Book covers Yorkshire’s history

Author Ingrid Barton.
Author Ingrid Barton.

An author in the Pocklington area has just published her new book entitled The Little History of Yorkshire.

Ingrid Barton, from Kilnwick Percy, held a special book signing of her new publication at Waterstones on York at the weekend.

The Little History of Yorkshire.

The Little History of Yorkshire.

The new book, which was officially launched at Pocklington Arts Centre, covers the history of the county.

Ingrid said: “How much do you know about the history of God’s Own County? Only Guy Fawkes? Or Dick Turpin?

“Well, they’re just strands in the many-coloured tapestry of Yorkshire’s past, as I discovered when I began my research.

“For a start, our county has enough fascinating history of its own without having to go south to look at the doings of the – let’s face it –somewhat distant kings. Long before the mine and mill owners of the Industrial Revolution began to exploit them, Yorkshire men and women had been forced by war and poverty to be tough and resourceful.

“Whether it was coping with Scandinavian invasions or fighting the more or less chronic wars with the Scots – did you know that Ripon once had to pay a huge ransom to them to avoid being sacked?

“The north-south divide was inherited mostly from the days of the Danelaw when King Alfred (he of “the Last Kingdom”) ceded to Danish invaders control of much of the north in return for peace in the south.

“The success of Viking settlements and trade in Yorkshire reinforced the north’s sense of its own identity.

“It was Henry VIII who brought the north to heel mainly with a policy of giving land to his own southern supporters, impoverishing the powerful lords and starving the people, but with greater peace Yorkshire folk turned their minds to more inventive things.

“Canals, mills, steel, cloth-working, coal-mining, trains, all relied to a large extent on Yorkshire inventiveness and an early understanding of capitalism, which, alas, also led to the exploitation of poorer people: not everything done in Yorkshire has been admirable!

“Those poorer people, however were not so easily down-trodden, and Yorkshire soon became a cradle of union activity and resistance to unreasonable employers.

“Mill and mine owners had a tough time keeping them in order and when there was an attempt to introduce into the West Riding the notorious mid-19th century Workhouse reforms (intended to create a “Hostile Environment” for non-workers) there was such universal opposition that they had to be quietly forgotten.

“There is so much more to tell. Yorkshire’s history is unique and seldom told. I hope that my little book will make it better known.”

The Little History of Yorkshire, published by The History Press, (ISBN: 9780750983563) is available from Amazon as Kindle and hardback editions and other good book shops in this area.