorkshire there are five valleys running down from the Pennine Hills (the backbone of Northern England) onto the plain of York, where they all eventually become tributaries to the River Ouse.
From south to north the dales are called:
valley of the River Aire
valley of the River Wharfe
valley of the River Nidd
valley of the River Ure
valley of the River Swale.
The Rivers and Valleys in Yorkshire
The valleys are all fertile farmland between ridges of high moor land which separate the Dales.
High Moor Land in Nidderdale
They are well known beauty spots in the north of England, a little like the valleys leading into the River Rhine in Germany, but on a smaller scale.
Nidderdale is the smallest of the Dales but, in the opinion of many, it is perhaps the most beautiful and interesting.
The mouth of the valley is generally regarded as being indicated by the ancient town of Knaresborough, which is situated about 15 miles to the north of Leeds.
From there the valley runs in a north-westerly direction for about 25 miles.
The Nidderdale Way
The main villages in the valley are Ripley, near the mouth, Pateley Bridge, in the middle of the dale, and Middlesmoor, towards the head of the dale.
Nidderdale was farmed before the invasion of William the Conqueror in 1066, but at that time there was no indication to Hertcastell, Hardcastell or Hardcastle.
Coming into Nidderdale
Places in Nidderdale
Small mines near the valley head at Greenhow were worked for lead ore.
Old lead mines at Greenhow
Unfortunately, the Northern counties rose in revolt against the Norman rule about ten years after the conquest and King William came north with his army and laid waste many parts of Yorkshire.
Old Postcard of Greenhow
Nidderdale was totally depopulated, all the inhabitants of the valley being either killed or driven out, and the valley was allowed to return to waste land as part of the Royal hunting forest called the Forest of Knaresborough.
The valley remained unpopulated until about 1300 when land in the valley was granted to two abbeys (or monasteries) located near the mouth of the dale. Fountains Abbey, a little to the north of Ripley, and Byland Abbey which is located further to the east benefited from these grants.
Of the two, Fountains Abbey is the more interesting to us, as the records were translated from Latin towards the end of the last century and copies of these translations, known as "Bishop's Transcripts (BT's)", can be consulted since 1598.
Fountains Abbey Water Garden
The abbeys made clearances in the forest and created large farms called "granges", which formed the starting points for the gradual recovery of farming in the valley of the River Nidd.
Hardcastle based on the map obtained from Ordnance Survey
Hardcastle based on Jeffrey's Map, published 1772
Hardcastle, a draft dated 1858, by courtesy of Malcolm Street
After migrating southwards, the family in all probability gave name to the place Hardcastle in the manor of Bewerley in Nidderdale.
Going back to the 13th century, we find a hamlet named Hardcastle on the hill between Pateley Bridge and Greenhow Hill.
Watch tower at Hardcastle Moor
The hamlet Hardcastle was located in the township of Bewerley (about two miles northwest from Bewerley) in the parish of Ripon. According to Smith, the name of this place signifies "a cheerless dwelling".
The first evidence for this locality was 1457, but nearly 100 years earlier it had already been recorded as "Hertcastell".
On Greenhow Hill, just under the 1,000 feet contour, cattle were kept at the highest settlements of Coldstonefold and Hardcastle.
Old Postcard of Greenhow
According to the censuses, we only find a few cottages in the hamlet of Hardcastle:
1851: 13 cottages and 5 unhabited houses in the hamlet of Hardcastle, part of Bewerley.
1861: 9 cottages in the hamlet of Hardcastle, Greenhow Hill, Bewerley, 2 cottages in the hamlet of Far Hardcastle, Greenhow Hill, Bewerley, 18 people born at Hardcastle.
St Mary's, Greenhow
1871: 9 cottages in the hamlet of Hardcastle, Greenhow Hill St. Mary, Bewerley, 29 people born at Hardcastle.
1881: 17 cottages and 2 unhabited houses in the hamlet of Hardcastle, Greenhow Hill, Bewerley, Pateley Bridge, 77 people born at Hardcastle.
1891: 7 cottages and 5 unhabited houses in the hamlet of Hardcastle, Bewerley St. Mary, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, 43 people born at Hardcastle.
1901: 6 cottages, 1 house in occupation and 3 houses unoccupied in the hamlet of Hardcastle, Greenhow Hill St. Mary, Bewerley, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, 17 people born at Hardcastle.
1911: 1 inhabited farm house, 2 uninhabited farm houses, 4 uninhabited cottages and 1 inhabited private house in Hardcastle, Greenhowhill St. Mary, Bewerley, Pateley Bridge, Ripon, no people were recorded born at Hardcastle.
Today Hardcastle is a deserted village. The poem by Thomas Blackah (1828-1895) is related to Hardcastle Moor. You will find the complete text on page →.
There are more lodges further down the dale at Bewerley, Dacre, Thrope, Thwaite and Clint.
There is no doubt that the lodge derived its name from the Hardcastle family, as this family name pre-existed before first being mentioned.
The first reference I was able to find to a Hardcastle in Nidderdale was in 1358, when Richard de Hardcastell held the lease of the grange called Thrope House.
Thrope House is almost at the head of the dale and in the Memorials of Fountains it was recorded as "Thropehouse, a tenement there, late in the tenure of Richard de Hardcastell, with lands, meadows, pastures, and wastes thereunto belonging".
