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Its History and its People



Member of the Derbyshire Archaeological and Natural

History Society


The Parish Church of S. Thomas Becket


Derbyshire Parish Register (Marriages), Vol. xii

First Published 1940

Republished 13th Sept 2000

in computer format
by Robert P Marchington.










THE following pages are an attempt to tell the story of an ancient parish and to preserve some of its history which in course of time might be lost. My task has been greatly lightened by the many friends, within and without the parish, some of them almost certainly descendants of the early inhabitants, who have most kindly put at my disposal ancient and modern deeds, papers and records of all kinds-they are far too numerous to name separately but such credit as may accrue to this book is in great measure theirs.

In particular my thanks are due to F.E.Gisborne Bagshawe, Esq., of Ford Hall, for the loan of documents and permission to use the Diary of Dr. Clegg and “The Bagshawes of Ford”, and to illustrate, for the first time, the Greenlow Urn; to Brig.-Gen. Sir Godfrey D. Goodman, K.C.B., of Eccles House, for the loan of many interesting letters and papers relating to parochial history, and to Edward G. Bagshawe, Esq., of Sheffield, not only for much valuable matter collected by him from many sources, but for advice and help generally; also to Mrs. Sanders, of the “Roebuck”, For permission to reproduce, also, I believe, for the first time, the painting of Squire Frith. I am also most grateful to Mr. C. R. Brady, C.E., of Chapel, and his assistant, Mr. C. H. Mycock, for the preparation of the Map; and to Mr. Mort, the Barmaster of the High Peak, for help in connection with it; and to the Deputy Keeper of H.M. Records,



for leave to reproduce the Elizabethan Plan of Chapel-en-le-Frith.

I am indebted to the various works mentioned in the list of Sources, and to other authors whose writings are referred to in the text and notes.

But chiefly am I grateful to Mr. Thornhill Kirk, to whose kindly insistence this work is mainly due, and to whose enthusiastic and persevering labours in gathering information and obtaining subscribers it in great measure owes its existence. With him are associated a small committee consisting of the Vicar (the Rev. W. H. Green, M.A., R.D.), Miss Tallent Bateman, a representative of the Parish Council, and Mr. John Sidebotham, whose help I have much appreciated.

I would also thank Miss Jessie Dawe for kindly sketching the Old Parsonage. and the late Mr. John Waterhouse's representatives for the photographs of the Church and Stone Coffin; and to Mr. John Robinson for help in preparing the book for press.




October 1939














PEAK 201

X. DR. CLEGG 210















The Parish Church Frontispiece

Plan of the Parish xiv

The Greenlow Urn 18

The Old Parsonage 58

Market Street in 1890 66

Sixteenth-century Map of Chape l82

Stone Coffin 98

The Market Cross146

Squire Frith and his Hounds 178

Charter, 16 Edward II (1323) 242

Two Nineteenth-century Characters:

Henry Gee 274

Hannah Furness 274



Churches. The Churches of Derbyshire. Dr. J. C. Cox. 1875.

D.A.J. Journal of the Derbyshire Archeological and Natural

History Society.

Feud. Hist. Feudal History of Derbyshire. J. P. Yeatman,

Vol. 111, Sec. vi.

Jeayes. Derbyshire Charters. J.H.Jeayes. 1906.

Memorials. Memorials of Old Derbyshire. Dr. Cox and

others. 1907.

Three Centuries. Three Centuries of Derbyshire Annals. Dr.

Cox. 1890.

V.H. The Victoria History of Derbyshire. 1905-7.

Parish Book or P.B. Chapel-en-le-Frith Parish Book.

P.R. Chapel-en-le-Frith Parish Registers.

P.T R. Poll Tax Roll.

Brit. Mus. British Museum.

P.R.O. Public Record Office.



THE market town of Chapel-en-le-Frith, the Capital of the Peak as it has been acclaimed, rightly as its inhabitants esteem, for more than seven centuries-stands on the slope of a gentle eminence in an open valley in the Peak of Derbyshire, It is no rose-red city half as old as time, For until the spores of bungaloid growths settled in more or less inappropriate spots its Church and dwellings and ancient barns, successors of the original wooden buildings, were composed of the greystone of the district, More than a hundred years ago Chapel is described by Messrs, Britten and Brayley in their Beauties of England and Wales as “a small, but neat town, situated on the declivity of a high convex hill, which rises in the midst of a spacious concave, Formed by the mountains at this extremity of the County”, Seen From the surrounding hills the little town is not unpicturesque, and the wide valley, sloping down to the River Goyt From Colborne (now corrupted to Cowburn) Moor and Peaslows on the east, with the dividing “high convex hill” on which the town stands culminating with Eccles Pike on the west can, on a fine day, or even in stormy weather with the hills peering out of the wrack of driving mist, fairly compete with many better known show-places in Wales or the Lake Country.
In speaking of the Parish as a whole we shall, unless it is otherwise explained, refer to it as “the Ancient Parish” which was comprised in the original Ecclesiastical and civil parish as its


boundaries existed from its inception to the 31st March 1936, when by an order confirmed by Parliament a portion of the ancient parish at its south-western end was transferred for civil purposes from the civil parish and Rural District of Chapel-en-le-Frith to the civil parish and Urban District of Whaley Bridge, It may be that the causes which have led to the alteration of civil boundaries may some day bring about changes in the Ecclesiastical boundaries, but this has not yet materialised, Our map shows the ancient parish and not that as revised.

The Ancient Parish contains 9752 statute acres and is divided into three Townships: Bowden Edge, Bradshaw Edge and Combs Edge, with a population in 1931 of 5662.

The Market Place and Church stand some 775 feet above sea level, and the Tower is a landmark from practically every line of approach, but while some parts of the Parish lie, as it were, behind the hills, the main valley is practically surrounded with some of the higher ground of the High Peak—Brown Knoll, a little above the Parish boundary, rising to 18616 feet, and Combs Moss, within the parish, nearly touching 1600 feet.


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The Prehistoric Forest—The Bronze Age—Earthworks and Tumuli

—Romans, Danes and Angles—Evidence of Mixed Race—Place—

names—Crosses—Peverel—The Forest laws—The Normans—Forest


THE story of Chapel-eh-le-Frith and, so far as is germane to our present inquiry, of the King’s Forest of— High Peak, in which the ancient parish is situated, must of necessity be founded upon the written word and record. For all practical purposes authentic written record begins with the Norman Conqueror’s great survey, the Domesday Book, and in the case of Chapel as a separate parish its history can only commence in 1225; but in order to fully appreciate the whole story we must know something of the Forest itself before the coming of the Normans.

From far distant prehistoric times the Peak Forest-long before it had a name-was one of the great chain of similar forests stretching from the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire through the Midlands and Yorkshire to Whitby, Remains of great trees have been found embedded in the peat on the highest ground of Kinder Scout, evidences of woodlands existing many thousand years ago, for the numerous tokens of human occupation, tumuli and earthworks, on the hill tops point to a period still far remote from our day, when these heights must have become more or less denuded of-trees, the early dwellers generally seeking bare hillsides for

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several reasons. At the same time it is clear that in the centuries Immediately succeeding the Norman Conquest the whole district was much more wooded than at present and forest trees would still be found at considerable altitudes. As population increased after the Conquest much wood was required, for little or no stone was used for ordinary dwelling houses before the early part of the sixteenth century, and the Forest Records show the great and generally unauthorised—felling that took place.

How or when these hills first had human occupation we do not know, but the men of the Bronze Age of some two thousand years B.C. have left their mark in tumuli and earthworks all over North Derbyshire.

Our most important earthwork is certainly the Bull Ring at Dove Holes, close to the boundary of the ancient Parish and to St, Paul’s Church. This corresponds in all its details with the much better known Arbor Low near Parsley Hey, which lies about eleven miles to the south-west, and is considered to have been the work of the same age and most probably of-the same hands, the period of- both being not later than the Early Bronze Age (circa 1800 B.C.) and, with its many similarities, to be coeval with Stonehenge.

Although much damaged by ill-usage, its dimensions can still be clearly determined. Like Arbor Low it is composed of a centre plateau surrounded by a deep fosse and an outer vallum, the whole being nearly, but not quite, circular, and it is entered by two causeways, these being, as is usual, not in line with the centre, As at Arbor Low there is an artificial mound here about a hundred feet to the south-west of the

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circle, but, unlike that at Arbor Low, this is square and not circular.

There is no doubt that at one time there were large stones or onoliths in situ, as at Stonehenge and other similar circles.

It has been told us that about a century ago some of the stone was taken away to build a farmhouse, and other large stones were used as gateposts and doorposts for shippons and for a track across the tramway. In The Reliquary (vol. viii. P. 228) Mr. Kirke, the then owner, states that about 1840, when excavations for stone were being made within the circle, two skeletons were discovered and pronounced by a local Surgeon to be of men of great height, giving him the idea of having belonged to men nearly seven feet high,1

The Bull Ring lies practically on a line from Arbor Low to Chinley Churn, which line passes over Churn Hole near Chelmorton, and the ancient road from the south-west close to Arbor Low runs within a few yards of the Bull Ring; this may only be a coincidence, but it is certainly significant and suggests a connection between the two circles.

It has also been suggested by the late Mr, W, J, Andrew and others that a Roman road passed in this direction from Fairfield, which is said to be lost to the north of the great lime ash heap at Lower Bibbington. Careful inquiries as to this however elicit no information. It may be that an old road or track did run in this direction before the present main road was constructed, An old inhabitant used to speak

1 There is a full account of the Bull Ring with a good plan in D.A.J., xxxvii. p.77.


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of a Roman road by a now disused track above Alstonlee, but again we have to corroboration, At the same time, although proof is lacking, these old tales should not be altogether disregarded.

An excellent example of an early defensive earthwork on a large scale, specially protected from attack both by nature and art, is furnished by that on Combs Moss. This stands about 1600 feet above sea level, and on its northern extremity is a fort or refuge known as Castle Dykes, but now usually called Castle Naze.1 Its shape is triangular; on two sides are practically precipices falling nearly 450 feet.

Across the base of the triangle prehistoric man has constructed a double rampart and fosse so as to form a defence on the Moor side, which is here almost level, Into the enclosure thus formed is a narrow opening on the north-east corner whence a winding track affords the only means of access from the valley below and this could easily be defended from above. This track corresponds very closely with the approach to an ancient British village on Winklebury Hill described in Treves’ Highways and Byways in Dorset. About the middle of the rampart an opening has been cut at a much later date than the original construction, and this is surmised to have been the work of the Romans who may have occupied the fort during their operations in this district. Dr, J. C. Cox records that in 1873 there was round the edges of the precipitous sides a rough wall, much older and

1 The old name ‘castle’ does not necessarily mean a building of masonry. The New English Dictionary says the word castle is rightly applied to ‘ancient British or Roman Earthworks,’

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rougher in appearance than the present one which appears to be for safeguarding sheep and other stock.1

In the ancient Parish were numerous tumuli:

Maglow—on the south side of Castleton Road, opposite to Slack Hall, is recorded in the Victoria History, vol, i. p. 394, but no particulars are forthcoming. Mr. S. O. Addy compares the name with the old Norseman’s name Magi for Magni and the modern surnames Meggs and Maggs, and notes that there is a place called Mag Clough near Eyam.2

Ladylow—at the east end of Combs Moss above Dove Holes.

Cowlow—a little to the east of- Ladylow.

The Victoria History gives references to the examination of Ladylow and Cowlow, both at the east end of Combs Moss, by Messrs. Bateman, but their books show that they did not visit either and there seems to be no evidence that they have ever been investigated.

On the Ford Hall Estate, about half a mile north of the house, is Greenlow, This tumulus was opened in 1908 by Mr, W. J. Andrew, F,S,A., who then resided at Cadster in this Parish. By the kindness of Mr. F. E. Gisborne Bagshawe, the present owner of Ford, a photograph of the cinerary urn, then discovered, is here reproduced. It was in good condition, but slightly broken, and contained ashes and fragments of incinerated bones. The small cup was broken and has been restored. Two stone implements—one of which is shown in the illustration-are probable potter’s stiles.

1A fuller account of this Earthwork with a good plan appears in V H. i. p. 362.

2 D.A.J., xxx. P. 128.

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Mr. Andrew had a quaint tale about this discovery. He Borrowed a workman from the estate to open the tumulus, and as the digging progressed warned the man to be careful as he would soon reach a pot, which he did and it is doubtful if he ever believed Mr, Andrew’s statement that he (Andrew) had not buried it!

Mr. Andrew pointed out to me what certainly appeared to be vestiges of a small circle on the hillside above Tunstead and Cadster House adjoining the old lane from combs to Fernilee. It had then (about 1910) been almost obliterated by cattle, etc., but the general outline could be traced, A theory suggests itself’ that it might be from this tumulus that the skull locally called “ Dickie” came to the farm below. A full account of this circle is given by Mr, Andrew in Memorials of Old Derbyshire.

The skull is now at Tunstead Farm, its local name, “Dickie,” having apparently been applied to it without any reference to the present owners, about the middle of the last century when an “ address “ to it was published in a local newspaper and is printed in The Ballads and Songs of Derbyshire (1867), When Hutchinson, the author of A Tour Through the High Peak, saw it about the year 1790 (before the present owners were in possession) he was told by the tenant, Adam Fox, that it had been in the house for “near two centuries,” and he records various extraordinary happenings alleged to be connected with it, adding “on this head the candid reader will think for himself; my duty is only faithfully to relate what I have been told” —and this is the position taken up by the present writer, Some years ago the

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skull was examined by an eminent surgeon, who was of opinion that it is the skull of a female about eighteen years of age. In the vault of the skull is a small circular hole, the presence of which tends to confirm the suggestion that it may have been found in the neighbouring tumulus, for this may be an instance of’ the practice of’ primitive man to make such incisions to liberate the spirit of’ the departed. The owners state that no mystical demonstrations have taken place during their recollection, and they resent the many foolish misstatements and the vulgar curiosity which compels them to refuse to allow the skull to be seen.

There doubtless are, or were, other tumuli on our hillsides, some of which have escaped notice and others which have been obliterated by storms, ploughing, cattle and other inevitable causes in the course of many centuries.

It should be noted that the word “low,” so common in the place names of North Derbyshire and Staffordshire, comes from the Old English hlaew or hlaw (Gothic hlaiv, a grave) meaning a mound but specifically a burial mound. In Old English charters “ it is almost invariably joined with a personal name, no doubt recording the person buried therein.” 1

Whilst speaking of the earthworks in the Parish attention must be drawn to the Roosdych above Whaley Bridge at the west end of the ancient Parish. This is described in all the old guidebooks and histories as “a racecourse constructed by the Romans,” and flowery descriptions of the accommodation for spectators and spaces for chariots to assemble

1 Crawford Charters, 1895, P.70.

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and so on are given. It is now clearly established by geologists that this is no work of man, but is simply a fold—or rather folds, for more than one can be discerned by examination on the spot—in the hillside caused at some remote period of the earth’ s history by the pressure of’ the great mass of’ rock forming Eccles Pike into what would then be the soft ground or morass where is now the valley of the Goyt. Apart from this it has been ascertained beyond doubt by experts that no human agency is responsible.

It is not till we come to Roman times that we get some idea of the people who inhabited the Peak Forest. There is no direct evidence of’ Roman occupation in this parish, but they had a camp at Melandra and stations at Buxton and Anavio (known at least since the twelfth century as Brough), excavations at the latter in the summer of’ 1938 suggesting its establishment in the first century A.D., and it is quite likely that they would utilise the British camp on Combs Moss as an observation post.

For a time after the departure of the Romans it would seem that the Peakland was retained by the aborigines—the Celts or Welsh—in the same fashion as they held part of Yorkshire still known as the Forest of Elmet and the country round the modern city of’ Leeds. When the pagan English swarmed in from the continent and settled in Northumbria, a new element appeared. There is no clear reference to the actual conquest of’ Peakland, but in 603 Ethelfrith, the last pagan king of Northumbria, crossed the southern end of the Pennines and extended his dominions to what is now Cheshire and no doubt established some authority in the

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Peak, The Mercians who had settled in South Derbyshire in the seventh century also spread in small settlements to North Derbyshire and were locally called Pecsnete or settlers in the Peak, so what is now Derbyshire might well have become Pecsetshire after the manner of Dorsetshire and Somersetshire, The Danes, however, finally gave the shire its name when they in turn over-ran the Kingdom of Mercia in the ninth century, the town which they called Deorby becoming the chief town of the district and giving its name to Derbyshire, Indeed it is thought by historians that until the coming of the Danes the Peak had not been troubled much by Saxons or English, but the Danes firmly established themselves and so helped to add another strain to the blood of the Peakland people, It was not until 941-2 that Mercia Was finally freed from the Danish rule, From then until 1066 the Peak Forest remained a part of. the Saxon kingdom of England, and as the Rev, Charles Kerry, who made a Special study of the Forest history, tells us,1 “it was a portion of the patrimony of the Anglo-Saxon kings, and was Royal Demesne at the time of the great Survey.” Mr, Kerry says “at the Norman era the Peak Forest was unquestionably a relic of the primaeval forest which covered the country, It was of no human planting, It was a forest when afforested by Peverel and had for ages been the wild home of the beasts of the chase and a scanty and almost equally uncivilised population.” This no doubt is an accurate description of the forest at this period, There could be little or no agriculture and few inhabitants except some foresters and

1D.A.J., XV. p. 67.

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lead miners, In the time of Edward the Confessor the three manors, including Hope, Edale and Tideswell, on the eastern side of the Forest yielded a yearly tribute of £30 in money, five and a half sestiers (about eight pints) of honey and five cartloads of lead, while on the west side, which would include what was later called Bowden, much of which was waste, the whole was only worth Forty shillings.

We may remember that the word “forest” must not henceforth be taken in the strict modern sense of a huge wood: under the Normans the word began to have a legal significance—it implied, etymologically, a waste, and was used historically for an open district reserved by the king for the purposes of hunting. Manwood, an old writer on Forest law, points out that in all Forests there must be wood both to shelter and sometimes to feed the deer; and again, there was a distinction between woods and coverts, the latter being thickets or covering places For the deer. As has been explained, probably the country was not all wooded—the old tale that squirrel could have travelled on tree-tops from Combs to Chinley may or may not be true, but there would be heather and bog in the poorer parts as there were in the wastes of the Parish well into the eighteenth century, whilst extensive glades and thinly wooded districts would afford pannage for pigs and grass For the agistment of cattle. The jealous preservation of the Royal sporting rights was evidenced later as population increased, in the fines levied on those who interfered with the game either by poaching or by enclosing the land.

If evidence is sought to verify the story of the occupation

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of this forest area by a mixed race it is easily forthcoming in place names and other ways. The pre-Conquest tribute of honey and lead suggests a Danish influence, as does the sys-tem of grouping of two or three dwellings round a common yard or green for mutual protection against wild beasts and human marauders, Instances may be observed at Blackbrook, Haylee and other hamlets in this and in several adjoining parishes.

This system of tributes and of dependent hamlets represents the most archaic type of agricultural settlement to be found in Derbyshire, and even in the present day we find in North Derbyshire, not the compact villages of the usual Midland type, but scattered hamlets grouped into parishes for the purposes of administrative convenience.

The names of the two early parishes, Hope and Glossop, suggest a Celtic (British) origin as does Kinder, probably from the British Cyndery, a chief or head ruler, and the Peak itself from pig or pic, meaning a top or peak. The Wash and Ashbourne Lane come from Celtic variants for water (e.g., wash, ash, esk, ouse), as does Derwent Ashbourne is particularly interesting as a compound word; bourne being Anglo-Saxon for a water course, this suffix having been added by a later race to the earlier name Until quite recent years this was in truth a water lane, a stream running down

and in wet weather all over it. Anglo-Saxon is well represented, as for instance in Hordron (now corrupted to Horderns) from heorder—a keeping or fold. This was once a large area, the upper part of which, at the west end of Dove Holes Tunnel, is a good example of a place where

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cattle could be easily folded and guarded and is reminiscent, on a small scale, of the famous Devil’s Beef Tub in Dumfries-shire where the Border raiders hid their stolen cattle; Whitehough (Anglo-Saxon hwit, white; or hwaet, wheat or possibly a family name Hwitta and hof a hall) and similarly, not far away, The Hough at Bugsworth, mark important houses occupied for hundreds of years, Bowden and Bradshaw have both been claimed as derived from Anglo—or Celto—Saxon sources. Bowden signifying “a hollow or valley on the bend (or corner)” perhaps in allusion to the sweep of the river Goyt bounding Bowden Middlecale and Bowden Chapel, and Bradshaw meaning “ the broad shady place or glade (or wood)” or possibly “Breda’s shady glade.” Combs is a Saxon word for a secluded valley not uncommon in Derbyshire, Devonshire and elsewhere. The old form of Ollerenshaw (Alreshage) is indicative of the Anglo-Saxon

Alr—the alder tree. Horwich also probably comes from Horewhit—white thorn, Antiquarians should, however, be very careful about place names and their derivations. For instance a year or two ago in a well-known London Sunday newspaper a “philologist” cited “Chapel-en-le-Frith” as proving a Welsh settlement here, it was clearly Capel-y-frydd! Several Derbyshire writers protested against this wild assertion, and the correspondence rather suddenly ceased.

After the Conquest there would be further additions to the “mixed race” in the officials and the settlers and farmers who came after them, many of whom had no connection with this county but whose descendants remained here under new and local names.

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Part of Cheshire on the north-west side of the river Etherow is now known as Longdendale and is so shown in the Domesday map in the Victoria History (vol. i.) but the portion we are dealing with was clearly in Derbyshire. “It included the whole of the wide spreading parish of Glossop and much that was extra parochial,”1 The places in Longdendedale nearest to what is now Chapel parish as mentioned in Domesday are Thorhesete, Hedfield (Hayfield) and Chendre (Kinder), There is no mention of Chinley, Bugsworth, Fenilee, Fairfield or Buxton, or of Bowden Middlecale which confirms the view that the Forest to the south of Thornset and Hayfield was waste, for, says Domesday, “the whole of Longdendale is waste.” About A,D, 1100, in the time of Henry I, Longdendale was added to the Honour of Peverel and from thence onwards the Peak Forest was divided into three districts each having its own set of Foresters, but under one chief official, These three districts were known as Campana (i.e. the Champagne or open country) on the south and south-west, Longdendale on the north and north-west, and Hopedale on the east, In an old Elizabethan map Chapel is shown as, “within the Champion” and Glossop in Longdendale, The area of the Forest was about 40½ square miles, but it was not conterminous with the Hundred of high Peak, which includes several parishes to the south and west of the forest bounds.

A feature of the Forest is the number of crosses and cross stumps in various states of preservation scattered over the district. Opinions have considerably differed as to the original

1 V.H.,i, p.397.

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purpose of these crosses. The late Dr, J, C, Cox believed most of them to be pre-Norman and to have marked the setting out of ecclesiastical divisions or parishes after the reconversion of England had become an established fact about the seventh century.1 As shown below, one at least appears to be Danish. Mr, Henry Kirke thought the crosses to show the boundaries of the wards of the Forest (Reliquary, vol, viii.) and afterwards cited confirmation of this in Macclesfield Forest, With great respect to Dr. Cox the writer ventures to suggest that the theory of pre-Norman ecclesiastical boundaries is hardly feasible, nor can the crosses, if pre-Norman, be likely to mark ward boundaries, The Elizabethan map before mentioned gives the town of Chapel “with divers hamlets” as in the Champion Ward, where as the chain of crosses would bring it into Longdendale. These discussions are, however, more academic than Practical. I admit I once agreed with Mr. Kirke’s view, but further Study of the subject and particularly of the maps in the Public Record Office tends to alter my opinion. The fact seems to remain that it is not clear why these crosses are scattered about the district, but it is suggested that they were—in most cases at least—simply guide-posts. In many cases they now mark the junction of two or more parishes or townships;

many often adjoin ancient highways, The line of crosses commencing at Edale Cross and traceable through the ancient parish certainly would serve as demarking a boundary, but in

practically every case they are on old roads or high ground and two only touch on parish boundaries. It is noticeable,

1 Memorials, P.296.

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however, that while these crosses can be said to be more or less in line they are not in view from point to point so as to act as guides, Edale Cross is of course far outside our parish. It stands on the boundary of two parishes and beside the ancient way from Hayfield to Edale just on the watershed between the Mersey and the Humber. Taking a line due south we pass the site of another cross that seems to have been completely forgotten. A deed of 1657 relating to a sale of part of a neighbourship at Rushop refers to “a common betwixt Swyer Cross and Edale.” There is a close

called Swyer Green on the opposite side of the Castleton Road to the Poors Piece, and the late Mr, Greaves Bagshawe was or opinion that the cross stood hereabouts close to the meeting of several ancient highways, one at least being pre-historic.1 In a line with Edale Cross was Peaslows Cross at the top of Sparrow Pit, shown on the allotment plan Of 1712 as then in existence. It is also mentioned in the Parish Register In 1653. It stood in a field on the left of the old road from Blackbrook in the angle made by that road and the lane from Stonyford at an important junction of ancient roads from west, north and east, I have been told that about the year 1900 when a house, some two hundred yards from

the site of the Cross, was being rebuilt, a “Roman oven” was disclosed in the foundations, It was described as a large bock of gritstone with a deep hole in the middle. It appears to have been left in the foundation, but there can be little doubt that this was the base of the Peaslow Cross as the

1 This may have been that marked II Rushope Cross “ on the plan in P.R.O,’

Duchy of Lancaster plans, No, 23,

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description follows so closely that of Martinside Cross. The line now bends to the south-west at an obtuse angle through Martinside Cross and thence in a straight line through Woman’s (or Our Lady’s) Cross to Goyts Bridge. All that remains of Martinside Cross is the stone base with a square cut shaft socket. Like the last two mentioned crosses this one is not near any modern boundary, but is on the side of a road of great antiquity a short distance from the farmhouse known as Martinside, just before this road descends to Dove Holes, Dr. Cox, who noted what he believed to be an original channel cut from the edge of the socket to the angle of the base stone, possibly as a pointer to the next boundary stone, thought the base to be of pre-Norman date.1

An old document mentions “Draglow Cross” but there is no reference to such a cross elsewhere and no sign of any cross has been found at Draglow.

Near to White Hall below Combs Moss on the “Old Coach Road “ stood the Woman’s or Lady’s Cross, This is shown on several of the old Duchy maps close to the Archers’ Wall, and was on the boundary between the ancient parish and Fernilee and at the junction of a track running down into the Combs valley. There is now no trace of this cross.

Another cross which is believed to have stood at the junction

of several old roads at Elnor Lane Head, just outside the ancient

    1 Memorials, p.304

2 The Archers’ Wall is shown on the maps of the Wastes made in the time

of Charles 1 (PRO” maps 23 and and 79) on our map. In the Derbyshire

Ballads is a poem by Mr William Bennett, of Chapel, founded on local songs, one which he considered related to a contention and fight between Robin Hood and the Keepers of Peak Forest and the other to a match between him and the Foresters with the longbow.

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parish, is supposed to be the original Shallcross. This for many years was in the grounds of Fernilee Hall and has now, to the credit of the local authority and contrary to the usual iconoclasticism of such bodies, been restored to its original position. Quite recently a stone believed to be part of the Shallcross has been discovered built into a garden gateway at Shallcross Hall. 1

The remains of another ancient cross now stands in the churchyard to which it was removed from Ollerenshaw in 1920 by a former vicar. It consists of part of a cross-shaft four feet, eight inches high and fifteen inches by seven inches in section at the base tapering to thirteen inches by six inches at one foot From the top, where the stone is broken irregularly. It is much weathered, but Mr R. E. Routh, who has recently made a special study of Derbyshire pre-Conquest crosses, suggests a comparison with a fragment in the porch of Bakewell Church and ascribes the cross to the Danish period. 2 The site of this cross, which stood on a circular base, is shown on our map, and it will be noticed that, whilst near to both, it is not on either the ancient parish boundary or the very ancient road over Eccles Pike. Of course it cannot be said that this and the other crosses we have described are contemporary, but one is inclined to the probability that such is the case.

The parish of Hope and other adjacent lands were granted by the Conqueror to William Peverel in 1068, and on his death these with his other vast possessions, known as the Honour of

1 A full account of this cross with observations on the Forest Crosses in
general is contained in an article on “ The Shallcross” in D.A.J., vol, xxvii.

2 See his paper in The Journal of the Royal Archaeological Institution, vol.

xciv, 1938.

Page 18


Peverel, passed to his son in 1114, but in 1155 a younger, Peverel was disinherited for poisoning the Earl of Chester, and all his estates were forfeited to the Crown. Richard I or, as some say, Henry II gave the Castle of the Peak to John, Earl of Mortaigne, afterwards King John; but William de Ferrers, grandson of Robert de Ferrers, who was son-in-law of the dis-inherited Peverel, seems to have taken the opportunity of John’s wars with the barons to make himself heir of all the Peverel estates without due royal warrant. This led to complications later on in connection with the advowson of Chapel, but it is sufficient here to say that the estates, including the Peak Forest, continued in the possession of the King till 1372, when they were conferred on John of Gaunt and became part of the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster. On the accession of Henry IV the estates reverted to the Crown by absorption, and have continued Crown property ever since.

The Norman Kings and their followers were all devotees of the chase, and they reduced the “forest laws” to a fine art. Mr Kerry, in the article already quoted, remarks that the population was probably not very numerous, but every man amongst them was unquestionably a “born sportsman”, and, when the forest laws came into operation, the guardians of the Forest themselves were almost as notorious infringers of these legal restrictions as were those who were detected in forest offences.

Each forest was managed by officers of the Crown. In the Peak Forest there were fourteen separate offices, ranging from the Keeper, Bailiff or Warden (custos), Verderers (who had jurisdiction in small cases) and Foresters, these three classes

Page 19


being usually men of position, to Woodwards and Agisters. The Woodwards, sometimes called Wood reeves or Woodruffs, gave their name to an old family at Hope commemorated in the church there and also by the Woodruffs Arms Inn in the same village. The Foresters were important officials sworn to preserve the vert and venison within their own divisions or wards, known in the Peak Forest as baliwicks. Here they were hereditary foresters of fee, and in such cases when their origin came up at the forest courts (or pleas as they were caued) they always claimed to date back to the time of William Peverel. There were four in each ward, but the number was subsequently increased and they held their lands in sergeanty, their services being in one case the hunting of wolves and in the others that of performing acts of forest supervision. Amongst these foresters of fee was the family of Bagshawe of Abney (said to be originally of Bagshaw in Chapel parish) and now of Ford, whose arms, and livery of green and scarlet, are supposed to be derived From their office.

The Duchy of Lancaster has now little interest in the High Peak beyond some mineral rights, etc., but its officials look after these as zealously as in the days of Peverel.

Forest law, generally speaking, was the same throughout England” From early times special “forest justices” were appointed to administer these laws, who held general sessions or “eyres” at apparently irregular and often considerable intervals, and their chief duties were to deal with cases beyond the jurisdiction of the Verderers, to inquire as to grants of liberties, in to cases of grave trespass and to exercise a general supervision over forest administration. The place where the


Page 20


forest justice held his court was usually called the Justice Seat, and we are told that this was held, in the Peak Forest about the centre of the district, I an extra-parochial part about equal distance from Castleton, Tideswell and Bowden. Here stood a forestry residence and hall, known as “The Chamber in the Royal Forest of Peak”or in campana: Camera in foresta regia Pecci or Camera in campana.1

This chamber, forest lodge, or hunting box is supposed by some to have been where Chamber Knowl Farm, at Peak Forest, now stands, but persistent local tradition-which always merits consideration—places it where there is an old farmhouse, known as “ The Chamber” on the north side of the main road about midway between Sparrow Pit and Peak Forest village.

The local courts, presided over by the Bailiff or Keeper of the Forest, were the Swainmote and the Attachment Courts, practically the same in their functions, which seem to have combined some of the attributes of our county and magisterial courts. They were held in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries for Campan at the Chamber, at Chapel for Longdendale and for Hopedale at Hope. The prison was at the Castle of the Peak where sheep, etc, were impounded, but no courts appear to have been held there. Later the great Courts of as well as the occasional smaller Courts or Swainmotes were held at Tideswell and at Chapel, though sometimes at the Chamber.

In early Norman days the whole district was full of large

1 V.H., i. P.398, and see chap. ii infra.

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game, but as Domesday tells us the whole of Longdendale was

waste with pannage for pigs but not fit for hunting, this suggesting a good deal of wood and perhaps much marshy ground. In the time of Giraldus Cambrensis (about 1184) the deer in the Peak were so numerous that they trampled both men and dogs to death in the impetuosity of their fight, and they persisted in gradually reducing numbers till 1640. The Court records show that wild swine, roebuck and otters were abundant, as well as a creature known as a “cornilu”, which it has been suggested may be derived from a Norman French word signifying “black game”, a species now rare in England but still occasionally met with on the Taxal moorland, and a few years ago seen at Crookstone in the Woodlands. Wolves also were plentiful until a late period, their presence being attested by field and place names as Wolfstone on Chinley Common temp. Charles I. In 1167-8 so great a value was set on the skill and experience of the Peak wolf trappers that Henry II paid 10s. for the travelling expenses of two of them to go to take wolves in Normandy.

There are entries in the accounts of Gervase de Bernake, Bailiff of the Peak for 1255—6, of a colt and sheep strangled by wolves in Edale, which the editors of V.H. point out are almost the only specific entries that have been found in the P.R.O. of damage to stock by wolves; and there is reference again to the trapping of wolves in the Forest at the time of the Eyre in 1289. Camden, writing in 1586, says of the Peak: “This part tho’ it is rough and craggy in some places, yet there are grassy hills and vales in it, which feed many cattel and great flocks of sheep very safely. For there’s no danger of wolves now in these places, tho’ infested by them heretofore.”

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(Gibson’s Translation 1695.) In Norman times as now, the Forest was recognised as an excellent district for breeding and pasturing horses, and many large studs were maintained, and later on, as Camden says, large herds of cattle and flocks of sheep were kept there.

Page 23



IT has been elsewhere1 suggested that the Church of Saint Thomas Becket, known as the Chapel in the Frith, was placed in Bowden for the express purpose of attracting to its precincts a community which was to found the new town, to be—as it has always claimed to be—the capital of the Peak, and later research confirms that view.

The presence of roads, most or all of them ancient in the first quarter of the thirteenth century, as shown in chapter xv, proves the position to have been admirably adapted for the site of a new town. Dr. Cox (Churches of Derbyshire, ii. 139) says “the foresters and keepers of the deer became so numerous that about 1225 they purchased a portion of the Crown land held by William de Ferrers and built themselves a chapel for Divine Worship, which they called the Chapel in the Forest (frith)”. When writing some forty years later in the Victoria History (i. 398) speaking of the Justice Seat for the Peak Forest he says, “ Here” (i.e., at the place called The Chamber) “stood a forestry residence and hall, termed ‘Camera in foresta regia Pecci’ or ‘Camera in Campana’, with a chapel attached. This chapel was of earlier date than the larger chapel built by the foresters in Bowden about 1225, and which place was henceforth usually known as Chapel-en-le-Frith” Dr. Cox

1 Parish Church of s Thomas Becket, chap. iii.

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gives no direct authority for these statements which are now difficult to trace, but they are no doubt derived from his meticulous study of the Forest records. At p. 403 he quotes from the Ministers’ Accounts that of Gervase de Bernake, Bailiff of the peak for 1255—6,who gave vestments and other articles to the chapel of the Chamber: therefore, this chapel could not have been actually superseded by the new church at Chapel for some considerable time. The chapel may have continued to be the private chapel to The Chamber, to which de Bernake gave a quantity of furniture at the same time as his gift of vestments.

Morden’s map of Derbyshire, 1695, shows “Chapel in the Frith” and “Chapel in the Forest”, the latter within a pale, indicating a park or enclosed space, now the parish of Peak Forest. The presence of the “Camera” or royal hunting box and Seat of Justice gave that parish the extra-parochiality, as the precinct of a royal palace, and a “peculiar”, under which the vicars claimed, and exercised until the middle of the nineteenth century, the right of granting probates and administrations and of marriage. The date of Chapel church is, however, confirmed by the fact that it was consecrated by Alexander de Stavenby, who was Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield from 1224 to 1238, and not only did he consecrate it but he gave it rights of baptism and burial so that, as is stated in the evidence of the Foresters and others at an Inquisition ad quod damnum at Fairfield in , 1317 1 it became a parish church. This was a clear mark of favour, and it is also to be remembered that the Ancient Parish was carved out of the old parish of Hope, of which the Bishop was then patron. It is not clear-that

1 II Edward, ii. No. 97.

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the boundaries were ordained at the same time, but as a learned friend has pointed out, many parishes were never formally constituted, they just grew. Some of the boundaries being arbitrary, as the line across Combs Moss and on Colborne Moor, it seems probable that the delimitation was made in this Bishop’s time. The Ancient Parish and the adjoining townships of Fernilee, Shallcross and Fairfield were all part of the original parish of Hope and joint rights of pasturage, etc., were enjoyed by the tenants of these townships for many centuries, indeed it would seem as if Fernilee was for many years looked upon as part of Chapel parish. Regarding the status of the Church and its Minister or Incumbent, for some hundreds of years styled Cappellanus, Chaplain, Curate and Minister, the most reasonable view seems to be that, whilst by the concession of rights of baptism and Burial the Church became possessed of parochial attributes, yet by accident or design it was never duly constituted a parish church, but whether constituted or not, ecclesiastical authorities and inhabitants alike have for centuries tacitly accepted it as a Parish Church.

The Church is described in the Valor Ecclesiasticus of 1535 as capella not as ecclesia, and it is given in Ecton’s Theasauras (1754) and Bacon’s Liber Regis (1786) in a list of chapels belonging to Bakewell. This is clearly an error as nothing connecting Chapel with Bakewell is to be found elsewhere.

The Incumbent is now, under the Statute 31 and 32 Vict. c. cxvii, styled Vicar, and the Benefices is officially recognised as a Vicarage in name but Perpetual Curacy in fact.

That the Church was, and had been for hundreds of years, a parish church was contended by the parishioners and tacitly

Page 26


conceded by the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, in the famous suit of Thornhill v. Tooker, mentioned in chapter IV. It appears pretty clear, although there is no direct evidence, that Bishop Stavenby as Bishop and also as the owner of the advowson of the Mother Church of Hope, conferred on the “foresters and keepers” who built the Church the right to appoint their minister and also the duty of finding his stipend. This was not unusual in the Middle Ages, as is pointed out by Cardinal Gasquet,1 who quotes a very similar case to ours at Dartmouth in 1372.

The question, however, really was who was to own the tithes? When the land for this new chapel was acquired the Crown, land in the Peak Forest was held by William de Ferrers, who was the Bailiff or Custos of the Peak, and therefore the chief local authority, from 1216 to 1222. This William was the grandson of Robert de Ferrers, the first Earl of Derby and son-in-law of the last Peverel, and had been permitted to hold certain of the Peverel lands, although it is not clear that the Peak Forest was included in these. William de Ferrers, however, had taken the opportunity of King John’s wars with the barons to make himself heir of all the Peverel lands without due Royal Warrant and so had made himself practically master of the situation. In order, no doubt, to appease the powerful monastic influence of the day he had confirmed Peverel’s grant to the Priory of Lenton, 2 which action led directly to the long quarrels

1 Parish Life in Medieval England, PP.99, 100.

2 William Peverel, son of Peverel of the Peak, founded a Premonstratentian Priory at Lenton, near Nottingham, and, according to Dugdale, gave to it two thirds of the tithes of the pastures pertaining to his Lordships in the Peak the whole tithe of colts and fillies wherever he had a stable (haracium) in the Peak and the whole tithes of lead and hunting.

