Hargers in Settle

Statutory Declaration 1879

In January 2021, what appear to be two different draft versions of a "Statutory Declaration" dated 1879 came to light. The final signed version (if such a document was ever created) is not available at present. The document appears to be written to clarify some sort of inheritance issue: without further knowledge or sight of the Wills of some of the people involved, it is only possible to guess at the document's purpose. The declaration is made by Joseph Harger (1809-1848) and describes the generation of his father and siblings (Agnes (b. 1769), William, Joseph, Robert (the writer Joseph's father), Eli, Joseph, Richard (b. 1782)) and the grandparents, Joseph Harger and Agnes Peel, married 1768: full details are given below. The solicitor involved in drawing up the Statutory Declaration was JH Vant. There are a lot of Josephs (four to be precise, across three generations) mentioned, so digesting this information can be confusing! The "blue" draft has an extra couple of paragraphs and a table which aren't in the "brown" draft.

Sarah Lister writes about the background to the Statutory Declaration: "On the fall of the auctioneer's hammer in late 1878, Robert entered into a contract to buy the property, but would not complete his purchase until a completion date of probably 4 to 6 weeks later. After the auction the seller's solicitor would have sent Robert's solicitor an abstract of title giving details of the title of the land, so as to show that the seller had a good and marketable title. It is possible that there was a flaw in the title which Robert's solicitor required to be removed by means of the statutory declaration which followed in February 1879. So, in conclusion, the statutory declaration was needed to prove that the sellers were entitled to the land and therefore could sell it. It is no more than a coincidence that Robert Slinger was William Harger's son in law. "

Irrespective of the purpose of the document, it is invaluable for several reasons

Both documents are presented below for download, as JPG and PDF (large files). A combined text is also below, with a pdf version, followed by a summary of the people mentioned in the declarations, and a family tree of those people.

File downloads of the draft Statutory Declarations:

For connection to the present day, the link to the Goulds and one branch of Hargers is via the writer of the declaration, Joseph (1809-1886) who had several children, one was Robert (1884-1885) and another was John Vincent (1846-1926). The connection to the other group of New Zealand Hargers (Figgins) is via Joseph (1780-1848), the tenant at the Royal Oak pub in Settle.



Statutory Declaration 1879 covers (JPG, 394kb) (links above for download of full files)
Statutory Declaration 1879 covers (links above for download of full files)

Combined text of the Statutory Declarations 1879 (pdf version (213kb), with additional information)

Dated 1879

The Trustees of the late Wm Harger dec'd to Mr Robt Slinger

Statutory declaration of Mr Jos Harger proving the heirship of the late Wm Harger to the latters Brother Richard

I Joseph Harger of Settle in the West Riding of the County of York Joiner and Cabinet Maker do solemnly & sincerely declare as follows

1. That I am 69 years of age

2. That I knew and was well acquainted with Richard Harger late of Settle aforesaid Plumber & Glazier deceased and who died on the 4th day of Dec 1833 and that he was my paternal uncle

3. That my paternal Grandfather Joseph Harger was as I have always understood only once married namely to one Agnes Peel of Lawkland in the parish of Clapham and that they were married at the Parish church at Giggleswick and having looked upon the Paper Writing or Certificate of Marriage now produced and shown to me marked with the Letter A I say that I believe the same relates to the Marriage of my said Grandfather and the said Agnes my Grandmother.

4. That my said Grandmother was sometimes called Nancy and that there was issue of such marriage as I have also always understood heard from and been told by my late father and dec'd members of our family the following children namely Agnes Harger William Harger Joseph Harger (who died in infancy and have always understood) Robert Harger (my father) Eli Harger and son named Joseph Harger and Rd Harger and I never heard of there being any other children. The said William Harger was the eldest son of such marriage and the said Richard Harger was the youngest son of the marriage and having looked upon the certificate papers writings or Certificates of Baptism now produced and shown to me marked with the letters B, C, D, E, F and G I say that the same relate to the baptisms of the aforesaid children of my said grandfather and having looked up the paper writing certificate of burial produced and shown to me marked with the letters I say that I believe the same relates to the burial of the son of my grandfather named Joseph who died in infancy.

