Old Three Laps

Yorkshire's Own Rip Van Winkle ?


Old Three Laps


C W Craven

Young William was a country lad

And fond of rustic sport

And to the tarn to shoot wild birds

He often would resort.


Love acts upon one like a charm

Not to be trifled with

And William soon did find this out

Regarding Mary Smith.


And she was just as fond of him

As he was fond of her

And to the courtship there was none

To question or demur.


But fate decreed it otherwise

Their parents stood between

For gold the lord of many minds

They bargained long and keen.


Though both were dearly fond of wealth

Old Three Laps bore the palm

The thought of parting with his cash

Gave him a fearful qualm.

So Mary's father did declare

That she should never be

The wife of one whose parents had

Behaved so shabbily.


Of this poor William did not know

Or if so did not care

So to be married at the church

One day he did repair.


He waited patiently and long

The bride did not appear

So to his home he then returned

And from that time went queer.


There in a room of nine feet square

He passed each weary day

With but one window very small

To shed a shining ray.


For fifty years he thus did live

And all his friends surprise

From off his bed for all that time

He never did arise.


'Tis hoped he is the last of those

Who loving cannot wed

Feel it so much that they must needs

Go fifty years to bed.




Have You An Interest In The History Of Yorkshire ?

Do Keighley "Characters" Fascinate You ?

Perhaps You Are Related To Old Three Laps ? 


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This book is the culmination of many hours of painstaking research:

* It presents a comprehensive account of the story of Old Three Laps and places
   it in the context of its time.

* It includes genealogies for both the SHARP and SMITH families.

* It provides details that have been previously unknown or ignored.

* It reveals the location of those places that are important to the narrative.




Author's Note

"I cannot pretend to be a completely disinterested party in the story of “Old Three Laps”, having descended from Robert Smith through the line of his son Joseph who was my Great, Great, Great Grandfather, however I do believe after due consideration that "Poor Bill Sharp" was not the simple, broken-hearted suitor of the folk-story. My reading of the situation attributes to him an altogether less savoury role!"




If You Can Add To The Story Or Clarify It Please Contact Me.





For their help and cooperation special thanks must go to Mr & Mrs Littler of Bottoms Farm Newsholme Dean.


Other sites of particular interest:

Bottoms Farm Keighley Family History Keighley History Laycock Village