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between the Priory and the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, the possessors of the advowson of Hope, as to the tithes of the Peak District, and incidentally to the equally long struggle between the Dean and Chapter and the inhabitants of Chapel as to the right of presentation to the living. We are here more interested in the civil question of the foundation of the Church than in the ecclesiastical squabbles. The ownership of the advowson came in question as early as 1241, when at pleas held at Derby the Prior of Lenton and the Dean and Chapter were called on to show cause why the King should not present to Chapel when vacant, which suggests that the fact of its being a parish was admitted within fifteen years of the building of

the church. The Prior claimed two parts of the great tithes pertaining to the Chapel and all the small tithes under Peverel’s grant and the Chapter claimed a part of the tithes as possessing the Mother Church of Hope. On the other side Adam de Eston, the King’s advocate, contended that William Ferrers had thrust himself into the position of heir to William Peverel when war was raging between the late king and his barons-that no royal warrant had been obtained either by William Ferrers or the Dean and Chapter in connection with the new chapel and that the lands on which it was situated were waste and uncultivated at the time William Peverel made his grant to Lenton. The record of these proceedings is unfortunately incomplete, but it was decided that if either party could produce any charter or confirmation from the King, it should not be set aside.1

We know, however, that eventually the Priory of Lenton

1 Churches, ii. p. 140. Abbrev. Placet, 25, Hen. III, Rot. 25.

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and their successors the Cavendish Family took two thirds of the Great Tithes, and of the tithe of lambs and wool: that the Dean and Chapter had one third of the lamb and wool tithes and the Incumbent took one third of the Great Tithes and the small tithes except lamb and wool and the customary Easter offerings.

That the Dean and Chapter persisted in their claim is shown on several occasions, as for instance in 1350. when Queen Phillipa nominated one. Thomas del Clough, into the Chaplaincy or Chapel-en-le Frith “annexed to the Church or Hope” the Lichfield Chapter issued a commission to their official Dom. Peter Scarleston. Canon of Lichfield, to repel the intruder (jeayes, p. 80). The Queen at that time had more than a hundred horses and mares in Campana to the great damage of the forest and, by what-ever right she claimed to nominate the chaplain or Chapel-en-le-Frith, she seems to have succeeded, for in 1362, Thomas del Clough “Clico” was witness to a deed relating to Land in Hordrons. Again, about 1575, on a vacancy, a nominee of the Chapter and the Countess of Shrewsbury was repelled by the parishioners. Another explanation of interferences by the Dean and Chapter may lie in the “peculiar jurisdiction” they had by prescription with regard to several Derbyshire churches, including Hope and Chapel, under which jurisdiction they had the power to make institutions and inductions without the confirmation and approval of the Bishop of the Diocese.

Let us now consider some arguments in favour of an intention to found the Capital of the Peak. Granted that the growing population of the country bordering the Goyt Valley required

Page 29


church, there would no doubt be, as there generally is in like case today much discussion as to its situation and a decision would not be taken lightly. From the extant records1 we know that in the portion Of the Champion Ward of the Forest now comprising the Ancient Parish there were, as the men of 1317 say, many hamlets. In a roll in 1251 concerning one of the interminable disputes about the Tithes the Priory of Lenton say there is the hamlet (villula) del Frith, which they still claim to be in the Parish of Hope, and certain other hamlets adjacent thereto, namely, Ford, Malcave, Whitlage, Bradshaw, Lightbirches, Tunstead, Combs, Greater Horderne, Bagshaw, Little Blackbrook, Whitehills, Lesser Horderne. Brede (? modern Broadlee), Ollerenshaw, Thorneylee, Heylee, and Alstonlee, which are called Forest lands. It is added that these land, were never cultivated in William Peverel’s time, which is evidence of the increase of population during the preceding century.

Glossop, which included part of Longdendale, had a church already from which Chinley and Brownside were almost as far as from Hope. Hayfield had no church, but there may have been a chapel, traditionally spoken of as at Kinders.2 The value of Chapel Church to the surrounding district is evinced by the fact that, although Chinley, Bugsworth and Brownside remained until recent times in the Civil and ecclesiastical parish of Glossop, the inhabitants generally

1 See D.A.J.,vol. v.

2 In a survey of all the freehold and copyhold land within Bowden, Middlecale made by Thomas Hibbert and Samuel Barton in 1639, the hamlets therein, included Bugsworth and Brownside, Kinder Phoside and Great Hamlet and Beard, Ollersett, Whitle and Thornsett. Chinley is not mentioned, but that May be by reason of the Grant by James 1 to Badby and Weldon.

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treated Chapel as their Parish Church and not a few have actually had burying-places not only in the churchyard but in the church itself and, until toward the end of the seventeenth century, many baptisms and some marriages and burials came from Peak Forest. The choice of the site could not have been made haphazard. It perhaps does not matter much today whether the foresters themselves, with or with out the consent of William de Ferrers with a vision that did them credit, saw the necessity for providing for a centre of trade and government, but assuming the chapel were built without the authority of the Crown someone early in the succeeding reign must have grappled the importance of the question. Even in the troubled days of King John the substitution of the chapel for that at the King’s Camera, if Dr. Cox’s statement is correct, although approved by the Bishop could not have been lightly contemplated and this supports the argument that the removal of the seat of government to the place which was to be the Capital of the Peak was deliberate. The claim of the Crown to the Advowson in 1241 was, clearly, either waived in favour of the inhabitants or the Crown acquiesced in the arrangement made by Bishop Stavenby.

The founding of the Chapel in the Frith or Forest, and some of the issues arising from that founding, are dealt with at length because the story leads up to an important and intriguing question, namely: was a very small area adjacent the church designated a Borough with special privileges accorded to a specified number of Burghers occupying certain houses in that area, and, if so, why? A possible answer

Page 31


is now forthcoming. It is perhaps not generally recognised that in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries the foundation of new towns was being carried out in England, as well as on the continent of Europe, on political and economic lines on quite a large scale. At the very time of the erection of Chapel Church the new city of Salisbury was being laid out under Bishop Poore, and three altars in its cathedral were dedicated in 1225 and Liverpool had just been founded, but not on scientific lines, by King John. Later, in 1281, Edward I laid out the town of New Winchelsea and ordered his Commissioners to assess certain “ burgages,” or building sites, and let them for buildings at fixed rents. Jacob’s Law Dictionary defines a burgage as “an ancient tenure proper to Boroughs whereby the inhabitants by custom held their lands and tenements of the King or other Lord of the Borough at a certain (i.e. fixed) rent. It is a kind of socage tenure and signifies the service whereby the borough is holden. Anciently a dwelling house in a borough town was called a Burgage. Borough is sometimes used for villa insignior—a country town of more than ordinary note not walled.” Very soon after the consecration of the Church various persons were confirmed in burgages.1

In 1743 a suit was instituted by the Attorney-General of the Duchy of Lancaster, at the relation of Sir Peter Davenport, Knight, against Mrs. Susanna Archer (the widow of William Eyre of Highlow. Esq., who took the name of Archer in or about 1707 and died in 1739) and others affecting the payment of Heriots in the High Peak.

1 See p.93.

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This question does not arise here and very meagre references to these proceedings can be found at the P.R.O. But light is thrown on the “Borough of Chapel” in a document in the possession of Mr. Gisborne Bagshawe. This is a copy of a statement of one Thomas Kirk, which appears to have been taken on behalf of Mrs. Archer. Kirk says he is 64 years of age, was born and lived in Chapel all his life; he knows the particulars and extent of the Borough or free part of the said town, having walked the boundaries for forty years; the estates on the borough side are reputed to be Borough land: pay small rents which are called Borough or free rents: the occupiers of all the estates which pay those rents are free from tolls of fairs and markets in the said town

and may fix up standings in any part of the Borough side without paying anything: are exempt from serving any office except Thirdborough which they take by turns or house row,1 and are exempt from heriot service: it being never known that any heriots were paid for these estates. But no estate within the said town except such as pay Borough or free rent are entitled to those privileges and exemptions: the extent of the said Borough or free side of the town extends from Murfin Croft, wherein the Schoolhouse now stands, 2

1 Jacob says “The Headborough” (or Thirdborough) “ was head of the frankpledge in borough and had a principal government with his own plegde” He was, in a Jacob’s day, “a kind of Constable.” “House row” was a term in common use, particularly in the northern counties for the system by which the inhabitants were selected to serve in regular rotation, the various offices such as churchwarden, constable, etc. As is shown in the parish book this system was in vogue in each of the three Edges though in many cases the person chosen was allowed to “hire” a substitute to act for him.
2 See p. 57.

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and so down to and including Sich Croft, which was late Thomas Mellor’s and is now Robert Needham’s, taking the whole of the street up to the side of the range of houses on the upper side of the Town to the Churchyard Style. But the said range of houses on the upper side of the Town are not in the Borough but in the parish at large. At fair times the Burgesses and occupiers of the Borough estates have claimed the sole right of setting up standings in the street and have had all the benefit arising there from saving the customary Tolls, which have been enjoyed by the lessees of the Crown, and that the profits arising from the said standings have been constantly paid amongst the Burgesses or occupiers of the said Borough estates once a year on every Friday after Holy Thursday rateably according to the Borough rent which each estate pays: he the better knows this because he has been the person employed in setting the standings for above forty years and his father before him had the same employ, and he and his father constantly received and accounted to the Burghers for such profits at the time aforesaid, and after deducting the expenses attending the said employ and their own wages, paid the surplus rateably as aforesaid amongst the said Burghers. He knows the estate belonging to Mrs. Archer, now in the possession of. Robert Kirk, consisting of the ruins of a house, part of which is now converted into a cowhouse and an old barn which adjoins to the Royal Oak, which was formerly in possession of William Cooper; there is no land lying to the said buildings but a backside and a garden stead. About forty yards distance and in the middle of the Town there is another piece of building belonging to

Page 34


this estate, which has been formerly an hemp shop in possession of Joseph Thornhill and now a blacksmith’s shop possessed by Anthony Jackson, has been constantly called the Dole Booth l but no land at all belongs to this building: the land belonging to this estate (i.e., Mrs. Archer’ s) in possession of Robert Kirk consists of the Murfin Croft, the Well Meadow, Townhead Pool Croft. All the buildings and land before mentioned are reputed to be Borough or free and are within the limits before mentioned and pay Borough rent: as he remembers 1d. is paid for Murphin (sic) croft, but how much for the rest knows not: the said Kirk pays the free rent and has the advantage in proportion thereto before mentioned: knows not what chief rent is paid to the Crown for these estates: this all lies in Bradshaw Edge.

Kirk goes on to say he knows the Thorne Farm in possession of John Hall, which consists of a farmhouse and buildings and garden and fields called Three Over Horderns, Lower Horderns, Widow Door, Moor Meadow, Wharm brooke Croft, Three Nooked, Long Croft, The Park, the Round Meadow and the next meadow. The house and part of the land lies in Bradshaw Edge and the rest in Bowden Edge, and have been very anciently one entire farm: the same is reputed to be free or Borough Tenure and to lie within the

1 In another document relating to these proceedings this is, probably correctly, called “The Toll Booth”, which is particularly interesting. In the Duchy Accounts for 1405 there is an item of 2d. for a new key to the Toll booth at Chapel. cf. Wycliffs bible “a man sitting at a tolbothe matheu by name”. A.V. “at the receipt of custom”. Matt. ix, 9. From Kirk’s description this old building might well have been close to the entry of the old (Terrace) Road on to the Market Place. In the same year is an entry of 2s per annum as a “new rent of one shop infa le Tollebooth” in Chapel, and in 1506 John Gilbert paid 4d., a new rent for a parcel of land in Chapel “juxta le Tolboth”.

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bounds and extent before mentioned and for which a free or Borough Rent of 1s. 1d. is paid by the said John Hall, but knows not what chief rent is paid to the Crown.

He then refers to a close then held with the Thorn Farm called Bitchenhey, which appears to have been subsequently incorporated into the present Cricket Ground or the “Longfield”. Kirk says the Birchenhey was, before it was acquired by the Archer’s predecessor Mr. Eyre, part of the property at Eves which had been owned by the Cresswells for many generations, which property had never been within the Borough or entitled to any Borough privileges, but that the lands of Mr. Walker, called Longlands, and the Harbutchers, belonging to Mr. Bradshaw, are within the Borough. He then mentions what appears to be Anchor Farm, now built on, which then belonged to Mrs. Archer, and was occupied by Lawrence Pott (described in another document as a slater), also a field called the Half Acre which was booty (?), or in common between Mr. Eyre and Thomas Mellor. These lay on different sides of Ashborne Lane. The Sitch Croft was free and paid 1d. rent, but the rest of Pott’s farm was not free and paid no rent. He adds that there are several other estates which lie in the same range of lands as the Borough land does and refers to a map to explain this. This map cannot now be traced and so much that would be of great interest is lost to us.

The following, however, which might also have told us a great deal more, throws some light on the confines of the original Borough (the numbers being inserted for reference to the notes):


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“Copy of the Rentall of ffree or Borough Rents (vizt)

in 1702-


1. Thomas Meller for Sich Croft 1

2. Wm. Bagshaw 1

3. Jno Taylor for Mr Degs croft 1

4. George Thornhill 1


5. Wm. Eyre Esq. ford hous 1 1

6. Ramscar &J no Hadfield 1

7. John Shirt 2

8. Nich Cresswell for Joseph

Thornhill’s old house 4

9. Wm. Eyre Esq. for Cooper house 4

10. Wm. Cooper & Joseph Thornhill 4

11. Wm. Lomas p Mr. Bagshaw 4

12. Mr. German Buxton 3¼

13. John Walker 3¼

14. Cromwell Croft 1

I5. Henry Bradshaw Esq. for

Townhead & Harbutchers 1 0

16. Joseph Thornhill’s shop (now in

possession of Anthy Jackson 1

17. Ralph Kirk’s house & Yelletts 6

18. Robt. Bagshaw, R. Wainwright 5

19. Mr. Thos. Brown 5

20. Mr. Jno. Carrington 1½

21. Do for Topping House 2

22. Anthy Cooper for Mr. Degg 3

23. John Lingard 6

24. ffrancis Mosley 2

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25. Geo. Alleyn 2

26. Robt Bmdley house 1½

27. Richd Dronfield . 5 .

Tot 7 11½

This rent stands thus charged in the Crown Rental (vizt)


Free or Borough Rent 7s. 6d.

N.B.: The above Rentall amounts to 7s 11 ½d But 4d is pd for an acquittance & ye collector has constantly taken ye odd 1d for himself so ye 7s 6d is all that is answd to ye Crown And this rent is over & besides ye other Crown Rents wh ye same Estates pay.”

The following is an attempt to show where these burgages originally stood and so get some idea of the early town. It must be understood that this is put forward as being in many cases no more than founded on conjecture, but it is made after careful study of documents, etc., contemporary with this list and Kirk’ s statement and the Parish Book. As to the latter it is noticeable that from 1700 the names of the Head boroughs follow closely those of the above list, and from 1750 onwards the list in the P.B. is headed “Houses situated In the Borough of the Town of Chapel-en-le-Frith.” At the back of Nos. 5 to 9 are old houses and outbuildings which may have been the sites of the original burgages before the lane, now Market Street: was turnpiked. If, as seems likely, Nos. 5 to 11 are correct as in some sequence, there must have

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been something like a row of houses here and the crude Elizabethan map1 may, therefore, be a more or less accurate representation of the town as it was and not merely a draughtsman’s fancy sketch as has been thought.

1. Sitch was on the west side of Ashbourne Lane.

2. In a settlement made by the Rev. Wm. Bagshawe in 1679 is included “All that burgage or dwellinghouse in Chapel-en-le-Frith occupied by John Lomas.” Writing in 1912 Mr. Greaves Bagshawe said “I have always understood that the house, etc., were the Pack Horse” and the adjoining ground now built upon between the two roads “ i.e. main road and Hayfield Road East.

3. Aspin Croft, belonging to Bowden Hall estate, was on the. west side of Hayfield Road. Site of Seville Terrace and land at back

4. ? Warmbrook House.

5. The Thorn Inn and land.

6. Ramscar House-now Mr. Beard’s shop. The Ramscar family appear in the Parish Registers between 1640 and 1718.

7. On the west side of 6. In 1774 conveyed by John Wagstaff, formerly of Glossop, to Philip Chandley. P.B. “1761 Wagstaff. 1779 Philip Chandley (late Wagstaff).”

8. and/or 9. Probably Mr. John Sidebotham’s premises, some of which belonged to Nicholas Cresswell and

1 P.R.O., Duchy of Lancaster, maps and plans, No.37.

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Philip Chandley and afterwards to John Bennett, surgeon. A spout bears the inscription J. B. M. 1769.

9. and/ or 10. May have been the site of the premises burned down in 1711 and later the “Hat and Feathers “(Messrs. Hancocks and the adjoining house). P.B. 1777 “sign of the Hatt” entered before the Royal Oak.

11. ? The Royal Oak, the property of Mr. Bagshawe, of The Ridge.

12. Mr. Buxton then held land at Horderns, near the present Horderns Road.

13. Uncertain. One part appears to have been the Longfield, behind the Institute, and other part may have adjoined No. 12.

14. Cromwell House and garden.

15. Kings Arms and Cricket Ground, part of Park and land adjoining. Owner Henry Bradshaw of Marple Hall, Esquire.

16. According to Kirk this would be forty yards from the Royal Oak and in the middle of the town and therefore would be close to 17 and the Market Place and convenient for taking toll from those entering the Market by the Town Gate. So it may very well be the site of the Toll Booth standing in 1405.

17. In 1711 Ralph Kirk and others owned “a messuage Burrow or cottage near unto the Cross in the town gate of Chapel,” which was the site of or immediately adjoining, Stanley House. Yellotts is not identified.

18. and 19. Not identified. The Brownes had a house on the top of the Market Place, but according to Kirk this

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Would not be a burgage. P.B. 1752. Brown’s follows Bulls Head.

20. Bulls Head.

21. Topping House in Terrace Road.

22. ? Danes Yard (Dreggs).

23. Suggest this is site of Burbage House. In the eighteenth century this belonged to Lingards, of Chinley. In 1759 John Lingard sold to Dr. Green “a burgage . . . croft or yard called the Dockyard or Wool croft . . . and a little house being part of that burgage or tenement which was heretofore inheritance of Rowland Eyre, Esq., of Hassop.”

24. and 25. Not identified.

26. Appears to be the house once known as Bradley House at the rear of the Bull’s Head. (See Marchington’s Charity.)

27. In the eighteenth century Richard Dronfield owned a house near Smithy Bridge on the Bradshaw Edge side of the brook.

The suggestion, therefore, is that the owners or occupiers of the twenty-seven tenements or burgages enumerated in the list were the representatives of the first dwellers round the church, who were “settled” there by authority with special privileges. It may be only a coincidence, but it is very suggestive that when the parishioners about 1620 set up a committee to

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protect their right of presentation to the Living they should select twenty-seven (see chapter iv). Could it be that they had some knowledge or tradition, now lost, that the twenty-seven “Burghers” were the original parishioners to whom were granted the right of presentation? Further there are the records which show that in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries Swainmote Courts were held for Longdendale at Chapel and that subsequently Great Courts of Attachment as well as the smaller Courts or Swainmotes were held at Chapel alternately with Tideswell.1 These courts were held for centuries, the Court Leet being continued, although for a long time the main business was a dinner provided by the Lord of the Manor, until the death of “Old Henry Hill in’t Forest” in 1904. On the substitution of the modern County Courts for the local courts the head quarters were at Chapel until 1879; the Justices of the Peace held their courts at the Royal Oak from a very early period and still sit at Chapel in Petty Sessions assembled; it has been the centre of local government by Guardians and District Council since those bodies were inaugurated; for many years it has been the accustomed place for the declaration of the Poll for the Parliamentary division in which it is situated and for centuries great fairs were held here as were the markets which continue to this day. All its history, therefore, confirms the contention that whether or no the town was founded with the express intent that it should become the Capital of

1 V.H., i. p. 399.

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the Peak the old town has for more than seven centuries worthily upheld its claim to the title.

Reference may here be made to some pieces of “waste” which the burgesses appear to have claimed. They granted such on long lease or freehold at a small rent “to be paid the said Burgesses of the Borough of Chapel-en-le-Frith or to their Steward or agent upon the Morrow of Ascension or Day after Chapel Holy Thursday Fair Day”. The rent day, it will be noticed, was the same as that on which Kirk says he divided the money he collected. One document dated in 1763 is expressed to be made between “the Burgesses of Burrough of Chappell in le frith whose hands and seals are hereunto putt” of the one part and it bears eleven signatures and seals.

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THE Church, the hub of medieval county life, here on a slight eminence commanding the old town, with the “ Danes Yard” on its south side, seems an excellent starting point for a survey of the ancient “Borough”. It can be well understood that in a place of the importance of Chapel as a road centre no less than as the Capital of the Peak there was real need for plenty of accommodation for man and beast. The number of inns—particularly in and about the Market Place is therefore not surprising and as many of them have vanished, we shall endeavour to recall them. Inns, taverns and alehouses have been under some kind of Parliamentary supervision since 1285 (13 Edward I, chap. iii) and the excise system was introduced in the time of Charles I. Several common brewers are mentioned in the Court Rolls for 1442, but the earliest record of the inns in Chapel is in 1577 when it was reported to the Privy Council that among the 239 alehouses in the county— “whereof many are very poore” there were eight at Chapel kept by Edwarde Moore, Edmund Newall, Edwarde Arnfield, John Cooke, George Hunter, Edward Meller, William Swyndell and Nicholas Kirke.1

At the Church gates, where in practically every town we expect to find a “Church Inn,” stands the Bull’s Head. The house itself shows on the Church Brow side signs of considerable

1 Domestic State Papers; Elizabeth, vol. 118. No. 25.

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antiquity and there is little doubt that it was an inn or at any rate a lodging place for travellers as far back as the reign of Charles I. In a deed dated 6 September, 1631, Katherine Yeaveley conveyed to Dorothie Suite, Mercer, and Nicholas Smith some “housing called the New Shoppe and a parlour which belongeth to a house called the Kirke Steele”.

“Steele” is no doubt a corruption of “stile”, an ancient name for a road or way, and it is suggested that this is the old name for the present Church Brow. There is still preserved in the house an ancient box-like pipe rack. It is attached to the wall so that two long pipes can be inserted on the staples fitted for the purpose between the wall and wooden cover in front which is inscribed “N.S. 1675”. This may at one time have been hinged. A friend has suggested that this was provided for the two churchwardens, which seems not at all unlikely when we remember that Nicholas Smith was himself a warden in 1658. He was living in 1674 when he made a settlement of, amongst other properties, a messuage at the Church steele in Chapel and the probability is that the initials are his. That his house, whatever its nature, was frequented by visitors is shown by three entries in the Parish Register of burials in 1633, 1648 and 1657 of persons non-resident, who died there: that in 1648 of Timothy Hulme, of Manchester, “interfectus in

Aedae Nicholas Smith” (killed, or slain, in the house of Nicholas Smith). Nicholas was an important man in his day buying and selling property and holding at one time or another various parish offices. His daughter, Mary, was, at the time of her marriage in 1667 James Carrington, of

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Bugsworth Hall, possessed in her own right of land at Roeside and “a little close and dwellinghouse” at Bagshaw, and her father also gave her a marriage portion of £206. Nicholas Smith is the only tradesman in Chapel known to have issued a “token”. This is figured in The Reliquary, vol. iv. p. 163, showing on the obverse “Nicholas Smith”. within the inner circle an anvil between the date, 1671: reverse “IN Chappell. Frith”. Within the inner circle N his½ S. The anvil appears to be what the heralds call a rebus and not to refer to the business of a blacksmith as is suggested in the same periodical with a surmise that a family of Smiths in Chapel is descended from him, which is unfounded as he left no male issue. Nicholas and Dorothy Suite or Shute at one time owned the farm now known as Gromwell Cottage, and it is interesting to notice that this farm and the Bull’s Head were both owned by the Carringtons until well into the nineteenth century.

A story used to be told of a match made by a daughter of a well-known family resident in Combs in the early part of the nineteenth century that when all other persuasion failed the irate father decided to prevent the marriage by force. He accordingly went early on the wedding day to the Bull’s Head to wait for his headstrong child. The day was warm and, combined with the excellent ale which the old gentleman no doubt felt bound to consume for the good of the house, induced a deep slumber from which he was only awakened by the entry of the newly-married couple on their return from the church. Unfortunately we are unable to say whether the sequel was happy or otherwise.

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Mr Philip Marchington, who died in 1908 at the age of 93, to whom I am indebted for not a few old-time reminiscences, told how when a youth he walked down from Plumpton with his grandfather, Mr.Potts, then 90 years of age, when the latter voted at the election of Vicar (the Rev. Geo. Hall), which was held in the chancel of the church on 21st December, 1836. When Mr. Potts had voted they turned into the Bull’s head, where “ there was much eating and drinking and some fighting”.

The Bull’s Head, however, was not patronised officially in those days, for according to the churchwardens’ accounts for the eighteenth century they dealt exclusively with the King’s Arms or the Royal Oak.

It is said, but no corroboration has been found, that there was another inn immediately opposite the Bull’s Head. The building was once described as a kind Of Market house from the Church gates: a covered place, and people put stalls under it. This was once thought to be the old Market house, but later knowledge disproves this. What was here on each side of Church Gennell was probably one or more of the old style of open-fronted shops, closed at night with falling shutters. One here, or close by, is described in 1716 as “ the little shop in the town street”.

On the same side of the street as the Bull’s Head, and practically adjoining, were the Ring o’ Bells and the Black Greyhound (1753, Greyhound. John Cooper), 1 the former closed long ago, the latter recently. Black Greyhound is a

1 Where a date and name occurs on this and following pages it refers to the first reference to the particular inn and its occupier found in the Parish Book.

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curious name: one would like to think it commemorated the famous Black Dog Collyng.1 This house or its site nearly became the Town Hall, for in the Parish Book is a resolution passed at a meeting of “the undersigned gentlemen inhabitants of the parish held by order of the Magistrates” on Sunday, 9th January, 1825, with the Vicar, Mr. Grundy, in the chair, to consider “the propriety of providing a safe and proper Place of Security commonly called a Lock Up House for this Parish: it was unanimously resolved that such a building should be erected and the most eligible situation appears to be at or near the sun dial in the Market Place.” This is the only time we hear anything about this sun dial. The resolution does not necessarily show that the Greyhound was then in the mind of the meeting. Could this be the sun dial now in the Churchyard near the south door. At the close of 1827 it was decided to purchase “certain premises in the centre of this town for the purpose of converting the same into a Sunday School a lock up and their conveniences necessary for the parish use,” for which the Black Greyhound public house was considered suitable. There was some correspondence with the owner, Mr. John Pickford, Junr., of Chapel House, Congleton, but the matter then dropped. The last resolution in 1828, signed by Mr. Grundy as chairman, rather lightheartedly says, “the purchase money shall be provided from the following Funds, Namely—” Here follows a blank space which has never been filled. At this time the repewing of the church was occupying the attention of “the gentlemen inhabitants and others”, and this project

1 See p, 93.

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must have overshadowed the rather odd mixture of objects for which the purchase of the Black Greyhound was contemplated.

Opposite to the Black Greyhound is the house for many years belonging to the Shepley family and now occupied by Messrs. Shepley, Painters: in the possession of this family and long kept in this house is a “Yule loaf”, attached to which is the following note signed by Peter Bramwell, of The Park, who died in 1886, “Constance Oliver Bread Baker Brought this girl Sally Shepley this little yule loaf on New Years Day 1777 as she was Poorley she played with it as long as she lived and was the daughter of Thomas and Mary Shepley her parents kept it during their life then left it to their daughter Bessie sister to Sally for her to take care of then she left it her niece Martha Shepley my wife and it has been in my possession for forty-seven years.” Carew Hazlitt (Faiths and Folklore) says Yule loaf or Yule Dough was a kind of baby or little image of paste which bakers used formerly to bake at Christmas and present to their Customers. He suggests it was intended as an image of the Infant Christ. At the back of this and the adjoining property is Steel Square, so named after Peter Steel, who seems to have been a man of some estate, a good deal, at least, of which he derived from his marriage to Mary the only child of John Frith, of Bagshaw, the great-uncle of Squire Frith. She must have been an attractive young lady, and amongst her admirers numbered Mr. (afterwards Colonel) Samuel Bagshawe. An old house here bears the inscription R 1690 M, evidently the initials of Robert Middleton, the scribe of the Parish Book

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and the intimate friend of Dr. Clegg, and Mary, his wife. The house faces the west and once looked out over pleasant fields and gardens, where now stand Pickford Place and a collection of stables, etc. Robert’s grandson married Elizabeth Clegg and a few years later part of the Middleton property was sold to Mr.Steel. In 1812, Henrietta Middleton, a granddaughter of this marriage, was “an inmate in the family of Wm. Wilberforce Esq. M.P.” the great advocate of the abolition of slavery, and it seems that it was through this lady that Clegg’s Diary was preserved.

On the west side of Messrs. Shepley’s premises was the “Bishop Blaise”. This Bishop was the Patron saint of workers in wool and the sign is said to be not uncommon in the woollen manufacturing districts. As there were many framework knitters in this neighbourhood at one time this sign may have been adopted as an attraction to them.

The Market Place is entered at the south-east corner by a narrow way now called Terrace Road, but known to some of our ancestors by a less salubrious name. It is clearly part of the old track coming down from Mam Tor and crossing the Market Place to continue along Eccles Road. Hence the Market Place was once known as Town Gate. On this corner stand the old stocks, refitted some years ago with a wooden seat and leg holes. A little way down Terrace Road, behind Messrs. Hyde’s shop, is an old building still showing signs of its former importance, called Topping House. It is mentioned by this name in the Settlement made by Nicholas Smith in 1674, already spoken of and later belonged to the Braddock family, one of whom is said to have had a day

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school and also to have held a Sunday school there early in the nineteenth century. At some time prior to the middle of the eighteenth century, Topping House appears to have had a garden “on the waste” between Terrace Road and Market Street. The premises occupied by the Hydes and their successor, Mr. Marshall, as a butcher’s shop for some 150 years is called Stanley House: why is not known. There may be some connection between it and an ancient enclosure called Stanley Sitch, at Windy Walls. There is no evidence that Stanley House was, at any rate during the last two hundred years, an inn by the sign of the Angel as has been stated. It once belonged to the Cresswells. Not far from the stocks is the old market cross: this is, undoubtedly, ancient, but its origin is uncertain. There were some years ago some marks on one face which were read, with great diffidence, as 1636 and also certain lines which might have been inscribed but which are probably caused by weathering. When Market Street was widened in 1936 is was found that the cross stands on five steps. The fourth step is on the present ground level and the fith was buried and remains covered. The cross rests on the original shale formation and the excavation shows that the present level has not been “made” as the shale is still in situ. It is said that the Market Place was once grassed and sloped down to the other side of the street. If so, part must have been cut away when the street was made.

Between the stocks and the cross was the Bull Ring. This, according to tradition, was removed many years ago and placed behind the Swall Inn, but all trace of it was lost until it was discovered during some building operations in the

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summer of 1938. It is a heavy square stone with an iron ring let in.

Near the cross is the Memorial to the 599 men from the parish who served in the Great War 1914—18, including 78 who gave their lives for their country.

In the middle of the north side of the Market Place is The Roebuck, in its day known as the New Hall (1725 New Hall Anthony Cooper). This house, as an inn, has been known to farmers and others for at least two hundred years: it contains a fine oil painting of Squire Frith, of Bank Hall, and his famous pack. The Hunting Song (see p.176), as dear to Chapel as is “John Peel” at Skalbeck, has been sung beneath this picture with Bacchanalian-if not with almost religious-fervour hundreds of times, and long may it continue to be heard. By the kindness of the present owner we are able to reproduce the picture. On the west side of the Roebuck and between that house and the Swan, the premises now belonging to the Electricity Company, appears to have been the old Market House. Robert Middleton, in the Parish Book, tells us that “the new Hall builded by Mr. Thomas Yuely (yeveley) on the upper side of the Market Place Ann Dom 1600 was puld down by Jno Shallcross of Shallcross Esq and by him rebuilded together with the Markett house and Chambers over att his own charge Ann Dom 1700.” The Swall (1739, George Kirk, Swan tenement) described in an old directory as the “Swan with two necks” and in another as the Black Swall, has only recently been closed as an inn. On the front is a stone inscribed T o1775 B, probably the initials of Thomas Orgill and his wife.

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Late in the sixteenth century a portion of the Courses had been acquired by Thomas Yeaveley, a member of a family then of some importance in the district and landowners in Chapel and Glossop. George Yeaveley was Minister of Chapel in 1571—4 and then became Vicar of Glossop. As Thomas Yeaveley built the new hall there may have been an earlier one here, and there are indications of one or both of these buildings at the back of the Roebuck. The Shallcrosses purchased this property in the latter half of the seventeenth century and within twenty-five years of its rebuilding by Mr John Shallcross the new Hall had become an inn. There has been preserved a print of a series of resolutions passed at “a numerous and respectable meeting of the principal inhabitants” of Chapel in February, 1809; amongst others is the claim that Chapel “ hath immemorably and is at this day beyond all doubt a regular prescriptive Market Town holding a market every Thursday”; that the magistrates be asked to set the Assize of bread; that farmers and others be desired to attend and expose to sale their respective articles between the hours of ten and one o’clock, and that proper steps be taken to prevent any person or persons from buying up butter and other provisions in their own houses or else- where during market hours; that the Old Market House, built in the year 1700, shall be re-opened for the convenience of such persons as shall attend, until a better situation be provided; and that every other accommodation be given to the public. A committee of thirty-nine gentlemen was appointed “for the purpose of carrying the above resolutions into effect with a proper Vigour and Spirit,” and that is all

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we hear of the matter. An old inhabitant spoke of girls standing in front of this spot at wakes time for hire as servants. He said each paid: 1d. and hence it was called “Penny Hill”. We have not been able to find any confirmation of this. Two posts which stood before the site of the Market House, which are preserved as gate posts at a house in Eccles Road are said to have been known as “kissing posts”, which may or may not have some reference to the last-mentioned custom. At the back of the Roebuck and the Market House is a field called the Hall Croft or Wool yard, suggesting that wool was pitched here for sale. Mr. Shallcross also inaugurated the first water supply. When he sold the New Hall to Mr. Bagshawe, of the Ridge, he reserved a right to take water through the land from a spring or fountain in the Great Courses to such other houses in the town of Chapel as the owners thereof should agree with Mr. Shallcross and his successors. Mr. Bagshawe agreed to pay 20s. a year for a supply of water to the New Hall and the undertaking must have been successful for as late as 1858 it was sold for over £150, after which it lapsed or was acquired by the Chapel Waterworks Coy. Ltd., founded in 1865.

On the west side of the Market Place, standing between Eccles Road and High Street, with an open yard and some very old stabling, recently rebuilt, is the King’s Arms. This formerly consisted of two farmhouses known as the Town Head (see p. 125). The Churchwardens accounts show that in 1729 this was an inn then kept by a Mr. Clows, and in 1792 it was also the Post Office. The wardens in the eighteenth century patronised the Town Head and “Mr. Kirk o’

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th’ Oak” more or less alternately for Sacrament wine and for meeting places for business. There is generally an item of “spent” so much, presumably on refreshment for man and horse as they would often ride in. In the eighteenth, and well into the nineteenth century they had a special allowallce, varying from 8d. to 6s., for “expenses on Sacrament days”, of which there were then only as a rule six in the year. Presumably if they stayed till the end of the Service they had not time to get home to dinner. In 1729 wine, as at Chesterfield, cost 2s. a bottle. A quaint objection to the spending at parish and other meetings at this date is found in a copy of a document the original of which has not been traced. Twelve parishioners, “finding themselves aggrieved at the great and extravagant sums of money spent at parish meetings”, agreed among themselves that each signatory “at every such meeting occasion as aforesaid he shall and will if there present spend at the house where such meeting shall be held and appointed the sum of threepence in the same company where the business is to be done before they begin to expend the 5s. allowed in the parish accounts.” The names of those who entered into this self-denying ordinance deserve to be recorded, they were Benjamin Bardsley (vicar), Wmn Bagshaw, Ar Kerke, Tho Mellor, Hen Kerke, Robt. Wood, Joshua Wood, Henry Marchenton, John Walker, Joseph Shirt, John Hall and Jasper Frith.

Opposite the King’s Arms, on the north side of Eccles Road, in old days better known as Back Lane, is White House, which or its site was once owned by the Pickford family, one of whom, Mary, married Peter Booth, whose

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memorial in the Church recording his death in 1844 says he “was for upwards of thirty years a faithfill and diligent medical practitioner in this parish.” He was of the family of John Booth, the founder of Whitehall Mills, owners of sundry properties in the parish.

Like many other local practitioners before and since his time, Dr. Booth had many rough journeys on his visits to his scattered patients. One such is described in the Derby Reporter in January, 1842. On the 14th of that month Dr. Booth was called to a case at Edale. There had been a good deal of snow and the prospect of more. He set out with a lad from Chapel to accompany him and a horse upon which they rode in turn. As they went the snow began to fall heavily and developed into a wild storm. They started on the return journey about five o’clock in the evening, and after about an hour’s toil up the Stake Road they were completely lost in the drifts and darkness. At length they stumbled against a wall and as it seemed impossible to find a way to safety a breach was made and, with the horse, they got on the lee side and took what cover was available for the night. The boy would have slept but the doctor knowing the danger of so doing kept him awake and they warmed themselves as well as they could by walking about under the meagre protection of the wall. They remained in this condition till day dawned with snow still falling heavily and a thick fog. About eight o’ clock they heard the bark of a dog and, shouting loudly, they attracted the attention of a shepherd who soon put them on the way to Chapel.

Passing the County Constabulary premises, erected on part

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of a croft once belonging to the Town Head, we came to the Old Parsonage. Before 1720 the Vicar seems to have had no official residence. Caleb Cooke, Mr. Byron’s immediate predecessor, lived in an old house in Church Gennell adjoining the Churchyard. After his death a committee was formed to provide a Vicarage for, as the deed of conveyance states, “The Rev. Master John Byron and his predecessors have been and the said Master Byron now is destitute of a house for him and his family to reside in and the said Master Byron and his predecessors have been forced to take a house in Chappellenlefrith at a considerable yearly value considering the smallness of the income belonging to the parish church. Therefore in order to unload and ease the said Master Byron and his successors from the said charge of taking a house for the future a considerable number of gentlemen freeholders and other well-disposed and charitable persons have subscribed in money and materials towards the erecting of a house.” Accordingly, a plot of land adjoining at the east end of a croft or pingle of one Peter Coates (which suggests that the new house would then be “in the open country”) was purchased from Thomas Shuttleworth, of Hill Top, Glossop. The first trustees were Arnold Kyrk, of Martinside, Ralph Gee, Lydgate, German Buxton, Eccles, Gent” John Carrington, Bugsworth, Gent., Jasper Frith, Bank Hall, John Frith, Bagshaw Thomas Kyrk, Spirehollin, John Gaskell, Adlington and Samuel Kirk, Whitehough. With the exception of Messrs. Buxton and Carrington all are described as Yeomen. The house built on this plot, now called the Old Parsonage, with a plot on the east side, once part of the King’s Arms

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Croft, added to the garden by the Rev. George Hall, was occupied as the Vicarage until 1849, when Mr. Henry Marwood Greaves and his wife (née Bagshawe, of Ford Hall) gave the site of the present Vicarage and garden: the old Parsonage being sold and the proceeds of sale, with donations and grant from Queen Anne’s Bounty, being expended on the present Vicarage. £1 per annum is paid by the owner of the Old Parsonage to the Vicar, representing interest on £20 given to the original building ‘fund by the trustees of Gaskell’s, Charity (1718). Until towards the end of the eighteenth century the land between the Old Parsonage and School Croft seem to have been used as gardens; the cottage property later built there is now replaced by Cross Street and modern shops. An old house, now demolished, next to the Old Parsonage is said to have been the old Angel Inn.

