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The apparent tranquillity of Mytholmroyd belies a murky past involving an 18th century counterfeiting gang, the...
The apparent tranquillity of Mytholmroyd belies a murky past involving an 18th century counterfeiting gang, the ‘Cragg Vale Coiners’.This gang's activities were said to be so damaging that they threatened to wreck Britain's currency!
David Hartley learnt his trade as an ironworker in Birmingham, before getting into trouble and moving back to Mytholmroyd to escape the authorities. Once returned to his home at Bell House farmhouse David used ironworking as a cover to clip or file the edges from gold coins, milling the edges back so the change was all but unnoticeable, and making counterfeit coins from the shavings whilst returning the clipped coins into circulation.
The activity soon spread to other farms, with families at nearby Hill Top Farm and Keelham Farm soon becoming involved; forming the beginnings of the gang of Cragg Vale Coiners. Local publicans also helped by placing the counterfeit coins into circulation.
David Hartley seems to have been an enigmatic leader, becoming known as 'King David' Hartley. The gang’s numbers grew considerably until well over 30 individuals were involved. Rumours of the gang's activities reached the authorities, who sent an excise man named William Deighton to investigate.
One of the coiners turned King’s Evidence and betrayed the gang, leading to Hartley's arrest at an Inn in Halifax on 14th October 1769. Hartley's brother Isaac offered £100 to anybody who would kill Deighton. It is alleged that the plotters planned Deighton's murder at an Inn in Mytholmroyd called Barbary's, which is now gone, but was located on the opposite side of the road to the present day Dusty Miller.
On November 10th 1769 at Bull Close Lane near Halifax, Deighton was approached by two men, Matthew Normanton and Robert Thomas. Deighton was shot dead, his body also showing signs of having been stamped on. Just days later, the Government offered a reward of £100 for information leading to the arrest of the murderers and a pardon for anybody, bar the killers, who would turn King's Evidence.
Over 30 people were subsequently arrested, including 'King David' Hartley, who was sentenced to death on April 6th 1770 and hanged at Tynburn, near York, on April 28th. His body is buried in the graveyard of the village of Heptonstall, above Hebden Bridge. Robert Thomas was acquitted of Deighton's murder, but was later hanged in 1774 for being a highwayman. Matthew Normanton initially fled the authorities, but was later caught and hanged in 1775. Isaac Hartley was never brought to trial due to a lack of evidence and died in 1815, aged 78.
Heptonstall Museum has on display some of the original dies used by the Coiners to stamp their gold discs into coins, as well as panels telling more of their story.
The award-winning novel 'The Gallows Pole' by Ben Myers tells the Coiner's story.
MytholmroydWelcome to The Kitchen; the creation of daydreaming, hard work and a life long affair to home-made tasty food. We get to serve simple, authentic ta...Welcome to The Kitchen; the creation of daydreaming, hard work and a life long affair to home-made tasty food. We get to serve simple, authentic tasty nosh to you, the ones who appreciate good honest food. Where possible we use local ingredients, free range eggs and locally baked bread. Our salads, slaw and sandwiches are crafted daily on site using fresh produce & our cakes are lovingly baked on site. We carefully selected our rainbow alliance italian espresso arabica bean coffee, which equally matches our passion when it comes to authenticity & taste; and our commitment to ethical values. We are dog friendly (well-behaved humans also welcome!), and are also baby friendly and welcome breastfeeding mums. We are open for breakfast, hot & cold lunches and cakes throughout the day, perfect for meeting a friend or adopting an alternative office space. Our specialities include home made authentic curries and celebration cakes. We are wheelchair friendly and have a wheelchair accessible bathroom too. We like to get creative when it comes to these so drop us a message or contact us for further details. We gladly provide sandwich and hot/cold buffet drop-offs for your place of work or special occasion. Just contact us for further details.
MytholmroydThe Blue Teapot Vegetarian Cafe-Bar and Tea Room is a modern, relaxing cafe in the beautiful Pennine village of Mytholmroyd. We serve a delicio...The Blue Teapot Vegetarian Cafe-Bar and Tea Room is a modern, relaxing cafe in the beautiful Pennine village of Mytholmroyd. We serve a delicious selection of vegetarian meals, artisan coffee, loose-leaf tea, good wine, local ales...and cake of course! Vegan and Gluten-Free options will always be available, and we can cater for other dietary requirements upon request. We are committed to ethical values, and use Fairtrade and locally-sourced produce in many of our dishes. Food is always freshly prepared, and served with a smile! There is free Wi-Fi, a comfy sofa, and a lovely bookshelf with a selection of novels, board games, children's books, newspapers and magazines. We are dog-friendly, though we request that our four-legged customers use the small second room. We are also baby-friendly; we welcome breastfeeding and will happily heat up baby food on request.
MytholmroydA fresh, fun and friendly cafe located by the River Calder in Mytholmroyd, bringing you tasty food and coffees. Pre-order food from the cafe on ...A fresh, fun and friendly cafe located by the River Calder in Mytholmroyd, bringing you tasty food and coffees. Pre-order food from the cafe on 07309 290356. 07788 715620 for event catering.