In 1361 John Forrester held "Hertcastell" of the Abbot of Fountains. At the same time Richard de Hertcastell held a mediety of Sigsworth.
This estate formed part of a grant of Roger de Mowbray to the Abbey of Fountains, and the Hardcastles were appointed keepers of the granges and bailiffs of the monastic lands in these parts.
The location Thrope based on the map obtained from Ordnance Survey
Thrope is still a farm today.
Sign Thrope Farm
Enjoy Nidderdale by going to
A s mentioned earlier, the first evidence for the locality Hardcastle was in the Will of William Hardcastell in Hardcastell in Beuerley (Beverley) and Ripon dated 1457. By 1480, there were several Hardcastles leasing granges from Fountains:
Robert Hardcastell held the lodge at Trope.
John Hardcastell held the grange at Morker near the abbey.
Thomas Hardcastell shared the holding of the lodge at Bewerley with Thomas Dernebrooke.
John Hardcastell kept the lodge at Bridgehouse.
Miles, Lawrence and John Hardcastell had quarter shares in the lodge of Dacre with John Bates.
The Hardcastles were one of the most influential families in Nidderdale in the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries, and held granges under the monks of Fountains Abbey by whom different members of the family seem to have been employed in the management of the extensive estates of the monastery.
Several of the farms remained in the occupation of the families Hardcastle, Dougill, Haxby and Danson from the 15th to the 18th/19th centuries.
It would be difficult to distribute the subsequent ramifications of this family into its several local groups within and around the parishes of Ripon and Kirkby Malzeard, but in the 18th century, William and Francis Hardcastle continued to hold freehold lands at Dacre Pasture which had belonged to Fountains and later to Jonathan Hardcastle, who kept monastic property in Hartwith.
Fountains Abbey Rentals 1495/6
The Fountains Abbey Rentals 1495/6 were income lists concerning rentals and leases in Nidderdale, with the exception of Warsill. The following Hardcastles were mentioned in this compilation:
Thomas Hardcastell Bewerley
Rental of the lordship of Beuerley & Bowrethate with its members, made & renewed by the oaths of 12 jurors, 10 May 11 Henry VII (1496).
(Bold terms are explained on page →)
"Thomas Harcastell holds for the term of years a moiety of the lodge at Beuerley for which he pays, ultra pasturem triginta annorum pinguum vocatur lez Crochons post allocationem feni le Croske de Beuerley Karr, annually from Michaelmas to the Feast of St. Martin next following, ₤8 annually in equal proportions at Whitsuntide & Martinmas.
Sum total ₤8.16s.8d."
Lawrence Hardcastell Covell Houses
"Lawrence Hardcastell similarly holds for the term of years the lodge of Calfelhouse, for which he keeps annually 40 cows of the stock of the lord at all times of the year, & renders annually from the profits of the said cows 52 stone 8 lbs of cheese, worth 8d. a stone, 26 stone 4 lbs of butter, worth 12d. a stone, & 20 stirks, worth 4s. each or 4s. in money for each stirk; & he also pays 20s. annually from his farm, in equal proportions at Whitsuntide & Martinmas. Sum total ₤8.17s.½d."
Miles Hardcastell Northpasture with Wise Ing in Brimham
"Miles Hardcastell similarly holds for the term of years 1 tenement & pays 26s.8d. annually in equal proportions at Whitsuntide & Martinmas.
Sum total 33s.4d.
Item: he annually pays at Ellenmas for other assigned & perpetually annexed to his tenements.
Sum total 20d.
Alice Lowly (superscript: Helen Hardcastell), widow, similarly pays for the term of years 1 tenement & pays 26s.8d. annually in equal proportions at the same terms."
Robert Topham Lodge at Hardcastell
The lodge at Hardcastell was tenanted to a Robert Topham:
"Robert Topham similarly holds for the term of years the lodge of Hardcastell, for which he keeps annually 50 stotts of the stock of the monastery from Michaelmas to Ellenmas at his proper cost & this is worth 40s. annually & lastly he pays 40s. at the same terms.
Sum total 80s."
John and Robert Hardcastell Dacre
"John Hardcastell holds at will a moiety of the lodge of Dacre, for which he keeps annually 30 cows & 1 bull of the stock of the monastery of Fountains & renders annually from the profits of these cows 40 stone of cheese, worth 8d. a stone, butter, worth 12d. a stone, & 15 stirks at Whitsuntide, worth 4s. each, or 4s. in money for each stirk, & lastly he pays 20s. annually from his farm in equal proportions at Whitsuntide & Martinmas.
Sum total ₤6.6s.8d."
"Robert Hardcastell similarly holds at will half the other moiety of the lodge at Dacre, for which he keeps annually 15 cows of the stock of the monastery of Fountains, & renders annually from the profits & issue of these cows 20 stone of cheese, worth 8d. a stone, 10 stone of butter, worth 12d. a stone, & 7 stirks & ½ a stirk annually at Whitsuntide, worth 4s. in money for each stirk & lastly he pays 10s. annually from his farm at the said terms.
Sum total 63s.4d."
Robert Hardcastell Thrope House
"Robert Hardcastell similarly holds for the term of years the lodge of Trope & pays 80s. annually in equal proportions at the same terms.
Sum total 80s.