The most westerly burgage in the Borough was Murfin Croft, which is dealt with in the chapter on the Schools. At the Archer sale the house, presumably the present Cromwell House, is described as “School house garden and yard” in the occupation of Robert Barlowe. This seems to have been a flourishing boarding school for boys. Mr. John Sidebotham has very kindly lent us from his collection of local curiosities the programme of “Original Exercises” given in the Theatre, Buxton, On 23rd December, 1803, by the pupils at the breaking up of the Rev. R. Barlow’s school, Chapel-en- le-Frith. The first part is miscellaneous, written by Masters or Pupils. Part II is “Alfred”, an historical drama in two acts, written by Mr. Marriot, formerly Classical Teacher at the School, and Part III is “The Emigrant. A drama in

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three acts, written for the occasion in French and English, by the Chevalier de la R., French Teacher at the School.” It has been suggested, on what authority I know not, that the Reverend Principal is the Mr. Barlow of Sandford and Merton! Cromwell House afterwards became a girls, school, kept by a Miss Needham, and later it was a private residence until it is now once again devoted to the young as a Children’s Home under the local Public Assistance Committee.

Passing through School Croft, we come to High Street and turn left. Where Cross Street now is there were fifty years ago some old cottages in one of which lived a cobbler named Harry Gee. In my early days in Chapel I was much intrigued at the spectacle of Harry’s gnome-like face peering over the half-door for his enemies, the boys of the National Schools across the way, for whom he was reputed to have a fearsome weapon of offence and defence. His singing of Squire Frith’s Hunting Song was a feature at many a gathering.

The ground between the Old Parsonage and the School Croft was, in the middle of the eighteenth century, used as gardens, one of which is described as the bowling green. The way into the Memorial Park is still known to some as Bowling Green Lane. On the east side of the Vicarage was the Muslin Shop once belonging to a Mr. Hatfield, a cotton manufacturer of Manchester, and behind these were the Well Meadow and Townhead Pool Croft (see chap. ii). Coming to the south side of the Market Place is the Dog Inn or, as it was some-times called, the Talbot. It is so called in the Directory of 1824 quoted in chapter xi. The foundation of this inn is

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not known, but the sign is a very old and popular one, the Talbot or Hound being the badge of the Earls of Shrewsbury. As we know the great Earl of Elizabethan days was Lieutenant of Derbyshire, and spent much time in this neighbourhood as the custodian of Marv Queen of Scots, at Buxton. A little lower down, on the site of Williams Deacon’s Bank was the Pack Horse or Gray Horse (1729, Wm.Lingard) an old building that lost its licence about twenty-five years ago. Adjoining this is the Royal Oak (1729, Robert Kyrke, Headborough). In a conveyance of 1742 from the representatives of Thomas Bagshaw, of the Ridge,

to John Gisborne this is described as a new-built messuage or burgage in the possession of Robert Kirk. There is a legend that at a period not stated—part of Bradshaw Hall was pulled down and the material used to build the Royal Oak and a similar tale is told about the King’s Arms. If there be any truth in such a story—which is not very credible­­­—it would seem more likely to apply to the King’s Arms, as this once belonged to the Bradshaws of Marple. The evidence as to the orignal Burgages discussed in chapter ii suggests that there was, From the foundation of the Borough, a line of buildings from the Royal Oak to the Thorn Inn inclusive and, therefore, it is fair to assume that a lane ran along the course of Market Street which lower down, in 1663, was at Town End the “highway to Peak Forest”. Some of the old buildings at the Royal Oak have been cleared away for the entrance to Rowton Grange Road and the next house of interest is that now occupied by Mr. John Sidebotham, art dealer.

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Still on the south side of Market Street, now the premises of Messrs. A. F. Hancock Ltd., was the Hat and Feathers (1788, Hatt, John Middleton). This house or the one adjoining is surmised to have been the scene of the fire on the night of 1st January, 1711—2, mentioned in Parish Register and by Dr. Clegg. It was occupied by one William Cooper who, according to Dr. Clegg, “had been too much addicted to swearing and lying and drunkenness and his wife to covetousness and oppression by taking pawns, etc.”, but he adds Cooper had received the Sacrament that day at Church. The Register records that Cooper was supposed to have lost his life in trying to save that of a child, Hannah, the daughter of Thomas Moult, of Tunstead Milton, so nothing became his life so much as the ending of it. There is a note in Parish Register in 1698 that the then churchwardens had agreed with William Cooper, plumber, to pay him 2s. a year for twenty years to keep dry and secure the north and south gutters of the church. Cooper appears to have been an acting warden at the time of his death, for in the P.B. is the entry “these accounts thus ballanced by reason of Wm. Cooper’s death who was hired For Mr. Eccles” (for Lower Owlgreave). The house was sold in March, 1712, by Ann, widow of William Cooper, plumber. It passed in 1783 to John Middleton, of Chapel, who, dying in 1803, devised it by his will, wherein he is described as of Chapel, hatter and innkeeper, to his son, John Middleton, of Rushop, Gentleman, along with the shop and all hatting tools and utensils and all stock of wool and all hats finished and unfinished and all brewing vessels, etc. The sign of the Hat

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and Feathers is an instance of the custom—now practically

obsolete—of advertisement over the shop of the business

carried on within, and the trade itself recalls the day when

the publican brewed his own ale and also when other trades

were practised locally as were many other vanished occupa

tions which added so much to the importance of small market

towns in past days. The licence of the inn continued till it

was extinguished in 1892.

A few doors below the last mentioned premises is Ramscar House, a large building now occupied as an ironmonger’s shop. This appears to take its name from the family of Ramsker, who are mentiohed in the Parish Register as early as 1640 but about whom we have not much information.

Opposite Ramscar House, standing a little back, is a red brick building, now in two, once the home of Mrs. Grace Bennett during the last years of her life and where she died in February, 1803 in her 89th year. Although only connected with Chapel by residence her memory is still cherished by the Chapel Methodists and the congregation of Chinley Chapel and indeed by all the Methodist community. The story of her life and her work with the Wesleys is too well known to need repetition here, and it will be remembered that after many Evangelistic journeys and much work

together John Wesley decided to marry her, but in his absence she somewhat hurriedly married, as her second husband, John Bennett, as is generally said at the instigation of Charles Wesley, although this has been denied. John Bennett was the son of a yeoman of Lee End, Chinley—a rather ne’er do well in his youth, but after his conversion was one of Wesley’s

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leading preachers. After his marriage, however, he gradually broke with John Wesley and died in 1759. His widow, left with several young children, took up her residence at Lee End with her Father-in-law and later came to Chapel. Her eldest son, William, was a minister, and was for a time stationed at the Chapel in the Pavement, Moorfields, London. He married the daughter of an orange merchant of Lincoln’s Inn Fields, who had a fortune of £10,000. His health appears to have been rather poor and he retired for a time from active work and bought Stodhart Lodges, the former home of Dr. Clegg, building the present front of the house. A curious and rare pamphlet written by Mr. Bennett gives an interesting biographical account of his mother and her spiritual experiences, with extracts from her diary. A grandson of Mrs. Bennett’s, William (son of Robert Bennett) Founded a solicitor’ s practice in Chapel in 1820, which is still in existence and his descendants own the house in which he lived, known as Wellclose.

Mrs. Bennett remained active to the last. She was on very friendly terms with the Goodmans and some of her letters are preserved at Eccles House, one written in 1790, describing a visit to her son in London when she was 75 years of age, a serious undertaking in those days. Five years later, in September, 1795, she “ took a walk to Barmoor Clough to see the railway they are making (the Peak Forest Tramway) I thought it would be very dangerous. . . . In returning we met a poor woman without shoes. I spoke to her. She told me she had walked from Manchester that day and was going to Sheffield in quest of her husband. He had

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gone away with the soldiers, I spoke to her about her soul and she was much melted.” Mrs, Grace Bennett is reported to have kept open house for Wesleyanism and its preachers, meetings, classes and bands as well as visiting the sick. Her class assembled at her house in Market Street, where also was held the meetings of a class organised by Mr. Merrill, a pioneer Wesleyan, the ancestor of the Williamsons, formerly of Warmbrook. She also entertained as guests many of the distinguished Methodist divines of her day, amongst others it is said, John Wesley, during his last visit to Chapel in 1786. She was buried close to the main entrance to Chinley Chapel, and her funeral sermon was preached at Town End by the eminent Dr. Jabez Bunting, four times President of the Wesleyan Conference.

The open space at the junction of Terrace Road and Church Brow is described in a deed of 1747 as near the Old Bear Stake. On the east side of Church Brow and facing the Bear Stake is Burbage House. The site of this and the adjoining premises at the back, including the Dock Yard or Wool Croft, which at one time had belonged to the Eyres of Hassop, was in 1662 sold by Andrew Morewood, of Staden, to Charles Lingard, of Chapel Milton, whose family held it for about a century. The present house, with the exception of a short period in the eighteen seventies and eighties, has been the home of medical practitioners for nearly two hundred years, for in 1759 it was purchased from the Lingards by John Green, of Chapel, surgeon, whose descendants were the owners until 1875. It was then for a time occupied as a school by Miss Bargh, who later removed to

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Burrfields—a lady still held in affectionate remembrance by some of her old pupils. When Miss Bargh’s tenancy expired it again became a doctor’s residence and so continues.

Opposite the end of Church Brow, now a corn merchant’s warehouse and a cafe, was the Thorn or Thorn Tree Inn (1719, John Hall de Thorntrees—hired to act as Constable for Combs Edge). The licence was evidently a very old one, and at one time a considerable farm with large yards and outbuildings was attached and in addition there was a carrying trade, for in 1763 it was occupied by John Cooper, Carrier. After the Archer sale in 1802 (when it was described as an inn) the property was bought by James Cooper, whose grandson, Mr. J. C. Hyde, many years ago voluntarily surrendered the licence, he having conscientious objection to owning it. Reynolds says that when he visited Chapel in 1760 there was a stone coffin about six feet long within and with a hole in the middle “at the sign of the Thorn Tree in the town which coffin served for a watering trough being placed under the pump and has the said hole occasionally stopped up with a plug.” Careful search and enquiry by the present owners of the premises proves that no trace of this coffin has existed in living memory. Passing the (former Primitive) Methodist Chapel we reach the Town Hall.

In 1850 Dr. John Slacke, J.P., of Bowden Hall, erected at his own expense a building, then known as “ The New Sessions House” and later as the Town Hall. Prior to that time the local Justices had for many years held their courts at the Royal Oak Inn. Dr. Slacke and his brother, Dr. Thomas Slacke, who succeeded him, allowed the Hall to be used for

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the benefit of the public and the latter, who died in 1878,

in order to avoid the then law of Mortmain, devised the Hall

to his trustees leaving separate instructions as to his wishes.

These were duly carried out by a trust deed in 1883, whereby

in order to perpetuate a memorial to Dr. Slacke in connection

with several schools in which he took a special interest,

trustees were appointed to represent Bowden Head School and

the Sunday Schools attached to the Parish Church and

Chinley Chapel, with power to let and manage the Town

Hall and pay the bet income up to £10 per annum to the

trustees of Bowden Head School and to divide the balance

(if any) between the two Sunday Schools. This trust was

carried on until 1927 when the trustees were faced with heavy

repairs which they were unable to meet. A scheme was made

possible by the munificence of Mrs. Spencer, J.P., of Frith

Knoll, whereby a sum sufficient to produce £10 per annum

(in addition to the proceeds of the Bowden Head School,

sold under the same scheme) was assured to the United

Charities and the sum of £206 War Stock was vested in

each of the respective Sunday Schools.
The Town Hall is now vested in the Parish Council, whose offices are there together with a branch of the County Library and accommodation for public and private functions. Opposite the Town Hall is a building once used as the Parish Hearse House. Up to almost the close of the last century it was customary in this and other neighbouring parishes for the parish authorities to provide a plain and simple vehicle which could be hired for a small fee the hirer providing the horse. The custom of using this hearse appears to have now died out.

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Below the Town Hall and the Institute erected in 1891, now known as the “Memorial Institute”, we come to Park Road, once known as Blind Lane. About a hundred years ago a law suit arose and from some surviving papers we get a picture of what this corner of the town was like then and for many years before. At the time of the Archer sale in 1802, “and perhaps for many hundred years before”, there had been a road or way known as Blind Lane going to the Thorn estate, the nearer Eaves and elsewhere: Mr. Kirke, of the Eaves, bought a part of the Thorn land and improved the road: on the east side of the lane was Guy Croft (the site of the old brewery and the Sale yard and houses in front) about half an acre in extent which “ time out of mind had been used by the lads of the village for Football and trip”, and through the croft ran a footpath to Buxton and all the intermediate district: Mr. Kirke, of the Eaves, had, with the consent of the Gisbornes, who then owned Guy Croft, stubbed up the fence between the croft and the lane which only consisted of “here and there a stumping thorn on which the neighbours used to hang their clothes.” One witness, however, perhaps went courting there for he rather sentimentally remembered the lane being so overhung with hawthorn that it was difficult to pass: there was some reason for the owner of the Eaves opening up this road for previously the way was “either up Ashbourne Lane or by the Hollin Knowle”. So said Dr. William Green, then aged 71 years, who. adds that at Mrs. Kirke’s funeral in the previous June some of the carriages being drawn by four horses came down Blind Lane.

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The footpath down Blind Lane and so over the Eaves is said to have been the way taken by the early nineteenth century postman, who walked this way to Buxton daily. A story used to be told of a postman named Cresswell who lived at an inn on or near to the site of the Grapes, in Hayfield Road. One very snowy day there was only one letter for Buxton and Cresswell thought it was not worth while to walk to Buxton with an odd letter so he threw it into the fire by which he was comfortably sitting, The letter contained a £50 note. I tell this tale as it was told to me.

From Blind Lane onwards other matters of interest are dealt with in other section under their respective appropriate headings.


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The Early Chapel —The present Church —The Parishioners right

of presentation.

IT has come down to us traditionally that the present Chancel not only stands on the site of the Chapel of Saint Thomas of Canterbury erected about 1225, but that its walls contain masonry actually part of the original structure, and on the whole there are good grounds of support for this belief.

In 1889, when the roof and walls of the Chancel were in a practically ruinous condition, careful investigation pointed to an original Early English structure so far as the Chancel is concerned and to the wall or shell then standing as part of the old Chapel more or less “restored” at some time during the Perpendicular period and probably altered by the addition or blocking up of windows from time to time. An Early English piscina and Priest's Doorway were uncovered and also signs of frescoes which unfortunately could not be restored. The lowering of the pitch of the original roof may have taken place in the latter part of the sixteenth century to agree with the roof of the nave which bears the date 1599.

In the reign of Philip and Mary Eward Wright entered a petition alleging that Robert B1ackwell “gent. parson of the chapall or parish church of the Frith” (probably the lessee of the tithes) with the assent of the parishioners sold to Wright

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five ash trees growing in the Churchyard being of the age of 100 years or above and with the purchase money bought lead and covered the Church, but George Yeaveley and others had claimed the ground on which the trees stood and taken them.

A recently discovered document shows that some part of the Church was leaded by the parishioners during the first half of the seventeenth century.

The Chancel was practically rebuilt in 1890­—3, the ancient architectural and other features being reproduced as far as possible. A fine memorial window to Mrs. Ernest Bagshawe, of. Ford Hall (died 1924) now replaces the former very un-ecclesiastical glass in the east window.

That the nave is of much later date than the chapel of 1225 is not open to question. The arches are built of a warm freestone closely resembling that worked until recently at Crist Quarry, Bugsworth, within Chapel parish, and the nave is connected with the Chancel by a fine arch of date contemporaneous with the arcades, which are of gritstone.

An examination of the footings of the piers in the nave indicates that the nave floor (in consequence no doubt of many burials) is some thirteen inches higher than originally, probably there was a single step at the entrance to the Chancel so that the floor of the nave would be about a foot lower than the original floor of the Chancel, which, judging from the height of the piscina when discovered, would be about its then level.

The north and south aisles are separated from the nave by four arches supported by octagon pillars. The nave arcades and the caps of the piers and also the respond corbels at

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the west end are of the Lancet or Decorated period, and date the Church as probably erected in the late fourteenth century.

Professor Dickie, of Manchester University, who kindly visited the Church and has given us the benefit of his valuable opinion, considers on the evidence of the details the date of the nave arcades cannot be earlier than 1350, and there is every probability that they are later. In fact he thinks they might have been built at any time within a hundred years of the middle of the fourteenth century.

The arches terminate at the west end with responds having corbels each carved in the form of a head. The masonry of the west wall is somewhat puzzling, there being indications of a false wall not now quite explicable. Possibly the wall was so built to strengthen the tower when the latter was erected. The old building line is obvious in the west wall, marking the pitch of an ancient roof much lower than the present one and having a steep slope.

The removal of a flat plaster ceiling in 1890 disclosed a somewhat barn-like roof. The main beams were, with one exception, in good condition and were estimated by the builders to be about three hundred years old. These are retained. The beam above the Chancel Arch, which was much decayed, was found to contain a number of pellets from a shot-gun. This is said to be not uncommon in country churches, the shot being from the gun of some minister or parish clerk who sought to dislodge the birds nesting in the rafters!

The beams are bolted with wooden “Throughs” similar in

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style to those to be found in medieval barns and other buildings. On the second tie beam from the east end of the nave is deeply incised in Old English characters “H.L, 1599 — A.O.”, probably the initials of the then Churchwardens, and on the same beam, "T.T." is more roughly cut, which may be a builder's or carpenter's mark. Below the king post on this beam is a carved boss in the form of a wheel shaped medallion, probably conventional, but which might possibly be intended for the Tudor Rose. It has, however, been ruthlessly damaged to make room for one of the ceiling rafters.

The north aisle was rebuilt in 1712. In the churchwardens' accounts for that year it is stated “Jno Shancross Tho. Bagsnaw, Esq. rebuilded the north aisle and leaded it an new.” The cost seems to have been only about £75. On one of the principal rafters is “Caleb Cook, Minister Jno. Shallcross Thos. Bagshaw churchwardens 1712”. On another rafter at the west end is “Ja. Pickford Clarke Jno. Bennett workman 1712.” The original windows were evidently not reproduced.

The tower, south porch and south side are an of the Georgian period. Over the porch is a sundial dated 1733 and inscribed “Ut umbra sic vita”.

Dr. Cox 1 has some strong remarks about the attempt to “engraft a barbarous classic style” on a Gothic edifice and derides the appreciations of Rhodes and Glover. Later authorities, however, have pronounced the Georgian work to be of bold character and excellent detail, and this is particularly true of the great archway under the tower formerly closed up by an Unsightly gallery and the organ, but now opened out—the base

1 Churches, ii, p. 146.

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of the tower being now converted into a Baptistery. It must be admitted that the imposition of the Classic on the Gothic style is incongruous but at any rate it is not a sham restoration in the earlier style.

The old tower or steeple was taken down in 1729 and the present tower was built a year or two later at the same time that the south side of the church was restored. It will be noticed that the Elizabethan map at page 82 represents the church as cruciform in shape with a central tower surmounted by a spire with a south transept having a large circular window. Dr. Cox, whilst pointing out that its accuracy must be accepted with some caution, thought this sketch was practically a picture of the church as it was at that time and that the church was larger than it now is 1. With great respect to the learned antiquarian's opinion it is submitted that the view of the church in this old map is conventional only and should not be accepted as an accurate representation of the church as it was in the days of Elizabeth.

On the east end of the nave roof is a bell-cote of true Georgian type obviously put there in 1733 to replace an earlier one. This probably marks the position of a Sanctus Bell. It is said that well within living memory there was a bell in this cote which was removed to a house in the parish where it was used as a yard bell and there remained till, some years ago, it fell to pieces, apparently from old age. The lead on the roof and south aisle bears inscriptions recording the eighteenth century repairs. On the nave roof is the date 1733, whilst on that of the south side is inscribed “Jasper Frith, John Wainwright

1 Memorials, pp. 283 et seq. Chapel Church, p. 18.

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Churchwardens 1733” and over the south porch “George and Henry Ward 1733”. The parapet on the south side of this aisle was also repaired in 1828, partly with brick work, and in one place a portion of a gravestone, on which the dates May 9, 1758, and Nov.12, 1760, and the name “Matthew” are still legible, was neatly fitted in.

The church possesses no ancient glass or monuments, and, with the exception of the Bowden Tomb, there is no sign that any such ever existed.

In recent years, however, a number of windows have been filled in with memorial stained glass, all with one exception, in good modern style.

Prior to 1928 the Holy Table was a simple table of very plain oak. On the front panel was inscribed “Minsr. J.S. E.W., C.W., 1731 .” Evidently the initials of Mr. Bardsley, the then minister (whose name with those of John Shirt and Edward White appears on the candelabra in the nave) have been destroyed at some time when the table was “patched up”, for there is no sign of any further inscription. This no doubt is the table mentioned in the Wardens' accounts for 1731. “Pd Ezekiel Shuttleworth for ye Communion Table £1 1s. 0d.”. This Table was in use till 1928, when a new Table of oak was presented by Brig.-Gen. Sir G. D. Goodman, K.C.B., the original slab with the initials being preserved and incorporated in the new Table.

The Wardens' accounts for 1747 contain an item of £1 10s. “pd Mr. Slack his bill for varnishing Pictors in the church of Mosses and Eron.” These have now disappeared. Sir Walter Besant, in an account of the church of

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All Hallows the Great, Thames Street, London, describes similar pictures as forming part of the reredos, Moses on the right pointing to the Ten Commandments, and Aaron on the left in full pontificals.

When Dr. Cox visited the Church in the seventies of the last century he noted over the Communion Table “a very inartistic representation of the Last Supper, said to be a copyof an old master.” This too has vanished.

The Font, according to an old plan of 1702 once near the west end of the north aisle, is know in the Baptistery beneath the tower. It is of plain octagon construction and apparently of the fifteenth century. On one side is a shield carved with a quartrefoil. There is a tale that during the re-pewing of the Church in 1828 this font was temporarily put in the churchyard, and that a local lawyer, being unable to obtain payment for his charges and disbursements for obtaining the Faculty, took possession of the font, by arrangement with the Churchwardens and placed it in his garden where it remained for many years. Mr. Grey the then Vicar of Buxton wished to have the font along with a quantity of oak from the old pews which had been given to him, but the lawyer would not allow the font to go out the parish, and in 1841 he restored it to its rightful place, the Vestry empowering the Churchwardens “to set it up in a splendid manner”. Whilst it was out of the church a small basin—fixed in the south angle of the altar-rails—was used; this remained in situ until the present altar­-rails were erected. Dividing the Baptistery from the nave is an oak Jacobean balustrade inscribed “Ex opera guil. White A.M. Anno Domini 1681.” This was formerly

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a portion of the altar-rail, and was removed to its present position in 1879; the remainder has unaccountably disappeared. William White was Minister from 1670 to 1697 when he “became disordered in his mind” and was retired on a pension of 4s, per week from the churchwardens.

Dependent from the nave roof is a fine brass candelabra with wrought-iron chains of Flemish character, bearing the inscription “Benjamin Bardsley Minister, John Shirt, Edward White, Churchwardens 1731.” This appears to be the date of its acquisition but nothing is known of its earlier history. All we know is that £15 was “paid in exchange of Candlestick” but the vendor's name is not given.

There is now no trace or sign of the side chapel or altar dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, but there is ample evidence that it existed on the south side of the church in pre-reformation days, and indeed, probably later. We find various references to such a chapel in the first six decades of the sixteenth century and in seat assessments in 1702 and 1728. John Bennett by his will in 1534/5 gave “for a stoke (stock or capital sum) to owre lades server of the Chapell In the frythe V111s and for the hyre of the stoke X11d .” A witness to the will of Henry Bradshaw of Bradshaw Hall in 1521 was “Sir John Bredbury our Lady prest”, who may have served this altar. Stephen Bagsha, another witness to this will is described as Curate of chapel. In and agreement dated 23rd April, 2 and 3 Philip and Mary (1555) between Agnes Ashton or Tunstead of Chapel Milton and her sons a sum of money is agreed to be paid on Christmas Day and Midsummer Day “between the sun rising and the sun setting

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upon the Altar of our Blessed Lady in the Chapel en le Frithe.” There is also a reference to the payment of money on the “High Altar” of Chapel Church in the Bradshaw deeds about this date which may suggest the presence of another altar in the church.

As late as 1557 the custom of the invocation of saints in wills had not died out, as is shown in the “will of Jone Brockylhurst Widdow of the parish of Glossop” dated 11th January in that year. She says “ffyrst I bequeath my soule to god the Father Almighty whyche hath created yt and to hys only son whyche Redemyd yt and to the holy gost whyche Inspyred yt besekyng our blessed lady saynt mari saynt Mychaell tharchangell and my adewoured saynt so to praye for me and my body to be buried in ye churche of ye Chappell de le fryht and ther to turne to woyrmes meat.” Having disposed of her worldly goods “for the helth of my soule and quyetnes of my pore children” the old lady bequeaths “in the nature of my mortuary as ye lawe will”. This last bequest has reference to the customary payment or exaction to which reference has been elsewhere made.

It will be observed that this testatrix, although a non-parishioner, desired to be buried in the church, and her son Oliver Brocklehurst of the Haighe in the parish of Glossop in his will some eight years later expresses the wish to be buried as near his mother' s grave as may be. A similar direction is found in the win of Thomas Kyrke of Shireoakks in 1548, and other cases could be mentioned. The very unusual custom which here obtained for the inhabitants of Chinley, Bugsworth and Brownside to bury not only in the churchyard but



in the church itself a custom which at the time of which we write would seem to have been treated as a right, can only be explained by their distance from their own parish church at Glossop. The plan of the graves within and without the church made in 1702 and now in the possession of Mr. Bagshawe at Ford Hall shows several graves “owned” by families living in these townships.

The north aisle was formerly know as St. Nicholas Quire or Bowden Quire and at the east was the seat and tomb of the ancient family of Bowden of Bowden Han. The tomb was located by Bassano in 1710 as a “low raised alibaster stone for Nicholas Bowden of Bowden”. It was in existence when Reynolds visited the church in 1760 and it is much to be regretted that this, the only shown ancient monument in the church, was subsequently swept away—probably during the re-pewing in 1834. It is not, however, noticed by Rawlins who was here about 1820. Reyholds noted “upon an escutcheon in this church are 4 coats quarterly, 1st and 4th also quarterly Sa. and Or, the first quarter charged with a lion passant argt. For Bowden of Bowden Hall. 2nd Argt, a chevron bet. 3 crosses fichee gu. (Woodroffe of Hope). 3rd Argt. a Lion rampant sa. (Barnby of Barnby). Over this achievement is a shield of arms cut in Alabaster for Bowden only, and over the arms a crest which I think is a Hawk's or Eagle's Head erased 1. There is also a chest tomb of marble near the same (being towards the N.E. corner) but no inscription, neither does there ever seem to have been any as the said shield of arms is large and covers above half the tomb, and

1 An eagle's head erased, the crest of Bowden.



the rest thereof is quite smooth and plain. This church of Chapel-en-le-Frith is also called Bowden Chapel, and in the N.E. corner has formerly been a Chantry.”

Two sections of an alabaster slab on which some slender outline of coats of arms may be descried, now in the south porch, are believed to have been portions of the tomb seen by Reynolds. He seems to have been in error as to a chantry on the N.E. side but may have heard something about the Lady Chapel on the S.E. side. At the west end of the Church are inscribed the names of the Incumbents since 1339 and of members of the Bramwell family, sextons since 1631.

At the west end of the north aisle is a Stone Coffin of similar stone to that used in the building of the nave. When Reynolds saw it in 1760 it was used as a coping on the churchyard wall from which it was removed into the church about forty years ago. This coffin is about six feet long within and has a round hole near the middle at the bottom about four inches in diameter. Its history is unknown but it is said that a similar coffin was once at the Thorn Tree Inn (see p. 64). The Churchyard has no outstanding feature. Perhaps the most interesting is an ancient stone on which is rudely carved the representation of an axe, locally called “the woodman's axe” and above in more modern characters the initials “P.L.” Near the south porch is a column on which is a metal sundial, this column being of a pinkish freestone similar to that used in the nave of the church and bearing a strong resemblance to some of the crosses still to be seen in various parts of the High Peak.

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An examination of some old houses on the west side of the churchyard, now having entrances to Church Lane (or church Gennell as it used to be caned) suggests that these old dwellings at one time had their frontages to the churchyard. The Belfry contains six bells. It is not known with certainty when the first bells were hung but we do know that the church possessed “a great bell” in 1701, for James Pickford the Parish clerk noted that in that year it was taken down to be cast at Wigan and as this was being done the pulleys broke and fell so that Ezekiel Shuttleworth who was guiding the bell “could noways help himself but came after it a lader with him and a little crow of iron in his hand and yet by God's great preservation had little or no harm.” It does not appear that there was more than one bell in the steeple at that time but signs in the church suggest there was a “Little” or, sacring Bell in the bell-cote above the chancel arch. When the present tower was built in 1733 six bells were hung. One was no doubt the Great Bell re-cast in ,1701; the other five were cast at Gloucester by the famous bell founder, Abraham Rudhall. The treble, second and fifth bells bear the mark of Abraham Rudhall—a bell between the initials A.R.—and they and the third bell are dated 1733.1 At the seven-hundredth anniversary of the church a tablet was placed in the belfry commemorating The Ringers “known and unknown”, amongst them being the families of Ford, since 1819, Hibbert (since 1853), Bramwell and others, most of whom are still represented. There is little doubt that one at

  1. A sketch of the markings on these bells appears in The Reliquary, vol. xiv. O.S. (1873).

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least of these families was ringing long before 1819 when the authentic records begin.

A more fun account of the Church and its history will be found in the Writer's “The Parish Church of S. Thomas Becket, Chapel-en-le-Frith” and a supplement thereto. There have been numerous recent benefactions to the church and its furniture, amongst which may be mentioned two handsome Churchwardens' staffs, one presented by Mr. Francis Bramwell “In memory of many years association with this Parish” and the other by Mr. John Sidebottom “A thank offering for Peace after the Great War 1914-1919.”

Until the opening of the seventeenth century we do not hear of much difficulty about the right of presentation to the Living, but James I had not long been on the throne when a controversy arose which existed at intervals for one hundred and fifty years. According to the evidence of a number of old parishioners the parishioners and inhabitants or the greater part of them had elected a chaplain, minister or curate and nominated him to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfeld who had duly allowed and placed him in the Benefice, an ancient custom which time out of the mind of man had “bred much quiet contents and comfforte to all the said parishioners and inhabitants within the said parish”.

There had been trouble in queen Elizabeth's time for the Dean and Chapter had on one occasion selected a Minister but withdrew him in place of the inhabitants' nomination of George Yeveley, a local man. Again about 1574 when one Slacke or Clarke appeared and said he had been appointed by the Countess of Shrewsbury and the Dean whereupon the

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parishioners having conferred together in the Chancel of the Church informed the “outcomer” that neither the Countess nor the Dean could appoint a Minister without the consent of the Parishioners according to ancient custom “or to that effect and thereupon the said Slacke departed and Sir George Mellor continued curate or minister as before”. This intrusion was perhaps not so much the fault of the Dean as an attempt on the part of the imperious Countess of Shrewsbury (the famous Bess of Hardwick) to enforce a claim which she thought, or pretended, she had by reason of the estates and rights of the Priory of Lenton having come into the possession of her late husband Sir William Cavendish and it is highly creditable to those men of Chapel that they so calmly and finally confounded the old lady's machinations. Since that time two other nominations had been accepted by the Dean and Chapter apparently without question, but early in 1617 Francis Barney the then minister desiring to resign, wished to procure the preferment of his brother Thomas Barney in his place and accordingly made application to the Dean (Dr. Tooker) and Chapter. The parishioners, however, standing on their rights nominated Edward Cresswell, B.A. “a learned religious and reverend preacher”. The Capitular authorities favoured Mr. Barney. In the Church safe is a letter dated “20th June” from Mr. Ffulnetby, a Prebendary and member of the Chapter who conducted their correspondence addressed to “Good Mr. Bradshaw” (Mr. Francis Bradshaw of. Bradshaw Hal) en- treating his influence on behalf of Barney that he might be allowed to rest for his time in the place which the writer doubts not “but by your mediation maie eaisily be effected

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and I desire nothing more than that there may be love and peace among youe.” Mr. Ffulnetby also says he had asked Mr. Rowlandson the Vicar of Bakewell to “afford us his paines about the repairinge of these chappells”. The parishioners were at this time urging the Chapter to repair the chancel which it was alleged they had done time whereof the memory of man was not to the contrary “which is now in greate decaie and if the same shall not be speedily repaired will verie shortly fall down and be quite ruinated the same standing in a country where there be verie few churches and much tempestious and ill weather.” Mr. Rowlandson writing to Mr, Bradshaw on August 12th 1621 says he has been told by Robert Bagshaw the Bayley of the High Peak that the timber provided for the repair of the chancel is so much disliked that “they give out that if the chauncell should be builded with it, it will hardly stand twoe yeares, nay not half a yeare as others report and therefore they refuse to carry it. Humphry Low is a little to blame about ye false rumour and soe much he shall know when wee meet. However the Dean and Chapter will be ready to requite your love in the matter and they will be in Chapel on Bartholomew Eve and it may bee will prove then, if I have been faulty about ye business let me be accused: if not I shall esteeme it but over much presemptoryness in those that are not at the charge of ye repair to soe busy in controulling and censuring that they have nothing to doe with.”

Robert Bagshawe mentioned in this letter was of Marsh Green and afterwards of Hollin Knowle the eldest son of George Bagshawe of Hollin Knowle, Under Bailiff of the

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High Peak. Both were reported as Papists. Humphry Low, churchwarden 1622, was of the Alstonlee family. It is not clear whether the first of these letters was written before orafter the proceedings about the right of presentation were begun or what was Mr. Bradshaw's attitude in the matter but as he is the only leading man in the parish who does not give evidence in support of the parishioners' claim he was probably a supporter of Mr. Barney.

We do not know whether Edward Cresswell was a member of one of the local families of that name; if, as in all probability he were, we can understand how the personal element would embitter the quarrel. The parishioners began by a petition to the Chapter. A dilapidated copy of this petition is in the Church safe, written partly in English and partly in Latin. This states very emphatically the inhabitants' case and affirms that whereas the parishioners in accordance with their ancient custom had “in curteouse and friendly manner” requested the Dean and Chapter to institute Mr. Cresswell the Capitular Authorities “did expressly refuse to doe affirming that they might place whom they would at their Pleasure and that they would place there an other one of their choice” which they had done. This petition being ignored the Church Wardens, George Thornhill and Robert Gibbe, filed a Petition in the Lord Chancenor's Court against Dr. Tooker and the Chapter claiming the parishioners' right to present Edward Cresswell. A Commission to take evidence was issued to Randolph Ashenhurst Esq. (of Beard) and Thomas Taylor and two others who sat at Chapel on 25th March 1620 and heard witnesses. Twelve witnesses were called for the inhabitants

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and answered on oath a long string of questions propounded by the Court. They all testified to the custom during their memory covering a period of fifty years and some spoke as to the dilapidated state of the chancel. The chief deponents were the Rev. George Yeaveley, formerly Curate of Chapel 1571 to 1574 and then Vicar of Glossop; Nicholas Browne the Elder, late of Matlock but then of Little Ridge, alias Banke, Esquire, Thomas Mellor of Townend, Yeoman; Thomas Moult of Eccles, Gentleman; Thomas Bagshawe of The Ridge, Gentleman; Thomas Bagshaw of Chapel, Parish Clerk and George Bowden of Bowden, Gentleman. The last named throws some light On how much, or how little, the general body of the inhabitants had had to do with the nominations. He says when the Benefice became void Mr.Browne, Mr. Bagshawe and himself or their ancestors have considered of a fit man for the said cure and that they and the rest of the said inhabitants or the greatest best or chiefest gentlemen and freeholders of the said inhabitants or parish have nominated a fit man and presented him to the Chapter. The nomination of Mr. Cresswell was held to be valid and by a writing under the Chapter Seal, signed by the Dean it was declared that for ever thereafter it should be lawful for the major or senior part of the parishioners to nominate an able and sufficient curate to read prayers and execute Divine Service and administer the Sacraments there and The Dean and Chapter should admit and licence the same curate.

Who were “the greatest best or chiefest of the inhabitants” was a question troubling succeeding generations from I620 right down to 1929 when it was answered once for all

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by a decision of Mr. Justice Clauson in Chapel-en-le-Frith Parochial Church Council v. Bagshawe l that by virtue of the Parochial Church Councils Measure 1921, the Parochial Church Council is the Body to make the presentation.

At some period—there is no record as to how or when, but probably immediately after the Chapter's admission of the parishioners' right-a species of standing Committee of 27 Freeholders, nine from each Edge, was constituted—a wise precaution evidently intended to prevent any repetition of the former troubles. This Committee were given or assumed the power to co-opt new members to fill vacancies and in due course of time actually acted as the patrons of the Benefice. Owing no doubt to the inadequacy of the stipend two ministers followed Edward Cresswell in rapid succession and the Parish Register notes on Feb.20, 1624 Edmund Nickson “was chosen Minister of this Church with the consent of the most part of the XXVII Freeholders of our Parish.” This is the first official notice of the Twenty-seven. Although the Chapter had, as we have seen, admitted the parishioners' right of presentation, they still could not help interfering: in 1717 on the death of Mr. Cook, the Dean, Dr. Kimberley, thought the matter sufficiently important to require his personal attendance at the meeting which took place—not in the church but at the Royal Oak Inn. There were three candidates on this occasion. The Rev. John Byron, who had “served the cure very much in Mr. Cook’s illness” was chosen by a large majority and the Dean declared him duly elected. The next Minister got the Living by a trick which must have been

1. Reported in 68, L.J., p. 105.

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connived at by the Lichfield authorities. We are told that when Mr. Byron lay a-dying in February 1727—8, Mr. Bardsley sent a man to bring him word when he did die and immediately on that notice he set out to Lichfield and got the place.

This action caused an uproar and if “some paper” had not been mislaid or lost the parishioners would have kept him out of the Church.

The mislaid paper must have been the Document sealed by the Chapter in 1620 which is still in the Church safe. However as it could not be Found a threatened law-suit was avoided and Mr. Bardsley, being a tactful and plausible gentleman, “he not withstanding his license treated and made all the interest and friends he possibly could in the parish after he came in order to keep the parishioners quiet and promised very fine things and how good he would be and what great things he would do in the parish For its benefit and so it put the Freeholders out of an thought of a suit.” If the entry in the Parish Register on Mr. Bardsley's death in 1747 is to be believed he was a good parish priest and kept at least some of his promises.

On Mr. Bardsley's death the Dean and Chapter again refused the Parishioners' nomination—the Rev. John Byron, M.A., then Curate of Over in Cheshire—and selected a nominee of their own. After several journeys to Lichfield and incurring a good deal of expense the Capitular Authorities were induced to give way and thus ended their final attempt to over-ride the Parishioners' rights. It was a` propos of this nomination that Mr. William Bagshawe of Ford writing to his

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nephew, Colonel Samuel Bagshawe, M.P., expresses the opinion that the general practice of the inhabitants is to exercise their patronage in favour of “the worst man they can find to the best of their ability” (The Bagshawes of Ford, p. 184).

