Daniel Kitchin was not born in Bishop Burton, but was a resident of the village for the greater part of his life, as schoolmaster, parish clerk and ale seller.

Daniel was born c1711. Between 1729 and 1734, he was apprenticed to Robert Welbank, innholder of Beverley. In 1734 Daniel was resident in Bishop Wilton. He and Mary Richardson obtained a licence that year to marry in the adjacent parish of Bugthorpe.


By 1739 Daniel was a schoolmaster in Warter, when he was examined by the justices in Beverley to determine his legal place of settlement. The same year he was a writing master (an obsolete term for schoolmaster) in Beverley. Daniel subsequently became the schoolmaster in Bishop Burton. Evidence suggests that he was in post no earlier than 1744. Daniel, with other schoolmasters, recommends the use, in schools, of the following two books by Thomas Dilworth, a vicar and schoolmaster, who died in 1780:

‘A New Guide to the English Tongue' (First edition,1740): "We whose names are underwritten, having perused this book, ...... do recommend it to be used in schools for the education of youth, as the best of its kind, that hath yet been made public - Daniel Kitchen, schoolmaster, at Bishop Burton, near Beverley, in Yorkshire."

‘The Schoolmasters Assistant: Being a Compendium of Arithmetic, both Practical and Theoretical' (First edition, 1743): "We whose names are underwritten, having perused this book, .......... do recommend it to be used in schools, for the speedy improvement of youth in arithmetic, as the only one for that purpose, that hath yet been made public - Daniel Kitchen, schoolmaster at Bishop Burton, near Beverley, in Yorkshire."

[The aforesaid recommendations appear in the 54th (1793) and 11th (1762) editions respectively, the only ones available to me for inspection. Evidence within these publications suggests that the recommendations may have been penned at a much earlier, though unknown date.]

Archbishop Herring's Visitation, 1743, provides us with an insight into education in Bishop Burton at this time. This is the return for the parish made by the vicar, Thomas Leake: "We have no Charity Schole [sic] in my Parish. An English Schole [sic] there is, where the Master, who teaches Reading, Writing & Arithmetic, has sometimes near fifty Children, sometimes not many above twenty, whom I frequently instruct in the Church Catechism, & see such of them at Church, as are of my Parish, & of an Age to behave Themselves well during the Celebration of Divine Service, whose Parents are of the Church of England."

Additional information is returned by the same vicar, Thomas Leake, consequential of Archbishop Drummond's Visitation, 1764: "There is no publick or charity-school in my parish but 90 years ago one Miss Elizabeth Gee left by will £100 to be laid out by her father, William Gee Esq., (her executor) for the education of children of the parish as he should think fit. Which money the late James Gee Esq., as executor, became possessed of and having purchased an oxgang of land in our fields for £100 he surrendered the same in the year 1750 to me and my successors, vicars of Bishopp Burton, upon trust, and therein and thereby he ordered 10 children of the inhabitants called grassmen or cottagers to be taught to read and write by the parish-clerk, being a school-master. And if at any time it should happen that the parish-clerk was not a school-master, then upon trust that I and my successors employ the rents and profits thereof for the education of children of the said parish in such manner as we should think fit, and to and for no other use, intent or purpose whatsoever. 10 such children are taught to read and write for the same and instructed in the church-catechism."


Appointments to the post of parish clerk were usually awarded to the incumbent schoolmaster. The only known evidence of Daniel Kitchin's appointment as parish clerk is in 1769, when his occupation is recorded in the register entry for his wife's burial. Daniel was a witness to almost all the marriages in the village between 1754 and 1774, possibly as part of his duties.

From a copy of the Terrier of the Vicarage of Bishop Burton to be delivered to the Archbishop of York in 1770, we learn about the appointment of and payment to the parish clerk: "The Vicar appoints the Clerk. The Parish Clerk for winding up the clock in the parish church at all due times in a proper and careful manner for forty shillings yearly, issuing out of lands allotted to him by the Commissioners named in an Act of Parliament for inclosing several lands and grounds in the parish of Bishop Burton. The Parish Clerk likewise hath 10d in the year for every messuage house or house occupied as a messuage and 5d in the year for every cottage house, or house where there has been a cottage house with a right of common. One shilling for a marriage by banns, and 2s 6d for a marriage by licence; for a funeral in the churchyard 10d, and in the church 1s 8d." In 1768, the parish register lists the individual payments made by 24 inhabitants of the parish towards the £2 wage of the Parish Clerk.


Between 1772 and 1776 Daniel was granted a license to sell ale in Bishop Burton. When he married his second wife, Ann Wright, in 1774, Daniel was recorded as an innkeeper in Bishop Burton. The Stephensons also held a license during the same period (see the article ‘Bishop Burton Innkeepers' by Bryn Jones). It is not known which of them managed the Evander inn, subsequently the Horse and Jockey, and currently the Altisidora.

No more is known of Daniel Kitchin and his wife after 1776; when and where they were buried is yet to be ascertained.

Bernard Sharp
First edition, June 2012

Daniel Kitchin was the author's great x 6 grandfather.

A full version of this article, complete with sources, may be had upon application to Bernard,
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