Rental of Lord Marmaduke, Abbot of the monastery of the Blessed Virgin Mary, made & renewed by the oaths of the jurors, 11 May 11 Henry VII (1496)."
The Nidderdale Way near Dacre
The 15th Century Fountains Abbey Stock Book
The Stock Book, a treasure to every family historian, which is written in Latin and dates back to the 15th century, documents how Fountains Abbey became the richest Cistercian abbey in England. The records of the monastery's stock held at farms of Bewerley provide an insight into the business minds of monks living in Yorkshire in medieval times and contain detailed accounts.
The book is part of a collection built up by Ripon antiquarian Mr. Bradfer-Lawrence, and was given to the Yorkshire Archaelogical Society after his death. After cleaning, repairing and restoring the pages by the staff of the Yorkshire Archaelogical Society, the pages will be digitally scanned. Some parts of the book have already been translated from Latin into English.
At the time of writing this book, you were able to find the transcripts and a few translations of the documents at
The Fountaints Abbey Stock Book comprises twelve annual stock accounts, eleven of which cover the period 1480-90, and the twelfth, which is incomplete, appears to date between 1492 and 1495. The title indicates that the Kings who reigned during the time the livestock book had been in use were Edward IV (1461-83), Richard III (1483-85), and Henry VII (1485-1509).
I was able to find the name Hardcastell
on following images: 6-8, 19 (dated 1481), 29, 30, 32-34, 45, 68-69, 70-71, 75, 79, 108-109, 111-112, 115, 142, 160, 175, 177, 180, 202, 204, 235-237, 239-240, 267-269, 271, 296, 302, 304, 326, 328 and 348-349.
I was able to find the village Hardcastell
on following images: 8, 44, 79, 116, 141, 206, 240, 272, 294, 304, 320, 327 and 349-350.
You will find the original document of the following transcipt on page →.
Compotus Johannis Brown et Johannis Hardcastell supra
Idem respondent de viij de remanentibus Patet
De quibus liberaverunt magistro in morina super Johannem Hardcastell ante tonsuram j
Patet Remanentes vij
Idem respondent de ij(c) de remanentibus Et de xvj ovibus
receptis de magistro post tonsuram Summa ij(c) xvj
De quibus liberaverunt magistro v ante tonsuram Et in morina ante tonsuram vij super Johannem Hardcastell Et in morina super Johannem Brown j ante tonsuram
Et post tonsuram j Summa xiiij Remanentes ij(c) ij
Idem respondent de j(c) lvj de proficuo
dictarum ovium Patet
Et Johannes Brown liberavit magistro j(c) lvj Patet nihil remanens
Idem respondent de j(c) v(xx) xiiij de proficuo
De quibus Johannes Brown liberavit magistro j(c) v(xx) vj
Et Johannes Hardcastell liberavit magistro vij
in vendicione j pro iijd Summa j(c) v(xx) xiiij Patet nihil remanens
Idem respondent de x pellibus ut supra Patet
De quibus Johannes Brown liberavit magistro ij
Et Johannes Hardcastell liberavit magistro viij Summa x Patet nihil remanens
Idem widelicet Johannes Hardcastell respondet de iijd
pro vellere ut supra Patet
Account of John Brown and John Hardcastell above
The same [men] answer for 8 remaining As appears
Of which [they accounted for] to the master by murrain at the charge of John
Hardcastell before shearing 1 As appears. Remaining 7
The same [men] answer for 2 hundred  remaining. And for 16 ewes
received from the master after shearing Total 2 hundred 16 
Of which they delivered to the master 5 before shearing. And by
murrain before shearing 7, charged to John Hardcastell
And by murrain charged to John Brown 1 before shearing
And after shearing 1 Total 14 Remaining 2 hundred 2 
The same [men] answer for 1 hundred 56
 from the profit of the said ewes As appears
And John Brown delivered to the master 1 hundred 56 
As appears, nothing remaining
The same [men] answer for 1 hundred 5 score
14  from the profit above As appears
Of which John Brown delivered to the master 1 hundred 5 score 6 
And John Hardcastell delivered the master 7.
by debit 1 for 3d Total 1 hundred 5 score 14  As appears, nothing remaining
The same [men] answer for 10 skins as above As appears
Of which John Brown delivered to the master 2
And John Hardcastell delivered to the master 8
As appears, nothing remaining
The same [man], that is John Hardcastell, answers for 3d
for the fleece as above As appears
T he farm Thrope House was still held by Agness Hardcastell, widow of John Hardcastell and their son in 1511, while another was at Dacre, which is lower down the valley between Pateley Bridge and Ripley. The name is of constant occurrence as tenants or holders of the Abbey lands in Nidderdale up to the dissolution (destruction of the monasteries) in 1539, when Miles Hardcastell was the Abbot’s bailiff of Winsley, Brimham and Warsill. The monks of Fountains had many important mining rights in this territory. They also had several large granges in Nidderdale, which after the surrender of the monastery to King Henry VIII (1509-1547) in 1539, were very carefully surveyed by the King’s commissioners, and particulars whereof have been persevered in the "Memorials of Fountains Abbey".
The monastic lands at Dacre were included in the manor of Brimham, and thus described:
"Daker Graunge: Parcell of Brymham, and is of the parishe of Ripon, and hath common in Grenehow Morez afforesaid, and is parcell of this valew. And theis parcells make the hole Graunge of Daker aforesaid, and contenyth all the lands belonginge to the late Monastery there.