Their choice in this case seems to have been a good one for on Mr. Byron's death 42 years later he is eulogised in the Parish Register as one who “might in the words of the Poet be justly esteemed one of the noblest works of God-an honest man.” In 1836, on the death of the Rev. Samuel Grundy, doubts were expressed as to the right of the twenty-seven Freeholders to nominate his successor and the opinion of Dr. Stephen Lushington being taken the Parishioners were advised that the right to nominate a minister was vested in all the parishioners above 21, assessed to Church and Poor Rates. This was substantially confirmed on two subsequent occasions and was followed in the succeeding nominations. As we have seen, the next nomination will be made by the Parochial Church Council. A board, now in the South porch, sets out most of the story down to 1748 and a more fun account of the Church and its history and of the election of the various ministers with a list of the Incumbents will be found in Chapel Church.

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IN addition to the Duchy Rent Rolls our information as to medieval Chapel down to the close of the sixteenth century ischiefly derived from the Court Rolls preserved in the Public Record Office. Much of these rolls has been published by Mr. Pym Yeatman in volume iii. section vi of The Feudal History of Derbyshire as also in an article by the Rev, C. Kerry in D.A.J. xv., the latter giving particulars of a Roll of 1290 of some 400 separate names, many local. Space does not admit here of a full recital of all the particulars relating to Chapel and the reader is referred for full details to the works mentioned, to which the writer is much indebted.

Eyres, as the Courts were called, were held by the Forest Justices whose duty it was to enquire into unauthorised appropriations of land and other offences against Forest law, and were held at irregular and often long intervals. At these courts, which are said to have been the forerunners of the present Assizes, offenders were 'presented,' i.e. reported, and dealt with by the Judges, and later we find minor crime and civil matters dealt with in the local Court Baron and Court Leet.

1216—1251. No Eyre was held between these dates, an important period for Chapel which was then coming Into being, At this Eyre, held before Geoffrey de Langley and

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other Justices, some of the local names are: 1 Prizes (fines) taken by W m. de Horsenden. Bailiff (apparently for keeping studs or horses) at, amongst other places, Harald Halstead. The woods of Horwick. Malcave, Cumbes and Eccles wasted by Earl Ferrers, who died while Bailiff in 1222 . Richard le Ragged. Senr. and Junr., Lessing de Wanbrook, Peter de Hurst. Wnm. Smallgrass and another stole one stag in the forest. Bail (for their appearance) Rith de Astonleigh, Wm. Brurers of Little Birches. Hugo Egidu of Whitehalgh John de Smallgrass of Whitehalgh and others.

1228—33. Simon de Weyley took a stag and gave Robert de Lexington then Bailiff 5 marcs to liberate him. Robert is dead and his heirs must answer for this. One of Simon's bondsmen is Wm. le Herberjour2 of Bradmarsh. (There is a Broadmarsh, part of the Bradshaw Hall estate at Lower Crossings). Several names are given as ‘de Warnebroc’ or ‘warmbroc’ which may have been the nucleus of Townend and there are numerous references to Whitehough, Little Birches and Malcave showing that fairly populous hamlets were springing up in these places. It must be remembered. however, that references to Bowden—certainly in cases arising before 1225—may include the western portion of Bowden, later know as Bowden Middlecale. From about 1250 onwards

1 Duchy of Lancaster Forest proceeding, 36. Hen. III.

2 He may have been an innkeeper or provided lodging from Latin herbergiator, of the term may have reference to his abode at Bradmarsh as in Chaucer, The Clerkes Tale

‘In which that poure folk of that village

Hadden her bestes and her Herbergage.’

(In modern English: ‘Had their beasts and their abode')

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Chapel parish began to be spoken of as Bowden Chapel or Chapel in the (or en-le) Frith. Other names at this period, some of which are found later in the Duchy Rent Rolls are: Richard de Alrensage, Ricr. de Ponte de Little Birches (was this the bridge at Whaley?), Wm. Fabre (Smith) de Warnebroc, bail Rich. Wayfoot, Rad de Slac, Robt. de Bowden, Ric de Malketh. Wm. de Molle, because he remained in Cheshire. The Abbot of Basingwerk, Rich. de Trafford; bail Lucas forester of Bowden, Wm. de Leg (Leigh), Peter de Leg.

12I6—22. Assarts in Bowden John Malcave 6a.1 Agnes his widow holds it.

1222—8. Robt. de la Kerkook (dead). Ralf le Turner and Wm. le Clogh tenants. Robt de Littlebirches (dead) 22a. Robt. le Archer tenant. Peter de Buggesworth (dead) Alice his widow (tenant). In Combs. Wymund de Ford (dead) 8a, his son John Tenant. Elias de Baggscache (dead) 25a. Earl Ferrers received 25s. for a fine. Brian de Insula took 100s. to allow him to remain and William his son is now tenant. Geoffrey de Hayley. Richard de Hayley, Geoffrey his brother tenant. Walter, Robert, Henry and Hackthredus de Thornley, Rad. de Tunstead (dead) Richard his son tenant. John de Haselhurst (dead) Robt. Clic. tenant. William Braciator (a brewer). In a long list of PURPRESTURES we find, amongst others, Richard fil Reginald de Bowden built a house without warrant, therefore he is in mercy (literally, at the King’s mercy, meaning that he will only get off with a heavy fine). These

1 An acre in all these records is the Forest or Cheshire acre of 10,240 square

yards equal to 2A. oR. 24P. statute measure.

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did the like: Robt. de Ford, Jordan de Bagshaw, Ralf del Slack, Jordan, Richard and Roger de Malcave, Robt de Bowden, Margareta del Cloy (Clough), Rann de Bradshaw, Walter de Bradshaw, Wm. de Mersington, Rad le Jugger, Rich. le Stodhard, Ralf Molen (darius., a miller), Jordan de Coombes, Geoffrey de Heley, Wm. de Baggeschawe, Robt. Clicus.l These raised houses within the demesne with the licence of the Bailiff: Stephen de Lees of Bowden at Bowden. Swayne de Bowden, Robert servant of the Prior of Lenton, Ad. Niger de Bowden, Orm de.Horden (dead), Rad del Rugge (Ridge) Wm. de Blacbroc.

1237-42. Will Le Stockerd (dead) 25a, Hugo his son then tenant, Rich. Benet, Wm. Wudcock.

1237-42. ASSARTS in Bowden. Prior of Lenton Ia, Robt. Brun 4a.

The next Rolls of Pleas of the Forest at Derby in 13 Edward I,2 cover approximately the period 1252- 1285. The jury presented that: In Longdendale William Foljambe built four new houses in the Forest at Martinure,3 to wit two granges and two bovices (shippons or cattle sheds) in which he had and nurtured 30 beasts. Wm. fil Rich. fil Abraham took a stag at Lighte Birch. Rich de Holm who is dead killed a doe in the forest on the Vigil of St. Peter ad Vincula in the eighth year

1 Clicus is often an abbreviation for Clericus, but did not necessarily mean a clergyman in full orders. He might not have attained to priest's or deacon's orders and yet be styled a cleric. While he had some privileges he might not marry.

2 Duchy of Lancaster Records. P.R.O. Class 25 Bag F. RO. 21. This is the Roll referred to in D.A.j , xv.

3 This may be an early version of Martinside. William Foljambe is charged

with killing deer at Martinside in 1280.

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of the King and half of that doe he carried to the house of William de Baggeshawe who received it with him and consented to the misdeed. William was committed to prison by Thomas de Furnival then Custodian of the Peak and took 4 marcs for his crime. Bail Thomas le Ragged of Berde, Richn de Shalcross and others and because they did not produce the said William they are in mercy. William de Baggeshaw fined 40s. Bail John de Smallye, Elias de Marchington, Roger Mald (Malt, an early spelling of Moult) in Bowden, Clement le Ford, Richn de Clow. Robert Bozon, Bailiff of the Peak attached several offenders; Hugo filSilkok de Bowden, Richard de Edisley took one fawn (feton) in Compana 27 Hen. 111. Bail Alan de Thaylond, Nicholas de Normanwood of the parish of Tachehall, Chester' took one stag in the Wood of Horwyc Stn James Day 43 Hen. 111. Thomas Foljambe took one.

Presentations made by Robert Bozon, a Forester, several Verderers and thirty men of the same forest (among the latter Adam Olreshawe, Thos. de Bradshaw, Rich. de Buggesworth and William Jouderill) against Thos. Foljambe who is dead, William Foljambe his brother of Wormhill, Richard fil William Foljambe and others for taking stags in the Wood of Malcaven Like the last most offences are game trespass; Jo de Marisco de Little Birches, Hugo Caskyn de Bowden, Elias de Marisco, Jo Textore (weaver) of Whitehalghe, Walter de Capella, Walter de Cimenterio de Capella and Wm. of the same. W m. Beavaumond of Wytlegh and Richard his brother are fined 5 marcs.

1 Normanwood is a farm not far from Taxal Church.

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1249­—51. Amongst others at Bowden : Elias fil Ralf de Bowden 2a. 1 r. W m. del Clow 3a, Rich. de pratis (meadow). 2an ,lr. Ad de Holrenshaw, Prior of Lenton ½a, Rich le Ragged in Vill de Coraz (? Courses) 2A and in Berde 12a.

CHAPEL IN LE FRITH (an early mention in this form). Twenty persons are named as holding burgages or half burgages; amongst whom are William de Baggeshaw, Robt de Hausted, Wm. Capella, Rich. Carp. (—Cooper), Elias de Marchenton and Richard de Marchenton 1 burgage each, Matilde de Thornley, Wm. de Cimeterio. It should be noted that these are presented for building without licence and therefore, if within the Borough boundary, they would not enjoy the privileges of the original twenty-seven.

Many names occur under Courcis, Malcave and Whitehall: In Chapel Wm. Silcock, Rich. Shackelcross, Wm. Marchinton, Wm. le Mercer, Rich. Sibberty. Roger Cocus had in Corcis.

1281 in Combs. Nic de Rugg, Ric. fil Thamas le Dene (? an ancestor of the Dain family), Robt. Astonleigh, John of the same, John Wildknave1, Wm. Godknave, Wm. de Bradshaw. In Coursis, Rdn atte Lydgate, Elias de Merches and five others. Burgage tenures occupied 1280: In Chapel twenty- three names including John fil Jo de Smalley and Evoka de Capella.

At a Swainmote held at Chapel in the Frith on the Feast of St. Gregory 1280 William Foljambe came before Thomas le Ragged then Bailiff and reported that Henry de Medwe (Meadow) took a doe with a certain black greyhound called

1 Knave : a child, a man-child.

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‘Collyng’ at Camheved (this may be the modern Combs Head). Henry denied this and retorted that the said William by himself and Gregory the brother of his wife and by others his servants and shepherds at Martynsyde, Weston and Wormhill destroyed about 100 deer. The jury found Henry guilty and he was fined 100s. and William and his associates were found guilty of taking only 20 beasts of all sorts and they were fined 20 marcs.

1317. Inquisitio ad quod Damnum at Fairfeld1, Amongst those present were:

Foresters of Longdendale. Thomas son of Thomas le Ragged, Roger de Melner, Richard Brown.

Foresters of fee of Campana: Thomas and Nicholas Foljambe, Richard Daniel, Richard le Archer and Adam Goumfrey.

Foresters of Hopedale: Nicholas de Baggeshage.

Regarders. Twelve including Robert del Cloghe, Benedict de Shakelcross and Robt. de Baggeshawe.

Jurymen of proof Twelve including Hugh de Bradbury, Richard del Cloghe, Richard de Baggeshawghe, William at the Churchyard. Nicholas de la Forde presented for building houses without licence: amongst others Reginald de Bouden erected a house at Bouden, Jordan de Baggeshawe, Ran de Bradshawe, Walter de Bradshawe. All fined and houses ordered to be thrown down.

1327 / 8. In this year a Lay Subsidy of One twentieth was levied on all moveable property, those owning less than 5s. worth being exempt. Of course the difference in money values

1 supra, p. 24

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between that date and to-day must be remembered. There were 21 taxpayers in Bowden Chapel, four of whom were Bagshawes. Hugo and Ric. de Horderne are taxed the latter being assessed at £8. Only four others in the whole county are assessed higher than this and only five at this figure. This suggests that Richard was a fairly wealthy man for his day. (D.A.J. xxx).

1341. In the Assise Roll for this year is the report of three men hung in chains just outside Chapel, who had been executed for robbery with violence.

1399. Forest Pleas at Tideswell. 22 Richard III. John de Baggeshawe, Walter del Kirke and others presented Thomas Simpkinson for including waste at Whithalge Brigg. Venison trespass John Dykson, Foresters present included W m. and Robt. Wodrove, Wm. de Abney, Thos. del Clogh, Wm. Del Halle, Wm. de Bagshawe, Thos. HollinsWorth. They presented, with a number of others, Arthur de Carrington for taking a stag at Edale. ?1430. Pleas temp. Hen. VI. Tenants then dead (amongst others) Thos. fil Johis Welleson de Chapel, Nicho Shore, Willo Chorley.


17 Hen. VI. Wednesday after Epiphany—1439. At Castleton. Pleas of debt Wm Herdroun v. Wm. Molte, Hy de Shaw—Bail. 18 Hen. VI—1440. At Castleton Wm. Plumpton, heirs of Edward Foljambe, fil Wm. Halley, Christopher Needham, owed suit of Court.

23 April 20 Hen. VI. 1442. View of Frankpledge. Thos. Ashton, Jo. Mellor, W. Swaynson and Wm. Bennett—Frankpledge

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for Bowden presented Jo. Turnour for assault on Wm. Hendman. John Platte, James More of the County of Chester and Mich. son of Hugo Bradbury presented as gamblers. Peter Brown, George Bagshawe, Oliver Kirk, Margaret Gebenson and John Jackson were common brewers. Report of a murder at Colynhayel.

1452. 32 Hen. VI. An Indictment was preferred in this year at Derby charging that many leading knights with their followers “to the number of 1000 persons” raised the standard of the House of Lancaster at Longford near Derby and marched to Elvaston where they raided the Hall of Sir Walter Blount. The Duchy of Lancaster being so territorially strong in North Derbyshire, Cheshire and Lancashire we find many local names; amongst them Christopher Bagshaw of Tideswell (p. 152), Thomas Aleyn of Weston (p. 163), Nicholas Bowden of Bowden, John Dykson of Whithalge, Wm. Dykson, Hugh Gybson of Chapel, Jno. Orme, Randolph Fletcher of Combs, Walter Merchyngton of le Chapell, all yeomen and Robert Dyksone of Chapel, Clerk. There is no endorsement on this indictment that a “true bill” was found so it is not known what was the outcome of this episode in the wars of The Roses which tempted so many Chapel men to go so far from home. (D.A.l. xxxiv.)

1471. 10 June II Ede. IV at Longstone. Frankpledge present Hugo Cresswell for assault on Roger Creswell.

13 Oct. at Castleton. Wm. Bennett of Orlynshaw stole a cow worth 10s. from Nich. Bowden and an ox worth 12s. from Thos. Aleyn.

1 Page 131.

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1472. Monday after the Feast of St. George the Martyr (23 April). At Castleton: Frank pledge present Saunder Blomhall is an eaves dropper by night.

John Mellour, Jo. Dixon, Jo. Grenesmith and Ralf Olrenshaw, Frankpledge for Bowden present, amongst others, Edward Bagshaw, W m. Bradshaw, Jo. Olrenshaw, Wm. Bradshaw de Coombs, Edward Croslee and Ralf Olrinshaw free tenants made default in service. Elena Leake stole a flitch of bacon and some kercheles of the goods of John Torre of Martynside and Margaret, Widow of Richard Offerton aided and abetted her.

1508. 23 April 24 Hen. VII. BOWDEN. Chas. Mellor, Jo. Sherte, Jas Ratcliffe, George Molte, Frankpledge Presented: Wm. Bradshaw of Combs. Thos. Bradbury, Otiwell Bradbury, Otiwell Needham, Thos. Rawlinson, Ralf Hendman, Nich Kyche (Kirk), Edward Croslee, W m. Mellor, Thos. Bowden, Robt. Olrenshaw, Nich. Ghotrell (Jodrell), Thos. Worts, Robt. Oliver, Geo. Bagshaw for default of service. Item Rich. Bagshawe, Thos. Brokkley and Geo Dailly (? Bailly) for Brewing l.

1514. 6 Hen. VIII. Jo. Cresswell affray on Thos. Greensmith, Geo. Redfern ditto on Philip Bramall. Same year. 6 Oct. Robt. Gilbert. John Fryth.

1515. 12 Apl. 6 Hen. VIII. Jury (amongst others) Nic. Allen, Rd. Bagshaw, Rad. Bagshaw, Robt. Hethcote, Hy. Gregory, Roger Daken. Geo. Creswell, Samp. Showre, Wm. Gilbert affray On Robt. Orme, Rich. Tayler, Rad Botwer and Agnes Bokking

1 From the Belvoir MSS. Feud Hist, vol iii.

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1515. 11 Oct. 7 Hen. VIII. At Tideswell Jury presented Jo. Bennet of Lightburch, affray, Robt. Mosley and Wm. Bennet. Jury (amongst others) Nich Creswell, Rad Olrynshaw, Jas. Carrington, Jo. Bennet, Thos. Greensmith: Presented (in Bowden) George Redfern, assault on Ranulf Kirke, Wm. son of Robt. Crosley ditto Oll John Waynwright. I519. 10 Hen VIII. 6 March. Rich. Bagshaw of Chapel v Thos Alen. 27 March at Tideswell, Robt. Gybbe of Bagshaw v John Gybbe.

1519. 27 March. 10 Hen. VIII: Nich. and Henry Longden, Jo. Wright, John Barnes.

1524. 15 Hen. VIII : Hy. Baile affray on Walter Lingard1 Robt. Hadfield, Jo. Lees, Thomas Alen of Chapel.

1525. 31 July 17 Hen. VIII. High Peak. Jury: Thomas Greensmith, Humphrey Low, Nich. Molte (and others named) Present: Henry Baile affray on Elizabeth Dykson and Jo. Redfern and on Karolus Bagshaw who drew blood on Henry Baile. John Crosley affray on Rad. Wright.

No.427 (no date ?14 Hen. VIII). Bowden, Edward Kirke, Wm. Jakson, Jo Goddard, Phil. Marchington present Ux. Jas. Silvester, Jo. Barnes, Robt. Hadfield, Wm. Benett, Alex. Cotterel, affray on Agnes ux Robt Hadfield, Rich. Barbour of. Malcoffe affray on Christr. Kirke.

1526. 12 April 17 Hen. VIII. View of. Frank pledge Jury (amongst others) Walter Marchington, Rich. Molte: Jo Shert: Geo. Needham, John Yonge. Frank pledge present Rad. Wylson affray on Jo. Oldfield and William Oldfield, Thos, Aleyn de Lees affray on John Cart

1 This name occurs in Bugsworth, temp. Henry 1V.

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13 April. The foresters of Campana present Nich. Molte for cutting down trees in Chinley.

5 Oct. Jo Sherte, Jo Bowden, Jo Sykes and Jo Barnes and Jo. Yonge Frankpledge, present Thos. Bowden, Edmund and Jo. Barnes, Ottiwell Rydge. Ottiwell Bowden made affray on Robt. Needham who drew blood on them.

Attachments—Oct. 1526. Foresters of. Campana: Geo. Meverell per Thos. Revell, Deputy, Robt. Bagshaw per Thos.

Bagshaw, Deputy, and others.

Foresters of Langdendale. Heirs of. Robt. Legh p. Thos. Kirke, Deputy. 13 Sept. 1526. Robert Mosley of Lightburches, 8y. Lingard l.

1589. Oct. Great Court of Attachment at Chapel. Twenty-one persons fined from 2d. to 6d. each for lopping trees in the Forest.

There are a few records of the View o Frank Pledge in the seventeenth century. for instance:

I5 Feb. 1687. View of Frankpledge and Great Court Baron at Chapel. C. Lingard is dead “his heir is Charles Lingard Nepole, anglice Grandson”.

28 Oct. 1688. Robt. Gibbe died and left a garden in Bagshaw (the measurements given) 8d rent, Robett Wainwright is heir. Little Court Baron at Chapel, Augt. 1689. George Shert surrendered a messuage with its appurtenances at Clough juxta Bettfield containing by estimation 3a and two parcels of land called Clough Croft to use of. John Shert filius and heir apparent and James Bretland.

25 Jan. 1689/90. George Grenesmith and (? Edward)

1. B 41. No 324 P.R.O., and Feud. History, cit. supra,


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Grenesmith; a close in Staniforth Clough called Oldfield Croft containing 3a more or less to use of Elizei Needham. 30 Jan. I690/1 Randolph Ashenhurst surrenders premises at Jowe Hole alias Jolly Hole.

View of Frank Pledge at Buxton. 20 Feb. 1690/1. Homagers say Nicholas Shotwell who held a cottage and croft in Bagshaw 27 yards x 12 an encroachment from the waste is dead and Nicholas his son and heir.

At Chapel. 1691. Humphrey and Ellena his wife, she examined apart from her husband and surrenders a cottage and croft in Staniforth Clough to use of Henry Haige Rent 7d.

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The Leghs—Bradshaw Edge-Bowden Edge-Combs Edge.

These homes, this valley spread below me here.

The rooks, the tiltred stacks, the beasts in pen,

Have been the heartfelt things, past speaking dear

To unknown generations of dead men,

Who, century after century, held these farms.


THE peculiar circumstances of the “colonisation” of the Ancient Parish, which has already been discussed, led to the land being held by a large number of owners rather than, as usual in most places, being in the hands of one or two great owners. Space only allows a short notice of each holding, but reference is given in many cases to authorities where the history may be followed up in more detail.


In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries a considerable proportion of the then enclosed land, both in Chapel and Glossop belonged to the Legh family. They sprang immediately from Whitfield and are said to have been a branch of the Leghs

of Adlington 1

1 Harl. MSS 1093, fo. 54 as to Legh or Leigh of Eggington, where the owners of the Chapel property had settled as mentioned hereafter but it may be noted that the arms of these Leghs, as given by Lysons, are not founded on those of Legh of Adlington, but on those of thier earlier ancestor, De Corona.

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The Duchy Rent Rolls and other sources show that this family owned lands in both Chapel and Glossop. Lightbirch was purchased from John Bradshaw of Bradshaw by Reginald Legh at the latter end of the fifteenth century but it is not clear how the Leghs became possessed of the other properties The Ashmolean MS. mentions a marriage of Emma daughter of Richard Berd of Berd, to Peter Son of James de Legh, which has been quoted as bringing Some of this property to Peter, but this seems doubtful. Matilda widow of Robert Legh of Adlington married as her second husband William de Honford of Chorley Cheshire. She died in 14781. The D.R.R. shows WM. Honford as holding land at Whitehough in 1471 and he is followed by Leghs down to 1561. At an Inquisition post-mortem in 22 Elizabeth, on the death of Robert Leigh the Jury found that in 1480 Reginald Lee was seised of the Manor of Blackbrook, New Close, Slackhall, Bowden hede, Malcalf Shireoaks, Bowden washe, Bowden lawne (in a later I.P.M. called “lane”), Whitehough, Lydgate, Ligght Burche and properties in other parishes—Reginald died and Robert his son and heir succeeded him. The reference to the “manor” is curious and perhaps an error, as strictly speaking there could not be a manor within a manor, for all this district was covered by the Manor of High Peak yet this is continually repeated for the next three hundred years.

In the will, dated 18th May,1589, of Ottiwell Kyrke of Shireoaks the testator speaks of his good master and landeslord the Right Worshipful Mr. Legh and he bequeaths to him

1. Earwaker, East Cheshire ii. p 25.

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an Angel and 10s. and to “my young master his son” 10s. From the Calender of documents enrolled with the Clerk of the Peace at Derby’ and from other sources it is found that in 1605 and subsequent years a number of conveyances of properties at the places before named in Chapel and also of lands in Glossop were made by Mr Thomas Bagshawe of Ridge Hall to, in most cases, the sitting tenants. In one of these, to Charles Kyrk of Shireoaks lands in his occupation reference is made to Henry Legh Esq., whose inheritance the premises late were Bagshawe therefore appears to have been a Trustee for sale. Henry Legh’s father or grandfather who, says Cox (Churches Vol. 1V. 186) was “descended from a younger son of the Leighs of Adlington in Cheshire,” married Anne the sole daughter and heiress of Thomas Lathbury who had an estate at Eggington near Derby.



This estate as it passed to Edmund Buckley in 1846 covered an area in the ancient parish from Old Turns along the east bank of the Goyt to the northern extremity of the parish. A great part is now the site of works and dwellinghouses. A family of Ashton (later of Stodhart) appear from old documents to have owned both Bings and Horwich at an early period. They may have been connected with the Ashtons, lords of Ashton-under-Lyne, but we have no evidence as to this. Hugh and Robert de Assheton are mentioned in the Pipe Roll of 1381, also a Benet Oliver. In 1470 Wm.

1. Calendar of Deeds enrolled pursuant to 27 Hen. VIII, cap. 16, roll 2.

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Ashton held lands late of Michael Almer (Oliver) at Bings. This passed through several generations of Ashtons and in 1625 was owned by Katherine Yeaveley and in ‘76o it belonged to Edmund Warrington.


In 1471 Wm. Ashton also held the land late of Matilda Berners at Horwich. In 1503 John Bate of Rotherham and his son and heir Robert granted all their lands “in villa et campis” of Bowden and Wormhill to Henry Vernon Knt., Robert Mellor formerly of Lyghtbirch, Margaret his wife and Agneta Ashton daughter and heiress of said Margaret, and in 1504 Robert Mellor of Lightbirch and Robert Hambleton and Lawrens Mellor both of “Tunstead in Chapple Combys” certify that Agnes Ashton daughter and heiress of Hugh Ashton took seisin of lands in Mylton and Horrewich. There is a Bate Meadow at Horwich, now in the Mosley House Estate. In 1509 Horwich belonged to John Shallcross and in 1561 to Edward Wright. Wm. Carrington of Bings in his will dated in December 1674 mentions his Kinsman Edward Wright, who married a daughter of James and Mary Carrington of Bugsworth Hall. “Edward Wright’s House” is show in an old Duchy map as adjoining the old road from Eccles Pike to Whaley at the foot of the Roosdych, which house is said to have once been an inn. The old road originally went in front of Horwich House until diverted past Over Lea by Mr. Thomas Gisbome about 1840. Mr. Gisborne also made a new road from Greendale to Old Road and closed the old way, which took a sharp bend to Old Turns. A very old

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member of the Arnfield family, living a few years ago vividly described the “doings” when this road was opened with bands and banners flying and much feasting. The Gisbornes were in the seventeenth century a wealthy family settled in Derby where ‘the Gisborne House’ still stands in The Wardwick. John Gisborne acquired the estates of the Bagshawes of The Ridge in 1742 but his family had no home here till Mr. Thomas Gisborne M.P. for North Derbyshire enlarged Horwich House, which he purchased from John Gould in 1821. For many years he lived there with his brother Walter, and here took place the tragedy recalled in Chapter XI. During the second half of the nineteenth century the estate was gradually broken up, and afer the death in 1919 of the Hon. Mrs. Griffiths, whose first husband was Mr. Thomas Guy Gisborne, the last of the Gisborne estate passed into other hands. Horwich House had been sold in 1870 to Mr. Edward Hall and is now a holiday home of the Manchester Ragged School Union.


A district in the ancient parish on the west side of the road from Old Turns to Bugsworth.

MOSLEY HALL was an early settlement of tht Mosley family. At a Wapentake on Monday 12 July, 23 Hen. VI (1445) John Mosley took half an acre of the King’s waste at Bradshage between Hobcroft and—byrches. Rent 2d.1 In 1471 John Mosley held land at Lightbirch and his descendants kept it down to 1772 when Sir John Mosley Bart. of

1 Feud Hist iii, sec vi, P. 349.

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Rolleston, Staffordshire and Francis Mosley of Ardwick, gent., only Son and heir of Thomas Mosley late of Liverpool, Merchant, who was brother and heir of Francis Mosley, late of Turf Moss, Lancashire. gent., sold to Richard Powell Esq. This Sir John Mosley was a Baronet of the second creation, an earlier creation to another branch of the family having become extinct. The second creation was made in 1720 and became extinct in 1779. Mosley Hall passed to Mr. Powell’s son-in law Holland Watson, then of Stockport, whose Son Holland Cotterell Watson sold this property and Lightbirch to Mr. Thomas Gisborne in 1835. Mr. Holland Watson, who does not appear to have resided at Mosley Hall, was a well-known antiquarian, and an obituary notice in The Times newspaper in 1829 states he was one of the oldest magistrates for Cheshire and Lancashire and had commanded the first volunteer corps raised in the former county.


appears to have been part of the Legh estate and was conveyed to Myles Bennett of Lightbirch, yeoman in 1608, being then in the occupation of Myles’ father John Bennett. In 1693 it passed to John Bennett of Mackworth and it finally came to Holland Watson.


was another Legh property and went with Lightbirch. In 1608 Thomas Gee of Lidgate purchased Lidgate and Silkhill but the latter soon passed to the Bennetts and eventually to the Buckleys. On the sale of the Buckley estates in 1912

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Silkhill again passed to the Gees, being bought by a descendant of the former owner.


This was one of the oldest settlements and in early days its owners must have been a family of some standing. Adam de Holrenshaw assarted ½ a rood in Bowden and also had land in Combs and a burgage in Chapel circa 1250, and in 1327/8 John del Olrynshagh was assessed to the Lay Subsidy Roll. The D.R.R. from 1470 shows several generations of the family. The estate until the end of the seventeenth century appears to have comprised, in addition to the Ollerenshaw farms, one of the Tunstead farms and also Cadster and Fallhead, the latter probably in Fernilee. In the sixteenth century the Ollerenshaws acquired the adjoining farm, later known as Lane Head, then called “the Welcote lands.” This had been held in 1471 by Geo. Gawdrell and Mich. Welster and in 1509-61 by the heirs of Thomas Wilcote or Wilcoke. In 1612 Robert Ollerenshaw of Tunstead, yeoman, settled lands called, “Welcote lands” on Edward his son and heir apparent. In 1687 John Ollerenshaw of Lane Head sold that farm to John Shallcross, Esq., of Shallcross Hall who also purchased Ollerenshaw which he sold ten years later to Francis Gaskell of Hanley in the parish of Prestbury, a member of a well-known Cheshire family. Since then it has passed through many hands. The present Hall is said to have been built, early in the last century, by a Mr. Thornhill who was a carrier and constructed large cellars for

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the storage of merchandise. In 1701 Tunstead, Cadster and Fallhead had also passed to Mr. Shallcross (the two latter being described in his Settlement of that date as formerly part of Ollerenshaw) and in 1717 were purchased by Francis Thomasson of Perry Foot, yeoman, who and whose descendants owned considerable property in the parish for many years they resided at Cadster and carried on the businesses of Tanners and Barytes Manufacturers. They are now represented by the Harrison Rowson family, descended from Judith, sister of William Thomasson who died in 1836. Lane Head in 1723 became the property of William Moult of Leeds, a cadet of the Eccles family and an ancestor of Mr. Thomas Moult (Mackellan) the well-known writer. This property has now been broken up, part being submerged in the Combs Reservoir and other parts going to the farm lately named Haycrust and to The Cedars (once known as Crossleys or New House, Steven Crosler, a husbandman was living at Tunstead Milton in 1604).


A small farm adjoining the “highway”, now known as Milton Lane. In 1509 this belonged to some Jodrells who in the seventeenth century were know as Bagshaw alias Jodrell (see p. 309). In 1604 a curious action was brought by the tenant, Anthonie Bennett against his landlords Edmund and Roger Jodrell, apparently claiming a possessory title. Part of the depositions with a very interesting and elaborate map are in the P.R.O. 1. As the Jodrells remained owners for another

1. P.R.O., M.P/C., 209.

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hundred years Bennett must have been unsuccessful in his claim. From these depositions one or two points emerge. One witness says he Wanted to marry Bennett’s daughter so he “Moved him (Bennett) to go with him to entreat the said Mr. Jodrell’s goodwill in the said marriage whereunto the said A. Bennett consented but when they came thither the said Mr. Jodrell denyed to grant his goodwill to the said marriage but said he only got 6/8 out of it, and he had a chappman for it and he would sell it.” Presumably the , “lover” wanted to make sure of the reversion to the tenancy and, not getting it, Went over to the other side. Some of the witnesses speak of the farm being “Charter or freehold land and not copy hold” a term not met with elsewhere. It is apparently used as applying to land held on a perpetual rent. About 1750 Wilkin Hill passed to the Higginbottom, or Heginbotham, family.


This is one of the few estates in the parish which has passed to the present owner by descent or settlement never changed hands by purchase, It has been said that first Bradshaw came from Lancashire and gave his name to the place and, on the other hand, that he took his name from the estate, which signifies Broad glade. Prior to 1471 the Bradshaws also owned Lightbirch which was sold to Reynold Legh, a sale the cause of much litigation as Legh claimed to have bought, in addition, the Hollow Meadow (which adjoins Crossings Road), but this claim was eventually defeated.

Four de Bradshawes are mentioned in the Assart Roll

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1215-1221 1. In this Roll Walter de Bradshawe who was then dead is stated to have assarted 9 acres in Bowden, and his son Walter had built a house in Bowden which Mr. C. E. B. Bowles suggested was the site of the present Bradshaw Hall. In 1283 Wm.de Bradshaw was reported as occupying land in Combs. The Hall was rebuilt by Francis Bradshaw, High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1630-1, whose initials with those of his wife, Barbara, a Cheshire Davenport, and the date 1619 may be seen on a stone built into one of the farm buildings, and his arms and initials and the date 1620 are carved on the gateway, still in good preservation, on the north side of the house.

The last of the direct male line was George Bradshaw, Recorder of Doncaster, who died in 1735, intestate, when his estates passed to Pierce Galliard, son of George’s sister Elizabeth, as heir-at-law and from him they have descended to the present owner, H. C. Bradshaw Bowles, Esq., who is also owner of an estate at Abney, Derbyshire, which was acquired in the seventeenth century. The Hall, restored by Francis Bradshaw, is considered by architects to comprise part of a fourteenth-century building. Tradition says a wing of this house was pulled down during the eighteenth century and the material was used to build the Royal Oak Inn at Chapel. This is a very doubtful story and if there is any truth about it, it is possible that some material from Bradshaw may have been utilised for the repair of the King’s Arms or “Town Head” which then belonged to the Bradshaws of Marple. Another story, common to many old houses, is of a secret passage from

1. Feud Hist., sec. vi, p. 260.

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Bradshaw to Shallcross Hall. Of this there is no trace, nor is there of a similar passage to Chapel Church, as according to the latest fable there should be. Recently a very plausible explanation, which is commended to legend mongers, was given by an engineer who has studied this subject. He suggests that these passages were nothing more than ways to the household rubbish dump, and, if this theory is correct, this gives a simple reason for their existence and for the fact that they cannot now be traced for any distance. The Hall has several interesting features, amongst them a massive solid oak staircase opening into a small landing which has a remarkable ceiling, cornice and frieze in plaster work with, around the latter, in raised lettering the words “Love God but not gold: A man without mercy of mercy shall miss but he shall have mercy

that mercyful is.”

The story, often repeated that John Bradshaw who presided at the trial of Charles I, owned or lived at Bradshaw Hall is totally unfounded. He was the great grandson of William Bradshaw the second son of Henry Bradshaw of Bradshaw Hall (died 1523) This William was tenant of Marple Hall which was afterwards purchased by his son Henry the grandfather of the regicide. The latter’s elder brother Henry, became the ancestor of the Bradshaw-Isherwood family, the present owners of Marple Hall.

According to an old pedigree in the possession of Mr.H.C.B. Bowles, the mother of John Milton, the poet, was a member of the family of Bradshaw of Marple. John Bradshaw left her £10 in his will. Goodwin, in his history of the Commonwealth, speaks of John Bradshaw as a kinsman of Milton.

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Very full and interesting accounts, well illustrated, of the family and of the Hall will be found in volumes xxiv and xxv of D.A.J


In D.R.R 1471 Thomas Bagshaw was of Bradsha: 1509-61 Nicholas Bagshaw. By a deed of 6 Feb. 32 Hen. VIII (1540/ 1) Nicholas Bagshaw of the Town End in the County of Derby, Gentlenman and Margaret his wife grant to John Bagshaw of “the Bradshaw”, son of Nicholas a lease of Bradshaw for 41 years and in 1580 Nicholas Bagshaw of Farwell, Staffordshire, gent., made a grant to John Bagshaw of Bradshaw, alias Further Bradshaw, yeoman. These documents have come to light since The Bagshawes of Ford was published, but the names do not fit in with the pedigrees in that work yet they must have been related to the family of that pedigree, and bear out Mr Greaves Bagshawe’s statement that the family had property in Chapel in the sixteenth century, and as shown above in the century preceding. John Bagshaw’s descendants held the main part of the estate until the latter part of the eighteenth century when it was conveyed to the Taylors of Barmoor. The remainder, known as Sparkbottom, after being owned by the Fox (of Fawfield Head, Staffordshire) and Potter families now belongs to representatives of the Taylors.


Adjoins Bradshaw Hall and extended originally to Crossings Road. In D.R.R. 1471 the owner is John, son of Richard Clementson. (The P.T.R. mentions Ric. Clementson, Artifex,

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and his wife). 1509 Roger Merchynton: 1534 and 1561 Wm. Marchington and 1650 Wm. Marchington. This William sold two fields to Mary daughter of Nicholas Smith (p. 44) through whom they passed to the Carringtons of Bugsworth and were purchased in 1719 by Mr. Thomas Bagshawe of the Ridge and by him conveyed to Queen Anne’s Bounty as the nucleus of a permanent stipend for the Minister of Chapel and they continued part of the Glebe until sold in 1928. The remainder passed to Francis Gee who married Elizabeth Marchenton and, dying in 1679, devised the estate to his widow, who in turn left it to Franics Morten of Brosterfield, gent., from whom it passed to Alexander Barker of Edensar, Gent., whose representatives sold to Joseph Lowe of Kettleshulme. His descendants held the property until, in 1923, they sold to the present owner.


From prior to 1471 to 1608 was part of the Legh estate, Robert Gee, a member of an old family living in Glossop parish at the beginning of the sixteenth century was tenant of Lidgate in 1519. In 16o8 Thomas Gee, the then tenant of Lidgate, purchased Lidgate and part of Silkhill from Mr. Thomas Bagshawe. This Thomas Gee in 1606 presented a Rector of Taxal in right of a grant made to him by Thomas Downs. The Gees remained at Lidgate till about 1750 when they sold to the Needhams of Rushop. They were firm supporters of Chinley Chapel, Ralph Gee being one of the original trustees, and Dr. Clegg records many visits to their house; one on Dec. 25 1741 when a service was held but no

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reference is made to its being Christmas Day. He also helped the family in a question as to a Deodand on Ralph’ s death, he having been killed by a fall from his horse. Of this family was the Rev. John Gee, curate of Taxal from 1757 to his death in 1786. His tomb is in Taxal Church. He lived at Chapel (at Chestnut House, now demolished, near to the present National Schools) and according to his will, he occupied a small farm adjoining his house. He also owned some land at Smithbrook. A suggestion that he was Curate at Chapel has not been verified.

Robert Gee, probably a member of this family, was Vicar of Chapel 1645/48 when he became Vicar of S. Peters, Derby. He returned to Chapel in 1651 and was buried in the chancel on 1 May 1652.

Lidgate passed from the Needhams, by purchase, to the Marriotts, a Cheshire family, who, early in the present century disposed of it to the present owner. The Needhams added to the estate a portion of the King’s Part on Eccles. The high ground surrounding the summit of Eccles Pike (1213 ft.) is now vested in the National Trust as the local commemoration of the Coronation of King George VI.


is one of the three Lanesides in the parish. With Hall Hill and Diglatch it belonged in l471 to Thomas Kirk and William Hobson: in 1509 Christopher Kirk was in possession of Laneside and his descendants so continued till 1790 when Peter Bramwell became the owner by purchase whose representatives sold in 1905 to the present owners.