5. My said Grandfather and Grandmother and all their said Children have been dead many years and having looked upon the paper writings or Certificate of Burial now produced and shown to me marked with the Letter "H" I say that I believe that the same relates to the burial of my said Grandfather

[Paragraph only in the "blue coloured" draft and somewhat illegible] : 6. My said Grandfather's Son Rd Harger in the year 1828 purchased from John Procter Trustees certain closes of land situate in the township of Settle aforesaid called the Three Newfields with a barn thereon containing in statute measure 12 3 16 and which are now better known by the description contained in the schedule below.

6. That the said Richard Harger was only once married that I ever heard of namely to Isabella Lister and having looked upon the Certificate of Marriage now produced and shown to me marked with the Letter "I" I say that I believe that the same relates to the said Marriage of the said Richard Harger.

7. That the said Richard Harger died in the month of December One Thousand eight hundred and thirty three and was buried at the Parish Church of Giggleswick aforesaid and he left his Widow Isabella Harger him surviving and she died in the Month of February One thousand eight hundred and forty three and was also buried at the Parish Church of Giggleswick aforesaid I was present at the funeral of my said Uncle Richard and also of that of his said Widow and having looked up the paper writings or certificates of burial now produced and shown to me marked with the Letters K and L I say that the same relate to the Burial of my said Uncle Richard and his said Widow

8. That the said Richard Harger never had any issue.

[Paragraph only in the "blue coloured" draft and somewhat illegible] : 9. That the said closes of land were as I have always been given to understand disposed of by the Will of my said uncle Rd Harger and I say that of my own knowledge my Uncle Wm Harger entered into possession of them as the Heir at Law of the said Richard Harger [illegible] and continued possession of them from the time he so [illegible] until his death in the year 1854

And I do make the solemn declaration etc

People mentioned in the 1879 Statutory Declaration

Name Baptism Burial/Death Buried Married to: Notes

HARGER, Joseph28 Mar 173301 Jan 1786Gigg Joseph & Agnes married 2 June 1768
PEEL, Agnes13 Sep 174104 Aug 1824Gigg Agnes sometimes known as Nancy

HARGER, Agnes (Nancy)09 Apr 1769before 1845 Stephen Robinson 
HARGER, William03 Mar 177127 Jan 1854SettleMary HoldenFarmer; daug Isabella marr Robert Slinger
HARGER, Joseph25 Apr 177321 Dec 1778GiggN/Adied aged 5
HARGER, Robert26 Dec 177515 Sep 1848GiggAgnes HallpikeJoiner & cabinet maker
HARGER, Eli28 Dec 177712 Jul 1845GiggMary JohnsonNaked Man
HARGER, Joseph23 Jan 178010 Jun 1848SettleEllen HoldenRoyal Oak
HARGER, Richard19 May 178204 Dec 1833GiggIsabella ListerPlumber

HARGER, Joseph19 Dec 180914 Apr 1886SettleMargaret BaldwinJoiner & cabinet maker; writer of Declaration & son of Robert above

Tree for people noted in Statutory Declarations (also available as separate download SVG )