A Parcell Of Daker Graunge:
... Cristofer Hardcastell ...
A Parcell Of The Graunge of Daker:
... Robert and Will’m Hardcastell ...
An Other Parte Of Daker Graunge:
... Katheryn Herdcastell ..."
In the 16th century there was a movement to longterm lease contracts for the granges of Fountains Abbey. It was common that granges were leased for 30 or 40 years or even for the lifetime of the tenant and his wife or the tenant and his son. This meant that the leased land was divided more and more by legacy. At this time Nidderdale was dominated by the three large lordships: Honour of Knaresborough, Liberty of Ripon und Fountains Abbey.
The time of the destruction of the monasteries (dissolution) opened a new chapter in the history of the Hardcastle family. In 1538 Thomas Cromwell ordered the parishes to record every baptism, marriage or burial. The earliest survivals in Nidderdale are from 1551. It is also important to know that after the dissolution in 1539 granges of Fountains Abbey were sold to the merchant, Sir Richard Gresham from London, for the total sum of ₤10,123. In 1552 family Gresham sold the housing estates of Brimham, Hartwith, Winsley, Warsill, Dacre und Bewerley to Sir Arthur Darcy.
Twenty years later Bewerley was sold to Thomas Benson of Hewgill in Westmorland. About half of the small estates in Hartwith and Winsley were sold to individual tenants. The rest of Hartwith-cum-Winsley and Dacre was bought by Sir William Ingilby and his oldest son William (Ripley Castle is still owned by the Ingilby’ family today). They again immediately sold seven granges in Hartwith and Winsley to their present tenants.
As mentioned earlier, William and Francis Hardcastle held freehold lands at Dacre Pasture, which belonged to Fountains and then to Jonathan Hardcastle. This particular property later became known as Hardcastle Garth. After the lands of Fountains Abbey had been sold off to various landowners, some members of the family were able to buy the farms of which they had been tenants.
The Hardcastles of Bewerley were attracted to Knaresborough Forest, where land was being sublet by the minor gentry at economic rates and for the first time there is clear evidence of the surname in other areas of the West Riding.
In 1574 Robert Hardcastle and his son Christopher bought their farms just across the river between Pateley Bridge and Ripley from the Ingilbys for ₤53.6s.8d. These farms were on the land which was leased to Jonathan Hardcastle before.
The Hardcastles By Locations In The 16th Century
Miles Hardcastell from Hartwith was the Abbot’s bailiff of Winsley, Brimham and Walsill.
Peter Hardcastle (Baptism)
Lawrence Hardcastle (Baptism)
(Both entries from the Parish Register Series, Page →, Yorkshire Archaeological Society.)
Aldborough is a parish town, in the lower division of Claro, about seven miles from Ripon and Knaresborough and about one mile from Boroughbridge.
In Roman times, it was a thriving walled town, Isurium Brigantum, the capitel of the Celtic tribe of the Brigantes.
The church of St. Andrew was the mother church of an extensive parish, which in Saxon days stretched from the River Wharfe to the River Ure. It stands in a large and ancient burial place in the heart of the Roman town.
The present church was erected in 1330. It is believed to have been the site of a Roman temple dedicated to Mercury, whose statue was found nearby, and is now inside the church.
St Andrew's, Aldborough
Thomas Hardcastle Snaith/Cowick (Burial)
19 September 1557
Will of Christopher Hardcastle of Dacrebanks:
"within the parishinge of Pathley Briggs - my bodie to be buried within the church of Pathley Briggs - to Jane Snowe and Jennet Bernethe and Isabel Bernethe, and to Henry Hardcastle and to Margaret Pyrett - to Sir John Snowe - to Sir Steven Lowcocke - Residue to Hue Correr my son in law - and Hughe Correr to be my executor - Witnesses Sir Steven Lowcocke - William Pluxley, Thomas Yolthwaite with other moo.
Proved Sept. 29th 1557"
6 May 1559
Will of Thomas Hardcastle of West Witton: "to be buried in the church yard of the Holy Trinity in Wendislay - my wief and children - Roger Tomlingson and Ottiwell Metcalfe supervisors. Witn. Roger Spence, Roger Richardson & Nicolas Bellerby".
Mrs. Robert Hardcastell (Birth)
Spofforth is a parish town, in the upper division of Claro, about three miles from Wetherby and about four miles from Knaresborough.
During the 15th and 16th centuries the manor house of Spofforth was laid waste many times. In 1560 Henry, Lord Percy rebuilt it as Spofforth Castle, which remained the principal residence of the family until it was ruined for the last time during the Civil War.
Spofforth church, All Saints, is not mentioned in the Domesday survey and it is reasonable to assume that is was originally patronised by the Percy family.
All Saints Church, Spofforth
William Hardcastle (Birth)
Fewston is a parish town, in the lower division of Claro, about 11 miles from Knaresborough and about seven miles from Otley.
The tower of the village church dates from the 14th century. The majority of the building was constructed in 1697.
St Michael and St Lawrence Church, Fewston
Robert and Christopher Hardcastle recorded in a location between Pateley Bridge and Ripley.
Pateley Bridge, is a small market town in the township of High and Low Bishopside, parish of Ripon, lower division of Claro, liberty of Ripon, about nine miles from Ripley and about 11 miles from Ripon, situated upon the banks of the River Nidd.