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Over the front door is inscribed, for Thomas Kirk and is wife Frances. One of the earliest extant deeds relating to the parish is one dated at the Chapel of Frith on the Sunday next after the Feast of S. Thomas the Martyr 1323. It is a grant of lands in the field of Staynoldsleye and Pedder Meadow by Thomas, son of Thomas le Ragged to Wm. Son of Richd de Hurdefield. This field was part of Laneside. Another charter is a feoffment of Thos. del Kirke, senr. And Margaret his wife of lands lying “in le Whytehalgh within the vill of Bawdon” dated the Wednesday after the Annunciation of B. V. M. 1432 and in another, dated the Feast of S. Martin in Winter (Nov. 11) 1434, Agnes, widow of Wm. Hobson grants her interest in the same premises to Thurstan Kirke ( ? her nephew). The charter of 1323 is here reproduced. An article upon it and some notes on the Kirkes of Whitehough appears in D.A.J. xxiii. and pedigrees of the various branches of the family are to be found in The Reliquary (0.S.) vi, viii and ix. It should be observed, as pointed out in the before mentioned article, that there are discrepancies in these which do not appear consonant with later investigations. Laneside adjoins Charley Lane—which connects the road from Crossings to Whitehough with Black Lane Head, whence there was “a road to the Peat Moor.” The meaning of Charley Lane is obscure, the earliest mention we have met with occurs in the Parish Register for 1680, recording the burial of Grace Grine.


As shown above were at one time held along with Laneside.

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By 1534 Hall Hill and Diglatch had passed to the Vernons of Haddon and in the seventeenth century were owned by Dorothy Shert or Suite daughter of Arnold Kirke of Martinside and widow of William Shert of Disley. She was a Royalist and her estate was sequestrated by the Parliament in 1644, Since then these farms have passed through several hands and are now part of the Fleming estate. The late Mr. Henry Kirke suggested that Hall Hill was once the principal home of the Kirkes but there is no confirmation of this. It is possible that the Kirkes were there as stewards or attorneys of the Vernons. Charles Kirk in 1505 received a legacy of £5 from one of the Vernons and in 1515 he was appointed attorney for Sir John Ashton, Godfrey Foljambe and Henry Vernon in a lawsuit.


Sometimes spelled and pronounced locally “carses”, covered the area between the Market Place and Charley Lane and was bounded on the south and east by the old Burrfields and Stodhart estates and on the west by Eccles Road.

Courses Farm of the south side of Charley Lane was the home of another Kirke family. They were probably a branch of that of Whitehough but there is no direct evidence of this, Henry Kyrke of Courses was a witness to a livery of seisin by Agnes Ashton of Stodhart in 1504 and his name appears in the D.R.R. in 1509. In the Rolls for 1534 and 1560 the owner is Reynold Kyrke and in 1625 it is again Henry. By 1709 Courses had been acquired by the Allens of Pyegreave and on the death of Thomas Allen in 1713 his real

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estate passed to his surviving sisters and was sold to their relatives the Ratcliffes of Spinner Bottom, Thornset, from whom it passed by devise to the Fleming family in whom it still remains. The house to-day is an excellent example of the better class Derbyshire farmhouse. It had a very fine arched kitchen in which were three fireplaces: the domestic hearth, one for oat cakes and one to heat the cheese room overhead. Below the window of this room could be seen a few years ago a board with the words “Cheese Room” reminiscent of the days when such rooms were exempt from window tax. “Old Lawyer Bennett” is said to have taken friends to see this kitchen which he described (surely with some poetic licence) as built in the time of the Danes.

Back or Far Courses, now known as The Courses, adjoining the last mentioned property appears to have for many years been the home o the Dixon family two of the fields still bearing their name. Wm. Dyksone, a husbandman, is named in the P.T.R.for 1381 and three of the same name took part in the Lancastrian raid in 1453. These were William, John, of Whitehalghe and Robert, of Chapel, clerk. In 1471 Thos. son of Wm. Dyckson paid rent for land under the heading Whitehough and John Dicson appears in 1509 and 1534. The Bagshaws of Further Bradshaw were in possession from 1561 to 1704 when John Bagshaw sold to Mr. Bagshawe of The Ridge and it passed with the rest of his property to the Gisbornes who held it till 1879. The old house, dismantled about that time, which stood a little to the east of the modern farmhouse is described as very much like the Courses Farmhouse, now Flemings. It had a large room, stone flagged and

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with a large stone table in the middle. The last portion being the kitchen of the old house with a chamber over, evidently ancient, was pulled down a few years ago.


The name Whitehough or Whitehalgh seems to have been applied in early times, rather loosely, to a considerable area in Bradshaw Edge. Most of these lands have changed hands and the boundaries have been altered during the last two centuries and it is therefore not possible to trace the ownerships so clearly as could have been wished.

Whitehough Hall. In 1433 Ralph Kirke was Demandant in a fine relating to premises in Whitehalgh. In 1454 Hugh Kyrke witnessed a grant by Ralph, son of Hugh Bradbury to Ralph Kyrke of all his lands and tenements in Whitehalgh which he had of the gift &c. of Agnes, late wife of William Hobson. In D.R.R. for 1471 Hugh Kirk appears as the owner of Whitehough “per terr. nuper. . . . Hugonis” (Glossop). At this time the Moults appear also to have some adjoining land formerly Glossop’s. Two Glossops are ment ‘ned in the 1381 P.T R. Hugh Kirk is succeeded in 1504 by Arnold Kirk, who pays a King’s rent of 4s. for Thornholm and 6d. for Beymond Leys (p. 92). In 1534 and 1561 this 6d. is paid by Oliver Kirk and afterwards disappears. According to a sale plan dated 1892, Thornholm lay on the south side of the Blackbrook and is now the site of Messrs. Hadfield’s new works (the Forge Bleach Works) and their Sports ground and houses. So much of

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Whitehough Hall as remain is an interesting late Elizabethan building. After the division of the Commons the Kirkes were interested, with others in a large portion of the King’s Part on Eccles. On the death, in 1765, of Samuel Kirke his property passed to his only surviving child, Catherine, by his second wife Mary, Daughter of George Allen of Pyegreave. She married in 1769 the Rev. Wm Plumbe, M.A., Rector of Aughton, and had two daughters, who married respectively Lt,-Col. Thomlinson, 91st Foot, of Carlisle, and John Plumbe Esq., of Tong Hall, Yorkshire. These ladies disposed of the whole estate in 1806 when about 160 acres were sold in addition to land at Cote Bank and Ancoats in Bugsworth. Whitehough Hall and land was bought by John Booth the occupier, and the other part, including land called Buller Carr, was purchased by Mr. Goodman and others. Booth erected a paper mill on some of the land, now the site of Whitehall Mills.


In 1471 Wm. Honford held land formerly Michi Honford’s. An earlier William was witness to the Grant of 1323 before mentioned. Later the Honford property came to the Leghs and so remained till sold in 1608 to Robert Carrington of Chinley Houses as “a tenement in the Whitehalghe late in the occupation of Thomas Wilshaw.” A Thomas Wilshaw of Whitehough was buried on Dec. 26, 1622 (P.R.). This appears to have included the farm later know as Wilshaw as well as that

once called Higher Whitehough Head. The former passed from Carrington to Robert Kirk and in 1760 belonged to.

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Samuel Hide to whose descendant it passed by the devise of his great uncle John Hyde and was disposed of by the Hollinshead family in 1921. Another part, later known as Higher Whitehough Head, passed to the Yeaveleys. In 1596 George Yeaveley of Chapel, yeoman, gave this and other lands to Richard, his son and heir, and in 1647 Thomas Yeaveley and Constance his wife sold this part to John and Richard Bennett of Little Hayfield and the latter settled at Whitehough. In 1703 John Bennett of Whitehough Head and Christopher Bennett of the Hough, purchased from Edward Kirk of Whitehough, yeoman, and George Kirk of Shireoaks, yeoman “several parcels of the ancient lands” of the Kirks “at or near Whitehough.” These were incorporated in the Whitehough Head farms by the Bennetts and included part of the Thornyholmes. Many years later: after the Plumbe sale some of the old Kirk estate near the Thornyholmes was acquired by John Ibbotson, who prior to 1838 had founded a paper mill called The forge. This mill was later owned for many years by the Slacks of Hayfield, but becoming derelict, was purchased by Messrs J. J. Hadfield as the nucleus of their large modern works. It is said that in the forties of the last century the paper for the first issues of The Illustrated London News was made at the old mill. Christopher Bennett, in 1768 had encumbered his property and it was sold and is now dispersed. Wesley’s preacher John Bennett appears to have been connected with this family. The Will of William Bennett of Whitehough made in 1763, shows that he owned the Lane Ends estate in Chiniley extending from the Blackbrook to Stubbins Lane. Part of this was a close Chinley Green sold

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to Taylors of Chinley who built a small cotton mill at a spot still called The Warth. Mr. lbbotson who had succeeded Booth purchased this mill anld added it to Whitehall.


On the northern slope of Eccles Pike is one of the few estates which has not changed hands but has devolved by will or settlement for nearly five centuries. The name of Moult, under divers forms of spelling, occurs at Eccles from the end of the fifteenth century but the family were no doubt settled there at an earlier date (see p. 92), Robert Mold is a witness at Chapel to a grant in 1345 (Jeayes No. 619), and in 1381 Wm. and Robt. Mold are assessed to Poll Tax. In 1471 Robert Mould had property in Bagshaw and this was held by Thomas Molte in 1509, he being also of Eccles. John Molte is mentioned in Chancery proceedings 15338. In the early seventeenth century Elizabeth daughter and heiress of Thomas Moult of Eccles married German, son of German Buxton of Brassington: their son William Buxton died without issue and devised the estate to Sarah, the daughter of another Thomas Moult, afterwards of Eccles. Sarah married in l765, George Goodman of the parish of S. Alkmund, Derby, gentleman: their grandson Mr. Davenport Goodman married Elizabeth, only child of John Moult of Lower Cliff, Mellor and Chapel, a member of the Chinley branch. Thomas Moult, Junr., of Eccles, in 1617 took a lease, and in 1624, a grant from the Bradshaws of part of the Herbage of Chinley. His descendants, who lived at The Naze, acquired considerable property

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in Chinley which eventually descended to Sarah Susannah Moult of Mellor, the Goodmans of Eccles and others and this estate has now been broken up.

The instructions to his executors left by William Moult of Chinley who died in 1775, show that he must have had some humour and not a little common sense, It should be remembered that funerals then were great and expensive functions also that householders were less numerous in Chinley: I. He would be buried at New Chapel. 2, “I would have all housekeepers within Chinley to be asked to my burial” and Four (named) relatives “and also Parson and Clark at New Chapel and no more for my good relations being so far off it must be nothing but trouble to come and go all to see a dead corps: thirdly my desire is yt no mourning be used at my burial nor feasting but ye Invite to come at one of the clock exactly and so served (sic) as they come to the House. Anthony Carrington might make my coffin and so it will be Least Trouble.”

Another branch of the Moult Family in the seventeenth century became the owners of the Laneside Farm at Tunstead Milton (p. l08).

The present owner of Eccles is Sir Godfey Davenport Goodman K.C.B., C.M.G., J.P and D.L. for Derbyshire, late A.D.C. to King George V who has had a distinguished career in the Army, having served in the South African War in 1901, and in the Great War in France and Flanders 1914—1919, in command of the 6th Bn. The Sherwood foresters (T.A.) and later of the 52nd and 21st Infantry Brigades. He is also associated with many military and civil organisations in Derbyshire.

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Harper Cottage is a small property on the banks of the Blackbrook below Eccles. Wm. le Harpr appears in the P.T.R. but we cannot say that he was the owner. Belonging in 1471 to Henry Mellor of Bugsworth it remained in his family until 1648 when Francis Mellor of Bugsworth conveyed it in moieties to W m. Carrington of Bugsworth and Nathaniel Bowden of Cote Bank Wm. Carrinton, who died about 1689, left his property to his two daughters by a will that caused litigation for thirty years after his death. One moiety afterwards passed to the Thornhill family and the whole eventually came to John Bullock who devised the property to his grandson John Brocklehurst in 1779, and in 1844 it, along with some leasehold land and a house on Eccles was owned by one John Walton.


According to Thomas Kirk’s evidence the houses on this Side, if any there were in 1225, were not in the borough and when a line of houses was first erected is not known; probably early in the town’s history, for the site would soon be come valuable. It may, of course, be that the Hall built by Thomas Yeaveley, now the Roebuck Inn which shows work that may well be of the date of that Hall, 1600, was one of the first of these houses, The D.R.R. indicates that a block of land, extending west to, probably Eccles Road from the Churchyard and back northwards for some distance, described in 1471 as “apud Courses et Bradshaw” belonged to Rico

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Shore and Nicholas Boden, later to Thurstan Croslie and in 1534 to John Hollingworth. In the time of Henry VII Robert Hollingworth of Bowden complained to the Chancellor of the Duchy that John Savage, Deputy Steward of the High Peak, had instigated his (Savage’s) servant one John Bromall (? an early rendering of Bramwell) “a myschiefes man and outlawed for divers murdores and fellones” to put out the complainant from his house and lands which he held of the King by chief rent and threatened to kill him if he tried to claim it: also that John Shallcross, Bailiff of the High Peak, George Bagshaw and other servants of Savage’s pulled down the floors of his house, damaged the walls, carried off divers “grete arkes and coffers”, tables, household furniture and “other erlomes.” He had sought to obtain redress from Savage but in vain and was in danger of his life if he ventured into that part of the country. Sir John Savage in reply stated that Hollingworth was attainted of felony and that Savage, as steward, thereupon seized the house and land and transferred the tenancy to Bromall.1 This episode gives some idea of the lawless methods of the period. As Savage, or some of his family had properry nearby, probably part of Burrfields, which later was added to the Bowden Hall estate, he may not have acted wholly as an active servant of the King. In the latter part of the sixteenth century Hollingworth’s land passed to the Yeaveleys, who were people of some standing, owning land, at Whitehough and elsewhere in Chapel and also in Glossop parish. George was Vicar of Chapel in 1571 and afterwards Vicar of Glossop. Thomas, who built the New

1 Cox, Royal Forests of England, p. 170.

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Hall, or his Son, was in possession for more than fifty years longer but by 1709 the Hall had become the property of Mr. John Shallcross: Robert Middleton had purchased other part and a house near the Hall belonged to Peter Kenyon, described in a contemporary deed as a Goldsmith.


In early records the King’s Arms Hotel and its immediate neighbourhood is usually spoken of as the Town Head. Here, before High Street came into being were two farmhouses called

Old House Farm and the New House Farm, some remains of which may be discerned in windows, etc., on the Eccles Road side of the hotel. The farm land ran to the south down to the Smithy Brook, the greater part being now occupied by Rowton Grange Road, the Memorial Park and the Cricket Ground. This part came to the Bradshaws in the sixteenth century.

On the west side of this part, now the site of the National Schools, Horderns Road and Jubilee Road, was another part of the Town Head land now called the Horderns.

The Town Head Estate appears to have been once part of the property of the Bagshawes of Hollin Knowl. Geffery Bagshawe, Chaplain (probably Vicar of Glossop who died 1777) settled ten burgages and lands in Chapel on his younger brother George Bagshawe, In the time of Henry VIII the two daughters of George’s grandson Christopher Bagshawe of Town Head married Henry Bradshaw of Marple (born 1535) and Thornhill of Warmbrook respectively. The Bradshaws took the Town Head land and it will be remembered that

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Mr. Badshaw was stated in the 1702 list quoted in Chapter II as paying a burgage rent for “Townhead and Harbutchers”. Several fields on this part were called variously “Higher Butchers”, “Hard Butchers” and “Harbutchers”, names to which no solution has yet been found. The Bradshaws also probably acquired a farm at Lower Crossings known as Greggs Barn. The title to this is not otherwise accounted for unless—which is not anywhere recorded-it once belonged to the Bradshaw Hall estate which partially bounds it on the north side. On the sale by the Trustees of Mr. Thomas Bradshaw of Marple in 1798 the Town Head property was sold to Thomas Fleming Esq. of Manchester the frontage to what is now High Street having been sold off previously for building. The Greggs Barn farm, included in the same sale was sold to Thomas Orgill the tenant of the King’s Arms.

The Thornhills took the Horderns land and retained it till the beginning of the eighteenth century when they sold to Edmund Warrington of Whaley Bridge. It passed by Settlements to Ann only child of John Booth of Charlsworth Gentleman who married as her first husband John Fox Junr. of Salford, Gentleman. She afterwards married Rowland Swann and by her will, in 1808, left the Horderns to her nephew James Beech of The Shaws, Staffordshire, whose representatives sold to the Rev. W. Bagshawe in, 1838.


This in 1471 was held by Wm. Shorley, and in the sixteenth century was the property of the Savages before mentioned as to part and the remainder was held by Sampson

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shore, the whole of which in the next century had become part of the Bowden Hall estate. One of the fields on this part of Stodhart was called ‘Shore Hay’ and Dr. Clegg mentions a house there which he had sublet to a troublesome tenant. On the break up of the Bowden Ball estate Burrfields was sold in lots to various purchasers. The northern part is now practically covered by the works of Ferodo Limited, manufacturers of brake blocks, etc. Here were made the brakes for the first tanks used in the Great War and the brake-lining for the racing car in which Captain George Eyston gained the present world’s land speed record.

The Stodhart portion was purchased in 1810 by the Rev. Wm. Bennett, son of Mrs. Grace Bennett. He rebuilt the house known as Stodhart Lodge, once the home of Dr. Clegg, retaining the present back of the building which must have been the front in the Doctor’s time and has signs of considerable antiquity. Mr. Bennett soon sold the property to Mr. John Bennett a Surgeon whose grandson held it till 1921.


The early history of this portion is obscure. The Ashtons (p. l03) had property at Horwich in the fifteenth century and prior to 1503 Hugh Ashton held land at (Chapel) Milton. He had one child, Agnes, by his wife Margaret (or Elizabeth as she is called in some Chancery proceedings) who married, as her second husband, Robert Mellor of the Tunstead family. Hugh Ashton’s mother was also named Agnes, through whom he appears to have inherited the Stodhart estate, Hugh’s widow and his daughter, Agnes, had a grant of lands in Bowden

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and Wormhill from John Bate (p. 104). A certificate dated in 19 Hen. VII (1504) shows that after her husband’s death Agnes the elder gave seisin of the house and lands, which were her own inheritance, to her son Hugh who agreed to perform his father’s will, which was that, subject to his mother’s life estate, each of his brothers, Thomas, John and Edward, should hold, in turn for four years a parcel of ground called Hokholme “or els the said Hugh to agree with them and so he didde with Thomas Ashton and gaffe hym a grey hors”. Also his two sisters were to have the Pott Field each for six years. This is interesting as an instance of the method of carrying out a testator’s wishes before “Uses and Trusts” became legal. Hokholme is by the brook side and is now covered by a waste tip. The Pott field or Potters Knowle lies on the east of Stodhart Lodge on either side of Bowden Lane. Agnes the Younger married John Tunstead and their descendants held this part of Stodhart till 1657 when the bulk of the estate was sold to Charles Lingard of Chapel Milton whose family retained it until the middle of the last century when it was sold to Mr. John Bennett. The house occupied by the Lingards is said to have stood where the stables now are. The last of this family to reside at Stodhart was the Rev. John Lingard, who was Minister of Edale for some years at the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Connected with these two families was the land on the east side of Eccles Road from Crossings Road nearly to the Railway. The upper part was known as Ashton Fields and a house known as Laneside once stood near to “Welby Croft”. Since the Ashtons owned this land it has changed hands many

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times; the lower part, known as the Horsefair, was held by the Lingards until modern times.

It is perhaps not altogether to be wondered at that an area in the very middle of the parish is the most difficult to identify, the reason no doubt being the many changes of ownership, the making of Manchester Road and the railway, and the consequent subdivisions. This area extends approximately east to west from the National Schools to Long Lane and north and south from Eccles Road to the Railway. Whilst conjectures can be formed—perhaps with fair accuracy—the evidence is not such as can he put forward with confidence. It is, however, suggested that, at the end of the seventeenth century, the greater part of this area belonged to the Allens of Pyegreave being the ‘Townlands’ which passed under an agreement of partition to Anne one of the sisters and co-heiresses of Thomas Allen who died intestate in 1713. She married Henry Lomas of Rye Flatt and their only child: Anne Lomas, who died a spinster devised this property to her uncle George Ward of Brownside, the husband of Thomas Allen’s sister Elizabeth. George Ward appears to have sold the property in lots, the greater part passing to the Greens of Burbage House who again sold in lots about 1822. At this sale Lot 3 “contiguous to the Turnpike” is called Walker’s Farm. Water was valuable in those days for there is a reservation of the right to take a supply from, the Dole, to Burbage house.


On the north side of Meveril Brook, as to part, comprising the present homestead and the land adjoining the main road,

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appears to have belonged to the heirs of John Boler in 1471, in 1509 to Alice Warrington and later to some Harrisons. In 1670 it was owned by the Marshalls of Combs Head from whom it passed to the Bradburys. About one half is now in the Reservoir.

The other portion belonged to the Ridge Hall estate and passed to Mr. Gisborne in 1742. So much as was not submerged is now combined with the other part of Newfield.




The following short account of this estate is based chiefly on an article in D.A.J xxxi by Mr. Greaves Bagshawe and further notes given to the present writer by him. The authorities are fully quoted in the article in question and are mainlyfrom the Feud. Hist., the public records and family muniments.

Ford Hall, which takes its name from the ford on the adjacent ancient road, was probably built in the reign of Henry III, but it is possible that the de la Ford family may have resided in the place at an earlier date for Wymund de Ford who assarted land in Combs, died before 1222 and certainly was living in the twelfth century and may have then been seated at ford. The last known de la Ford was Nicholas, living in 1363. The property passed to a near relative, Matilda de la Ford, who married Richard Brown of Whitfield in Glossop who was the ancestor of the Brownes of Marsh

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Hall and, maternally, of the Bagshawes of Abney, Ford etc. In the following century the Ford property was chiefly in the hands of the families of Cresswell and Clough, but whether they acquired by descent or purchase is not known.

Between the years 1411 and 1431 Nicholas Cresswell held land at Malcoff “No one even now can say exactly where Malcoff ends and Ford begins” and this Nicholas may have resided at Ford, at any rate his descendants were possessed in 1575 of lands at Ford, Malcoffe, Collenhey and Brownside which were, in that year conveyed by Nicholas Cresswell of Ford to his son Anthony.1 In 1431 Thomas del Clough, then of Castleton, had property in Bowden and in 1471 Thomas Clough and Thomas Cresswell had estates at Malcoff of which the larger appears to have belonged to Thomas Clough. Before 15l0 the greater part of the Clough property had passed to Richard Vernon of Hazlebadge and the remainder to his nephew Sir Henry Vernon of Haddon. It is not known how the Vernons came into possession of these estates but Mr. Greaves Bagshawe suggests a possible explanation. In the Court Rolls of the Peak is a record that “at Colynhay in the parish of Glossop” (this is now called Cornhays and is really in Chapel parish and for a time was part of the Ford estate) “Robert and John Clough, of Codnor, yeomen, Richard Mere of Bowdon, his bondman and Thomas Heyward their servant, lay in wait to kill Roger Cresswell and there murdered him: and Henry Redfern of Bowdon, yeoman and William Redfern of the same, with knowledge, aided and abetted them at Malcoff in Bowdon.” If therefore,

1 The Bagshawes of Ford, p.5.

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this Robert Clough, who is described elsewhere as “late of the vill of Bowdon,” absconded to Codnor and was convicted of the felony, the Vernons through the influence they had as Stewards of the Peak, may have obtained a grant of the forfeited property. There is, however, no actual proof that these Cloughs succeeded to the estate of the Thomas Clough before mentioned. Sir Henry Vernon’s portion of the Ford estate remained in his family’s possession until towards the end of the sixteenth century when it appears to have been sold to the Barbers of Malcoff who, after holding it for several generations sold it to the Bagshawes. Richard Vernon left his property in Bowden to his illegitimate son Richard whose descendants sold his Ford property to Anthony Cresswell of Ford, gentleman, in 1586 and 1596. This Anthony married Elizabeth Bowden the granddaughter of Nicholas Bagshawe of Abney, the ancestor of the present owner of ford, Barbara Cresswell the granddaughter and heiress of the last named Anthony, joined with her cousins in selling the property to Robert Ashton of Stoney Middleton and he, a few years later, in 1662, sold it to Mr. William Bagshawe of Abney, the father of the Apostle of the Peak who succeeded him in 1669, Mr. Greaves Bagshawe believed Bettfield to have been a very ancient enclosure, probably made in the time of the Cloughs and that it includes the King’s Part (A.184 3R.17P.) shown on the Duchy plan No. 23, reclaimed before 1659.

A large area of the King’s Part of the Waste, lying on Colborne, was acquired by Mr. Samuel Bagshawe who died in 1706.

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Amongst the treasures in the museum at Ford Hall is the “Tultbury Horn.” This horn (which is fully described and illustrated D.A.J. viii) is said to have descended from the ancient Derbyshire family of Agard who claimed, by virtue of its possession, the office of Escheator and Coroner throughout the whole Honour of Tutbury. It did entitle the holder to appoint the Coroner for the Hundred of High Peak down to the passing of the recent Coroners’ Act, and Mr. Greaves Bagshawe exercised this franchise; the last time being in 1889 when he appointed Mr. Sydney Taylor who held the office for nearly half a century.

Ford Hall and its owners are fully dealt with in the article before mentioned and in the handsome record by Mr. Greaves Bagshawe entitled The Bagshawes of Ford to which many references are made in these pages. Members of the family have during the last three centuries served in many capacities, civil and military. The present owner F. E. Gisborne Bagshawe Esq., in the Great War served in the Camel and Royal Tank Corps on several fronts and his brother Captain Geoffrey H. Bagshawe, 1st Dragoon Guards, was killed in action at the second battle of Ypres in 1915.


Malcoff has various spellings such as Malcalf and Malcave. The homesteads of Shireoaks, close to the parish boundary, are in Brownside while some of the holdings lie in Chapel and it is convenient to treat such parts as being in Malcoff. As before remarked the boundaries of Malcoff are indeterminate but a rough outline of the ownerships can be obtained from

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the D.R.R. In 1471 Wm. Purley had land “apud Malcave” where he was succeeded by Robert Legh and by 1534 the Barbers were in possession. William Barber of Malcoff described in Dr. Clegg’s Life of the Rev. John Ashe as “a gentleman of good estate”, married Susannah, sister of the Apostle of the Peak and it was through the influence of the wife of this Mr. Barbers nephew and heir, William Barber, that the congregation were deprived of their meeting house at Malcoff and obliged to build Chinley Chapel. Some of the Barber property passed direct, or after intermediate ownerships, to the Ford Hall estate and the remaining portion, belonging to Henry Barber of Phoside, was acquired by the Rev. William Bagshawe in 1811. Charles Barber, claimed as a cadet of this family, is reputed to have acquired a fortune in India amounting to at least of a quarter of a million, all of which went into Chancery”. Several attempts have been made by people believing themselves to be “missing heirs” to obtain a share of the fund, the last in 1908 with the usual result and the money, if any, is still “in Chancery”.

Several Halleys are mentioned in the P.T.R. 1380. Thomas son of Hugh Halley who owned land at “Shayracks” in 147l may have been the representative of one of them. In 1509 part of this had passed to Walter Kirk and the remainder to Robert Legh. The latter passed on the break up of the Legh estate to Charles, Thomas and Arnold Kirk respectively, and eventually came into the Ford Hall estate. Walter Kirk’s descendants, John Kirk, senior and junior, sold their part to Henry Trickett in 1700. Over the doorway of one of the buildings is the inscription “H.T. E.T. 1702”. Joseph

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Trickett the son of this Henry was a well-known character in his day. He had other property which he derived from the Youngs (his mother’s family) and had a cotton mill in the valley below Malcoff where traces of the goit, etc., can still be seen. This property afterwards came into the Ford Hall estate. Trickett had a number of transactions in real estate, including the purchase of Warmbrook after the downfall of the Thornhills: he was also mixed up with the parish squabbles of his time, as shown in the Diary of Dr. Clegg who says Trickett’s lawsuits were disapproved by his own party. The result was that he became bankrupt and his sole record is now Trickett Lane running up to the back of Plumpton from Blackbrook.


The Bowdens did not take their name from the township but are believed to spring from Bowdon in Cheshire. Egidus de Bowdon, who appears in the P.T.R. 1381 may have been an early member of this family. In 1450 William Bowden is a witness to a grant of land in Bagshaw (Jeayes No. 629) and to about 1665 the Bowdens of Bowden Hall were one of the leading families in the parish. They somewhat mysteriously disappeared about this time and their property was acquired by Simon, afterwards Sir Simon, Degge one of the Justices for North Wales and the author of several legal works. The present hall is a comparatively modern building but there are some remains of the old outbuildings, on one of which may still be seen the arms of Bowden, quarterly sable and or in the first quarter a lion passant argent., langued gu. There.

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was also once an alabaster tomb at the east end of the north aisle in the parish church, known as the Bowden Quire. Fragments of the cover of this tomb, faintly showing the crest, an eagle’s head erased, are in the south porch of the church.

In the Calendars of State Papers (October 1660 is a petition by Nicholas Bowden of Bowden asking for a warrant to seize for himself some law books confiscable as being John Bradshawe’s; Bowden “had suffered for his loyalty and had a faire studdy of lawe bookes” in the Inner Temple taken away by Mr.Selden. With this is a form of warrant to the Keeper of the Storehouse of the Customs of London, to deliver to Nicholas Bowden seven boxes of books supposed to be the goods of Sergeant Bradshawe, The seventeenth century Bowdens disappeared but another branch were settled in Lancashire and are now represented by Lord Grey de Ruthyn, J.P., of Barlborough House, Derbyshire. Sir Simon Degge’s descendant, Mr. John Wingfield of Tickencote, Rutland, broke up the estate in the last decade of the eighteenth century when the Hall and adjoining land became the property of James Hibberson who made money as a carrier. It is said that he constructed Hayfield Road East through his own land at his own expense to avoid a toll bar at Town End. His heir and devises became deeply involved and on a sale of all his property in 1839 Dr. John Slack of Slack Hall acquired the Hall which remained in his family until, on the death of the Rev. W. S. Barnes-Slacke, his representatives sold to F.A. Lauder Esq., J.P., the present owner.

In addition to the Hall estate proper several adjacent farms have from time to time been added:

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In 1423 Thomas Holynworth was of Bowden Township and in 1509 George Holynworth was here. There are fines in 1524 and 1540 in which (?) Bindonem Rawlinson and others are Plaintiffs and Isabella Hollingworth, Widow, is Defendant of land in Bowden Hedde.1 In 1625 it had passed to John Waterhouse of Hayfield. John Waterhouse who died in 1704, had two daughters, Ann who married Thomas Slack of Slack Hall and Mary the wife of Edward White of Calow near Chesterfield a friend of Dr. Clegg. Mary took this property which, after passing through several owners, in 1840 was purchased by Dr. Slacke and became part of the Bowden Hall estate. Another farm at Bowden Head, on the west side of the lane, probably part of Legh’s, was sold in 1701 by John Shirt of Bowden Head to Nicholas Lingard of Stodhart and a further part in 1762 by John and George Shirt to John Lingard of Astley, Lancashire whose representatives held it till a few years ago when it became part of the Bowden Hall estate. A small place adjoining the Hall called Hunter’s Farm, also Leghs, sold to one John Haige, is now joined to the Hall. A small holding known as Little Bowden, in the eighteenth century belonging to the Wood family and later to the Kirks (ironfounders) is not part of the estate. A strip of rough land connecting Bowden Lane with the Wash is, for no apparent reason, known as Strawberry Lane.

1 Derbysbire Fines Cal., vol. i. Le Neve’s index, Pasc., 32, Hen.VIII (1540) Bundle 6. File 29.

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Adjoining Bowden Lane (known to old people as “Drum and Monkey Lane” from an inn with that sign once here) was part of the Bowden Hall estate. Here or hereabouts was the cottage mentioned on page 84, By 1666 Waterside had passed to the Bagshawes of Hollin Knowle by whom it was conveyed in that year to Thomas Harrison of Chunal and in 1726 it became the property of Thomas Slake. About one hundred years later it was sold to a Mr. Waterhouse and has since passed through several hands. When the house was restored a few years ago the very old roughly squared trunk and branch of an oak was disclosed in use as a beam.


Land here, now owned by “Glossop Poor” was part of the Legh estate and in I606 was purchased by George Garlick of Whitfield. William Garlick who died in 1686, described in the Glossop Parish Register as “dux, de Laneside,” by his will gave this property to the Poor of the township of Glossop. He was a captain in the Parliamentary Army under Col. Randal Ashenhurst and took part in the attack on Shallcross Hall.

Another part of the Legh estate at the Wash, in the parishes of Chapel and Glossop, was sold in 16o8 to George Lowe of the Marsh. This appears to have comprised a small farm now called the Wash Farm and another farm at Bowden Head, both of which in 1800 belonged to Philemon Rowbottom and later to Mr. Thomas Marriott of High Lane

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whose descendants sold in 1870, the Bowden head farm passing to the Ford Hall estate.

In 1509 Thomas Bowden paid a King’s rent for “Robinson’s land”. William Robinson was party to a deed in 1470 and there are records of Robinsons at the Wash.


A monumental history of this family, of Brownside, has recently been privately issued by Francis A. Slacke, Esq. C.I.S., to whom we are much indebted. From this we learn that Henry Slack was living in Brownside—which adjoins the ancient parish in the neighbourhood of the Wash—in the early part of the sixteenth century, his home, as it was of his ancestors, being still marked by the farm known as Slacks. From this Henry descended Thomas Slack, who married, as her first husband, Dorothy daughter of Thomas Harrison of Lees Hall in Chunal (see Waterside above). Their son, Thomas Slack of Chunal, yeoman, purchased Slack hall and Waterside in Chapel parish and rebuilt Slack hall, over the main entrance of which is the inscription This Thomas Slack, who married Ann daughter of John Waterhouse of hayfield yeoman died without issue and was succeeded by his brother John, of Ampstall Bridges whose descendants lived at Slack hall, but on the Chapel to Sheffield Turnpike being made, Dr, Thomas Slacke the then owner, built another house nearer to Chapel which he named Slack Hall, locally known as “Pretty Field” from the name of the close in which it was built. Bowden hall was at this time

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owned by Mr. John Slacke, brother to Dr. Thomas Slacke. Both died without issue. Slack hall and the other property of Dr. Thomas Slacke as well as the Bowden Hall estate passed, by will, to the cousin of the Slackes, the Rev. William Slacke Barnes, of Fulshaw house, Wilmslow, for life (who on entering into possession took the additional name of Slacke). On his death Bowden passed to his sisters the Misses Barnes whose representatives sold to F. A. Lauder Esq., J.P., the present owner, Both the brothers Slacke were generous supporters of, and donors to, many parochial institutions including the Church, Schools and Town Hall, and also to Chinley Chapel.


It will be noticed that while the original home at Brownside took its name from the family it was only by accident of purchase that they were the owners of Slack Hall. It is not unlikely that, lying as it does in a fold of the hills, the name is derived from the old Derbyshire word “slack” signifying a dip or hollow. The old house was well placed with a south aspect and a fine open view. The garden was cut in two by the Turnpike, a portion with substantial walls and copings still remaining across the road, In 1509 Robert Legh had a large area at “Slack”. William Lingard was owner of the Hall in 1625 and his family retained possession till in 1718 David Lingard sold to Benjamin Bangs of Stockport who soon after disposed of Slack Hall to Thomas Slack. The Lingards were Quakers and suffered much for their adherence to their belief. Some of them are buried in the old Burying Ground inside the Ford Hall gates.

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Lying between Slack Hall and Bagshaw is reputed to be the site of a prehistoric tumulus. In 1471 Rico. Crowther held it: in 1509 Thomas Greensmith “de Bagsha” was there and his family remained until 1689 when Elizabeth Greensmith, widow and Elizabeth Carrington, daughter of Thomas Greensmith conveyed the property to Henry Waterhouse of Sheffield, Gent. The Greensmiths were early settled in the parish. Three, William, Richard, and Thomas and their wives are recorded in the P.T R. 1381. A deed (in the Possession of F. E. G. Bagshawe, Esq.) dated on Sunday after the Feast of S. Martin 1423, is a release of a house, kiln and land in Bagshaw to Thomas le Greensmyth of Bagshaw. In the D.R.R. 1471 Hugh and Thomas Greensmith are mentioned, their properties apparently being at Malcoff or Ford. In 1789 the Rev. Robert Waterhouse of Sheffield sold Maglow to Robert Hibberson from whose representatives it passed to Dr. Thomas Slacke in 1834 and was added to the Slack Hall estate with which it has now been joined to Ford Hall.


The hamlet of Bagshaw was, in the opinion of the late Mr. Greaves Bagshawe, the original home of the Bagshawe family later of Abney and now of Ford Hall, passing at an early period to the Gybbes. If this were so, and it seems not improbable, the Bagshawes no doubt owned along with this estate and retained for several succeeding centuries the farm now known as Town End Farm. Nicholas Baggeasage, who is

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described as a Forester of Fee of Hope Dale was a deponent at the Inquest ad quod damnum at Fairfield concerning the status of Chapel Church in 1317. “Nicholas” was a family name of the owners of Town End Farm for the next two and a half centuries.

Hugh Gybbe was a witness to the deed of 1423 mentioned above. The Gybbes or Gibbs continued at Bagshaw Hall till the eighteenth century. Robert, a churchwarden and a Plaintiff in the case of Thornhill and Gybbe v. Tooker, purchased a whole neighbourship in the Herbage of Whyteside in 1629. He or a son of the same name, who died in 1650, had one child, a daughter, who married Wainwright. Her Son, Robert W ainwright sold to Samuel Frith of Peak Forest, yeoman, in 1708. At Bagshaw Hall lived John Frith, a Friend of Dr. Clegg. His daughter, Mary Frith, brought the Hall to her husband Peter Steele" it passing to the Marriotts of Cheshire from whom it was purchased by Mr. Greaves Bagshawe.


At Bagshaw is a small Farm with a long history. On the Feast of St. Edmund Bishop ( 16 Nov.) 19 Edw. III. (1345) Wm. Brown of Bagschag granted to Wm. de Bolerde Blackwell and Elena his wife a moiety of his (Brown’s) land in the field of Bagschag in villa de Bouden (Jeayes No.619). According to D.R.R. the Bolers held this till Robt. Bradbury of Bank Head appears to have acquired it on the death of Edward “Booler” prior to July 1650. After passing through various hands it came in 1730 to Litchford Flitcroft

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for whom Dr. Clegg acted as trustee and it was purchased from him by the Bellotts whose representatives held it for nearly two centuries.


This at one point adjoins Bagshaw Hall and certainly at one time belonged to the Abney Bagshawes. In D.R.R. Nicholas Bagshawe is owner in 1509-34 and 1561. In a deed of 6 Feb. 32 Hen. VIII (1540/1) relating to Further Bradshaw Nicholas Bagshaw, Gent. is described as of Townend. In 1625 Henry Mellor appears for Town End and his family held it for just over a century when it was purchased by Robert Needham of Perry Foot whose descendants still own it. A part of the original farm, adjoining the old Peak Forest Tramway is occupied by the Townend Foundry Limited the successors of “H.& T. Kirk” who established the works there more than a century ago.


