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THE NEVISON CHAIR

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The Nevison ChairThe Nevison Chair
In 1684, the Parish Constable of Sandal Magna, together with John Ramsden, accompanied William Hardcastle J.P., to apprehend the notorious highwayman William Nevison (aka John Nevinson).

Nevison, famous as the "Highwayman who, dying of the Plague as was thought, reappeared as his own Ghost" (1), was apparently asleep in the Magpie Inn (later to become the original Three Houses) in the chair pictured on the left. The villain had doubtless dozed off after consuming a pint or two of ale. The chair was photographed in the Pilkington Chapel.

Later, the Hardcastle family gave the chair to St. Helen's Church (2). Whether Nevison spent a lot of time in the Magpie, or indeed in the Sandal area, is lost in the mists of time. Much surrounding Nevison remains as a 17th century mystery. An entry in the Wakefield Sessions of 09/10/1684 records an "Order for Constable of Sandal to pay John Ramsden 10s 6d for the Constable of Sandal & William Hardcastle gentleman, three days conveying one Nevison, a highwayman, to the Castle of York, and 2s 6d for obtaining the order." (2)

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The Nevison Companion ChairThe Companion Chair
During the vicariate of Canon R.N. Hurt, between 1879 and 1909, his uncle, the Rev. Norman Straton, the last vicar of Wakefield, gave to his nephew a companion chair for the Sanctuary. It was of the same size as the Nevison Chair, of a similar style, and carved in Wakefield. (3) The chair was photographed in the Waterton Chapel.




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Information Sources include:

  1. The Newgate Calendar (Nevison's story) and the Preface more on the identity of the horseman who made the epic ride.
  2. Sandal Magna, A Yorkshire Parish and its People, written and published by Mary Ingham and Brenda Andrassy, ISBN 0 9506442 0 X, 1978, reprinted 1979 (see Links Page).
  3. Ibid., referring to an article written byHarwood Brierly for the Yorkshire Weekly Post, 6th May 1922.

THE THREE HOUSES

The Three Houses, click to enlarge
The modern Three Houses.
Nevison was captured in the Magpie, later to become the old Three Houses Inn.

The price of justice
An entry in the Wakefield Sessions of 09/10/1684 records an "Order for Constable of Sandal to pay John Ramsden 10s 6d for the Constable of Sandal & William Hardcastle gentleman, three days conveying one Nevison, a highwayman, to the Castle of York, and 2s 6d for obtaining the order."




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Nevison the Highwayman
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