Old Postcard of Pateley Bridge
Pateley Bridge may be considered as the capital of Nidderdale, and it played an important role in the history of the Hardcastle family especially in the 16th century. In former times it derived considerable wealth from the lead mines on the opposite side of the river, at Greenhow Hill.
It is characterised by its steep and narrow High Street, full of art studios, cafes, quaint shops, guest houses and pubs, plus the oldest sweet shop in England.
Bridge crossing the River Nidd, Pateley Bridge
A must is a visit to the Nidderdale Museum at Pateley Bridge. This fascinating and friendly museum is housed in the former workhouse and is situated opposite St Cuthbert's Parish Church.
Nidderdale Museum illustrates the rural life of Nidderdale in the recent and more distant past and shows how ordinary people lived, in imaginative and realistic settings.
St. Cuthbert's Parish Church, Pateley Bridge
There are sections devoted to Agriculture, Industries, Religion, Transport and Costume. The corridors are lined with photographs of local interest.
High Street, Pateley Bridge
Find out more information by visiting
I n 1600 Marmaduke Hardcastle was the tenant of the farm Bewerley Rigg in the hamlet of Hardcastle. The landlord Thomas Benson sold the farm for ₤2,700 to John Armitage of Kirklees near Brighouse. "Duke" Hardcastle, as he was known, refused to pay ₤100, demanded by the new landlord, saying he had a lease already from Benson. When John Armitage made out a lease for the farm to one of his own tenants, "Duke" gathered his kinsmen and friends around him and drove off the under-sheriff and his men with gunfire. He was still in occupation four years later.
The Hardcastles By Locations In The 17th Century
William Hardcastle and Frances Frankland were married at Fewston. She was buried in Fewston in 1654 as the late wife of William Hardcastle of Dacre Banks.
Jane, daughter of Stephen Snow of Hartwith chooses Miles Hardcastle of Hogbank head as her guardian - Peter Snow chooses Thomas Hardcastle of Gowbuske - Jane Snow chooses her uncle William Hardcastle.
From 1603-5 Sir William Ingilby sold further 22 farms in Dacre to his tenants. William Hardcastle bought his farm with a lease valid for 1300 years for ₤240, and 1615 an additional eight farms were sold in Dacre. These long-term contracts gave economical and social security to the yeoman.
Hardcastle of Pateley Bridge
13 April 1609
Will of John Oddy of Hartwith: "my wife Alice - John Oddy my brother Thomas’s son - my brother Thomas - Isabel Hardisty - my wife Alice to have a moiety of my temporal goods. - I will that Isabell Hardesty shall have ten shillings abated of that twenty shillings she owes me. Robert Hardcastle, Ellen Guy and Dorothie Hardcastle my wife’s children - my supposed daughter Jennet Oddy alias Fawcet, to be guided by Anthony Craven and William Day ... Hugh Oddy".
Cicely, wife of Thomas Hardcastle of Biggin - nuncupative will - to Fabian son of said Thomas.
William Hardcastle Fewston
19 May 1628
Court held in Kirkby Malzeard church: "John Hardcastle for burying his Grandmother being excommunicate" excommunicated.
18 April 1634
Will of Ralph Hardcastle of the Eshfould: "buried Pateley - he a bachelor - Wm. Hardcastle - Francis & Samuel children of James Hardcastle - James Hardcastle my brother - Frances & Mary Atkinson daughters of Richard Atkinson - Margaret, Susan & Ellen daughters of the said Richard Atkinson - Anne wife of Richard Atkinson - Robert Hardcastle son of Elizabeth Hardcastle my sister."
3 July 1641
Will of Thomas Hardcastle of Biggin: "buried in church of Kirkby Malzeard - son Edward, son William, daughter Elizabeth Browne - Jane my daughter wife of Francis Hutchinson - Margaret my daughter wife of William Fisher - grandchild John Browne - daughters Mary and Anne".
Mary Hardcastle, Masham (Will)
George Fox’s friends and supporters brought Quaker ideals into the dale. Quakers were the most severely persecuted dissenters.
26 March 1655
Will of William Hebden of Hartwith: "buried Hampsthwaite - to Stephen Wilkinson 60 pounds - to William Wilkinson ₤20 - to William Danson ₤20 - my sister Holmes’ children ₤8 - my cozen Jane’s children ₤8 - my cozen Edward Hebden ₤8 - Wm. & Stephen Wilkinson exors. Witn. Miles Hardcastle, Eliz. Danson - Thomas Hardcastle".
Will of Thomas Hardcastle of Hardcastle Garth: "my live children - Samuel, Thomas, Stephen, Martin and Tryphena - my brother William Hardcastle - my brother Wm. Wilkinson - witn. Matth. Bland, Miles Hardcastle - Laurence Richardson".
25 March 1664
Fewston Parish Records: Death of Marmaduke Hardcastle, that godly and religious Christian.
Descendants of this family settled at Knox Mill near Harrogate and Raventofts near Bishop Thornton.
A Landowner in Bewerley was charged with stopping up the highway leading from High and Low Hardcastle over Low Riggs to Pateley Bridge, described as the usual way to church and market.
Known as the "hungry nineties” on account of a run of bad harvests nationally, coinciding in 1697-9 with a sharp fall in the real level of wages. High mortality levels were recorded in Pateley.