Situate between Townend Farm and the Bowden Hall estate are about twelve acres known as the Leys (p. 319). There is no evidence as to the early ownership of this land but such as there is suggests that it was part of Townend. In 1692 Humphrey Thornhill of Reddish Green, yeoman, devised the Leys and other property, which, in the events that happened came to his grandson Samuel Bagshaw who sold the Leys in 1742 to Queen Anne’s Bounty as part of Buxton Glebe, It remained Glebe until 1921 when the Chapel Parish Council

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acquired part for allotments and the rest passed to various purchasers. Reddish Green House was in the last century the home of the Kirks the Ironfounders.


Michael de Buxton is said to have been the owner of Blackbrook in 5 Edward 1 (1277) and to have been succeeded by several others before it came to the Leghs (Reliquary VIII.40).

As already noticed (p. 102) Robert Legh was seized of the “Manor of Blackbrook” in 1480 and various grants were made by Thomas Bagshawe in 1607/8 to persons who appear to have been the sitting tenants.

I. Laneside to Thomas Bawdon of the Laneside, Yeoman; remained in his descendants until 1864 when it was conveyed by John Bowden of Manchester, merchant, to the Kirks (Ironfounders) who held it until 1921. This property includes two fields called Phoenix, shown on a plan of 1864, on the north-east side of “Gilbery Gate Lane”.1 These fields, formerly part of the Commons, no doubt recall the strange case of the girl Phoenix, related in the P.B. who was lost in a snowstorm on “Bowden’s part” in March 1716/7 only some 200 yards from the house. Although buried in the drift for six days she seems to have been no worse for her adventure, which, as Roberr Middleton says “was the Lord’s doing and will be marvellous in future generations, she eat no meat during the six days nor was hungry but very thirsty and slept much”.

II. To Edward Cresswell of Blackbrook, yeoman. This remained in his family until sold in 1796 by John Cresswell of

1 John Gylbert in 1509 had land in or near Bagshaw.

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Tor Top in Whitle, New Mills, to Anthony Bellott whose representatives held it until recently.

III. To Anthony Cresswell of Blackbrook, yeoman, whose descendants held it down to 1803 when John Cresswell Esq., of Loughborough conveyed to Joseph Storer of Chapel, gent., the ancestor of the well known local family of Partington. A curious bequest is contained in the will of a member of this family Nicholas Cresswell, an Ironmonger of Chapel, made in 1762. He gave £20 to the Rev. John Byron and his successors for a sermon to be preached on the first Sunday after old Candlemas Day “out of and from the 32nd Psalm in the Bible and the 5th verse” which runs “I acknowledge my sin unto Thee and mine iniquity I have not hid. I said I will confess my transsgretions unto the Lord: and Thou forgavest me the iniquity of my sin”. We have no clue to the reason for this bequest; it is however certain that if it stood at the testator’s death Mr. Byron did not accept it.

IV. To John son and heir of John Carrington of Blackbrook, yeoman. John the elder appears to have been the tenant in 1591. This remained with the Carringtons until 1839 when it was conveyed to Mr. Thomas Storer Partington whose representatives sold this and the last mentioned property in lots, retaining only Blackbrook House which is still theirs. From the Carringtons of Blackbrook descend the Carrington family of Barber Booth, Edale.


According to some accounts a John Thornel was “of Thornel

and Warmbrook in the parish of Hope” in Derbyrshire in

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1279. Simon Thornel had a son James, of Thornel and Warnbrook (born c. 1350). At a Duchy Court at Castleton on 23rd June 22 Hen. VIII (1531) there was ordered to be enrolled a copy of a lost deed whereby in 1485 James Thornhill settled his lands in Thornhill on his grandson James, one John Skinner being named as Bailiff to take possession1. James Skinner appears in the D.R.R. of Chapel in 1471 and thence forward the Thornhills held Warmbrook till 1735 when the property was sold to Joseph Trickett. Until the early part of the eighteenth century the Thornhills were well to do yeomen of good standing. In addition to Warmbrook they acquired, by marriage or purchase, properties at Town Head, Combs, Horderns and Bolt Edge—but like so many other small squires of the period, George, the last of the Thornhills of Warmbrook, frittered his estate away in riotous living and “continuous intemperance” as Dr. Clegg records in his diary. George’s wife and mother, the latter aged 83, died within a day or two of each other and were buried together, Dr. Clegg preaching a funeral sermon from Psalm lxxi. 20, on 14th January 1734. A copy of this sermon is still preserved by a descendant. George had a large family of daughters and, although the direct male line appears to be extinct, this family, so long settled in the ancient parish, is still well represented by many descendants in the female line. Joseph Trickett also soon became insolvent and Warmbrook was purchased by Henry Eyre from whom it passed to Lady Massereene. She sold off some small portions and disposed of the bulk to Mr. Henry Mertill whose descendants, the Williamson family,

1 Feud. Hist., vol. iii, sec. vi, p. 430.

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held it till about ten years ago when it was converted into a building estate. Parts of the old Warmbrook estate are now the sites of the Methodist Church and Schools and of the Smithfield Works.


Comprised a number of farms in Bowden Edge on the south side of the extending, roughly from Ashbourne Lane to Long Lane.

Lower Eaves, P.T.R 1381 Wm. Orme (husbandman) D.R.R 1471 Ellen Orme. 1509-1561 the owners name is given as Bradshaw but this may be an error for in 1521 Henry Bradshaw of Bradshaw devised to his sons William and Henry his farm of “ye Eyvys”; he had paid Tristram Revell 10s. and 6s. 8d. to give up his tenancy but the latter had refused to do so in accordance with his covenant 1. Lower Eaves later became the property of the Marple Bradshaws and was sold by thier descendents, the Isherwood, in 1798 to Thomas Marchington, the tenant, whose family had been in possession for more than 150 years. His daughter married John Bennett of Stodhart and from them it passed to their grandson the late Mr. Samuel Needham who built the present house and whose representatives are now owners.

The Eaves D.R.R. 1509- 1650 give John, Anthony, Robert and Thomas Taylor as successive owners. We have no information about them but they may have descended from Robert le Tailour whose name appears among the freeman attending the

1. D.A.J.,xxv. p.58

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Inquisition at Wormhill in 2 Edw II (1317).1 In 1654 this property was purchased from Thomas Taylor and his mortgagee Henry Bagshawe of The Ridge by Henry Kirk of’ Martinside. This Henry is stated to be a son of Arnold Kirk of Martinside 2. The Eaves estate with additions continued in the ownership of this branch of the family till sold in 1916 by the then owner the late Mr. Henry Kirke, M.A., J.P., a Barrister on the Midland Circuit who had filled many important legal appointments under the Crown in West Africa and the West Indies, and was an ardent genealogist and antiquarian.

In the eighteenth century the Kirks of Eaves were Roman Catholics. In a return made of Papists who had registered their estates in 1715 is “Henry Kirk £21 45s. 0d.” and in another return in the following year “Henry Kirk of Eaves Esq.” with the same amount 3. As to the connection of this family with that of Whitehough, see p. ,52.

Eaves (formerly Castleton Church land). This property along, with the next mentioned and other land in the vicinity seems to have been from an early period, owned by the Meverels, but in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries it belonged to the Lomas family, variously styled Lumhales, Lomalls and finally Lomas. In 1692 Thomas Lomas sold to the Rev. Robert Mosley of Ludworth whose grandson sold the farm to Queen Anne’s Bounty as an augmentation of the stipend of the Vicarage of Castleton. These Mosleys also owned part of Greave House, Combs. A note in the Diary of the Rev. Edward Bagshaw, the then Vicar of Castleton shows

1. Reliquary, viii. p. 41. 2. Reliquary, vi. p. 218.

3. Glover i. app. pp. 85, 86.

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that Mr. Needham of Chapel had a hand in the transaction. On March 26, 1742, he writes “I went to Chappell in the frith and there had a commision to enquire into ye value of an estate in yt parish, purchased by Mr. Needham of one Mr. Mosely of Selby in Yorkshire. He is to pay for it £470.” 1. It remained part of the Glebe until a few years ago. An old lady told me that in her youth one of the fields was called “Murder Ditch” but she could not explain why. For many years the Volunteer Rifle Range stood on another field known as Longlands.


This was another Meverel property and was acquired from John Meverel in 3 Edw.VI (1549) by Richard Stevenson who purchased a considerable area including “Eyves”. About 1625 Richard Stevenson of Shatton had conveyed this Farm to Nicholas Cresswell. His family retained it till 1827 when Ralph Cresswell of Manchester, Gentleman, sold it to Mr. Kirk of The Eaves. The property is described as formerly the inheritance of the vendor’s grandfather Ralph Cresswell of Lees, Lancashire, Yeoman. It has now passed to the Lowe family.


It has been suggested that this place, on high ground between Chapel and Dove Holes, was so called because it was the haunt of the Marten, which once abounded in the High Peak. At any rate the name is of great antiquity for as far back

1. D.A.J , ii: p.82.

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as 1259 William Foljambe was heavily fined for destroying deer there. According to The Reliquary (xxiv, 217) Arnold Kyrke, said to be the second son of Arnold Kyrke of Whitehough, acquired Martinside in the sixteenth century prior to which it had belonged to the descendants of the Foljambes who sold it in 1557. This may have been the sale made to Wm. Kirk by the Earl of Cumberland and Sir Ingram Clifford in 3 and 4 Philip and Mary. Arnold Kyrke’s name appears as of Martinside in a list quoted in The Reliquary as “made about the middle of the 16th century”. It is said, on the authority just quoted, that the original house at Martinside was a large black and white building, mostly built of timber and consisting of two wings and a centre. It contained 26 rooms and was as big as a church". Old armour and swords hung in the hall. A part of one wing was set aside, consisting of two sitting-rooms, kitchen and two bedrooms which were called the “widow’s corner”. These were always left to the owner’s widow, if any, so that she might not be driven from home by the heir. The last Kirk to reside at Martinside was Henry who died in 1789 when the estate passed to his nephew Richard Kirk who resided in Wales until his death in 1839, after which his son sold the property to Mr. Adam Fox who pulled down the old house and built the present one. Mr. Fox, who had been bailiff and tenant at Martinside, lived there till his death at a great age in 1865. The property is still owned by his representatives. The Kirks of Martinside are represented by the family of Venables Kyrke now settled in the West Country.

The Kirks of Spire Hollin in the 17th and 18th centuries

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are not identifiable with those of Martinside but, as both families were staunch supporters of Dr. Clegg and are sometimes referred to together by him, it may be assumed that they were connected. Thomas Kirk oF Spire Hollin was a trustee of the marriage settlement of Samuel Frith of Peak Forest and Joan Kirk oF Martinside in 1710.

Still other Kirks were settled at Shireoaks and Malcoff but again their connection, if any, with the Whitehough family is uncertain.

Another family of Kirk, residing latterly at Reddish Green and Blackbrook House owning, in the nineteenth century considerable property in Chapel and Chinley, carried on the business of Bar Iron Manufacturers and Ironfounders at Town End. They also claimed, probably correctly, to be descended from the Whitehough Family but the descent has not been formally proved. The business is said to have been started at a very early period and it certainly had been in existence for more than a century when turned over to another firm in 1890. In 1688 a house, which was apparently on the north side of the Market Place in the vicinity of Steele Square was occupied by Thomas Kirk, Blacksmith, and adjoined another old house called Peter Kirk’s house. The names of these Kirks suggest that they may have been the ancestors of this family. A Peter Kirk of Chapel, Smith, is named in the will of Thomas Bowden of Kinder in 1609.

In 1711 Sarah Kirk widow and her sons, Thomas, Ralph and Arnold owned a “messuage, burrow or cottage near unto the Cross in the Town Gate” which in 1745 was sold by, Thomas Kirk of Chapel, Innholder, and Esther his wife and

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their eldest and second sons Peter Kirk of mousehole in the parish of Bradfield, Yorkshire, and John Kirk of Stannington, Yorkshire, both blacksmiths. Kirks of Eaves and Halstead were concerned in these transactions as mortgagees but there is no light on any relationship. The Chapel branch of these manufacturers is now unhappily extinct in the male line; both of the sons of the late mr. Georges. Kirk having been killed in the Great war 1.

Accounts of the Kirkes of Whitehough etc. will be found in vols. ii, v. and xxviii of D.A.J. and in vols. x and xxiv of The Reliquary (O.S.). Some discrepancies appear in The Reliquary articles and in particular doubt has been cast on the connection of the family settled at Greenhill, Norton, near Sheffield, with that of Whitehough and later researches suggest that the statements contained in these articles should be accepted with considerable reserve.


were for long the property of a branch of the Bagshawe family claiming to be descended from that of the Ridge and still holding land at Hill Top. Oliver Bagshawe (D.R.R. 1509) is stated by one authority to be the brother of Christopher Bagshawe of Tideswell. In Elizabethan times they were adherents of the ‘Old Religion’. Another Christopher born about 1540, a very celebrated leader of the Roman Catholic Jesuits, had a cousin Robert Bagshawe of Marsh Green, who was educated at Tideswell Grammar School and is said to have been, from 1581 to

1 Since the above was in print we are glad to learn that descendants in the male line still flourish in Chapel and elsewhere.

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1589, an inmate of the famous Roman Catholic School at Douai in France. John a brother of the last named Christopher became a Canon of Lichfield. George Bagshawe of Hollin Knowle, known to be a dangerous recusant, was Under Bailiff of the High Peak (an office of some importance) in 1591, and was brother to Widow Mellors of Tunstead in Chapel parish, “a most obstinate recusant and greatly suspected by those that favour the state to have seminaries and dangerous persons resorting to her house.” Three of the same family Oliver, Dorothy and William are reported as recusants in 40 Elizabeth, also William’s wife Grace and Agnes, Henry and Florence Bagshawe—Robert Bagshawe of Hollin Knowle in 1634 was presented by George Thornhill, Constable of Bowden Chapel, at Quarter Sessions as “a Popish Recusant absent From Church for one month last past.” 1 Over the front door at Hollin Knowle is to be seen a much worn inscription which appears to be “G 1595 B”. Towards the end of the seventeenth century the Bagshawes became closely connected with the Brownes of Marsh Hall, George of Hollin Knowle having married Mary daughter of Randle Browne, Gent. while Robett of Manchester, Dutch Loom Weaver, married Mary’s sister Elizabeth and we find them concerned in a number of transactions relating to the Browne’s property. Hollin Knowle remained in the Bagshawe family until 1866 when, along with the house now known as Higher Hollin, it was sold to Mr. Lowe whose family still own it. Marsh Green, which is in Bradshaw Edge, was

1. Dom. State Papers, Eliz., vol. cccxli., No. 28. And Three Centuries,

Vol. i. p. 272 b.



included in the sale of the Ridge Estate to Mr. Gisborne in 1742 so must have been acquired by Mr. Thomas Bagshawe. It passed from the Gisborne Trustees to another member of the Lowe family.

After the division of the Commons a plot of the King’ s Part was acquired and a house erected, known as Hill Top where the present representatives of the Family reside. “A curious example of hereditary longevity” is recorded in The Relquary, vol. xii. p. 19 (1871) quoting from a work by a Mr. Bailey of Nottingham: “George Bagshawe of Holling Knowle died in 1870 aged ninety-six, his Father lived to the age of ninety-three; his grandfather to ninety-six; and his great-grandfather to ninety-nine years.”

In 1700 a piece of “Waste” at Hand Green or Marsh Green marsh was enclosed and the income from it became the first fixed addition to the minister’s stipend.


On the eastern side of the Township of Bowden Edge, abutting on Peak Forest were three " Herbages " or pastures leased out by the Crown and ultimately granted to subjects.

Halsteads or Hausteads. One Robert de Austead, a Forester was fined in 1280 for keeping horses in Campana. In 1650 the rent of the Herbage of Halsteads was returned at 6s. 8d. Part of this Herbage seems to have come to Thomas Bagshawe of the Ridge, perhaps through the Thornhills, for “a new built messuage called the Hall Stidds” and the land therewith is included in the conveyance to Mr. Gisborne in 1742, The Gisbornes opened a Limestone quarry here which became

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the terminus of the Peak Forest Tramway. Before 1715 the greater part of Hallsteads, comprising practically the whole site of the village of Dove Holes in Bowden Edge, had been acquired by Arnold Kirk of Martinside whose grandson, Richard Kirk of Groesyltt in Denbighshire sold to Henry Kirk of The Eaves in 1807; since then the property has been sold, chiefly for building purposes. Here is the prehistoric Bull Ring described in Chapter I.

The “Herbage Farm or pasture” of Bolt Edge, in old documents called Bogg Edge and Bought Edge, was granted by Charles I in 1628 to two gentlemen of London Messrs. Wyse and Harryman who soon turned it over to Peter Bradshaw, gentleman, of London and his nephew Francis Bradshaw of Bradshaw, Esquire. Peter, being a younger son, had gone into trade and at the time of his death was a citizen and merchant tailor of London, where amongst other things he dealt in “Manchester goods”. The Bradshaws proceeded to dispose of Bolt Edge in lots—part to the Thornhills of Warmbrook—and other parts to Mr. Bagshawe of the Ridge and other purchasers.

Whiteside alias Rushop was also acquired by the Bradshaws and was divided into nine “Neighbourships” or divisions. According to Mr. C. E. B. Bowles a neighbourship equals 16 Cheshire acres or A.33. 3R. 16 statute measure and this is practically the acreage in the present case. In the last three hundred years these neighbourships have often changed hands but they can be fairly well traced by their long straight bounary fences. the term “neighbourship” seems to be analageous to “a common of vicinage” where there were open

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fields and the cattle of one owner might stray over the land of his “neighbour”.

Here, at Gautries Side, are old coal and lead workings, now disused. Adjoining Rushop Lane are two neighbourships for many years the property of the Needhams, now represented by Mr. Claye of Lower Eaves, their old home being Rushop House. Between this and the Peak Forest boundary is the farm which has been held by the Middletons for almost as long a period.

It is not clear when coal was first worked in this parish but at the beginning of the seventeenth century it was being worked by Henry Needham in the township of Beardprobably at Jow Hole and the Bagshawes of the Ridge had coal pits at Fernilee in 1627.


One of the first parts of the parish to be settled was the Combs Valley, as appears by the earliest records. In 1251 we have mention of Tunstead, Combs, Greater and Lesser Hordern, Whitehills, Brede (?modern Broadlee), Thorneylee, Haylee and Alstonlee. We further learn that all these places were said to have been “Waste” in 1150 when the younger Peverel made his gift of tithes to the Priory of Lenton. The grouping of farmhouses in several parts of this valley is very suggestive of the Danish tradition.

It may be convenient here to say that in the middle of the nineteenth century the land in the Combs Valley area belonged mainly to the Jackson family (who represented the

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Bellotts and Bradburys): to Mr. Gisborne and to Mr. William Pass a solicitor of Altrincham. In 1851 Mr. Pass sold all his property in Combs and Fernilee to Mr. Edward Marsland who lived at White Hall a modern house at the head of the valley. Mr. Marsland added to his property, which is here-after referred to as the White Hall estate, as did his successor Mr. Henry Shaw. But the estate has now been broken up, several of the farms being sold to the sitting tenants.

The family of Bellott, now represented by the Jacksons is supposed to spring from a family settled at Gawsworth and Moreton in Cheshire at the end of the fourteenth century. 1 Wm. Belot is mentioned in the P.T.R. 1381 for Chapel and the family lived at Castle Naze for many generations, where by marriage and purchase they acquired considerable landed property. The last of the direct male line Stephen Bellott was drowned in July, 1830, at the age of 21, when bathing in Combs Reservoir on the eve of or, as some say, on his wedding day, and so the property passed to the female line. A junior branch is resident in the south of England, of whom the present representative is Mr. H. ugh Hale Bellott, B.A., late Scholar of Lincoln College, Oxford.


One of the oldest settlements in the parishit seems to have been originally, by the name of Bozen Hey, owned by Robert Bozon who was bailiff of the Peak in 1216. In the time of Edward 111 it was, along with Martinside, part of the great possessions of the Foljambes: Alice daughter and

1 Ormerod Cheshire (1882), iii. p. 44. see also Reliquary ix (O.S.) 18.


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heir of Sir Godfrey Foljambe who died in 1376 married Sir Robert Plompton and the estates descended through her granddaughters, who married respectively Sir John Rowcliff. and Sir John Southill, to Sir William Dury and the Cliffords Earls of Cumberland who sold to the Eyres of Hassop. The Chapel property included " Martinside Hey and Betfield.

In 1557 there was a bargain and sale from the Cliffords to Thomas Bagshaw of Hill and two others of amongst other properties, Bosom Hey and Martinside at rents. The D.R.R. for 1625 gives the heirs of Thomas Bagshaw as owners and in 1651 according to the Parish Book Thomas Moult Junr. was at Hurst. The latter’s wife Ann may have been the daughter of George Bagshaw of Combs Head who mentions her in his will proved in 1654. Thomas Bagshaw the Parish Clerk of Chapel at this time was also of this family. He says in his will that he is a “Kinsman” of Mr. Thomas Bagshawe of The Ridge. The next owner was Mr. German Buxton of Eccles who sold the farm and after a number of intermediate owners it came into the White Hall estate and was sold to the sitting tenant.


Appears to have been part of the estate of the Bagshawes of the Ridge from a very early date-Thomas had it in 1471till the middle of the seventeenth century when it passed to Arnold Kirk who seems to have acquired the estate for his younger son whose descendants were in possession for more than a hundred years. It passed in 1797 to Adam Fox of Lyme Handley in whose family it still remains. In 1509 Roger

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Coup paid 1d. Duchy Rent for Watt Croft a small close which bordered on the Waste. This is now part of the Spire Hollin estate.


There are two farms at Tunstead. One, now belonging to the Slacks has been dealt with under Ollerenshaw, which see. The other Tunstead Farm is the home of the famous “Dickie” (see p. 6). John Mellor de Tunstead appears in the D.R.R. for 1470 and his family were in possession till nearly the end of the seventeenth century. They were suspects as Recusants. In 1709 John Brocklehurst was owner. His descendants towards the end of that century sold to Mr. John Dixon whose descendants are still the owners.


There are two farms of this name: One of about 80 acres belonged to the Ridge estate and passed in 1740 to the Gisbornes. In 1470 Thomas Bagshaw was owner.

The other portion was in 1509 owned by Nich. Lumhales and it is still in the hands of his descendants.


Is one of the Hamlets mentioned in 1251. Here are three farms having a common court yard:

I. One was in 1509 held by Wm. Bradsha. Wm. Bradshaw is presented for assarting land in Combs in 1281. In 30 Elizabeth, German Bradshaw was found “a fool but not an idiot and not able to govern himself or his land”.

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Wm. son of John Bradshaw had Brookfield, now known as Brook House, in 1470, and the two properties continued in these Bradshaws till Nicholas Bradshaw became insolvent in 1699 and some years later both were sold to Stephen Bellott of Brook House. Haylee was sold by him in 1735 and, having passed through various hands, in 1863. was acquired by Mr.Nicholas Lomas. Brook House continues with Bellott’s descendants, the Jacksons.

II. Part of the Ridge estate which passed, along with the Haylee Marshes to the Gisbornes in 1742. In 1339 Wm. de Mosse de Combs granted to his son Richard two acres of land in Boudon called Longacres and Helaye brok and one half acre in the Rydings above the Helay. witns. Robert Foljambe then Bailiff. of the Peak, Wm. de Baggeshaugh, John de Ollerenshaw, Hugh de Hordeson (sic ? Hordern), Thos. de Bagsha and others. Dated at Cappellam del Frith, Fest. S. Laurence the Martyr 13 Edw. III.1 In the same year mortuaries were taken for Johanne del Mos and Nichola his wife, an ox in each case.2

On this farm there is a Long Acre and Longacre head close to Haylee Brook and a Mossy field adjoins. Also a field called Ridding just above the house.

III. Was purchased in 1695 from Francis Bostock of Harrop by George Allen of Pygreave and passed on the death in 1713 of his son George intestate to his daughter and one of his co-heiresses, Elizabeth wife of George Ward of Brownside, yeoman and is now the property of the Morten family.

1 Brit. Mus. Addl. MSS, 6690. fo. 205.

2 D.A.J., xi. p. 151.

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The former may be either “the waste or moor within Chapel parish” or “the waste of withins or willows.” Both were, with Haylee Marshes, in the King’s Part and were granted by Thomas Eyre to John Shallcross in 1686 subject to a rent which passed to Thomas Bagshawe of the Ridge and to the Gisbornes. Withen Lache has had several owners and is now the property of a branch of the Lomas family and Wainstones became part of the White Hall estate.


In 1509 was owned by Edward Crosler or Crossley and later by Edward Broster of Bosley, Cheshire, whose daughter sold it in 1616 to John Wright the tenant who conveyed a portion to Richard Turner of Foulds in Fernilee of a family well known in Whaley Bridge until quite recently and still represented in the female line in Chapel. The Turners were in possession of Baghouse well into the nineteenth century. An allotment to this farm is known as Hell Holes, a name not uncommon in this district said to be derived from the Scandinavian Elly or Hel “the mistress of the gloomy underworld” or as some say goddess of springs and wells.

In 1721 John Wright of Baghouses by will gave a rent charge of £2 per annum “for the encouragement of a schoolmaster into Combs Edge” provided the neighbours in the Edge would make up £8 more within twelve months. The neighbours, however, did not respond.

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In 1509 was owned by Robert Bagshaw and in 1534 by Edward Bagshaw of Tideswell. By 1650 it was held in moieties by Thos. Bagshawe of Ridge and George and Robert Bagshaw. In 1674 one moiety was sold by Henry Lomas to the Revn Robert Mosley and for many years these moieties descended in various hands till a partition was made in 1812 between Mr.Pass and Stephen Bellott.


In 1621 Thomas Bagshaw was of Combs Head and in 1652 George Bagshaw of Combs Head (“old and infirm”) made his will in which he mentions Humphrey Marshall of Combs Head, as executor, and Elizabeth his wife (who may have been George’s daughter). He left ten groats to each of his servants at Combs Head. Part of Broad Lee was once joined to Greave House and another part was an allotment of the Tenants’ Part acquired by purchase from the Coopers of Owlgreave. Ann Cooper of Combs Head widow of Humphrey Cooper of Owlgreave, who was a Marshall, by her will, in 1721, gave l0s. a year during the life of her brother Humphrey Marshall to buy him shoes and shifts. These properties and also Newfield Farm and a neighbourship at Rushop all came to Ann Bellott, described in her Marriage Settlement in 1726 as “only daughter by the first adventure” (i.e. the first marriage) of Anthony Bellott and Anne Marshall. Ann Bellott married Josiah Bradbury of Further Bradshaw a Tanner, apparently a grandson of John Bagshaw. Their grandson

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Josiah Bradbury who died in 1840 devised Combs Head and Broad Lee to his daughters Mrs. Martha Chambers, Mrs. Ann Smith and Mrs. Elizabeth Bullock and both subsequently became part of the White Hall estate. A field at Combs Head has for at least three hundred years borne the curious name of Abraham or Abraham’s Piece. This Josiah’s sister Ellen in 1796 married Mr. William Robinson of Chesterfield. Their son John Bradbury Robinson in July, 1839 when 37 years ol age commenced business at Wheatbridge House, Brampton, Chesterfeld—his then residence, as a manufacturer of drug boxes. The venture prospered and is now carried on at Wheatbridge Mills by Robinson & Son, Limited, employing more than 3,000 hands and producing boxes and containers, surgical dressings and cotton goods known all over the world.


Here we find another small group of farms having a very early history. Richard de Aston leigh is mentioned in the Court Rolls about 1222. Owing to many changes in ownership it is impossible to trace any holding with accuracy for an old map of the several farms shows the fields to he separate without any apparent method.

I. Down to 1719 this and Pyegreave seem to have been one holding belonging to the Allens of Pyegreave. In the D.R.R. for 1471 Nicho Morten and his partners are followed for several generations by Thos. Allens. On the death of George Allen in 1713, intestate, this passed under a partition to his sister Grace afterwards wife of Anthony Radcliff of

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Ravenslack, Hayfield, later to Samuel Wild whose daughter Susannah Heathcott’s family held part till 1868. Another part of this was acquired by the Nightingales of Lea Hurst. Miss Florence Nightingale had a life interest in it under her father’s will. It became part of the White Hall estate in 1897.

II. Henry Bagshaw of Allston Leigh yeoman by his will, in 1677 devised his land there to his daughter Ann and also gave her “one pond (?) one pot two pewter chargors of the best all these which her mother left her. Itam I give her more one Cofore standing in the parlor.” The land was held by his descendants till the early part of the nineteenth century when it passed to Stephen Joule and in 1849 was the property of James Ashton, later becoming part of the White Hall estate.

III. Prior to 1659 part of Alston Lee and a farm called Manley was part of the Ridge Hall estate and was sold in that year to Henry Deane or Dain of “Austen lee husbandman” who covenanted to grind all his corn etc. at Combs Mill. This farm passed in 1750 from the Dains to Francis Vernon of Fernilee Hall who also owned property at Upper End, Wormhill. His daughter on her marriage with Thomas Phillips of Lowfield, Uttoxeter (himself a wealthyman) had “a very considerable fortune.” They sold part of the property to another Dain, Ralph, charged on a close called Hopkin Edge with yearly payments of 10s. each to the poor of Chapel and Peak Forest. Some of this land was sold as Glebe land for Baslow Church and later became part of the White Hall estate. This must have been the farm let to Robert Bagshawe alias Joydrell described in the lease in Chapter XIV. A quaint

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agreement was made on this man’s marriage in 1619 a few years before he took this lease. It is between Henry Gee of Allstone Lee, husbandman and Charles Kirke of Shireoaks, Yeoman. In consideration of a marriage between Robert (whose aunt, Johan, is wife of Henry) and Anne daughter of Charles Kirke “before the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord Christ next” and of £60 paid to Robert by Charles the said Henry “shall not only within the space of one week after the said marriage take and receive into his house as children the said Robert and Anne and maintain them with meate drink lodging and other necessaries fit for their calling so long as they can agree and like to live together in house with said Henry they doing the work and labour of the said Henry for his best profit to their uttermost endeavour. But also in case they can not agree and like to live together in house with said Henry” then on six months’ notice “given by either of them of such their likes or disagreement” Henry shall give up the lease of half his farm to Robert and Anne “But also shall assign his interest in the other moiety” of the farm on the death of himself and his wife "together with all his bedding, household stuff, husbandry ware and all his dead goods whatsoever without fraud or collusion. Also that not only he shall not marry any other wife to bring unto the said farm without the free consent of Robert first obtained and had but also that he shall give security for all sums he owes to Robert." Charles Kirke agrees to make all his daughrers co-heiresses of all his property at Shireoaks if his son

Charles “fortune to die without lawful issue” and will on the said marriage provide the said Anne “with raiment and apparel

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both for bedd and backe fit for her calling at his own liking and pleasure."

The lease in 1626 tells us that Henry Gee was in possession up to that time so we are left wondering if they had “agreed and liked to live together in house” all the intervening years, or if Henry wanted to marry again without Robert’s consent or if as we may hope, he had reached a ripe old age and wished to give up farming.

IV. Given in 1719 by Mr. Thomas Bagshawe of Bakewell to Queen Ann’s Bounty as (with his other gift of land at Roeside) the first augmentation of the Living of Chapel. It is described as “formerly the estate of John Low deceased”, and may once have heen part of Broadlee owned by Ottiwell Lowe in 1649. Became part of White Hall estate.


The Allen family were in the parish for many generations: In the Forest pleas temp. Henry 111 Emma widow of Walter fil Alune held 5 Acres in Combs (1223) and in the P.T.R. 1391 are two Allens, Robert and John. John Allen Senr. appears in 1471. In the sixteenth century Alyn and Tunstead held land in Combs as did Thomas Alyn. Pyegreave passed to Grace Allen in 1713 and is said to have been in many hands till it became part of the White Hall estate. The family also had property on the west side of Chapel town which cannot now be clearly identified but appears to have lain approximately between Eccles Road on the north, Long Lane on the west and the Railway on the other sides.

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In 1701 was owned by Thomas Kirk (? of the Martinside branch). In 1730 John Vernon, son of John and Margaret Vernon of Sparrow Pit, devised White Hills to his wife Dorothy for life with remainder to his sister Ann wife of Joshua Carrington of Glossop parish, and their son Joseph, who was the ancestor of the Carringtons of Bakewell, sold to Josiah Bradbury whose representatives sold to Mr. W. A. B. Jackson. Combs Mill was at that time included with White Hills.


Castle Naze was the early home of the Bellotts. In P.T R. 1381 is William Belot, cult. and in 1471 the family were here and remained owners until 1790 when Anthony Bellott conveyed to Squire Frith. There is a tale that Anthony lost this estate in a wager with the squire but this cannot now be vouched for.


Henry Lomas was of Rye Flat prior to 1654 (P.R.). 1n 1747 Anne Lomas only child and heiress of Henry Lomas devised “the ancient tenement called Rye Flat” to her cousins Catherine (afterwards Mrs. Plumbe) and William Kirk (see Whitehough Hall). Later this passed from Mrs. Plumbe’s trustees to Josiah Bradbury and so to the Jacksons. At Rye Flat House, in the nineties of the last century.(1890s) Mr. Herbert Frood, the the tenant, worked at his invention of the famous “Ferodo” brake-linings now manufactured by Ferodo Limited at Chapel.

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Anciently Brockfield was owned by the Bradshaws of Haylee in 1509 and down to 1720 when it became the property of the Bellotts and is still held by their descendants.


In 1709 had passed from the Bagshawes to the owners of the Brook House estate and for a time was held with White Hills, It was afterwards used as a lace mill.


East of a line from Durrans Low to a point above Alstonlee was in the King’s Part and the eastern portion of this passed through Thomas Bagshawe to the Gisbornes. The western portion and the Tenants’ Part above Combs Edge was acquired as to the greater part by John Shallcross about 1687 and later became part of the White Hall estate and now of Bank Hall.


That the Bagshawe family is of great antiquity in the parish is beyond doubt for the name appears in the Court Rolls from a very early period. In 1216 Elias de Baggscache, then dead, is reported as having assarted 25 acres in Combs and his son William was then tenant.l

The two branches of Abney and the Ridge both claimed precedence. Thomas Bagshawe in a letter, in which he speaks of the coats of arms depicted in the glass in the windows of

1 Feud. Hist., iii, sec. vi. p. 245.


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the Hall, claims his right to the Bagshawe arms in strong terms, and the Bagshawes of Abney and Ford made equally strong claims. That question, however, is now of little moment; the Ridge branch went out in the female line in the eighteenth century while the Abney branch is now settled at Ford. The published pedigrees of the Ridge branch begin with Thomas Bagshaw (15 Edw. II. 1321/2) son of William Bagshaw of Ridge. Some notes will be found in The Reliquary VIII (1868)p. 233 with a pedigree which should be compared with that at the end of The Bagshawes of Ford as each contains matter not included in the other. Down to the eighteenth century many properties in Combs were owned by Bagshawes some of whom claimed relationship with the Ridge Family as in the case noted under the Hurst, but it is now difficult to connect them As shown in the Foregoing page it is clear that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Ridge family were acquiring many Farms in the parish most of which passed to the Gisbornes. There is evidence that some members lent money on mortgage which probably accounts for some of the properties belonging to the last Thomas Bagshawe. The sketches on the contemporary Duchy of Lancaster maps show Ridge Hall as a house of major importance. After being the home of the Bagshawes for more than four hundred years it became a farm house and early in the nineteenth century most of the Hall was pulled down and the stone was used for building on other parts of the Gisborne estate, the remainder of the house becoming a private dwelling. A modern house has also been erected in the grounds.

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The last of the family to live at the Ridge was Thomas Bagshawe “a lawyer of great repute”. He had a large family but eventually the whole of his estates devolved on his daughter Rachel who married William Fitzherbert of Tissington and sold the Chapel and other properties to Mr. John Gisborne in 1742. Mr. Wm. Bennett noteed amongst the Ridge deeds a reference to Edward Bagshawe of the Ridge (who appears to have been engaged in the Civil Wars) who bequeathed his buff coat and gloves to a military friend. This may have been the Edward Bagshawe referred to by Glover (II. p. 215) quoting the Biographical Dictionary which says that Bagshawe was a gentleman of Derbyshire, bred to the law, who, having first taken part with the Parliament, sided with King Charles I and died in 1662, treasurer of the Middle Temple. He was the author of various political, legal and religious works and is said to have been imprisoned by the Parliamentarians in 1644. Owing to the Protestant tendencies of one ( ? Francis, the third) son of Thomas Bagshawe of the Ridge (c.1611) his father “locked him up” and gave him an annuity. Chancery proceedings too place and Back Courses Farm was transferred to him. He afterwards became a Captain in the Parliamentary Army and was killed at Tutbury. On his death intestate and without issue Back Courses reverted to the Ridge Estate.1

The site of the camp on Combs Moss and a considerable area of rough pasture including Cowlow Farm was in the King’s Part and was all comprised in the sale to Gisborne.

1 Communicated by the late Mr Greaves.Bagshawe.

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There were two small holdings here after the close of the sixteenth century but prior to that time the whole appears to have belonged to the Bagshawes of Townhead, and to have passed to the Thornhills and Bradshaws of Marple respectively. One was conveyed by Henry Bradshaw, Senr. of Marple to Anthony Bellott in 1606 and at the beginning of the nineteenth century was purchased by Mr. Oldknow for the purposes of the Reservoir,such part as was not used being sold to Mr. H. C. Renshaw and now forming part of Bridge field. The other part of Dane Hey, including Combs Meadows now joined to Bridgefield, was held by the Thornhills till 1705 when George Thornhill sold it to Henry Waterhouse of Sheffield, Gent. After passing through many hands this farm (other than Combs Meadows), now known as Lane Ends, became the property of Mr. Barrett. The old road to Combs ran through Dane Hey and when the railway to Buxton was being made it was found that on account of the marshy ground here, it was impossible to get a foundation for a bridge. Consequently the present road had to be made at great expense. The popular belief was that this was caused by the malign influence of ‘Dickie of Tunstead’ who objected to railways as modern innovations.


Bridgefield appears to have been part of the Ridge Hall estate in 1509. In 1650 Wm. Walklate and in 1709 Alice Gaskell and Edmund Cherry were in possession. It is not clear

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how or when the Moults became owners but in 1747 Mary Moult of Leeds, widow of Wm. Moult of Leeds, clerk, Samuel Moult eldest son and heir of Wm., and William and Mary the other children of Wm. settled Bridgefield and property at Tunstead Milton. This Samuel who was a Ministerat Rotherham married Bridget Wyld of Wickersley, Yorkshire, and their son Robert Wyld Moult sold Bridgefield to the Canal Company in 1804. Part of the farm including the site of the old homestead with the old road to Combs is now in the reservoir and the remainder passed to Mr, H. C. Renshaw and has since changed owners several times.


Owlgreave is an ancient holding. For many centuries in two parts, In the D.R.R. for 1471 Edward Cowper and his brother Richard had one part and William Cowp (er) had the other and their descendants continued in possession till well into the eighteenth century when both farms were sold to the Friths of Bank Hall in which estate it still remains. During the earlier part of that century Lower Owlgreave was owned for a time by Samuel Eccles a well-known attorney who resided at Tideswell.


For several centuries the Browne family held a considerable estate comprising the present Marsh Hall Farm, Cockyard, Down Lee and Bank Hall (alias Little Ridge). Bank Hall and part of Marsh are in Combs Edgethe other properties are in Bradshaw Edge and are here dealt with for convenience. The

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Brownes are said to have come from Whitfield near Glossop and to have acquired land in Chapel parish by a marriage with the daughter and heiress of Clement de la Ford, Bailiff of the Forest in 1304. Robert Browne is assessed to the Lay Subsidy Roll 1327/8 on 33s. 4d in land and 20s. moveable goods, considerable sums at that period.1 In 1581 Norroy Herald confirmed the arms they bore and granted the crest to Nicholas Browne. For some four centuries they were, as Mr. Bowden of Bowden said in 1618, amongst “the greatest best or chiefest gentleman and freeholders” of the parish, but toward the end of the seventeenth century they seem to have suffered reverses. The Reliquary vols. VIII (1868) and IX (1871) contains pedigrees and other interesting particulars of the family.

