A copy of the Will of Gawen Brathwaite is preserved in the Browne
MSS., vol. XIV, pp. 1–7.
20 March. Whereas by an Inquisition taken before Christopher
Readman, Mayor of K. in Kendall, Daniel Fleming, Edward Wilson,
Christopher Philipson, Roger Moore, Esqrs., and Michael Stanford,
clerk, by virtue of a commission to them directed for the due execution
of a statute (43 Elizth) entitled an Act to redress the misemployment of
lands, goods and stocks of money heretofore given to charitable uses
by the oaths etc. It is found that Gawen Brathwaite late of Ambleside by his last Will, dated 14 January, 1653, did amongst other
things give and bequeath a legacy of £5 to be put forward so as the
use of it yearly may go to the opening and cleansing of the water
courses in the highway and especially in Ambleside town street from
Scandall Bridge to Holbeck Bridge, and did nominate Thomas
Brathwaite, decd, and Robert Brathwaite of High-house executors,
to whose hands there came goods and chattels of the said Gawen
sufficient to answer the said legacy, and the jurors say that the said
Thomas Brathwaite died about five years since who during his life time
kept the said moneys in his hands and paid the interest thereof yearly
to the uses aforesaid.
And whereas Thomas Brathwaite by his Will, dated 9 November,
1674, did give and bequeath to the Chapel Stock of Ambleside the sum
of £10 and other £10 for the buying of two silver chalices to be used
on Communion days there and did nominate and appoint Robert
Brathwaite of High House, his brother, Dorothy Sandes, widow, his
sister, and Dorothy Brathwaite late of Newcastle upon Tyne, spinster,
his niece, executors of the same Will. The said gifts to be paid
within two years after the decease of the said Thomas. The jurors
say that Thomas Brathwaite died 30 November, 1674, and that the
said Robert Brathwaite, Dorothy Sandes and Dorothy Brathwaite
have not nor any of them paid either the said sum of £10 to the Chapel
Stock or the said sum of £10 for the buying of the two silver chalices
but do detain and withold the said two gifts and bequests from the
uses aforesaid although often in friendly manner requested by the
chapel wardens and other the inhabitants there. And the jurors say
that Dorothy Sandes, one of the executors is since dead and that the
said Robert and Dorothy Brathwaite have assets of the personal
estate of Thomas Brathwaite in their hands sufficient to satisfy
the said £20. Now we the Commissioners by virtue of the Statute
do order, adjudge and decree that the said Robert and Dorothy shall
within two months next pay unto the Chapel wardens as well the sum
of £20 of lawful money of England as also the sum of £3 12s. od., for
interest in arrear for the said £20. One moiety whereof being
£11 16s. od., to be put forth and the interest paid yearly with the
chapel stock, the other moiety to purchase two silver chalices etc.
Browne MSS., vol. xv, n. 153; XVI, nos. 330–342.
19 October. This morning the greater arch of Brathay Bridge did
fall into the river, a little after Reginald Braithwait's son had gone
over it with some cattel. Armitt, Rydal, 589.
5 October. Whereas there is provision made for the poor of
Ambleside issuing forth of the Tolls of Ambleside which hath been
either misemployed or concealed, so that the poor doth not receive
what was chiefly intended thereby; it is therefore ordered that the
Receivers of the said Tolls do appear at the next Gen. Quarter
Sessions to give an account of what money arises forth of the said
Tolls for the use of the poor and how the same is distributed. K.
Indictment Book, 1692–1724.
14 July. Thomas Knott, minister of Ambleside, signed the antiJacobite "Association" formed throughout the Kingdom for the
protection of William III. Ibid.
13 January. Upon the complaint of Dame Elizabeth Otway on
behalf of the poor of Ambleside showing that by the grant of the late
King James 11, the Tolls of Ambleside in the fairs and markets in the
said town were given to Trustees for the relief of the poor there and
that the Receivers of the said Toll have misemployed the same or
converted it to their own use, to the great prejudice of the said poor
and hindrance of so great a charity. Order that the Receivers give
an account at next sessions of the profits of the fairs and markets and
how disbursed. K. Order Book, 1696–1724.
