14.2.20. Author John Cross presents the rogue curate – Edmund Robinson – to Holmfirth U3A


Holmfirth methodist church was full last Friday morning for a talk on the rogue Thongsbridge clergyman, Edmund Robinson. John Cross, author and historian, illustrated his presentation with images where significant events took place, such as Smithy Place, Thick Hollins and New Mill Club. There were also slides from further afield: House of Commons, Cambridge, Lancaster and Whitehall. The curate’s antics were noted in some very high places. He was executed for counterfeiting coins at Knavesmire, York.

John mentioned his book and his sources, and how he became involved through his passion for archaeology. He thought there might have been something to dig up.

The Holmfirth U3A have nearly 500 members who have lots of interests and activities. They are always open to new members.

The book is available from the author (01484666528), the publisher (01484683196) and Amazon. £9.99.

A plea for help – does anyone know the whereabouts of a New Mill family called Haigh who might have the rogue curate’s tools of counterfeiting in their possession?

12.2.20 The Curate and the King’s Coin – author presentation dates for your diary

John Cross has several dates for presentations:

1. Holme Valley U3A, Holmfirth Methodist Church Friday 14th February 2020, The meeting commence at 10,00 am with members taking refreshments first before the formal proceedings commence at 10.15 am. the presentation commences at about 10.30 am for a period of up to an hour. and the meeting concludes at 12.00.

2. Holmfirth History Group, Holmfirth Civic Hall, Lesser Hall, Thursday 19th March 2020. The proceedings should start at 7.30 pm, with the hall available by 6.45 pm.

3. Yorkshire Studies Group, Shepley Methodist Church Hall Thursday 15 October 2020.The meeting commences at 2.00 pmwith a break for refreshments at 2.45 pm, before recommencing at 3.05 pm.The meeting ends at 3.45 pm.

4. Honley Probus Club: Honley Community Centre, Stoney Lane, Honley, Holmfirth, HD9 6DY Talk Tuesday 16th March 2021. Start of talk 11.00am, finish 12.00 noon, coffee 10.30 ahead of meeting and talk.

5. Meltham Probus Club: The Liberal Club, Wessenden Head Road, Meltham. Talk Wednesday 24th  March 2021. Starting at 10.30 am. Tea coffee and biscuits available prior to meeting at £1.00. More information nearer to meeting.



The book is available from the author (01484666528) or the publisher (01484683196)

A rogue clergyman who gets his comeuppance.

3.2.20 The tools of his trade – coin counterfeiting equipment – survive Edmund Robinson’s execution

The following appeared on in the Holmfirth Express on Saturday July 10th 1943.
Edmund Robinson was a curate in Holmfirth from 1673. He was soon recognised as living beyond his stipend and in 1677 was probably suspended, rather than as previously thought in 1688, because of ‘exceptionable’ behaviour. Where did his wealth come from? He was suspected of clipping and coining at his home of Bank End in Brockholes. His house was searched and the equipment discovered in the cellar. Incidentally, we do know that Edmund’s wealth was in part explained by payment for illegal weddings and baptisms.
The family were eventually incarcerated in York Castle Gaol while awaiting trial. Edmund was subsequently hanged in 1691, his wife Mary was acquitted, and the son was reprieved at the gallows, and allegedly sent to work at the Royal Mint.
Around 1800, when a barn at Bank End was demolished workmen found counterfeiting equipment, apparently hidden at the time of Edmund’s arrest. They ‘fell into the hands’ of the Newtons of Stagwood Hill and later ‘passed into the possession’ of the Lockwoods of Moorcroft, both of New Mill. On the death of Mr Arthur Lockwood, two counterfeiting instruments were sent with other stuff to New Mill Memorial Institute and subsequently discovered amongst scrap iron by Walter Booth of Sude Hill. The Institute opened in 1922 so there is quite a gap from then to the time of their first discovery in 1800.
One went to a Mr R Shrigley and the other to William Haigh JP of Lea House, New Mill.

I wonder where the bits of equipment are now? Can anyone shed further light on this story and perhaps fill in gaps and inconsistencies?

We still have copies available from the author (01484666528) and the publisher (01484683196). An intriguing individual, who at various times was a rogue curate, gentleman, parish constable, potential highwayman, fraudster and conterfeiter, land and property owner and moneylender.

A plea for more information

In connection with counterfeiting and your book on coining, I am trying to find info regarding Felks Style

Rd at Crossland Moor.

Google has been useless in this endeavour.



Can you help please? Kind Regards

5.12.19 – Successful launch for ‘The Curate and the King’s Coin’

These strange souls inhabit my back garden, a tribute to older people everywhere.

Visit http://www.shallilo-foreveryoung.org if you wish to learn more.



28th November, more than 30 hardy souls pitched up to New Mill Club for a drink, a presentation and food.

John talked for 30 minutes, focusing on locations up and down the Holme Valley associated with Edmund Robinson, our rogue curate.

Well received and a fun night.

We have a query from Stuartwhitwam@yahoo.com – I am trying to find info regarding Felks Style Rd at Crossland Moor. Can you help please? Kind Regards.

