Friday, January 29, 2010

Pemberton Huff Notes from Wigan Archaeological Society

The George M Pemberton Scrapbook contains this fascinating couplet:

"While olives are green and commodities rough
Here is the place for Pemberton's huff.

If we could just locate the place of this unique object, we would have pin pointed the location of our George Pemberton, born in Cheshire about 1660.

This is an extract from an email forwarded to me by Dixie originally written Oct 2006
Hello Dixie Ann,
As we are an archaeological society, family histories are not are speciality. However Christine Watts or Alan Davies at the Wigan Heritage Services may be able to help at Also there is a Family History Society in Wigan, their web address is . 
What we can tell you is that the township of Pemberton lies just a few miles southwest of Wigan and was incorporated in to Wigan Borough in the early 1900's. Both Pemberton and Wigan have always been in the county of Lancashire, at least until the boundary changes of the 1970's (now we are all in Greater Manchester). I suspect Pemberton Hough is probably in Cheshire which traditionally lay south of the River Mersey. However Wigan Parish originally came under the diocese of Chester, as did most of Lancashire (up until 1880 when the diocese of Liverpool was created). I haven't heard of the name Pemberton Hough but I will certainly make enquires through our society.
Bill Aldridge
Wigan Archaeological Society 

Neither one [Christine Watts or Alan Davies] was able to help. But Aldridge was not the only one to point out that "Hough" rhyming with rough, pronounced huff, referred to husbandry, farming.  Later, hough refered to hamstrings or livestock and the pronounciation changed.
This Blog's Author's notes: So the couplet might have used "hough" and meant a farm rather than a fit of frustration. This presupposes that the couplet was passed down verbally at some point, or someone doing transcription thought to update the spelling. All possibilities.
Also so:
The village Pemberton and Wigan have always been in Lancashire and the archaeologist prefers to believe that if there was a Pemberton Hough it would have been in Cheshire. There are several villages in Cheshire with "Hough" in their names.

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