29 September 1693 Sandal
Death of William Hardcastle, Gent., formerly from Laverton, afterwards of Milnthorpe near Wakefield. He was the person capturing the desperate outlaw John Nevison in March 1683/4. There are more details about Captain William Hardcastle on page →.
Hearth Tax Roll 1672
The "Hearth Tax" was a national tax of 2 shillings per annum on each hearth (fireplace) of every house. It was introduced in 1662 by Charles II. People receiving poor relief, and those not required to pay poor rates or church rates on account of poverty, were exempt, as were those with house or land worth less than one pound a year.
The following Hardcastle families were registered in the Hearth Tax List for Claro Wapentake (identified as Burghshire in the Domesday Book and the medieval equivalent of the Harrogate District) in the West Riding of Yorkshire on Ladyday (25th March) 1672 (including the name and number of hearths):
is a small village on the north side of the River Wharfe in the parish of Weston between Ilkley and Otley, about 13 miles from Leeds. In the 2001 census, Askwith had a population of 220.
In Domesday Book, the record of the great survey of England, dated 1066, Askwith is mentioned as being "The Land of Gospatric, Berenger of Tosny and William of Percy”.
(Bold terms are explained on page →)
"In Askwith, Gospatric, 2 carucates of land taxable. There is land for 1 plough. Now the same man has there 4 villagers with 1 plough. Value before 1066, 20 shillings; now 10 shillings. Gamall had 1 carucate of land taxable. Ulfketill, Gamall and Bjornulfr had 3 carucates of land taxable, where 2 ploughs are possible. William of Percy has (them), but they are waste, except that at Askwith there are 4 villagers with 2 ploughs. Value, 10 shillings."
William Hardcastle (1)
This parish has always been an area of dispersed settlement with no main village, just hamlets, about seven miles of Harrogate. The explanation is "Bishop" from the archbishop of York, the lord of the manor, and "thorn" meaning farm or village. For details in the Domesday Book, see Ripon.
Bishop Thornton had the following population figures:
James Hardcastle (1)
St John The Evangelist, Bishop Thornton
is acknowledged as a most desirable place in which to live, about five miles of Ripon near Harrogate. As the name implies, the village had for centuries ecclesiastical connections, beginning with the first recorded date in AD 661 when the township became part of the monastic community of Ripon. For details in the Domesday Book, see Ripon.
The earliest record of a cornmill (former flax mill) is 1304. Main features of the village include a beck which runs through the centre of the village, the church St. John the Baptist and a Methodist church. In the 2001 census, Bishop Monkton had a population of 775.
John Hardcastle (1)
Old Postcard of Bishop Monkton
in the parish of Aldborough, about 13 miles of York, stands on the River Ure, where in 1562 the main bridge was built after the collapse of the bridge at Milby. Boroughbridge became a port for boats loading timber, wine and lead from the dales and linen from Knaresborough. It was also a coach stop on the "North Roman Road" from London to Edinburgh.
In 1945 the bridge over the River Ure collapsed under the weight of a heavy goods vehicle. Until the repairs were completed, the Army installed a "Bailey Bridge", which is a pre-fabricated truss bridge. In the 2001 census, Boroughbridge had a population of 3,210.
Peter Hardcastle (3)
St James, Boroughbridge
is in the township of Dacre with Bewerley and parish of Ripon, about 12 miles of Ripon. Bewerley Hall was once the seat of John Yorke Esq. The explanation "bewer" is of English origin and has the meaning "beaver-glade".
Bewerley had the following population figures:
Ralph Hardcastle (1)
Roger Hardcastle (Testator)
Bewerley Grange Chapel
In Domesday Book Bewerley and Dacre are mentioned as being "The Land of Erneis De Burun. In Bewerley and Dacre Gospatric had 6 carucates of land taxable. Land for 4 ploughs, Erneis has (it). Waste. Value before 1066, 50 shillings. Woodland pasture, 2 leagues long and 2 wide. The whole, 4 leagues long and 3 wide." Bewerley Grange Chapel was built in 1494 and restored in 1965.
is in the parish of Ripley, liberty of Knaresborough, about eight miles of Ripon.
The inhabitants of Clint were formerly engaged in the building and metalworking trades. Clint (Clynt) is of Danish origin and has the meaning "rocky bank".
Thomas Hardcastle (2)
Myles Hardcastle (1)
is in the parish of Ripon, about 12 miles of Ripon. Dacre and Bewerley were united and form one township. Dacre (Dacra) is an ancient word meaning "trickling stream" and the village is mentioned in the Domesday Book (the record of the great survey of England completed in 1086, executed by William I of England) as being "waste". It is bound by the River Nidd on its northern edge. In the Middle Ages, Dacre was the site of the monastic granges of Fountains Abbey.
Holy Trinity, Dacre
One of the most interesting reminders of former times is the old Quaker burial ground at Heckler’s Hill, first used in 1682 when these early dissenters flourished in Nidderdale.
The Anglican church, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was built in 1837.
Dacre had the following population figures:
William Hardcastle (5)
- probably of Dacre Hall -
Thomas Hardcastle Sen. (3)
Thomas Hardcastle Jun. (2)
William Hardcastle (2)
Samuel Hardcastle (2)
John Hardcastle (1)
is a hamlet in the parish of Ripon, about four miles of Pateley Bridge.