17 May. Petition of Tho. Benson of Ambleside, whose kiln, mill and
malthouse was destroyed by fire, to his loss in £45, asking for public
charity. The court recommends him and his family to their lordships
the bishops of Chester and Carlisle to order relief, etc. K. Order
20 April. The house of Tho. Benson in Ambleside is licensed for
a house of religious worship for public assemblies. Ibid.
10 October. Order to the chief constable to view the bridge in
Ambleside near the Mill and repair the same and discover if possible
the offenders that threw off the battlements of the said bridge. K.
Order Book, 1696–1724.
7 October. Indictment and Order to repair the highway in
Ambleside from Stock Bridge to Scandall beck. K. Indictment
18 January. Presentment that Stock Bridge and Brathay Bridge
are in decay; order for a report from the chief constable. (K. Order
Book, 1696–1724). On 2 May following Benjamin Browne reports
that the Westmorland end of Brathay Bridge wants 16 yards of
ledges besides the footing and 16 yards of pavement in length, and
as for the limeing I cannot understand what will be wanting as it
is so covered up with ivy on both sides, also repair to the battlements
on the low side. He estimates the cost at £4 10s. od. Ambleside
Bridge wants 13 yards of ledges and 4 yards more very bad, estimated
at £2. K. Indict. Book, 1692–1724; Browne MSS., vol. 1, n. 221.
9 April. Presentment that Rothay Bridge being a county bridge
is very ruinous; order to the high constable to view and contract.
(K. Order Book, 1696–1724). The work which was needful is set
out in a specification dated 14 July, viz:—The Jewell or Pillar of the
said bridge both in the water and above must be carefully pinned
round about with stone and lime. A good substantial wall must be
raised on the high side at the west end . . . . the foundation must
be laid as low as can be and a full yard broad and near three yards
high and to be made of good large and strong long stones. Rowland
Walker, mason, undertook to complete the work before the 31st day
of August next ensuing. Browne MSS., vol. 11, n. 41.
14 April. Order for the repair of Scandall Bridge, or to be new
built according to the direction of Sir William Fleming. (K. Order
Book, 1725–37). On 7 June, 1727, Robert Robinson and Joshua
Dixon entered into a bond to pull down all and every part of the
common and county bridge called and known by the name of Scandall
Bridge, a great part thereof is now fallen down, the remainder
being in great decay and very dangerous, and erect and build a new
firm stone bridge above the old one, to consist of one bend or arch of
at least nine yards between the springers and to be four yards broad.
And the said arch when shot and keyed to be filled, closed and
covered with strong pouring or pottage mortar made of hot lime.
And the battlements to be 12 inches in thickness and 2 foot 6 inches
high above the pavement and well set with good and choice penn
stones. The pavement to be easy gradually ascending and descending
at each end thereof for travellers and carriage. To complete the
work on or before 1 July next ensuing and maintain uphold and keep
the same in good and sufficient repair for 7 years, etc. On 20 June
Robert Robinson, mason, received £10 in part payment for the
building of the bridge, and on 19 July £16 being the remainder of
£26 the price for the new building. Browne MSS., vol. 11, n. 82;
III, n. 193; IV, n. 90; XV. n. 184, 189.
15 January. Benjamin Browne, the high constable, reports that
betwixt Holbeck Bridge and Ambleside town the way is bad and
very narrow in some places. Browne MSS., vol. 1, n. 220.
14 January. Presentment that 1000 yards in length and 3 yards
in breadth in the King's highway in certain places called Woundale
and Strand Lane in the township of Ambleside leading between the
market towns of Penrith and Ambleside, is dirty founderous and in
decay for want of reparation, to the great danger etc., and that the
inhabitants of Ambleside of ancient custom ought to repair the said
way. K. Indictment Book, 1738–50.
17 January. Order that the two high constables view Stock
Bridge and Scandal Bridge and report the condition thereof at the
next Sessions. K. Order Book, 1738–50.
