William Shout (1748 – 1826)

William Shout, the son of William Shout,  served as the Master Mason at York Minster for many years (more details on the York Minster page) was baptised in Helmsley  and buried in Huntington, on the outskirts of York. His grave has the following inscription

In a vault beneath are interred the remains of William Shout, Mason, who for 40 years with credit to himself and satisfaction to his employers conducted the repairs and restoration of York Cathedral. He died on the 20th  day of July 1826, aged 76

A marriage licence was issued on 6th June 1801, in which his age is given as 40+ and his status as bachelor, and his wife to be was Hannah Buck a widow of 35+. They married on 7th June.


He appears in directories for the city as a mason in the Beddern area and seems to have been quite a shrewd business man with interests in a number of properties, some of which are described in his will.

In his will he makes bequests to his brothers Benjamin and John,nephew William Thompson (farmer of Brompton), nephew George Shout and niece Mary Granger (the children of Benjamin), nieces Jane Hutton and Margaret (daughters of late brother Robert), sister Margaret Huthwaite, and a couple of non family bequests.

William Thompson inherits by far the lions share of the estate, which in modern terms was worth about £350,000! However I am not sure by what definition he is nephew unless it is similar to the use of “stepson” around this period. Perhaps he was a cousin from the family of his grandmother Mary Thompson (wife of William 1). Whoever he was –  he was plainly held in very high regard!

The Archives of York Minster hold William’s Day Book which  describes much of the day to day details of the project such as payments for the masons and the purchase of stone and other materials together with some personal information regarding domestic and health matters. For example

14th Dec 1805     Jane Pertiley begun to clean my shoes by quarter 2/6

19th April 1806   Wm Plowes got lamed by a deal slipping out of rope this day betwixt one and two o’clock I was told he was asleep laid upon his back second scaffold from top

15th December 1807 Paid for Robert or Thomas Hudson of Helmsley black’moore 1/15/0 for liakor and lent money. Listed into fifth rigement a fool gave him a shilling to assist him home. He told me that his father would pay self. Paid by Robt Hudson 6 Mar 1809 1/15/0

4th March 1812 for £250/0/0 the house I bout of the Subchanter and Vicars Choral of York all taxes paid out of rates

1st June 1812 let a house  and shop to Mr green Beddern head for 16/0/0

1st July let the adjoining house to a talor for £14/0/0

9th Dec 1814 Rec’d of Wm Thompson 80 eggs from the naburhud of Helmsley at a penny each – 6/8. I am debt. to nephew basket 6d

12th Sept 1820 Tuesday at seven o’clock at night begun to be very bad could not make water. of Wednesday at afternoon sent for Doctor Drake. Sent 1oz of Caster oile gave me a glister (clyster or enema) and a bottle to take and a pill. Then it begun to work. Thursday Friday Seterday Sunday Munday that is five times drue my water away with a silver instrument

This is just a sample of what he chose to record. The book makes fascinating reading. I hope to visit the Minster Library again to see what other gems exist