One of our customers, from Meltham, has an ancestor (not 18th century) who was appointed warden at Holmfirth Parish Church ‘to keep an eye on the vicar’.


Our book is still for sale. £9.99

From the author 014846666528

the publisher      01481683196

Amazon please clic here



25.11.10 – Our new author – mature student with some definite ideas



A couple of stories about John.

His criteria for motor car choice includes boot space. Usual enough, we all need plenty. What does he need it for? Specifically: a wheelbarrow. Well he is an archaeologist. It’s the Suzuki S-cross.

His email is something@kipper. Because something@anchovy was already taken.

He is a mature art student, but most of his work is framed and at home. Not for long apparently. As a perfectionist he is forever removing pictures and adding small improving touches. Well he thinks they are improvements. I had to confiscate the book proofs.


We did the family history festival last week at the big church opposite the Coop funeral home, on deadwaters. They have brilliant male toilets – spacious and plentiful. We at New Mill MVC are more used to old churches with one unisex toilet if you can find it. No pre-concert swift halves.


Note we have a book for sale about a rogue curate from the Holme Valley

Phone 01484 666528 or 01484 683196 or clic on Amazon

6.11.19 – ‘The Curate and the King’s Coin’ – an academic review

Our contact with history professor Paul Ward happily continues with this review from a member of his staff at Edge Hill University.

The Seventeenth century is often a fertile ground for our imaginations and mining historical tidbits. That may be why the new book by John Cross is so engrossing and informative. It is entitled ‘The Curate and the King’s Coin’ and is a narrative of the misdemeanours of The Reverend Edmund Robinson, his arrest and execution. Cross’ book is a charming portrait of early modern English history and is peppered with local anecdotes, maps and paraphernalia. However, Cross’ book is much more and using primary records it reveals a hidden aspect of seventeenth-century life.

It is the kind of England very familiar to this reviewer, where kings, queens and great battles are absent, or bystanders. Cross, tantalisingly, exposes this England through his intrepid investigation of local history. His results may at first reveal a patchwork, but once reassembled we get a new narrative – not only of rural Yorkshire, but of England itself. The potency of Cross’ book is the reason why independent publishers such as Shalliley Books are at the dynamic end of publishing. This is the type of book which would be unlikely to be commissioned by a major mainstream publisher, and if they did, it would lose its niche-local charm.

Dr Onyeka Nubia, Visiting Research Fellow, Edge Hill University, Visiting Research Fellow, University of Huddersfield, Director of Studies, Narrative Eye.

6.11.19 – The Curate and the King’s Coin is now available

Shalliley Books’ latest offering is now available.

Edmund Robinson was a 17th century rogue curate. He began his life of crime with false marriages and finished with counterfeiting coins for which he was executed.

An intriguing Holme Valley character, vividly described by John Cross, a local historian and archaeologist.

Price £9.99 from John 01484666528, Shalliley Books  01481683196 and Amazon.


1.11.19 – Shalliley Books takes a trip with our new author, John Cross, to Amadeus, our new printer in Cleckheaton.

Posted by Dave Walker 1.11.2019

We have had several commercial printers since 2011. Starting with Pete Davies’ cricket book, we obviously used the university press (incidentally closing recently with Amadeus the beneficiary). I simply didn’t know enough despite writing a short pamphlet about Almondbury Casuals and completing a publishing module at Sheffield Hallam. Needless to say I was a quick study. Proof-reading was the first thing. Stephen Chalke, a publisher colleague, said “get a digital print company”. So I did. They were great for me, but ran into asbestos trouble. I followed their side shoot, but that fell over as well. So it’s Amadeus, which I found by chance. Their proof copy was fine and so we took a punt. And we went to see them. David Crossland and Richard Lambert.

David’s been a printer man and boy with Netherwood’s. Weird as the Casuals’ pamphlet was a follow up to Cricket in Perspective by Jim Netherwood. I remember him both from Huddersfield RUFC and Almondbury Casuals. We played a regular memorial fixture for Jim’s son with Wealdstone Corinthians. Jim turned out to play, though latterly, prior to his death, he struggled with mobility. You can read a short biography here.

So having connected and recapped it was time for a tour – great. Gave John, the writer, some ideas for his archaeological journal. I think we have hit on a winner.

I did think about a pic of Mozza.

16.9.19 – John Cross – Shalliley’s new author


John Cross was born in 1947 at Clatterbridge, Poulton-cum-Spital, on the Wirral. He was educated at The Wirral Grammar School, and at St. Catherine’s College, Oxford. Having graduated in Geography, he then took a Certificate in Education at the University’s Department of Education. His first teaching post was in 1970 at Huddersfield New College, after which he transferred to the 11-18 Comprehensive sector. Having taught briefly at Honley High School he then became Head Of Geography at The Brooksbank School, a post he held for over twenty seven years.

Following his retirement in 2007, he retrained in Archaeology, with a qualification from the Open University, and from the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education. Practical experience was gained through the York Trust Hungate Dig, after which he was a volunteer working with The Durham and Northumberland Architectural and Archaeological Society, The North Pennine Partnership and the Dig Greater Manchester project. He has lived in the Holme Valley for over thirty years and is now the President of the Huddersfield and District Archaeological Society.


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