Dacre Banks Village
At the time of writing this book, I visited Nidderdale to take photographs. During my visit, I stayed at the Gate Eel Farmhouse in Dacre Banks.
This farmhouse today is owned by family Driver. When I was speaking to Di Driver about my intention of writing a book about the Hardcastle family, she told me that Gate Eel Farmhouse was possessed by a William Hardcastle in the 17th century.
Gate Eel Farmhouse, Dacre Banks
Mrs. Driver provided many documents referring to the Hardcastle family of Dacre and Dacre Banks, including a map of Parcells at Dacre Banks and photocopies of a booklet written by Sheila Coe of Skipton. Mrs. Coe wrote about the Hardcastle families of Dacre and Dacre Banks and personally gave permission to add her gathered details into my book.
Gate Eel Farmhouse bears the date 1665 and the initials WH. It is thought that these are the initials of William Hardcastle.
In the will of William Hardcastle, a substantial farmer of Dacre Banks, dated 8th June 1694, he left "₤100 for School Master of Dacre School - land also - and ₤20 for repairing school, school for all relations & poor of Dacre, Dacre Pasture , D/Banks & Hayshaw".
At that time the schoolmaster's salary was eight guinees (one guinea at that time was about 20 shillings) per annum, with a house and garden.
Dacre Banks Church
is in the parish of Spofforth, lies in a rural situation about four miles of Harrogate, and is described as a charming village. Although not mentioned in the Domesday Book, there are signs of early settlement in the area. The name "Follifoot" is thought to derive from the Old Norse meaning "place of the horse fight".
St Joseph and St James, Follifoot
Where once there were various trades plied (a corn miller, tanner, shoemaker, tailor, wheelwright, flax spinner, butcher and blacksmith), Follifoot today has only an agricultural engineering business and a well known joinery and undertaking business. The nine local farms are now all "desirable residences", with only some of the farmland currently existing.
Richard Hardcastle (3)
is in the parish of Kirkby Malzeard, about eight miles of Ripon.
In Domesday Book Grewelthorpe is mentioned as being "The Land of Gospatric and the holding of Robert of Brus. In (Grewel) Thorpe, Gospatric, 7 carucates of land taxable. Land for 3 ploughs. Now he has there 1 plough; and 3 villagers and 2 smallholders with 1 plough. Underwood, ½ league long and 4 furlongs wide. The whole, 1 league long and ½ wide. Value before 1066, 20 shillings; now 10 shillings. The same Robert holds in (Grewel) Thorpe, 2 carucates"
The Romans had a camp at the northern end of the village. Early in the 20th century a complete skeleton of a Roman soldier was uncovered on Grewelthorpe Moor.
John Hardcastle (1)
is a parish-town in the liberty of Knaresborough, about eight miles of Ripon, where my own family lived in 1799/1800.
Old Postcard of Hampsthwaite Village
The village church is named after St. Thomas Becket (1118-1170), Archbishop of Canterbury (1162-1170).
St Thomas A Beckett, Hampsthwaite
In 1304 Edward I (called "Longshanks" or "Hammer of the Scots") granted the Market Charter of Hampsthwaite to hold an annual market and fair on the Feast of St. Thomas the Martyr (29th December). Hampsthwaite is a long straggling village with about 1,200 inhabitants, pleasantly situated on the southern bank of the River Nidd.
The ancient narrow bridge and nearby church are on the site of a way used by the Romans traveling between Ilkley and Aldborough. The name Hampsthwaite also Hame(s)-thwayt is derived from the Norse term "hamel’s clearing".
In the book "A History of Nidderdale", by Bernard Jennings, we find as story about Samuel Sugden, who was vicar of this parish from 1670 until his death in 1686.
According to this story, he was "often much overtaken with strong drink". Catherine Hardcastle, wife of a Harrogate butcher, claimed that he had tried to get her to "commit adultery" under the hedge when she found him crawling on his hands and knees back to the vicarage. This was following a visit to Mary Thackwray's alehouse.
According to her evidence, he said that "there was no sin at all in it, it was nothing but love" and that "her husband went astray, and why not she"?
The following places belong to this parish town: Birstwith,
St James, Birstwith
Felliscliffe, Holme, Hugh Green, Kettlesing, Kettlesing Head, Menwith-with-Darley,
Rakes, Swarcliffe, Thornthwaite-with-Padside, and West Syke Green.
St Saviour, Thornthwaite
Thomas Hardcastle (3)
William Hardcastle (2)
is in the parish of Kirkby Malzeard, about 10 miles of Ripon, where my ancestors lived from 1767 - 1777. Later the family moved to Hampsthwaite. Hartwith and Winsley were united and formed a township. The name Hartwith is of Norse origin meaning "hart-wood" and Winsley (Wynes-lay) of English origin, a personal name and "clearing". In 1801 Hartwith-Winsley had 449 inhabitants, and in 1901 there was a population of 936 inhabitants.
St Jude, Hartwith
Samuel Hardcastle (2)
Peter Hardcastle (2)
Samuel Hardcastle (1)
Peter Hardcastle (1)
Robert Hardcastle (3)
John & Mary Hardcastle (3)
Thomas Hardcastle (2)
in the parish of Hartwith was a place where people came together with a common religious faith. Half a dozen branches of the Hardcastle family alone (plus a few others) were clustered together in 1664. It seems that they were all members of the recently formed Society of Friends (Quakers), who where persecuted as dissenters from the Church of England. Some of them died in York prison.