7 April. Ordered that the two high constables do forthwith repair
Brathay Bridge. K. Order Book, 1760–70.
12 January. Petition of the surveyor of highways within the
township of Ambleside setting forth that the highway leading over
a place called Church Stonewith is greatly out of repair and that the
6 days labour is insufficient to effectually repair the same; it is
ordered that an assessment of 6d. in the pound be levied upon the
several inhabitants owners and occupiers and that in case of refusal
or nonpayment within 10 days after demand by distress and sale
of goods etc. (K. Order Book, 1760–70). On 8 January, 1770, a
similar petition and order as the above. Ibid.
3 October. Presentment that Brathay Bridge is too narrow and
dangerous to pass over for want of widening and that one half of the
said bridge and 300 ft. of the road on the north end ought to be
repaired and amended at the public expense of the county. (K.
Indict. Book, 1780–87). Certified in good and sufficient repair on
4 April, 1785. Ibid.
4 October. Presentment that Scandal Bridge is a public bridge
and that the said bridge and the 300 feet at each end is in great
decay and ought to be repaired at the public expense of the county.
28 January. Ordered that the chief constable do proceed immediately to let the widening and repairing of Rothay Bridge and the
road at each end thereof. K. Minute Book, 1780–1804.
Michaelmas Sessions. Filed a plan and order for stopping up a
certain part of a public highway leading from Kill Howe towards and
unto Broadmire head, both in the township of Ambleside for the
length of 154 yards and for selling the same to Ford North, Esq., whose
lands adjoin thereto. K. Indict. Book, 1817–24.
8 January. Filed a certificate setting forth that a certain dwelling
house situate in the Market Place in Ambleside in the occupation of
Robert Forrest is used as a place of Public Worship for Protestant
Dissenters which is hereby allowed. K. Indict. Book, 1824–34.
3 July. Suggested deviation of Turnpike road between the Salutation Inn and the bottom of Eller Brow and erecting a bridge over
the Stock Beck at the sum of £300 to be completed before 12 May,
1833. Ambleside Turnpike Book.
23 March. That the plans of Roger Fleming for the rebuilding
of the Toll House at Waterhead be approved. Ibid.
10 April. Certificate that Mr. Braithwaite has superintended the
erection of Low Stock Bridge and that the same is substantial and
commodious. K. Minute Book, 1825–38.
21 October. Moved that Scandale Bridge be repaired by the
Bridge Master according to plan and estimate produced. K. Order
10 January. Ordered that Brathay Bridge be improved at the
west end according to Mr. Robinson's plan provided the Bridge Master
of Lancaster improve the Lancashire end and that the sum to be
expended on the part of Westmorland does not exceed £20. (Ibid).
At the Court held on 9 April, 1847, it was ordered that the improvements to Brathay Bridge suggested by Mr. Robinson, the county
Bridge Master, be carried out provided that Lancashire will join in
equal proportions in the expense amounting to £82. Ibid.
9 January. Rev. Charles Dent Bell took the usual oaths and
suscribed the Declaration on his appointment to the Incumbency of
Ambleside. K. Minute Book, 1859–75.
29 November. It was suggested to improve Scandale Bridge by
widening it to an extent of 13 ft. 6 in. which would make the total
width of roadway 31 feet; and by lowering the tops of the hill on the
north-west side to a depth of 5 feet at the crown, thus reducing the
gradients from 1 in 14 to 1 in 24. The estimated cost is £250 for the
bridge and an extra £100 for lowering the hill. C. C. Minutes, 1889–
18 February. Rothay Bridge has been built in two sections and the
Elterwater Green Slate Co.'s traction engine has shaken the structure
and the space between the two sections is increasing. The Surveyor
suggests the immediate insertion of three bolts above the arch stones.
(C. C. Minutes, 1896–7). That the bridge be included amongst those
over which locomotives shall not be used. C. C. Minutes, 1897–8.
16 February. Recommended that Low Stock Bridge be widened.
On 26 July an application to the Local Government Board was made
to borrow £265 for the purpose. C. C. Minutes, 1912–13.