In 1681, Cockyard and Down Lee were turned over to the wives of George and Robert Bagshawe as satisfaction of the ladies’ portions. By 1709 Cockyard had passed to Ridgeway and soon was acquired by the Gisbornes: Mr, Thomas Bagshawe had Marsh Hall, Robert Bagshawe, Down Lee, and Peter Gaskell, Bank. During the seventeenth century the Brownes bought and sold several properties, being interested, amongst others in Diglatch and Hall Hill also Ashtons Farm at Higher Crossings. They also purchased a portion of the King’s Part of the Commons at Greendales, Whaley Bridge which they held For another century. Thomas Browne of Marsh, gent., in 1688 bought a house in Chapel which was occupied by Thomas Kirk “blacksmith” adjoining an old house called Peter Kirk’s house. These houses cannot now be identified

1. D.A.J, xxx. p. 55, and further as to the family see ibid.

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but they seem to have been at or near the north side of the Market Place in the vicinity of Steele Square. If so it cannot be "Mr. Browne’s house" mentioned in Thomas Kirk’s Declaration and in the P.B. (see chapter 111). Edward Brown the grandson of “Thomas Brown of Marsh” was in 1801 a farmer living at Bednall in Staffordshire.


The old farm house, once known as Little Ridge, and the western part of the land, originally part of the Marsh Hall estate, were conveyed by Randolph Browne’s representatives to John Gaskell, yeoman and Peter Gaskell, tanner, both of (Lyme) Handley in the Parish of Prestbury in 1683 and the next year Peter became the sole owner, In 1718 Ann one of the four daughters and co-heiresses of Peter Gaskell married Jasper Frith of Tideswell, Tallow Chandler and he, paying out the other sisters became the owner of Bank Hall. Ann’s sister Amy married in 1733 Nicholas Cresswell of Blackbrook, Ironmonger. Jasper Frith was the younger son of Samuel Frith of Chamber in the Peak, Yeoman, Jasper had only one child, John, who died in 1766 when his eldest son Samuel was in his thirteenth year. Samuel, known to all the countryside as “Squire Frith”, fourished at Bank till his death, at the age of 75, on 4th September 1828. He was succeeded by his brother John, who also died childless eleven years later when the estate, which then included some land acquired from the Ridge and the two

Owlgreaves and the Downlee farms passed to Godfrey Webster nephew of Samuel and John. His son, Samuel Frith Webster, who died a

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bachelor in 1870, sold the estate to Mr. Henry C. Renshaw who died in 1893 since when the property has passed by purchase to the present owner Reginald Scott, Esq. The Friths are said to have been for many years stewards or agents for the Cavendishes, Earls of Devonshire, and to have been fairly wealthy. Some curious tales used to be told of their love affairs, gambling, etc., of sacks of golden guineas brought over the old lane through Dove Holes from The Chamber on the backs of ponies and so on. At any rate it is the fact that the Squire was a typical Georgian country gentleman—a great hunter—the site of his kennels in a field near the Hall is still pointed out and the record of his prowess still preserved—he fulfilled the duties of his position as Justice of the Peace, Deputy Lieutenant, High Sheriff (1791) and Captain of the Bowden Chapel Volunteers (1803) and in 1805 Lieutenant Colonel Commandant of the North High Peak Battalion.

In the picture at the “Roebuck” (Public house) (p. 178) the squire is seen with his huntsman, Jack Owen, and the pack—the venue being apparently a field called the Heys above Bank Hall where some years ago signs of a building said to have been the kennels were visible. The picture which, as will be noticed—apart from the huntsman and hounds—gives a Fine and accurate view of a great part of Chapel parish, is unsigned and undated but an expert has suggested that it is after the school of J. N. Sartorius who is known to have painted other works in Derbyshire, one being at Tissington Hall.

Squire Frith’s Hunting Song celebrates a great run on the eighth of December 1788 when a fox broke from Castle Naze Rocks. Several versions are preserved, one in Jewitt’s Ballads

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and Songs of Derbyshire p. 142—that most likely to have the true local ring is printed by Abraham Clarke, Printer, of Chapel, copies of which are still to be found in the parish. The eleven verses are too long for quotation in full so a selection must suffice:

Hark! hark! brother sportsmen what melodious sound,

How the valleys do echo with the merry mouthed hounds;

No one in this land with Squire Frith can compare,

In chasing bold Reynard or hunting the hare,

Bright Phoebus pep’t over yon high eastern hill,

And darted his rays through the meadows and fields:

On the eighth of December, that memorable morn,

We chased bold Reynard with hounds and with horn.

There’ s Pedlar and Ploughboy, two dogs of great fame,

There’ s Primrose and Connylass, and Conquer by name,

There’ s Bellman and Bowman, Ringwood, Rallyo,

With Lilly and Lady, and little Dido.

Squire Frith was well mounted upon a swift steed,

Black lack was his name, few could match him for speed;

The Squire and his Huntsman no horseflesh will spare

When chasing bold Reynard or hunting the hare.

Through Gawsworth and Bosley he came back again,

It was speed that prolonged his life it was plain,

Near forty long miles this old traitor did run,

When he earthed in Cloud Hill, near to Congleton.

Here’s a health to all hunters of every degree

To all jolly true sportsmen wherever they be,

In a full flowing bowl we will drink a health all,

To that great and true sportsman, Squire Frith, of Bank Hall

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The last line of each verse is repeated in chorus, usually with great gust. The Squire’s hunter in the picture is a brown horse so it does not seem to he a portrait of Black Jack.

The author of this song is unknown but its affinity to two other similar ones included in the Ballads suggests that it is founded on a common form of ancient ballad adapted by itinerant minstrels and ballad singers to the local tastes and habits of their hearers.


seems originally to have been a considerable district in all three Edges.

One part, in the Ridge Hall estate, lay on the west side of Long Lane the boundaries of the lower portion being now rendered indistinguishable by the railway works. Another known as Upper or Little Horderns or Leefield is now part of, Martinside (see p. 342). Other part of this area seems to have extended to the “borough” as is shown by the field names of the ‘Hordern Estate’ now built upon, and Thomas Kirk speaks of Over and Little Horderns as part of the Thorn estate (Chap. II.). It also seems to have included the farm now called Cromwell Cottage. Orm de Horden is mentioned in the Court Roll in 1252 (Feud. Hist., III, Sec. vi, p. 252).

In 24 Edw. III. (1349) Henry le Ragged granted to Thomas fil Thomas le Conuers and Johanna his wife 7 acres lying in the vill of Bowden lying between land of Hugh dyl Clough and John Coterel and in 1356 Henry granted to John and Robert, sons of J. Coterel a moiety of a Messuage and one acre of land in Bowden in the new lands of Hordron,

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In 1362 there is a grant from John Coterel to John de Shalcros and John de Haddon of 8 acres of land and buildings in Hordron and 6 acres and 3 roods lying at le Pursecloghes (? now Peaslows) in villa de Bowden. In 1480 is a grant by the son and heir of Rich. Coterel to Thomas Meverell Senr. Armiger and John his son of 3 closes in Bowden called Hoggeflatt. This name has not been traced.

The Meverell family, who owned amongst other property the Manor of Tideswell, sold their land in Chapel to the Stevensons of Shatton in the sixteenth century (see Chap.Vl, Bowden Lodge) and apparently this sale included as well as Bowden Lodge the farm now called Cromwell Cottage and the Murfin Croft (Chap. II.) where now stands Cromwell House. This farm and croft seem to have been sold to the Eyres of Hassop in the reign of Charles I.

In 1657 Dorothy Shute, Spinster had a conveyance of closes (which lie to the west of the now built on Horderns Estate) in the possession of Nicholas Smith from Andrew Morewood of Staden Gent. whose wife Ann is mentioned. In the next year is an agreement reciting a Fine passed in Michaelmas Term 1657 in which Dorothy Shulte and Raphe Cresswell were plaintiffs and Rowland Eyre Esq., and Andrew Morewood and his wife were Defendants. This agreement is as to the Birchin Hey mentioned in the statement of Thomas Kirk above mentioned. The closes and a house thereon now Cromwell Cottage appear to have passed to the Carringtons of Bugsworth on the marriage of Nicholas Smith’s daughter, Mary, along with the Bull’s Head Inn and were held with it until the middle of the last century.

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THE records of Chapel during the 16th century are chiefly found in the Court Rolls which are dealt with in another chapter, in questions of encroachment on the Waste and with the unsettlement caused by the presence of Mary Queen of Scots in the neighbourhood and the echoes of troubles with Spain and in Ireland.

On the civil side during this century the first attempts to deal with the Relief of the Poor and the maintenance of the Highways by statutory enactments were made, the effect being eventually to throw fresh responsibilities on rural parishes and to call for a new class of local officers. The Monasteries prior to their dissolution, if not always to the full extent intended by their founders, had hitherto distributed vast sums to the poor and as Mr. Toulmin Smith points out in The Parish-its powers and obligations at Law—after the dissolution “pauperism became a caste in England”. It has actually been said that where there was one beggar at the beginning of Henry VIII’s reign there were one hundred in the days of Elizabeth. It was estimated that at the funeral at Sheffield in 1591 of the great Earl of Shrewsbury-the Lieutenant of Derbyshire, of whom we shall hear more later-there were present about 20,000 beggars the greater part of whom would come

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From Derbyshire (i.e. Glossop and the Peak) where the Earl’s estates lay and he was well known.1 The Earl had large possessions in the parish of Glossop, his father the Fifth Earl having obtained a grant of most of the property in the parish of the dissolved Monastery of Basingerk in Flintshire. This Abbey had held land in Chapel parish described as at Courses which has not been identified. The savage laws of Edward VI—happily soon repealed—had no effect in keeping down this flood of mendicants and finally the statute of 43 Elizabeth enacted that Overseers of the Poor should be nominated yearly in Easter week under the hand and seal of two or more Justices of the Peace dwelling in or near the same parish and they were empowered to raise money for such as were able but could not obtain work. Before the passing of the next Statute to be referred to there was from early days a Common law obligation on all parishes to repair all highways within their boundaries and they could be indicted at Quarter Sessions for neglect. The first Highway Act (2 & 3 Philip and Mary c. 8) came into force in 1555 and provided that yearly in Easter week two honest persons of the parish should be elected and chosen to be Surveyors and Orderers for one year of the works for amendment of the Highways in their parish.

This Act with some amendment, was made permanent in 1587 and the Surveyors were made responsible officers of the parish and by an act of 13 & 14 Car. II. c. 6, they were empowered to make assessments and required to render accounts at the Parish Meeting. The Parish Highway Surveyors existed

1 Three Centuries, ii. p. 136.

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until the office was abolished on the coming into force of the Local Government Act 1894 and the Overseers of the Poor were continued until the Rating and Valuation Act of 1925. We may suppose that these Acts were obeyed from the first but in our case we have no evidence of this as, if any records were kept, they have disappeared and we have no information about the work of the local officers until well into the seven-teenth century.

Another very important innovation at this period was the institution of Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths in all Parish Churches which was ordained by Lord Cromwell’s Injunctions in 1538 and continued in those of Edward VI and Elizabeth. The earliest existing Register in this parish begins in 1620 and such evidence as there is negatives the likelihood of there being a previous one. However only two parishes in the High Peak can claim earlier registers, namely Hope (1599) and Bakewell (1614).

By the middle of the sixteenth century the disagreements between the Authorities responsible for the preservation of the deer and the farmers and others claiming by right or prescription the right to pasture animals on the waste were becoming acute. For instance in 1561 Stephen Bagott of Hilton in Staffordshire who had a right of pasturage under the Queen’s “Farmer” or Lessee laid a complaint against George Blackwell, Thomas Bagshaw and others, servants of the Earl of Shrewsbury, for violently and with force of arms seizing 800 sheep some with lambs feeding “in the champion” and impounding them in the Peak Castle without food or water whereby divers of them died, also that the foresters had

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molested the horses, mares, colts and sheep feeding on the champyon, resulting in the loss of 500 sheep besides the payment of heavy impounding fees. The foresters replied that the “champagne was the principal part of the seid forest where the quene’s majesties deer hath their onlye feedinge and sustenance” and the Earl, riding through the forest on the last March 4 and seeing so many sheep pasturing “whereby the feedings of the deer is utterly consumed” and they are driven out, ordered the sheep to be impounded but without hurting them. As a large part of Chapel lay in the Champion Ward these questions would be of no little interest to the Freeholders and others who claimed rights of pasturage in the 3,800 acres of the ancient parish which in 1846 were said to have been waste and uncultivated. Bagott’s complaint throws an interesting sidelight on the often discussed question as to whether or not the forest was really wooded in the modern sense, and he seems to confirm the generally accepted view that by his day at any rate it was void of what we call timber trees, for he says the forest is “a very barren country of wood or tynsell” (tynsell being small dry wood such as was collected for heating ovens).1 In another complaint by William Needham and other foresters against Lord Shrewsbury for destroying the deer they, too, mention that “ytt ys a champion and playne place wherein no wood groweth.” They say that the winters prior to 1572 were exceptionally severe and from lack of food and straying the deer had been reduced to not more than 30. They prayed that the Earl might be restrained from

1 At a Great Court of Attachment at Chapel in October, 1589, twenty-one transgressors were fined for lopping the trees in sums varying from 2d. to 6d.

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hunting till the deer had increased to their former number, about 360.

In 1586 commissioners appointed by the Duchy Court met at “The Chamber of the Forest or Champion” to consider complaints by the Foresters against Sir Charles Cavendish and others, the lessees of the herbage. The Commissioners gave a certificate as to the agreement come to whereby, amongst other things, the lessees were to fence part of the forest on the Peak Forest side and the Foresters were to have peates and turves for their needful and “necessary fyer and necessary uses, which said peates and turves shall be had and to be gotten upon the grounds and pastures called Rushoppe.”1 At Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee it was proposed by some old inhabitants to take peat from a spot in the neighbourhood of Rushop for a bonfire under a right it was said belonged to the inhabitants of Chapel. There is no record of any such right other than that here mentioned and it will be noticed this was to the foresters and not to the inhabitants. In any case, in the instance quoted, this did not matter as no one could be found who knew how to prepare the peat for the fire! Amongst the Duchy of Lancaster Maps and Plans at the Public Record Office are a number of curious plans, one of Elizabethan date, a portion of which is reproduced.2 These were brought to light and commented upon by the late Dr.J. C. Cox in his book “Historical Memorials of Old Derbyshire”.

1 From a copy of the Certificate communicated by the late Mr. Greaves Bagshawe.

2 P.R.O. Duchy of Lancaster Maps and Plans, Nos. 7, 37, 44. These three parts were originally in one map. The copies of these plans used by Dr Cox are now in my possession.

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The particular plan here referred to is believed by him to have been prepared in connection with the sale to the before named Earl of Shrewsbury of some of the forest land.

As the farmers and stock breeders were more and more encroaching on the Peak Forest side of the Champion, so ideas of developing the Chinley area were being formulated. In 1568 one Lawrence Mynter obtained a lease from the Crown of the Herbage of Maynestonfield alias Chinley which seems to have included most of the present Township. Mynter soon transferred the lease to Godfrey Bradshaw of Bradshaw Hall who assigned to his brother Anthony and his (Godfrey’s) sons Leonard and Francis a part at Ashen Clough. An entertaining story of the Bradshaw’s efforts to “improve” the Waste is told by Mr. C.E.B. Bowles, a descendant of Godfrey Bradshaw and set out in D.A.J., vol. xxi, p. 61. The ringleaders bear names as well known to-day as then: Kirks, Bowdens, Mellors, Hadfields, Shaws, Lomas and Barnes.

This account shows that bows were still in the possession of the country people and about eighty years later a soldier of the Parliament claimed to have been wounded by an arrow in a skirmish at Hathersage.1

The following taken from the Interrogatories administered in one of the actions is curious:

Wether dyd Renold Kirke about May daye last paste and dyvers tymes synce and before or any other tyme confederate consulte practise or otherwise confer and talke with one Mr. Bircles of the Countye of Chester at the house of the sayd Reynold in the County of Derb. or elsewhere touching or

1 Three Centuries, i. p. 160.

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concerning prophesies by noblemen or otherwise and what books of prophesie have you or the sd. Bircles seen or heard and what is the effect thereof and howe often have you or he perused used or conferred of the same or about such purposes and with whom?” There are further questions as to an alleged assembly at a place called “The Lord’s Yate” and whether William Beard, gent. and Raulghe Bradley of Haughe Yeoman were present “what meant they by such assembly and what dyd the sayd Books of prophesye conteyne?” It is sad that no answer to these momentous questions has been preserved. If the prophesies by noblemen or otherwise existed beyond the brain of some nervous scribe it may be that they were suspected of being some method of cypher communication of treasonable or popish character for at that period fear and suspicion were rife throughout the country. There was a family named Bircles or Birtles then settled at Birtles Hall near Macclesfield but there is nothing to suggest that they dabbled in occult sciences or treasonable practices. William Beard gent. may have been of Beard Hall whose daughter or grand daughter married Randal Ashenhurst. There is however a William Beard of Hayfield (not described as a gentleman) returned as a Recusant in 1599 and as we have seen some of the parties to this trouble were at Hayfield this William may have lived there and as a Recusant would be naturally suspect. We do not know the final terms of the settlement of these disputes but we learn that by the persuasion of George Yeavely and Edward Barbar the malcontents went to the town of Chapel-en-le-Frith to make a lasting peace with Godfrey Bradshaw. At the expiration of Bradshaw’s lease James I granted

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this Herbage to Edward Badbye and William Welden of London subject to a rent of £12 per annum. At this period the Privy Council were very insistent on the enforcement of various Acts of Uniformity and Supremacy and the nervousness of the local authorities was naturally intensified by the presence, from time to time of Mary Queen of Scots at Buxton. There is a local legend that the hamlet of Cockyard gained its name from a great cocking match there between some of Mary’s attendants and Sir Piers Legh of Lyme. Mr. Henry Kirke (Chapel-en-le-Frith, the Capital of the Peak) says there was a famous cockpit here and adds there was a celebrated cocking match held here on the 18th July 1582 in the presence of knights, esquires and gentlemen of the old Legh blood, but he gives no authority for the statement that such a match took place or, if so, that it was at Cockyard.

In the College of Arms there is a Warrant certifying a meeting held at “the Chappell of Fryth” in the month of July 1582 before George Earl of Shrewsbury in the presence of sundry Knights, Esquires and Gentlemen of the blood and surname of Legh of High Legh as well as others for the settlement of questions as to the rights of certain branches of the family to bear arms.1 The business meeting would no doubt be held in the church where we know that about this time another cause was tried, and quite likely a cock fight might wind up the day all the Leghs being keen on the sport as we learn from Thee House of Lyme p. 66. Lady Newton however does not record any such meeting at Cockyard. Mary Queen

1 Ormerod Cheshire, 2nd Edn., vol. i. p. 457.

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of Scots who is known to have visited Lyme, was at Buxton For three or four weeks in June 1582, but in 1580 Sir Piers Legh was, with some reason “suspect” as being a Papist so it is hardly likely that the Queen’s servants, themselves under the closest watch, would be allowed to have much intercourse with Lyme at any time. On the other hand the story may be based on some well-founded rumour of a meeting or attempted meeting between the emissaries of the Queen and Sir Piers ostensibly to fight a main of cocks or there may have been such a meeting during one of the earlier visits to Buxton. There were undoubtedly not a few in the High Peak who, either on religious or political grounds or on both, were unfriendly to the Government and such were closely watched. In 1590 the great Earl of Shrewsbury died and was succeeded in the Lieutenancy of Derbyshire by his son Gilbert. The latter was himself under suspicion and a secret report presented in 1591 to the Privy Council by Robert Bainbridge of Derby one of the County Coroners, mentions that the Earl had appointed John Tunstead (of Tunstead, Wormhill) Bailiff of the High Peak an office of much “creditt thear by reason that few Justices doo inhabitt yt country” in which Hundred it is estimated there are 400 recusants “of one Sorte and other.” Tunstead’s brother is suspected of being concerned in the Babington conspiracy. The report further states that this John hath also placed known and dangerous recusants to be his under-bailiff as, namely, George Bagshaw of Marsh Green 1 in Chapel Parish which George hath a sister

1 He is described as of Hollin Knowle in a pedigree belonging to a descendant of the family.

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one widow Mellors, “a most obstinate recusant and greatly suspected by those yt Favor the State to have seminaryes and daungerous psons resortinge to her hows.” l

The Bagshawes of Marsh Green" were For many generations ardent adherents of the " Old Religion ". At Hathersage there were at this time many Recusants, no doubt adherents of the Fitzherberts of Padley, and several Beards at Hayfield, some of whom may have been amongst those complained of by the Bradshaws in the Chinley case. The story of the arrest of the three Roman Catholic priests Nicholas Garlick, a native of Dinting, Ludlam and Sympson at Padley and their subsequent execution at Derby is well known.

In Anglo-Saxon times all men were required to bear arms as a sort of body rent for the land they held. Under the feudal system this was modified somewhat but the hundreds and other county divisions were under obligation to provide men for the service of the State and the method of supply was more or less enjoined in various statutory enactments. In addition to such forces there was the Posse Comitatus, or “Power of the County” in the control of the Sheriff This was only to be called in cases of the greatest emergency and all males between 15 and 60, priests and peers only excepted, were bound to serve when called upon. Some important alterations in the future provision of men and materials were made by the Tudors. Henry VIII by statute regulated the use of longbows and arrows and shooting therewith and in the last year of Mary Tudor’s reign there was passed “An Acte for the having of horse armour and weapon”. This statute

1 Dom State Papers Elz., vol. ccxli, No. 28.

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provided that all temporal landowners shall rateably, according

to the value of their estate, maintain a certain number of horses, harness and weapons and every city, burgh, town, parish and hamlet shall maintain such harness and weapons as may be appointed by the Commissioners for the Musters.

One of Elizabeth’s first actions on succeeding to the Crown was to test this legislation by calling out the Forces (usually styled “the General Musters”) in a large number of counties. In the return for Derbyshire it is reported that in Bowden Henry Bagshaw (of The Ridge) gent had 1 coat of plate, 2 longbows, 2 sheaf of arrows, 2 steel caps and black bills. Item the said township of Bowden had harness and weapons for two archers and one bill man. Able men without harness in the same constabulary. Archers Severn—Bill men Twentyfour.

The coat of plate or Corselet was, as its name implies, the plate body armour worn by pikemen—a sheaf of arrows numbered twenty—four—a black bill was a kind of cheap halbert not kept bright and hence called a black, or sometimes a brown, bill.

In 1574, when the King of Spain was reported to be about to send an expedition by sea to the Low Countries, the Privy Council called for another return, this time as to light horsemen and their equipment. In the Hundred of High Peak the only local names are Leonard Shawcross, Lawrence Stafford and Dand (?) who presented onle light horse.

In 1585 there was another Muster Roll of the persons to he in readiness in the High Peak at Bakewell prepared by John Manners and Robert Eyre. The Bowden names are given

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John Dewsnope, William Bramall, Ffrancis Grensmith, Edward Boler, Humphrie Ollrinshawe, Nicholas Mellor, Edmund Robotham, John Beard, Thomas Sowbye, John More, Ottiwell Whitwell, Richard Platts.

4 Calivers. 3 Archers. 3 Corslets. 2 Bills.

The Caliver was a harquebuss or hand gun: each man to be armed with a sword and dagger as well as his gun. In the General Muster, in preparation for the Spanish Armada, in 1587 which resulted in four hundred Derbyshire men being “all trayned in May 1588” there were from Chapel: Edward Boler, Charles Kyrke Calivers, Roberte Baylye Muskateer, Anthony Baylatt, Humphrey Ollerenshawe Bill with corslet, and Thomas Bagshawe Pikeman. From Bowden Middlecale; John Smythe, John Dewsnoppe Calivers, William Bramwell, Ric Heywarde Archers, Bryan Cleyton, Thomas Hadfield Pikemen, Henry Slacke Billman with corslet. (Robert Bowdon, John Oliver, crossed out.)

To add to the general alarm caused by the threat of the Spanish invasion a fearful outbreak of the plague broke out in Chesterfield and the surrounding neighbourhood in September 1586 and continued till the end of the next summer. The Parish Register of that town calls it “the great plague of Chesterfield” and so serious was it and such was the fear of infection that the men of the Scarsdale Hundred were not allowed to join the Muster at Derby in the autumn of 1587. During this time Sir John Manners, of Haddon, the husband of Dorothy Vernon, was the energetic Deputy Lieutenant under the Earl of Shrewsbury and on July 28, 1588, the very date that the Spanish Armada was being scattered by the

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English fireships the Earl wrote to Manners from Sheffield earnestly requesting him (“during this troublesome time”) to cause a general watch to be kept day and night throughout the county near Chapel, Glossop, Glossopdale and the Wood lands and to apprehend all vagrants or rogues.1

Amongst the documents at Belvoir, from which some of the foregoing is taken, are the names of such gentlemen as were charged with the duty of supplying horse in 1595 there being only four in the High Peak, one of whom was Robert Eyre, Esq. of Edale who was responsible for one Patronell (a man armed with a large horse pistol). The last return of the series is that of the gentlemen who contributed to the provision and furnishing of four horses then required for service in Ireland, at the rate of £30 a horse. This is dated in January 1599-1600 and the High Peak list includes Leonard Shallcross of Shallcross Esq. XXs and Henry Bagshawe of Ridge, Gent. and Thom. his son XXs and Robert Eyre of Edale Esq. XXs. A great number of Derbyshire men were mustered for the various operations in Ireland during this reign and those actually sent there are said to have suffered many privations. 2

1 Three Centuries, i. p. 152.

2 Vict. Hist., ii. passim.



THE Civil War left hardly any mark on the life of Chapel and we only get a distant echo here and there. We know that some of the Bagshawe family of the Ridge held commissions on one or other side and that one at least was killed. The only reference to any military action near Chapel is in a petition to Quarter Sessions by James Cauvered “a blacksmith by profession”, for a pension on the ground of a wound received when in the service of the Parliament, he was one of a party under Col. Randle Ashenhurst (of Beard) ordered to keep the Hall at Shallcross which they had seized. Mr. John Shallcross himself and a strong party with him entered the Hall and apparently turned the usurpers out.1 He was a strong Royalist and suffered heavily for his loyalty.

A Captain John Lingard was exempted from payment of tithe in 1660-61 but we have no knowledge as to who he was or if he took part in the Civil War. The Chapel people had, however one experience of the minor horrors of war when in 1648 after the defeat at Warrington of the Scottish Army commanded by the Duke of Hamilton a number of prisoners were confined in the church for several days. The Parish Register records:

“There came to this town of Scots army led by the Duke of Hambleton and squandered by Colonell Lord Cromwell

1 Three Centuries, i P ,63.

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sent hither prisoners from Stopford (Stockport) under the conduct of Marshall Edward Matthews said to be 1500 in number put into ye church Sep. 14. They went away Sep. 30 following. There were buried of them before the rest went away 44 persons and more buried Oct. 2 who were not able to march and the same yt died by the way before they came to Cheshire 10 and more.”

It is rather curious that no record has been preserved, either in the Register or by tradition of the place of interment of all these men.

We begin to see now the growth of the spirit of independence, evidence of which has been observed in the parishioners’ dealings with Bess of Hardwick in 1577, and of the sense of responsibility of the people in matters of local government.

In the first years of the century many tenants of the Leghs had become Freeholders: then came the great controversy over the Presentation of the Minister ending in a victory-doubtless
greatly strengthening the people in the principle of corporate
unity—in fact the appointment of the Committee of Twenty-seven eventually resulted in the opposite direction,for the Committee, by arrogating to themselves the right they were appointed to protect, virtually made themselves dictators.
Although later in time than in many parishes, the Parish Register was commenced in December 1620 by the Rev. Wm. Bray and about the middle of the century someone unknown but who deserves a place amongst the parish worthies began a book of records and accounts. This book—now terribly

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dilapidated—is preserved in the Church safe; it gives much valuable information from a time when the churchwardens were the principal parish officers and shows the growth of Church and secular administration and expenditure for nearly two centuries. We have drawn largely on this record which is quoted as the Parish Book.

Then there were the negotiations resulting in the division, which led to the ultimate enclosure, of the Commons within the parish into the King’s and Tenants’ parts—again subdivided into “Best, Middle and Worst sorts” completed by Thomas Hibbert and Samuel Barton in 1640 but which, owing to “the troubleous times” was not acted upon till 1674. Some hints we have of the troublous times as affecting Chapel are contained in odd entries in the Parish Registers as for instance: “5 May, 1657 There came to Chappell from Tideswell and Litton 17 marriages all married by Randle Ashenhurst Esq.” Justice of the Peace.

9 Jan. 1657-8 Thomas Bowdon of Laneside and Grace

Bagshawe of- the Hollin Knowle.

14Feb. Thomas Bowdon of Laneside married Grace
Bagshawe of Hollin Knowle the 14 day and was
married by Mr. Thomas Clayton minister of this

Randolph Ashenhurst was of Beard Hall and was himself baptised at Chapel Church in 1626. These marriages were no doubt performed under the Act, passed by the celebrated “Barebones Parliament” in 1653, requiring marriages to be performed by a Justice of the Peace an act described by the writer of The Civil Warres of Great Britain and lreland published in 1664 as passed “out of meer envy to the clergy”.

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Thomas Bowdon and his bride were probably not satisfied with

the civil ceremony and so sought the Church’s blessing. Grace’s parents would be Papists.

The prosecution, or persecution, of Recusants showed no cessation under James 1. In 1615 eight persons from Bowden Chapel were indicted at the Summer Assizes viz. Richard Beightowe, Agnes, Ralph, Anna and Francis Bagshawe, Anna Kyrke, Jane Mellor and Gertrude, wife of Thomas Yellott (Elliott).

At the following Lent Assizes thirty people from Bowden Chapel were convicted; they included several of those indicted in the previous year and also, amongst others, Henry Bagshawe, gent. and Florentia his wife, six other Bagshawes, several Mellors, George Swindell and Johanna his wife, Katherine Smith, John Morten, Edward Ollerenshaw, and Nicholas Beard.

In 1634 George Thornhill, Constable of Bowden Chappell, presented the following “popish recusants” for absence from church for one month last past: Henry Mellor of Tunstyd, yeoman and Jane his wife, George Swindell the elder of Chappell husbandman and his wife, Francis Taylor of Marsh Green, carpenter and Mary his wife, George Clarke of Ridge, labourer, Robert Bagshawe of Hollin Knowle, yeoman and Arnold Kirke of Martynsyde, yeoman. From what we know of the Bagshawes of the Ridge and Hollin Knowle and of the Mellors of Tunstead it is most likely that they and their servants were adherents of the “Old Religion” but as is seen in the Returns made in the reign of Charles II, there can be little doubt that the constables worked by “rule

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of thumb” and did not worry over too accurate details. The supposed religious freedom of the Commonwealth period is mythical. As Dr. Cox has pointed out “freedom of worship was granted to all except Papists, Prelatists and Socinians. The sectaries were too busy in suppressing the Churchmen to spare much time for harassing the recusants.”1 Notwithstanding the declaration made by Charles which was believed by both Romanists and Puritans to mean liberty of conscience for all, they soon discovered their mistake. Under the Conventicles Acts of 1664 and 1670 it was unlawful for more than five persons besides those of the family to assemble together for any religious purpose not according to the Book of Common Prayer.

These Acts were chiefly aimed at the Papists and Quakers. The latter sect, which sprang up about 1650, had from its earliest days a close connection with Derbyshire. Before the passing of The Conventicles Acts the Quakers had been cruelly and severely ill-treated. “In the year 1659 John Lingard John Kirk, and many others, going to a meeting in the Peak Forest, were assaulted by Richard Briggs (a priest) and a company of rude people with him. John Kirk was sorely beaten by the Priest himself and the people following his example beat and abused the rest violently driving and pushing some, stoning others, pulling the hair from their heads, and lamentably bruising the Bodies of (amongst others) Edward Lingard and John Goddard, Ralph Ridgeway, John Lingard, Senr. and Junr, Mary Lingard and John Ridgeway so that they lost much blood and were in great danger of their

1 Three Centuries,i.p. 290. See this volume generally as to the recusants.

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lives; All which unchristian Usage, they bore with an innocent Patience, not lifting up an Hand against their Persecutors”.1 Briggs was the first minister of the Church at Peak Forest (built in 1657) and was a Presbyterian.

At the Derby Assizes in August 1 1682 the Head Constables in compliance with an order of Quarter Session, made a return of those who absented themselves from Church for twenty-one days last past some 500 in number, amongst them being John Lingard, Margaret Lingard William Beard, Thomas Kirke and Henry Kirke, all of Bowden Chappell.

At the July Quarter Session at Bakewell in 1684, Robert Eyre, Esq., J.P. reported that he had fined a number of persons for breach of the Acts at Slackhall. Jonathan Boden for teaching and preaching in and to the said Conventicle was fined £3 6s. 8d. “in pte of £20 his fihe”.Anthony Bowden, Ralphe Ridgway, John Lingard, William Beard and Jonathah Fisher each had to pay £3 6s. 8d. by reason of the poverty of the said Jonathan Bowden as pte of the said £20”; the last named five thus being made responsible for Jonathan Bowden’s fine. All these, with Margaret Beard (whose husband William was made responsible) Edward Lingard, spinster and Mary Lingard, widow were also fined 5s. each for being present at the same Conventicle. It was a costly sermon for Jonathan Bowden in that he was not only fined for preaching but for being present when he preached!

None of these fines were paid and six months later the Constable of Bowden was called to account for retaining in

1 Besse, A collection of the sufferings of the people called Quakers, chap. x.

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his hands a parcel of stockings he had seized under a distraint on the goods of William Beard of Slackhall so even Quakers occasionally got justice. The repetition of the same names is evidence of the way in which these people were harried time after time.

The John Lingard mentioned above was no doubt the Testator of that name whose will was proved at Bakewell in 1698, wherein he directed that his body should be decently buried in the burying place at Slack Hall. His only son David, who is described as a gentleman, dealt with the Slack Hall property in 1715, it then being in his mother’s occupation. This branch of the Lingard family became extinct in the male line shortly after this time. The Quaker burying place at Slack Hall is a small enclosure to be seen on the east side of the main road just within the entrance to the park at Ford Hall. At this time the burial of Quakers was not permitted in consecrated ground. The P.R. mentions the burial of Mary, wife of Nicholas Shottwell of Bagshaw at Slack Hall in October 1696 but no others are recorded. If the Shottwells were Quakers they appear to have escaped the persecution borne by the Slack Hall community.

In 1677 the Bishops, alarmed at the avowed Romanism of the Duke of York, afterwards James II, obtained returns from the clergy as to the religious views of the people. The return for Chapel parish gives 587 Conformists, 3 Papists and 8 Non-conformists over the age of 16 years. As before pointed out it may be wise to accept these classifications with some degree of caution. There must have been at that time Considerably more than eight nonconformist families in the parish

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although they might outwardly conform. For instance we know that the Apostle of the Peak and his family regularly attended the Parish Church at this time and no doubt others of his following did the same. From this return we may roughly calculate the population of the parish to have been From 900 to 1,000 souls.

The dangers and hardships of travel at this period are recalled by many entries in the parish registers, many strangers being buried in the churchyard and, strangely, in the church itself:

7 Aug. 1622. Robert Lambe of Altrincham slain by a fall from
his horse. He died in Fernilee. Buried in the Chancel.

6Jan. 1623-4. A pore man found dead above the Ballgreave
and was thought to have perished there.1

20 Sep. 1656. A poor child found dead in ye forest.2

Dec. 1662. George Cowper, son of Nich. Cowper of Lower
Owlgreave and of Helin his wife was starved to death
upon Blackbrook Moor and was buried in the Church
Yard the 11th day.

15 June 1703. A young woman which came from Woodhead
who had been at Buxton Bath as she was coming home
suddenly fell off the horseback and in a little space dyed.

The Registers also record the sums raised by “Briefs” or as we should say “Special collections” for all sorts of objects, not always Ecclesiastical, thus “A collection made and gathered in the Parish Church of Chapel-en-le-Frith for the Royal Theatre near Russel Street in the Parish of St. Martin’s.

1 Higher and Lower Ballgreaves are mentioned in some depositions as to
Common rights in 1693, as lying between Combs, Fairfield and Fernilee.
D.A.J., xxiv p.34.

2 This is the subject of a poem by Mr. Henry Kirke in Derbyshire Ballads.

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in the Fields London May ye 18th 1673. 3s. 8d.” (The theatre had been destroyed by fire). For Edward Bottams of Tunstead Milton 3s. 8d. 10 May 1674. 1689 upon a Brief £2 7s. 4d. March 1690 “on a second Brief Ye sume of one pound three pence halfpenny farthing towards the reliefe of ye Irishe Protestants.” In the next century Chapel sent out a Brief for the rebuilding of the church tower—with no great success. These briefs became such a nuisance, although they had been regulated by statute in the reign of Queen Anne, that they were finally abolished in 1828.

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THE story of Chinley Chapel, its Congregation and its Pastors is so closely bound up with that of our Parish that it naturally calls for a place in our history.

The formation of the original body of Nonconformists from whom the present congregation is spiritually descended, the erection of the Chapel and much subsequent support is due to the family of Bagshawe of Ford Hall.

On 16th January 1627—8 there was born at Litton near Tideswell William the eldest son of Mr. William Bagshawe1 of Hucklow Hall, Abney and Litton by Jane, daughter of Ralph Oldfield of Litton. This son was baptised by the Vicar of Tideswell. After early education at various schools he went to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he took the B.A. degree in 1646. After leaving Cambridge we are told he had an earnest desire to become a preacher of the Gospel and “opposed successfully the views of his Family, who sought to divert his mind to some other pursuit”. For a time he assisted in ministerial work at Wormhill and Sheffield and finally on New Year’s Day 16501 he was ordained at Chesterfield “by the laying on of hands of the Prestbytery” Immanuel Bourne Rector of Ashover being the Moderator.

1 Until towards the end of the eighteenth century this family usually omitted
the final ‘e’. I have adhered to the modern spelling throughout.

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This was of course under the Cromwellian regime. Shortly afterwards he became Vicar of Glossop. Early in 1650 the Parliamentary Commissioners had reported that then there was “no minister for the present” at Glossop so he does not appear to have actually supplanted an extruded Vicar. He remained for some ten and a half years at Glossop where he was much loved by the people. When the Act of Uniformity of 1662 came into force, which required all incumbents of benefices to conform to the Book of Common Prayer and Services of the Church of England it is said that over two thousand Ministers who had during the Commonwealth Period obtruded themselves into benefices formerly occupied by the clergy of the Church, resigned or were ejected. Mr. Bagshawe refused to conform and being an honest man resigned and retired to Ford Hallwhich had been acquired by his father some time previously, and here he remained until his death some forty years later; he having succeeded his father in the estates in 1669.

Although Mr. Bagshawe ceased to be an official minister he still continued to preach and organise congregations of those whose theological views accorded with his own. At that day, unfortunately, religious intolerance, to some extent fostered by political considerations probably more imaginary than real, was

rife and nonconformists, whether Protestant or papist, had to walk very circumspectly. Accordingly Mr. Bagshawe and his family attended the services at Chapel Church every Sunday morning and afternoon. “At night he preached the truths of the Gospel privately in his own house and elsewhere, delivering another address to a few persons every Thursday. He also

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assisted frequently at conferences and secret gatherings for prayer.” The late Mr. Greaves Bagshawe once told me that in his youth there was, in a field on the Bank Hall Estate, an old tree surrounded by a stone wall under which “the Apostle” used to preach but some time about 1860 all traces of this tree had disappeared. It was in a field, now part of “Owlgreave” Farm lying between the Railway and Bank Hall Drive which is shown on the Estate Map as “Gospel Brow”.

