Project 1674

The title is temporary. The content of these pages is drawn from a joint project between myself as an historian and my wife as a photographer and conceptual artist. It explores events in and around 1674 at Cannon Hall, Cawthorne near Barnsley and the surrounding ‘country’. These events involved the then owner of the Hall, John Spencer (1629-1681) via his agent, Thomas Sidebotham, and one William Basford (or Basforth) of Dodworth, his employee (c 1650-1674). The latter was accused of stealing various items from the Hall, was arrested and died in custody before being tried, leaving a widow and two small daughters. There will be considerable attention to the family history and background of Spencer, most especially his involvement in the murder of one Edward Dyson, joiner of High Hoyland, in 1661, and the very different outcome for the perpetrator of that crime. Work on this project has previously been published in Public History Review Journal 18 (2011) under the title of ‘Diverse Evill Disposed Persons’. These pages following will present, largely, the historical part of the project.

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