Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Wedding of an Unusual Character

St. Paul's Church, Buttershaw (Wibsey)
The wedding of the local vicar would always be an exciting day in any village but few such events were as tumultuous as what occurred in Yorkshire on 3 August 1875. 

The vicar of Buttershaw, near Bradford, was the 75-year old Rev. Robert Reynolds, a widower with ten grown children. For some time he had been seen to pay courtly attention to a local widow and when he announced from the pulpit that he had found a "loving companion" there was general delight in Buttershaw. But that changed when it was learned that the vicar's inamorata was not the old widow but her 32 year old daughter Elizabeth, the local schoolmistress. 

The night before the wedding, when the cases were being loaded to be taken to the station for the morrow's honeymoon journey, "a crowd of some hundred of persons assembled about the vicar's house and behaved themselves in a manner which was anything but agreeable to the rev. gentleman." Stones were thrown, the garden trampled and "uncomplimentary" ribald remarks were heard. In the morning, St. Paul's, Buttershaw, was filled long before the 8:00 start to the ceremony. The Rev. Mr. Ryan of Low Moor, officiating, had to appeal for order. The bridegroom, within his ecclesiastical powers, threatened to have the church cleared. The vows said, the happy couple, with difficulty, made their way through the shouting crowd to their waiting barouche and they were off to Bradford. 

The "intense excitement" of the day passed, as always. The Rev. Reynolds remained in Buttershaw until his death seven years later. There were no additional Reynolds children. The Victorian comic papers were delighted to report on this story from "Buttershaw - wherever that may be." Buttershaw has long been absorbed into Greater Bradford and the local housing estates had the worst reputation. However, "today millions have been pumped into the regeneration of Buttershaw Estate. It's been revamped and renamed and is now on the road to recovery." [All About Bradford]

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