  Tree for Statutory Declaration 1879 cluster_d67448f338a7000628a3dc53d1 cluster_d670630673b7abcca66056935d6 cluster_d6743f310bd455efc6b202ee7ac cluster_d674523cb19741c0cca758ea6db cluster_d6ad5e711a01650b3469a8ad181 cluster_d65408cf943425e8a5e8c7b429a cluster_d674379067e427e41c838f1c6cb _d670630673b7abcca66056935d6->_d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122 _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d6ad5e711a01650b3469a8ad181 _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d674379067e427e41c838f1c6cb _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d6ad61636983f84faf1a3dd6b3f _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d65408cf943425e8a5e8c7b429a _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d6743f310bd455efc6b202ee7ac _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d67448f338a7000628a3dc53d1 _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122->_d674523cb19741c0cca758ea6db _d670606f14d12a04400efbf379c->_d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122 _d6ad5e711a01650b3469a8ad181->_d6ad60773dd791cc36d787f8547 _d6ad600623071f0f3a14325b721->_d6ad60773dd791cc36d787f8547 _d674379067e427e41c838f1c6cb->_d69445f84fc4a0c1e425ae5b3f0 _d694438bb152042706cbbe67254->_d69445f84fc4a0c1e425ae5b3f0 _d65408cf943425e8a5e8c7b429a->_d6540e032bd594f600fa5bfa9b2 _d6540d2ffae1faef0e438c7cd05->_d6540e032bd594f600fa5bfa9b2 _d6743f310bd455efc6b202ee7ac->_d6ad6692f6b4e1bc9ffc7903a73 _d6ad65a134f17269020c40aa24->_d6ad6692f6b4e1bc9ffc7903a73 _d67448f338a7000628a3dc53d1->_d6ad68e56fb67e18a5918425727 _d6ad67ea2e82fa8d3566a8be98e->_d6ad68e56fb67e18a5918425727 _d674523cb19741c0cca758ea6db->_d6ad6a6fc4971d0cf5414a2809c _d6ad697c88025f099d684a09c0d->_d6ad6a6fc4971d0cf5414a2809c _d670630673b7abcca66056935d6 HARGER, Joseph * 1733 + 1 Jan 1786  Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d670642d64a412ebfd9d924e122 2 Jun 1768 Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d670606f14d12a04400efbf379c PEEL, Agnes (Nancy) * 13 Sep 1741  Kirkby Malham, North Yorkshire, England + 4 Aug 1824  Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d6ad5e711a01650b3469a8ad181 HARGER, Agnes (Nancy) * 9 Apr 1769 + before 1845 _d6ad60773dd791cc36d787f8547 27 Dec 1794 _d6ad600623071f0f3a14325b721 ROBINSON, Stephen _d674379067e427e41c838f1c6cb HARGER, William * 1771  Settle, North Yorkshire, England + 27 Jan 1854  Settle, North Yorkshire, England _d69445f84fc4a0c1e425ae5b3f0 17 Sep 1810 Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d694438bb152042706cbbe67254 HOLDEN, Mary * 1786  Masongill, North Yorkshire, England + 19 Jul 1878  Settle, North Yorkshire, England _d6ad61636983f84faf1a3dd6b3f HARGER, Joseph * 25 Apr 1773  Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England + 21 Dec 1778  Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d65408cf943425e8a5e8c7b429a HARGER, Robert * 26 Dec 1775  Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England + 15 Sep 1848  Settle, North Yorkshire, England _d6540e032bd594f600fa5bfa9b2 30 May 1801 Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d6540d2ffae1faef0e438c7cd05 HALLPIKE, Agnes * 1774  Settle, North Yorkshire, England + 25 Jun 1855  Settle, North Yorkshire, England _d6743f310bd455efc6b202ee7ac HARGER, Eli * 1777 + 12 Jul 1845 _d6ad6692f6b4e1bc9ffc7903a73 7 Apr 1808 _d6ad65a134f17269020c40aa24 JOHNSON, Mary * 1785 + 6 Mar 1869  Pateley Bridge, North Yorkshire, England _d67448f338a7000628a3dc53d1 HARGER, Joseph * 1780 + 10 Jun 1848  Settle, North Yorkshire, England _d6ad68e56fb67e18a5918425727 19 Oct 1805 Giggleswick, North Yorkshire, England _d6ad67ea2e82fa8d3566a8be98e HOLDEN, Ellen * 1784  Masongill, North Yorkshire, England + 23 Jan 1863  Settle, North Yorkshire, England _d674523cb19741c0cca758ea6db HARGER, Richard * 1782 + 4 Dec 1833 _d6ad6a6fc4971d0cf5414a2809c 10 May 1806 Horton in Ribblesdale, North Yorkshire, England _d6ad697c88025f099d684a09c0d LISTER, Isabella * 1775 + 22 Feb 1843

Credits: thanks to Nick Delves for finding and sharing the Statutory Declaration draft documents and realising their value; to Pamela Jordan on Back in Settle Facebook page for help with deciphering some of the more impenetrable hand-writing, and to Sarah Lister for throwing some light on the history and reasons for the Statutory Declarations being written..

The document may also be loaded onto the Dales Community archive. The original two documents may find their way to the Museum in due course.