Section D - Descendants of William Rowntree 1768-1832
Letter from William Rowntree (1768-1832) of Riseborough to his sister, Jane Doncaster (Orchard Place, Sheffield), describing his removal to Settrington, a distance of about 10 miles.
Settringham, near Malton
5mo 11th, 1831.
I have many times since we came here wished to write thee, but previous to my leaving Risbro' I caught a bad cold, and after we got heere, wishing to render all the assistance I cou'd in getting in some degree settled, I struggled on and caught more until I was compleatly laid up and confined to the house, and able to get little rest in the nights from a very harassing Cough with at times extreme Pain in my side, but by applying a Blister, and taking some reducing medecines I am much relieved from Cough and Pain, but am uncommonly Feeble, and tho' I get out frequently, yet I can bear very little excertion, and even yet I can't write long together without suffering from it.*
It was indeed a very formidable job preparing for and moving our Furniture, &c., &c., from Risebro'. I shou'd suppose we have brot. full Thirty Wagn. Loads, and I suppose we have 6 or 8 more to fetch. I was favoured at last, to leave it, with a quiet mind, much more so than I expected, and I have generally felt so since I came here.
We moved of in the morning. of the Sixth of Fourth MOnth with nine Wagns. and two Carts, and Ten or twelve Men and Boys to drive Sheep, Pigs, Horned Cattle and Young Horses, and on the whole got things well here,with very little injury but we found the House (tho' a good one) in a wilderness state. Ranges, Ovens, Boilers, &c., nearly all taken up, not even excepting the Pump in the yard - indeed the Person who left it tho' a high Professing Methodist, and pretended Gentleman, had stript it of everything he durst, and much more than I apprehend the Law will Warrant, but Lord Middleton's agent has undertaken the matter and there I mean to leave it.
We have now got the Dwelling House made comfortable. It is a double House, having Three Rooms in Front nearly the size of the Sitting Room at Risebro'. One has a flagged Floor, wch. we use as a Laundry - the other two as Sitting Rooms. Behind is a good Kitchen, Store Room and Dairy, and Cellar under one Room. There is six Chambers for Lodging Rooms and one we use for Meal &c., &c. - and the whole is well Garetted. At one end is the Mens Lodging Room with 4 Bedsteads, and the other part wch covers nearly two Thirds of the whole building is in one Room. Altogether it is I think a better and more Convenient House than the one we left, - it has perhaps been built about Fifty years; the country about is a fine one affording great variety of Views. Several Gentlemans Seats not far distant - one of their Fish Ponds (rather large) joins the Farm, and we have a Pasture field of between 30 and 40 acres by it laid out a good deal like Pasture Grounds, having many little Plantations and single ornamental Trees Planted on it. And the neighbours appear disposed to be kind and Friendly to us, and I think all of them that have sia anything to us about the Farm, say it is a good one. The more we get to work in the land, the better we like it. I think we are abt. 4 Miles from the Meeting House [Malton], and I suppose about 20 miles from York by way of Howsham.
Previous to last week Vegetation wa getting to be forward, but we have had a Number of very Frosty Nights wch have checked it much and I fear injured Fruit Blossoms and Goose Berries. We have but a small Garden and Orchard, neither of wch. join the Dwelling House. I though thou wou'd feel intertested in knowing a many Particulars and I believe I shou'd have attempted to have wrote thee a few Days sooner but I thought perhaps thou might attend Bro. Priestman's Funeral on Second Day, tho' I don't know whether thou was informed or not of it.
He for several weeks previous to his decease gradually declined in strength (without I believe any particular attack of illness) and for a week or two previous I believe frequently slumbered and took little notice of anything around him. The Funeral was large, many townspeople attending, the Meetg. I thought held tediously long - perhaps near 3 Hours, andf there was no lack of Preaching, nor of Eugolizing the deceased. Sisters Ann and Walton from Pickering were there and pretty well, as was Sister E. from Scarbro'. Our poor (I had like to have said lost) sister E.P looked much as usual. I don't know what is now to come of her - indeed I have not heard one word of how she is to be provided for, for I have made no enquiries whatever. For I find it very needful for me to endeavour to be quiet and attend to my own Business, as far as regards Malton Friends in particular.
Our kind Friend Rachel Priestman helped us to Pack at Risbro'. and came here and stopped between two and three weeks, and along with Mary and Richardson worked very hard, and was particularly usefull. I hope thou wilt in the course of the Summer come over and see us.
I hope ere long the People in Yorkshire as well ass other parts of the Nation will get into a less agitated state than they have been of late, for the Elections have in many tended to too much excitement, tho' I think the Elections themselves were quite necessary, to teach the Supporters of Corruption and Oppression that there must be an improved system acted upon, and that the People's rights generally must be more attended to.
Saml. Preistman came to York and afterwards on here, and brot. Rachel and our Neice Eliza with him - they returned yesterday. RI. is better in Health than I have seen her of a long time.
With Love to you all in wch. Mary and Richardson unite.
I remain your Affectionate Brother
 David Priestman 1749-1831 of Malton had married William Rowntree's Sister, Elizabeth
 Ann 1775-1833, widow of Joseph Rowntree 1774-1811 of Pickering.
 Richard Walton had married Hannah Rowntree.