There are two Quaker burial grounds, one at Hartwith Crag and the other at Hardcastle Garth (more details on page →).
is a historic market and parish town, about four miles of Harrogate. Knaresborough is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Chednaresburg, or Chenaresburg, as being "The Land of the King. In Knaresborough 6 carucates with 11 outliers ... together there are 42 carucates of land, less a half, taxable. There is land for 24 ploughs. King Edward had this manor in lordship; now it is under the King’s hand; waste. Value before 1066, six pounds; now it pays 20 shillings".
Knaresborough Bridge crossing the River Nidd
The earliest name for a Lord of Knaresborough is from around 1115 when Serlo de Burgh held the "Honour of Knaresborough" from the King.
Knaresborough Forest was one of King John’s (1166-1216) favorite hunting grounds.
The castle dates to Norman times, and approximately around 1100, the town began to grow and provide marketing.
The church is a vicarage dedicated to St. John the Baptist. In Knaresborough we also find the church Holy Trinity.
Holy Trinity, Knaresborough
The following places belong to this parish town: Arkendale, Bachelors Gardens, Bilton, Brearton, Conyngham House, Harrogate, Hay Park Farms, Ockeney, Scriven, Starbeck, Tentergate, Woodland Cottage and Worlds End.
Today Knaresborough has a population of 14,740.
Robert Hardcastle (1)
is a village in the Harrogate district about 10 miles of York. The church, now dedicated to St. John the Baptist, was for 600 years dedicated to St. Quentin, and is built on a high knoll at the corner of the village street.
In Domesday Book Kirk Hammerton is mentioned as being "The Land of Osbern De Arches. In (Kirk) Hammerton 3 thanes had 6 carucates of land taxable. There is land for 6 ploughs. Osbern has it. Waste."
St John the Baptist, Kirk Hammerton
Kirk Hammerton seems to have had an unremarkable history over the centuries, but the village must have been involved in the First English Civil War Battle (1642-1646) of Marston Moor (2 July 1644), which raged only a few miles away across the River Nidd.
Marston Moor Battlefield
The English Civil War was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations, which took place between Royalists and Parliamentarians.
James Hardcastle (1)
is a village in the parish of Kirkby Malzeard, about seven miles of Ripon. Laverton today has a population of 265.
In Domesday Book Laverton is mentioned as being "The Land of the King, King’s Thanes, Gospatric and the holding of Robert of Brus. In Laverton, Flotmann, ½ carucate taxable. Land for 4 oxen. 3 Shillings. Ulfketill and Wulfric, 3 carucates of land taxable. Land for 2 ploughs. The same men have there 1 plough. Value 11 shillings. Gospatric, 2 ½ carucates taxable. Land for 1 plough. Now 1 villager and 1 smallholder. Value before 1066, 20 shillings; now 4 shillings ... the same Robert holds in Laverton, 4 ½ carucates."
Mr. William Hardcastle (6)
Mr. William Hardcastle of Laverton, sometimes called Captain, was the person capturing the desperate outlaw Nevison in 1684. According to the "Ballads and Songs of Yorkshire" dated 1860 Nevison, the notorious highwayman and the robber of the "Great North Road" were apprehended in the old "Three Houses Inn" in Sandal Magna, asleep in a chair, by Captain William Hardcastle. Nevison was convicted and hanged at York 1684/1685.
is in the parish of Hampsthwaite, liberty of Knaresborough, about five miles of Pateley Bridge, including Darley, which being united, form a township. Darley is located between Birstwith and Dacre, on the banks of the River Nidd, about nine miles of Harrogate. The old Quaker meeting house and burial ground is situated at the top of the lane, opposite the entrance to Daleside Park. A stone tablet on the wall there gives more details. Darley Mill, from the 1600s, was a corn mill, which was idle for many years. The name Menwith is of English/Norse origin meaning "common–wood" and Darley of English origin meaning "deer–glade".
Miles Hardcastle (2)
is in the township of Newall with Clifton, parish of Otley, about one mile of Otley. Newell and Clifton were united and form a township.
In Domesday Book Clifton and other villages are mentioned as being "The Land of the Archbishop of York".
Robert Hardcastle (1)
is a parish-town in the liberty of Ripon, about two miles of Ripley, situated on the River Nidd. You will find nothing other than a quiet, attractive, well ordered village there. For details in the Domesday Book, see Ripon.
The Church is a vicarage, in the deanery of Boroughbridge, diocese of Chester. Peter Snow was born in Ripon. He was arrested for celebrating mass at Nidd Hall and suffered death at York on 15 June 1598.
The village is wholly agricultural and derives its name from the fore mentioned river. It is of British origin meaning "shining" or "brilliant".
Nidd Church Nidd had the following population figures:
John Hardcastle (1)
John Hardcastle (2)
is an ancient parish of Spofforth, about three miles of Knaresborough, including the manors of Plumpton, Rudfarlington and Brame, located south of Harrogate. The reason for the "u" in the current name is unknown.
Plompton is first mentioned in the Domesday survey as "The Land of William of Percy. In Plompton (Hall) Gamalbarn had 2 carucates of land taxable. 1 plough possible there. ½ league long and 3 furlongs
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