Discover the Dales

Legends of the Dales

Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill

The tale of the Sweet lass of Richmond Hill is one of love. A young women, believed to be named Frances lived in London with her family. Her father has great hopes for who she would marry as she was a pretty girl full of life and spirit. However Frances appeared to have eyes for one man and one man only, Leonard McNally.

Leonard McNally was an Irish Barrister, a playwright and an agent for the British Government. But, in the eyes of Frances father he was not well suited for his daughter, he was too old for her. He sent Frances to their family home in the pretty town of Richmond, North Yorkshire to put an end to their affair.

Frances was lonely and bored at Richmond Hill, she pined for Leonard McNally. Then one day her servant told her to go to the far gate as a man whom she did not know has requested her. Frances ran to the gate and into the arms of Leonard McNally who whisked her down the path to the nearby carriage where the two eloped and married in 1787.

There is a folk song that tells the tale of the love sick duo written by Leonard McNally himself.

On Richmond Hill there lives a lass,
More bright than May-day morn,
Whose charms all other maids’ surpass,
A rose without a thorn.

Sweet lass of Richmond Hill,
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill,
I’d crowns resign to call thee mine,
Sweet lass of Richmond Hill.

Sweet Lass of Richmond Hill