Some facts about Ripon

 

A potted history if Ripon

 

The church at Ripon was originally established by Eata, Abbott of Melrose.  Eata is maybe best known as the original mentor of St Cuthbert, who came to his monastery in 651 after having a divine vision while shepherding his flock of sheep.  Intriguingly, Eata asked St Cuthbert to come with him to help with the new monastery that was being built at Ripon, but St Cuthbert did not like Ripon and sneaked back to Melrose as fast as he could.  Eata and Cuthbert later left Melrose and went to Lindisfarne.

 

In 661, St Wilfrid started rebuilding an Abbey in Ripon called St Peter’s, which was completed in 672.  He was 27 and hired craftsmen from France to undertake the stonemasonry.  In 664, St Wilfrid sat as an expert at the Synod of Whitby where he championed the cause of Rome over the indigenous Celtic Christian Church;  Rome came out on top at the Treaty of Whitby.  In 665, he became Bishop of York.  He died in Oundle but was buried at Ripon where he is the Patron Saint of the City.

 

In 715, the city was called Hrypis which translates as “place of the tribe called Hrype”.

 

In 886, King Alfred the Great supposedly gave Ripon its original Royal Charter.

 

In 924, King Athelstan granted the Church of Ripon the privilege of sanctuary, which extended a mile on either side the Church. These boundaries remain in the names of Kangel Cross, Sharow Cross and Athelstan Cross.   

 

In 950, this town and monastery were burnt by the Danes. Ripon monastery was rebuilt by Odo, Archbishop of Canterbury. Ripon itself was soon also rebuilt and began to flourish.

 

In 1069, Ripon suffered like the rest of the North during the “Harrying of the North” when King William I went through the North of England aggressively asserting his Rule.  In 1086, Ripum (or Ripon) was written about in the Domesday Book as follows:

 

“In the liberty of Ripon, there may be 10 ploughs – Eldred, Archibishop, held this manor – Thomas, Archbishop, now has in this demesne 2 ploughs and 1 mill of 10 shillings, and one fishery of 3 shillings and eights villeins, and 10 bordars, having 6 plough-meadows and 10 acres of coppice wood.”

 

In 1640, King Charles I signed the Treaty of Ripon with the Scottish Covenanters after the Second Bishops’ War.  The Covenanters wanted to replace religious rule by Bishops in Scotland with Presbyterianism, based on Rule by Church Courts; they were formed after Charles I introduced an Anglican-style Prayer Book into the Scottish Churches which upset the Scottish nobles and the Scottish people.  This led to the First Bishops’ War that ended with the Treaty of Berwick.  One consequence of the Treaty of Berwick was that a session was held in the Edinburgh Assembly which stated that Bishops could not hold political office as this was against the law of God and which in effect meant that absolute Royal power in Scotland was over.  This position was untenable for Charles I and so he prepared himself to wage a second war against the Covenanters or Scotland, but he was thrashed before he could start.  The Scots launched a pre-emptive strike occupying Northumberland and Newcastle.  The situation was resolved at the Treaty of Ripon, which was a truly humiliating setback for King Charles I that required him to cede Northumberland (including Newcastle) and County Durham to the Scots for a period and to pay them £850 to station their armies there.  The Treaty also required the holding of a session of Parliament, which became known as the Long Parliament, and was a precursor to the English Civil War.

 

In 1836, Ripon Minster became Ripon Cathedral and the seat of the Bishop of Ripon and Leeds.

 

In 2008, the traditional Ripon Pancake Race was ended because of Health & Safety concerns.  However, in 2009, the Ripon Pancake Race was reinstated. 

 

Other Ripons

 

Ripon Falls is the original source of the River Nile, being one of the natural outlets of Lake Victoria; it’s in Uganda.  It was “discovered” in 1862 by John Hanning Speke who named it after George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon (see below).  The construction of the Owen Falls Dam (now called Nulabaale Power Station) in 1954 resulted in Lake Victoria being artificially extended and the submerging of Ripon Falls, so this important geographical feature is no more.

 

In India, there are at least 3 places named after George Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon, who was Viceroy of India (see below for more on Lord Ripon):

  1. Riponpet is a village in the Shimoga District of Karnataka in land from the sea; it is about 34 kilometres west of Shimoga and 10km south of Anandapuram. 
  2. The town of Ripon is in the Wayanad Plateau of Northern Kerala in Southern India.  Ripon has a wonderful tea plantation called the Ripon Tea Estate which produces a good Nilgiri Tea, as well as selling a bagged black tea into the local Indian market called Ripon Tea.
  3. The seat of the Chennai Corporation (originally Municipal Corporation of Madras) is called the Ripon Building.  It was built in 1909 – 1913 following the Indo-Saracenic design of Loganatha Mudaliar.  Lord Ripon is a popular Governor-General of British Inida as he is viewed as the Father of Indian Self-Government.

 

Ripon is a town in the Font du Lac County of Wisconsin in the United States of America.  It was founded in 1849 by a New York steamboat captain, David P. Mates.  Ripon has a population of 6,828.  Ripon is considered on of the birthplaces of the Republican Party in the USA – on 28 February 1854, 30 opponents of the Nebraska Act met in a schoolhouse in Ripon and decided to found a new political party, which they suggested should be called the Republican Party.  The Republican Party was centred on the concept of no further compromise with slavery whereas traditional conservatives were happy to enter into a comporomise with the Southern States.  These radicals was instrumental in creating the Republican Party across the northern states during the summer of 1854 with the first official meeting of the Republican Party taking place in Jackson, Michigan.  There is Republican think tank called the Ripon Society.

 

Ripon in the San Jaoquin County of California was originally called Murphy’s Ferry and is named after Ripon in Wisconsin, USA.  It has a population of 10,146 and is primarily agricultural and well known for its almonds.

 

Ripon is a rural electoral district within Western Victoria in Australia of 12,020 square kilometres and 49,928 people.   Towns include Ararat, Maryborough, Skipton and Stawell.  Ripon District is a centre of agriculture, wine making, timber industries, manufacturing, wool production, paper milling, knitting mills and tourism.



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