From various sources of information it is clear that in the middle and latter part of the seventeenth century Puritanism, and particularly the Presbyterianism followed by Mr. Bagshawe was exceedingly strong in Derbyshire. A careful computation suggests that quite 40 per cent of the yeomen of Chapel and Chinley were supporters of Mr. Bagshawe and later of Chinley Chapel, as not a few of their descendants are to this day. Amongst these we find several families of the Kirkes particularly those of Spire Hollins and Martinside, Gee of Lydgate, Moult of The Naze in Chinley, Lingard of Hull, Carrington of Ashen Clough, Bennetts of Hayfield, Chinley and Whitehough and Bradbury of Coldwell Clough. Presbyterian congregations were formed at Malcoff Hucklow, Bradwell, Ashford, Charlesworth and several other places and Mr. Bagshawe’s “labours were attended with such signal success that a spirit of seriousness and devotion such as is believed had not before been witnessed, pervaded the wild regions insomuch that he was called among his contemporaries ‘The Apostle Of the Peak’.”

The Declaration of Liberty of Conscience Act 1672

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brought for a time some respite to the Apostle and his flock and he commenced to give a monthly lecture on a week day and a service once a month on a Sunday to his former congregation at Glossop. “There the people flocked to his sermons as doves to a window and Mr. Sandiforth his successor was often one of his hearers.” Under this Act amongst the fifty-four Presbyterian Meeting-houses licensed in Derbyshire was one at Chapel-en-le-Frith. This Statute was subsequently revoked and until the Revolution of 1688 he had to walk warily” prudently changing the locality” of the meetings “almost every Lord’s Day”.
However, after the accession of William and Mary a better state prevailed and at the Translation (July) Quarter Sessions 1689 at Derby eighteen, “Protestant Dissenting Ministers” took the oaths and were licensed in accordance with the then new, “Toleration Act”. Sixteen of their number, one of whom was
Mr. Bagshawe, were Presbyterians. At the same Sessions the dwelling-house of John Lingard in Chinley was registered as a dissenting place of Worship but the building at Malcoff is not mentioned. It may have been covered by the licence under the Act of 1672.

Mr. Bagshawe’s sister had married Mr. William Barber of Malcoff and, now that the Congregation were able to meet openly, that gentleman allowed them to meet in a large building on his estate and there they happily remained until the events occurred which led to the erection of Chinley Chapel. As his health failed the Apostle more and more confined himself to this meeting-house and in his last winter to his own house. “Yet he desisted not wholly from his public ministrations

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more than one Lord’s Day before his decease.” His last sermon was at Ford Hall on 22nd March 1701/2, on the occasion of the death of William III, from Romans viii. 31 and he died on the 1st April following. The old oak pulpit used by the Apostle at Malcoff was for many years preserved at Ford until it was presented to Chinley Chapel on 17th January 1931 by Mr. F.E.G. Bagshawe of Ford Hall and it is now fulfilling its original purpose.1

The congregation at Malcoff was by now strong enough to need a resident pastor and in the July following the Apostle’s death a young Lancashire man about twenty-three years of age, James Clegg, “was called to preach an approbation sermon” and in the following month he “settled there after a very unanimous call the people gave me”. For some time all went uneventfully at Malcoff; Mr. Samuel Bagshaw the son of the Apostle had been succeeded by his son William and Mr. William Barber by his nephew John Barber. The latter, however, had married “a wanton high-flown widow of Salford” in 1710 and as Dr. Clegg complains, at this lady’s instigation “the doors of our meeting place were locked upon us the Lord’s Day night as soon as ye public worship was over without giving us the least notice before; this brought us into a strait we had no place near suitable for the purpose but Mr.Bagshawe of Ford allowed us the use of his house for a time.”

1 The foregoing is derived chiefly from Mr.W.H. Greaves-Bagshawe’s
very full accounts of the Apostle in The Bagshawes of Ford, who in turn
quotes from biographies written by the Revd. John Ashe, Dr. Clegg and
the Revd.John Hunter F.S.A. The story is now continued mainly from the
MS. Autobiography and diary of Dr.Clegg. Most of the quotations in the
following section are from this diary.

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Personal application to Mr. Barber was unavailing, the lady had her own way, " our friends then consulted together, determined that each one that had a seat in the place should commence a separate action at law for their seats which were made at yr own charge and which Mr. Barber had seized on. This brought him to submit to let us have the use of it till the year was out. “Any legal proceedings were, however, considered unfitting for members of their body so they began seriously to consider the erection of a place of worship of their own. With the commendable zeal which has always been so characteristic of this Society they at once set to work. Many members of the congregation were prepared to contribute considerably in work and materials, Mr. Bagshawe and others subscribed £5 each and with the help of friends in London and elsewhere £115 10s. 0d. was raised in cash. The total money cost of the finished building was £126 5s. 0½d., a not inconsiderable sum at that day. When it came to the question of where to build trouble began. Those who have served on committees—and in these days who has not-will sympathise with the Minister’s pathetic remark that he found it very difficult to avoid offending some one or other. There were many meetings” much time spent and many warm debates before it could be agreed where to build, all stood pretty stiff for their own convenience “but at length all were, or seemed to be well satisfied!

In 1711 a plot of land was purchased for £10 from John Hadfield of Chapel Milton in the names of Mr. Bagshawe of Ford, James Carrington of Chinley Houses and Robert Middleton. It was “in the south west corner of a field on

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which part of the old smithy was formerly built and having the lane leading to the Milne Marsh on the one side and the lane leading from Milnetowne to Hayfield on the other side”. The lane leading to the Marsh was known as Callaway Lane or Ward Lane. The Milne Marsh was a stretch of waste or common land on the north side of the Hockholme Brook extending roughly from the railway main line to the Wash and backwards to the site of the present Breck Farm. It seems to have been enjoyed as an open space for Dr. Clegg records on November 15th, 1740, “many came to hear David Taylor who at noon preached on the Common” near Gorsty Low to a great multitude" and he also mentions in September 1742 a race being held at Wash.

On 3rd July 1712 the land was conveyed to eleven trustees namely Mr. William Bagshawe of Ford, The Revd. James Clegg, Minister, Arnold Kirk of Martinside, Robert Middleton, Mercer, John Bennett of Whitehough Head, Ralph Gee of Lydgate, William Carrington of White Knowle, John Carrington of Bugsworth, William Carrington of Ashen Clough, Thomas Moult of Chinley and John Lingard of Hull. This number of trustees is still maintained on each appointment of new Trustees. On this plot of land was erected a place of worship. The building of the Chapel seems to have been somewhat annoying to some people and there is a story that Mr. Bradbury of Coldwell Clough—a member of a family down to the present day staunch supporters of the Chapel—patrolled the precincts with a shot gun to keep off marauders.

Derbyshire memories are long—two and a quarter centuries

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ago this was the New Chapel in succession to the chapel at Malcoff and to-day it is still spoken of by the descendants of the founders and by many of the old families in the neighbourhood as “The New Chapel”. The smithy was removed a few hundred yards to the west. It has long since disappeared but its site is still commemorated by the hamlet of New Smithy. The new building—one of the earliest Nonconformist chapels in the country—was made capacious enough to hold a much larger congregation than we had at Malcoff. At first multitudes flocked to it and I hope some good was done. “An appeal issued in connection with the restoration of the Chapel in 1908 refers to a MS. of about 1712 which states the Chapel was” Reared upon St. James Day and therefore called St. James Chappell”. There is also an oral tradition that the Chapel was dedicated to St. Luke. The giving of a title to the Chapel must have been unique at that day and no suggestion of any formal dedication has been made. The tradition of a dedication to St. James or St. Luke may have been in compliment or reference, to Dr. James Clegg or his medical attainments.

Things went on pretty quietly until 1750. By this time as we shall see in the next chapter—Dr. Clegg who had many years previously gone to live at Stodhart was not likely to continue much longer as Minister and as it appeared to Mr.William Bagshawe, the grandson of the Apostle, that a proper residence should be provided for the Minister, he was desirous of building a house for the purpose. At a meeting of the Trustees Mr. Bagshawe laid down certain conditions to which some of the Trustees demurred and thereupon Mr. Bagshawe

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withdrew his offer and for the time being nothing was done. However, he left a legacy to the Chapel as did his successor Colonel Samuel Bagshawe, M.P. and finally in 1794 the present Manse was erected at a cost of £300. The Chapel was in part rebuilt or restored in 1809 and again in 1908 care being taken on both occasions to preserve the original work both internally and externally.

The body of Congregationalists or Independents worshipping at Chinley Chapel are thus the representatives, as in many instances the lineal descendants, of the original body founded by the Apostle of the Peak and can fairly claim to be one of the oldest Nonconformist bodies in the country. Their rise and fortunes have been briefly dealt with as the story is so nearly allied to that of our own parish, but, of course, a much more comprehensive history could be given and it is to be hoped that some day this may be done by someone connected with the Chapel.

It may be useful to those interested in Malcoff and Chinley Chapel to record a Memorandum in the handwriting of the Revd. Ebenezer Glossop, Minister in the first half of the nineteenth century “Memorandum copied from the Register of Chinley Chapel in the handwriting of the Revd. Dr. Clegg: ‘No Register was kept while the congregation continued at Malcoff and for many years after, since it was removed to Chinley-Chappell, no account was taken of births and burials, but as many as can be recovered with certainty are now inserted in the proper places.’ The Register began to be regularly kept 26th Oct. 1729.”

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WE have seen that after the death of the Apostle of the Peak a young Lancashire man named James Clegg was chosen to proceed him, and for the greater part of half a century thereafter Dr. Clegg as he came to be called was an important figure, not only in the life of Chinley Chapel which he served but also in the social and parochial life of Chapel-en-le-Frith and of the Nonconformist community of which he was a member. He has left a most interesting and valuable diary practically covering the whole period of his Ministry with a long autobiographical note. The diary is contained in a folio book of 265 pages written in two columns in a small and cramped hand, some parts being now undecipherable but on the whole still fairly legible throughout. By the kindness of Mr. F. E. G. Bagshawe I am permitted to quote the Diary at length and I also gratefully acknowledge much help given to me by the late Mr. W. H. Greaves Bagshawe in the elucidation of some of the entries. Some extracts from the diary were published in book form in 1899 “Diary of the Rev. James Clegg” by the late Mr. Henry Kirke who also wrote an Article in D.A,J. xxxv to whose notes and comments I am also indebted. Having had the advantage of studying the original I have been able in the following pages to amplify the

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published extracts and in addition to those contained in this chapter many quotations will be found throughout this work throwing light on matters under discussion. While not comparing the diary with other works of greater fame it is a vivid chronicle of eighteenth-century life in a then remote corner of Derbyshire, with glimpses of outside political and theological movements. Some personal touches have an almost Pepysian ring but naturally there is a religious tone not unreminiscent of John Evelyn.

James Clegg was born at Shawfield near Rochdale on 20th October 1679 his ancestors having been clothiers in that village for several generations. He records that his mother was educated among the Dissenters and was always a zealous one herself and a woman of great piety. By his grandfather’s earnest desire James was from his birth dedicated to and educated for the ministry.

The first fifteen years of his life were not remarkable but then apparently came his first temptation for he says “I became remiss in my studies being unhappily drawn aside by the cunning of a young woman in ye house who had a desire to procure me to marry her and it was owing to a kind and remarkable Providence that it was prevented”. Between his sixteenth and nineteenth years he was at the Rev. Mr. Frankland’s at Rathmel, “a noted academy in ye north”, where there were about 80 pupils. Their tutor was a “Ramist” they read the logic of both Aristotle and Ramus and he became an acute disputant in his first year. Perplexing doubts as to a future state led him to read “all books I could compass on these subjects” and in addition he went on with his studies

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“thro’ metaphysicks and pneumatology”. Some serious youths “met in our chambers for conference on some practical subject and prayer on the Saturday afternoon. On Thursday afternoon we sometimes met for disputation and often each night we had a conference of what we had been reading that day. A little circle of about a dozen agreed that one should sit up all night and call the others up at 4 o’clock in the morning and we went to bed at 10 or 11 thus spending about 14 hours a day in hard study.” This period throws an interesting sidelight on the education of boys of public school age at the end of the 17th century as compared with our own. It may also be observed that amongst the Nonconformists at any rate special preparation for the ministry began at a much earlier age than at present and “games” formed no part of the curriculumit is indeed hard to suppose that any idea of recreation would enter the minds of such serious youths. Yet the lack of exercise does not appear to have hurt Dr. Clegg for he lived to the age of seventy-five. The only youthful amusement he mentions seems to have reference to an ancient custom. He records that on a Shrove Tuesday “When ye young men of ye upper end of the school were shooting with bows and arrows at a cock and the rest of us made a lane for the arrowes to pass through, I put my head a little too forward” with the result that an arrow struck him a blow that was at first thought to be mortal, “the deep scar of which ever after remained”.

According to a ballad quoted by Mr. Henry Kirke the cock would be a live bird as was then the custom. This anecdote is related as showing “a remarkable deliverance” and one or two others in the same strain are interesting. One day when about

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8 years of age he was following a horse when he found a shoe. “When I overtook the horse I observed he wanted a shoe and began to doubt whether I ought not to deliver it to the owner of the horse, but as I had not seen the horse cast it nor was sure it was his, I ventured to keep it in the hopes of selling it and purchasing some plumbs: which I did but with an uneasy conscience. As I was eating the plumbs one of them stuck in my throat and went near to choak me, but at last I parted with it when almost stifled. This made me reflect with a sorrowful heart on ye dishonest part I had acted, and I resolved to do ye like no more.”

The result of his hard work was an illness and a remission of studies. Having suffered from a “Bastard Quinzey” he was advised to smoke tobacco which he says “drew me into inconveniences and caused the loss of much precious time. Too much of it was also spent in conversing with the Ladies, Mr. Frankland’s daughters, which first led me to read Poetry and Novels and such like Trash, which I found reason to wish I had never meddled with.” About this time however he found a friend to whose example advice and instruction it was chiefly owing under Providence that he was not quite ruined. After leaving Rathmel he went to Manchester for the benefit of the library and the conversation of the young scholars there and lodged with Dr. Wild in Fennel Street. For the next few years Clegg seems to have moved about the country preaching a little; amongst other places he went to Rathmel “but there having no persons of learning or ingenuity to converse with I was by degrees drawn to converse too much with some gentlemen in the neighbourhood too

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much given to Tipling which was very prejudicial to me”. This tippling seems to have been one of the most serious vices of the period for Clegg, who was no teetotaler, several times refers to it. For instance Soon after he came to Malcoff he says he sometimes visited Chapel-en-le-Frith. “Where we had ye company of some hott churchmen with whom I was sometimes engaged in disputes, this turned to my disadvantage by drawing me too often into tipling company and occasioned the mispence of too much of my precious time.” From the Diary we gather that these meetings took place at the Town Head (known to us at the “Kings Arms”) or at the Royal Oak and all his life Clegg seems to have visited licensed houses not only on business but also for occasional recreation and to hear the news. The Inn at that period was in country villages what the coffee houses were in London and clubs are now. As is shown by the Diary and by the Parish Accounts most of the Parish business meetings, Petty Sessions, Court Leets and the like were held at one or other of these Inns.

In August 1702 after the death of the Apostle of the Peak Clegg settled at Malcoff after a very “unanimous call” from the congregation, thus commencing a connection with Chapel-en-le-Frith that was to last for 53 years. At that time the Rev. Wm. Ashe from Ashford in the Water came sometimes to administer the Lord’s Supper and baptise the children and as the people wished Clegg to be ordained this rite was performed at Malcoff on 26th August 1703 by Mr Fenn of Wirksworth. Like many other bachelors Clegg began to be uneasy with boarding and to incline to marry and for that purpose applied to “Ann Champion” daughter of

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Mr.Joseph Champion of Edale whose family still reside at Grindsbrook. At first they removed from Malcoff to Stodhart Hall and rented Degges’ farm there “which encumbered me with too much wordly business but without it I could scarce have provided for the support of my growing family for by this time God had given me four children and my salary was little above £20 per annum”. The Farm was then part of the Bowden Hall Estate and traces of the house in which the Cleggs lived are to be seen in doorways and windows, much older than Clegg’s time, at the back of the present house. The modern parts of the house appear to have been built in the early days of the nineteenth century by the Rev. Wm.Bennett the eldest son of Grace Bennett. 1 Another house stood in the yard on the site of the present Barn and outbuildings. This was occupied by the Lingard family who then owned another Stodhart Farm formerly Ashtons. Stodhart was convenient to Chinley Chapel for in the period between his marriage and taking Up his abode there the old meeting place at Malcoff had been abandoned and the “New Chapel” opened in 1711. He says “at first multitudes flocked to us and I hope some good was done”. If numbers were a criterion good must have been done for some years later the Sunday class for catechism averaged about 40 children and 15 young persons whilst on one occasion in 1730 there were 140 communicants and often 60 or 70 and he mentions as if with

1 This William Bennett sold the property in 1810 to Mr.John Bennett, a descendant of Edward Bennett, who half a century earlier had been Dr. Clegg’s dispenser. In letters from the Rev. Wm. Bennett to Mr. John Bennett the latter is spoken of as “my kinsman” or “my relative,” but the relationship, if any, must have been very distant.

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surprise that at a preparation meeting (apparently held on the Saturday afternoon before the administration of the Lord’s Supper) scarce 30 were present. In considering these figures it must be remembered that the population must have been much less than it is to-day but on the other hand the context shows that many supporters of the Chapel came from quite long distances.

Dr Clegg’s theology was somewhat peculiar: his Diary proclaims him to have been a man of true and unaffected piety and a broad Christian charity is breathed throughout its pages. He tells us that his mother and apparently his paternal Grandfather were “Dissenters” as he terms them and as we have seen he himself was destined for the Ministry from an early age. The views of the Dissenters of those days seem to have been practically what is known as Prestbyterianism and whilst Dr. Clegg was always staunch in his support of those views and was recognised as a leader of Nonconformity in the North Midlands he seems, perhaps by reason of his charity, to have exhibited considerable Catholicity In fact his point of view probably more than his theology might be said to be not far off that of the “high and dry” school of the Church of England of a couple of generations later than his own time. He was in no way antagonistic to that Church although its Ministers sometimes came in for trenchant criticism. For instance he speaks very strongly of the “uncharitable and seditious”, as he calls it, sermon of Dr. Sacheverell and the disturbances arising from it but even this gives him cause to be thankful for his own lot for he adds “We live in a poor but peacable part of the Kingdom

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Blessed be God.” It speaks well for both himself and his neighbours that he was always on friendly terms with the Clergy of the district and records his frequent visits to Mr Byron, Vicar of Chapel 171727 notwithstanding the character of the latter did not greatly appeal to him. He was a pall bearer at Mr Byron’s funeral. He seems to have visited this Mr. Byron and the two succeeding Vicars, Mr Bardsley and “young Mr. Byron” both socially and as a physician: he assisted Mr. Bardsley’s son to obtain a Scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford and when in 1750 the Doctor was required to give an indemnity in respect of the Barber Charity Mr Byron the Younger (who visits him when he is ill) and Jasper Frith, a Former Churchwarden and an old opponent in the parish litigation, were his sureties thus evincing good feeling on both sides. Although taking an active part in the disputes about the candelabra and the warden’s accounts, as the diary shows, he had done his best to compose these quarrels. After his first wife’s death his “good old friend Dr. Lee” the Vicar of Halifax called and sat an hour or two, to Clegg’ s great satisfaction. When Clegg was too ill to conduct the service at Chinley Chapel he told his family to go to Church and when visiting Manchester he would attend Morning Prayer at the Collegiate Church. He also records the Vicar of Eyam, the father of Anna Seward the poetess known as the Swan of Lichfield, and on one occasion dined with Mr. Seward at Ford Hall. Some of his friends indeed tried to persuade him to become a Churchman for herecords that “not long after the marriage (to his first wife)

Mr. Cresswell the Vicar of Hope and some of my wife’s

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relatives came to dine with me and ye Vicar came to prevail on me to conform to the Church of England. We reasoned awhile with calmness but I thought the arguments he urged very weak, the best was the offer of a place of 40 or 50 pounds per annum”. The diary often records the Saints’ Days in the Church’s Kalendar and he usually kept the Fast Days which at that day were ordered to be observed. In I741 David Taylor “ye Methodist” as Clegg calls him, one of Wesley’s first preachers who was attracting considerable attention in Derbyshire and Yorkshire preached several times on the Common at Gosty Low. Clegg thought it better not to give him any disturbance or opposition and says “If any good be done I shall rejoice and I ought to do so, by whatever persons it is done.” But a day or two later he discovered that Taylor’s doctrine led to Antinomianism (the doctrine of Grace without works) and at once took up the cudgels and they had a big argument in public at Chapel Milton. Taylor was silenced but not convinced and later on Clegg had a discussion with another Methodist which he says “warmed me a little too much”. His humility may have magnified his lapses but we find on several occasions he bewails his loss of temper in argument. He had no love for Quakers and disliked Romanists quite as strongly as Antinomians and records how he met “an Emissary of ye Church of Rome” at Sheffield in a public debate. Some of that persuasion had seduced the daughter of one Furness to join them. “Most of the Company were fully satisfied but ye young woman seemed obstinate after all.”

He notes that in 1742 on a Sunday evening “a company

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of ye Methodists met at the house next to mine, I was very uneasy in mind about their proceedings fearing they tend to division but my hope is in God to prevent it”. Nevertheless he kept on quite friendly terms with John Bennett of Chinley End, John Wesley’s quondam friend and supplanter in the favours of Grace Murray’. In 1743 Clegg was at home Conversing with Bennett and “delivered him a paper of my sentiments on his preaching. I read Mr. Wesley’s defence which he left with me.” Next week, however, Clegg had some debate at Chapel with one of the Methodists which warmed him a little too much. John Bennett also on more than one occasion, sometimes with many of his friends, attended services both at Chinley Chapel and in Clegg’s private house. Having read Whitfield’s Journal Clegg was “amazed to consider the work that man got through. He seems to me to have the true spirit of the Evangelist, only too full of himself and too enthusiastic”probably a very fair judgment.

Clegg’s Diary shows that in Nonconformist circles he was a man of mark and his services were much in request on questions of discipline amongst Minister, the erection of Places of Worship and the varied business details connected with such matters but particularly in the ordination of Ministers. At least twice he was invited to accept better preferment but always refused to desert Chinley. He repeatedly went to Chesterfield and the Elder Yard Chapel there in which he often preached is still a Meeting Place which curiously enough is now occupied by Unitarians a sect with whom he had not much sympathy. On one occasion late in life Clegg records that he had been called to preach 17 sermons in 19 days. In

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those days funeral sermons were de rigueur and it was quite usual for a person in expectation of death to choose the text for the funeral oration and several times Clegg mentions that he went to the house of the deceased a day or two after the funeral to repeat or read over the sermon to the bereaved husband or wife. There is still preserved in Chapel a copy of part of his sermon preached from Psalm Ixxi, v.20 on the deaths of the mother and wife of George Thornhill of Warmbrook.

The average length of each sermon would seem to have been three hours but the record was at Eyam on the death of a Mr. Fletcher preached “to a numerous assembly”, when Clegg was 65 years of age. He says “I was about three hours and three quarters in ye pulpit, preaching only once, but at night was exceedingly spent.” Of course it may be that the whole of this time was not occupied with the sermon but the context does not show otherwise. A Sermon preached at the High Pavement Meeting House in Nottingham in 1738 was published at the unanimous request of “the Ministers, ye Mayor and many others”. Other places visited were Knutsford, Macclesfield, Derby, towns in South Yorkshire, Gainsborough and Lincoln where he had several friends and often he went to Ashford in the Water, the last named the home of his great friend the Rev. John Ashe, like himself an eminent Divine. It does not appear that he actually published any original works beyond a few sermons but he edited several works published in London a list of which is contained in Mr.Kirke’s “Diary.” It might be thought that in a Peakland town 150 miles from the Metropolis a man immersed in so many and varied pursuits would have little time and less opportunity.

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to keep abreast of the current literature and politics of the day and here again we have another facet of this many sided character. He tells us how he would walk to Town End or send to Whaley Bridge to meet the London Carrier who brought a parcel of books from London and on the next rainy day he is at home dipping into the new volumes. Naturally Medicine and Theology constituted his chief studies but History and Philosophy found a place in his Library and he also read such works as Young’s “Night Thoughts”, Cockburn’s “Travels”, “The Jewish Spie”, and Dr.Owen’s “Natural History of Serpents” the latter as he observes put very little to my advantage”. John Wesley sent him his book entitled “A further appeal to men of Reason and Religion” which Clegg “read with pleasure and he hoped with profit”. He notes the death of Queen Anne and of George I. Of the former he says in a retrospect of the year 1714 “This year Queen Anne died very seasonably for these nations.” The latter he calls “the great and good”. He chronicles the death of “our most excellent Queen Caroline” the wife of George II as “a great and sad breach in ye nation” and one wonders how much of her sad history culminating in the weird tragedy of her death-bed scene described by Lord John Hervey had penetrated to the remote parsonage. One must hope that it never shocked the good old man’s strong sense of loyalty. He appears to have had a very considerable correspondence for those days, receiving and writing long letters chiefly on theological matters. His case differs materially from that of an old Friend Mr.Edmund Bradbury of Kinder who “tho’ he had an estate he had so little to do with this world that he

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told me he had never written or received one letter in all his life nor his father before him”. There are however no references to Newsletters or other sources of information but it is clear that Clegg had some means of keeping in close touch with affairs for he duly chronicles the news of the day, political and social, the victories of British arms, and so on. Perhaps these came through the family at Ford Hall with whom Dr.Clegg was at all times on terms of close friendship.

In politics he was a Whig and a firm supporter of the Cavendish interest in the County which at that time only returned two Members to Parliament. On another page will be found some of his electioneering experiences.

He naturally was a firm supporter of Sunday observance. When the child of Godfrey Lingard the Miller was unhappily drowned in the mill dam at Chapel Milton on a Sunday he says “May it be a warning to keep their children under better government on the Lord’s Day” (But he was perhaps not quite so particular as his contemporary, another well known Diarist Parson, Woodforde, who when his razor broke in his hand as he was shaving one Sunday morning he wrote. “May it be a warning to me not to shave on the Lord’s Day or do any other work to profane it pro futuro.”) A week or two later “it was what they call Wakes Sunday and it is my grief I cannot prevail on such as profess religion to give no encouragement to irregularities”. Several other similar entries show that he was no friend to the Wakes at any time. Many other entries however show his hospitable nature. Year after year he has a party in the first week in January, often on Twelfth Night. “Had several of my young friends and neighbours to

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supper at night and some stayed all night.” “At night I had about 30 of our young people to supper. Many of them were young men learning Psalmody.” On New Year’s Eve 1740 “We had our neighbours to supper with us and spent some time, I hope, in innocent cheerfulness.” This seems to have become something like what we should call a Choir Supper for in 1753 about two years before his death the guests included “our young men the sett of singers and some others of our neighbours I think about 30 in all. They sang many Psalms and hymns after, and after prayer most of them returned home.” These Meetings were no doubt the predecessors of the New Year’s Day Ham and Oatcake Sandwich Tea now held in the Chapel School, which festival is said to be nearly as old as the Chapel itself and by the Scholars’ Tea also held in the New Year. It is to be noted that at this periodat any rate in country places-Christmas Day was practically unobserved.

Clegg was no narrow-minded ascetic. As we have seen he had no objection to visiting inns or to convivial meetings on occasion; he was at the same time a model of sobriety as compared with manyif not mostof his contemporaries. After a visit to Derby and getting one cold upon another he was indisposed in his breast and stomach, which he attributed to drinking too much rum and water on the journey (apparently to ward off a chill), “which had also much wasted and sunk my spirits”. He was, too, something of a sportsman and seems to have particularly enjoyed an hour or two’s fishing wherever he went. In April 1729 three Lancashire friends come to fish: he goes with them to Edale and thence to Tideswell, where he

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fished with them in the Wye, dined and returned home. But he adds “not well satisfied to fiave spent so much precious time in diversions”. A few years later when on a visit to various congregations in Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire he came to Gainsborough and there went fishing a while in ye River Trent. On another occasion after preaching at Ashford and visiting Chatsworth with friends the next morning was spent in fishing at Ashford. One June day when he was over 70 “son James came and dined with us, afterwards we fished the brook in my grounds and took about 10lbs. of fine trouts and eels”.1 One day “R. Oldham dined with us, and we walked up to Chappel and diverted ourselves at Shuffle-board, and spent ye rest of ye day at Mr. Walker’s”. Coursing was another sport the good Doctor indulged in occasionally. On a September morning in 1730 “I was up pretty early and went out to meet Mr. Bagshaw and other friends at Small Dale to course hares. Several gentlemen were with us, and had what they called good diversion “but to me it is far from being as diverting as formerly”. Nevertheless a year or two later he again goes “out a coursing 2 or 3 hours” with friends.

Mr.Bagshaw and young Mr. Mills Of Leek2 called him out “to go a setting” from which he soon returned. As this was in early September the “setting” was probably shooting partridges. He mentions shooting on another occasion One form of sport that he seems to have disliked was racing,

1 some forty years ago I saw some (not very fine) trout taken from this same water. It is to be doubted if the effects of modern industry have not now destroyed all fish in this stream.

2 Mr. Mills was agent for the Degge family, the owners of the Bowden Hall Estate.

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although he notes without comment that “Mrs. Eyre set off on my mare to Stockport Races” and on another occasion to Tideswell. Mistress Eyre was a step-daughter, and from what the Diary tells of her he may have thought it useless to object. He mentions “there was a race at Wash and a great crowd got together and I doubt much wickedness committed,” and his remark about races at Bakewell finds a modern echo “a prodigious number flock to it from all parts and notwithstanding ye general complaints of poverty can find money to venture on such occasions”.

His daughters must have prevailed upon him to allow them to learn dancing, but he notes when he settled accounts with ye dancing master he “paid that money with a grumbling conscience and am resolved never to pay more on that account”.

Had Clegg had no connection with Nonconformity he would have been and indeed was in a wide district famous as a physician. His reasons for taking up Medicine are explained at length in a letter written in 1728 to an old friend, the Rev.Dr.Calamy, a Son of the Mr. Calamy mentioned in Pepys’ Diary as refusing to comply with the Act of Uniformity.

He says that soon after he came into the county he was advised by that learned and worthy Gentleman Mr. Samuel Bagshaw of Ford (son of the Apostle of the Peak) to study Physick that he might be that way as well as the other serviceable to the poor in these parts, many of whom Mr. Bagshaw thought perished for want of a little seasonable help. He acknowledges the assistance of Dr. Adam Holland of Macclesfield, who assisted him in his studies and on his death left him his MSS. For 20 years he had “been looking into the most


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famous Authors I could compass ancient and modern but never ventured to practice except in ordinary cases and amongst the poorer sort, who have been very thankful and that has been most of my reward”. Probably one of the famous authors mentioned in this letter is one of my most cherished possessions, a small leather-bound book which came from the library of Mr.John Bennett, formerly of Stodhart. This book bears the signature “Ja. Clegg M.D.” and is entitled Medicina Statica; being the Aphorisms of Sanctorius with an introduction by John Quiney, M.D., and was published in London in 1718. It is a quaint work, being a combination of medical and philosophical axioms somewhat on the lines of Tupper’ s famous Proverbial Philosophy. On the front page is another signature, “Edwd Bennett 1774”. This is no doubt the Edward Bennett, “Senr Surgeon,” who was churchwarden in 1774-1776. Edward Bennett was also Warden no less than 14 times between 1756 and 1773. He is often mentioned in the later years Of the Diary and it is said that he was Dr. Clegg’ s Dispenser or Assistant. He was the ancestor of the Bennetts of Stodhart, medical men for practically a century, their practice being subsequently carried on down to the present time by Dr.Anderson” Mr. F. G. Bennett and now by Dr Cogan. One of Sanctorius’ Aphorisms is “To swim in the evening is safest for in the morning the water is colder and may obstruct the pores and endanger a fever”. Clegg also was rather suspicious of cold water for when in the month of June son Benjamin- a grown man-is seized with a violent pain in his head the Doctor says it is “owing I think to bathing in cold water”. The letter to Dr Calamy points out that latterly he had been

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called out to families of better note of different persuasions which had very much disturbed some zealots of the Church who threatened prosecution in the Spiritual Court for practising

without a licence. It will be observed that the objection was not to his practising medicine as such, for there were no Medical Acts at that time, but to his acting as a Minister at the same time, and if the opponents were acting under legal advice their act was an admission that Dr. Clegg came within the purview of the Spiritual Courts, to whose jurisdiction one would have thought that as a Dissenter he was not amenable.

Edinburgh and Glasgow refused him a Degree, but in October 1729 to his great satisfaction he received a Diploma Medicum as Doctor of Physic from the University of Aberdeen, his title of Doctor thus being one of Medicine and not of Divinity.

One of the families of better note to whom the foregoing letter refers was that of Mrs. Bagshawe, of The Oaks, Norton, near Sheffield, who some four years before Clegg received his Diploma had sent him to London to attend her son Adam, dangerously ill of smallpox. Clegg unfortunately came too late and the young man died. It is suggestive of the indifference or ignorance of the period to learn that the body was placed in a hearse and brought down to Norton, the journey occupying four days. Clegg chronicles this quite unconcernedly as if a matter of course and makes no suggestion that any precautions to avoid infection were adopted. It is clear from the Diary that smallpox, ague and intermittent pleuritic fevers were practically endemic at that day, for there are numerous references to outbreaks, not only locally as when a bad fever prevails

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at Town End, but throughout the country, smallpox particularly being of a virulent type. Children seem to have had it as a matter of course and many middle-aged people died of it. Measles, also, and what Clegg calls a worm fever, were very prevalent amongst children, and several of his patients suffered from “ye Iliac passion”, known to us as appendicitis. This latter always seems to have given him great anxiety and often proved fatal. He also several times mentions Cholera morbus-probably acute diarrhoeaas a dangerous illness. An analogous case was that of an old man who died of “colic in ye small guts”.

Some of his remedies seem to us rather peculiar, savouring a little of the medieval. For instance in a case of smallpox he prescribed Alexpharmicks and two episparick plaisters. He was, however, very successful in smallpox, for he records in 1735 “this is the first of them that I have prescribed to that have died of ye smallpox here”, and this after 30 years’ practice, a record of which even a modern physician might be proud. To his young daughter Margaret, who died apparently of some form of fever at the age of 14, he gave “a powder of crabs claws, oyster shells and nutmeg with sugar to absorbe ye acid and sweeten ye juices in her stomach”. To daughter Betty when ill of a malarial fever he gives “powdered crabs eyes and little else”. Joshua Wood of Bowden Hall became much disordered in his mind “occasioned as I thought by seeing the body of Edward Ford of Chapel who was drowned in the Goit having fallen from a bridge when disordered by strong drink”. Clegg took an ounce of blood from him and Joshua was much better. Blood-letting naturally figures largely in his treatment. For


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dropsy he gave Ashes of Broom infu1sed in Flemish Wine and filtrated and Lixivial salts. When-l Grace Lingard of Stodhart and her brother Charles Kirk of Malcoff were ill of fever he prescribed a blistering plaster and garlick plasters to Grace’s feet and afterwards a decoction of Virginian Snake Root. He does not say what he prescribed for Charles, who died, but apparently Grace recovered. It is rather interesting to observe that a man of so sane and healthy a mind should have had a strong vein of credulity and superstition and evidently he had a strong belief in the effect of the Moon on mental and physical health. He visited his mother-in-law, Mrs. Champion of Edale, and gravely records that “she was seized whilst I was there with a most violent Hysterick fitt exactly at the time ye Moon came to the full”, and when suffering from a Quinsey, to which he was subject, the worst time was when the Moon was at ye full. Clegg, however, was not alone in this lingering faith in Astrology. In 1748 one of the best-known Physicians of his time published a book on “The influence of the Sun and Moon upon human bodies and the diseases thereby produced”. He also records a ghostly call on the gardener at Ford Hall in broad daylight by Mr. Ash, a visitor in the house, who declared that at the time, 6 a.m., he was in his room with the door locked and that he never walked in his sleep in his life. Dr. Clegg says “what shall we say to this but wait for the event”. Unfortunately we do not hear of the event, if any. In a long letter to a friend, Dr.Latham, who presided over a famous Dissenting Academy at Findern, near Derby, he minutely describes as true in every particular an extraordinary tale of the resurrection of hundreds

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of people from the churchyard at Hayfield whose disembodied spirits were alleged to have been seen rising to heaven. In so extensive a practice there was necessarily some surgical work, chiefly confined to ordinary fractures and treatment of broken limbs, but there is no reference to such general operatnons as are familiar to modern surgery. The difficulty in obtaining a second opinion is exemplified in the case of the daughter of Mr. Frith of Bagshawa relative of the Friths of Bank Hall- who suffered from a “stitch”, and for the satisfaction of all parties Clegg sent her father to Sheffield with a letter for Dr. Wells, but the latter being from home the father’s journey was fruitless. Clegg, by the way, speaks of the young lady as “Mrs.”, the old term “Mistress”, which he usually applies to unmarried women.

His reputation as a doctor spread far beyond his own district for instance he was called to Leek and Knutsford and on one occasion rode to Derby to attend a local gentleman taken ill there whilst attending an Election. On another occasion “an antient man came for advice and brought a water from beyond Southwel in Nottinghamshire on foot about 36 miles”. He also mentions visits to or from other patients residing in East and South Derbyshire and at Gainsborough and Mansfield.

All his journeys on business or pleasure were made on horsebackat one period he seems to have kept three riding horsesand often going his rounds near home he took his wife or a daughter behind him on a pillion. Many journeys in connection with the business of his Denomination are chronicledbesides visiting towns in Lancashire, Derbyshire, Cheshire and Nottingham he records journeys to Lincoln and South Yorkshire,

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and usually he takes the opportunity to visit places of interest such as Lincoln Cathedral and Beverley Minster. He naturally had many accidents owing to bad roads and weather, but usually chronicles his thanks to God for, “a merciful deliverance” and he certainly must have had many narrow escapes. He notes with pride on one occasion that he had ridden back from Derby in seven hours. Not unnaturally his travels in all weathers caused some ill-health and he was troubled with quinseys and rheumatism. For a time at least when about sixty years of age he left off malt liquor and flesh and found his health much better than before. One of his most eventful journeys was to Derby in May 1734, when he travelled in company with many neighbours to vote at the General Election for Lord Charles Cavendish. Some question arose as to Clegg’s right to vote but eventually he gave it, and for some time afterwards he seems to have been troubled with the fear of some proceedings, although nothing further is heard of it. In addition to his Ministerial and Medical work Dr. Clegg found time to farm with evident success a holding of about 40 acres. He was never a wealthy man as we have seen when 30 years of age he was passing rich on £20 a year and long after this, when taking his annual account at the year’s end in a manner that reminds us of Samuel Pepys, he records that the year’s expenses have exceeded £120 so much he says “God has Blessed me”. The details of the farm are themselves interesting. Much of the land was arable and the corn was ground like that of his neighbours at the Kings Mill at Chapel Milton. He keeps a fairly fill record of the weather, which was very similar to that of this present day, and the periods of

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harvest coincide pretty closely with our own. A fat swine was generally slain about Christmas time, and it would appear that the system of killing cattle in the autumn and salting the meat for winter consumption still obtained.

Added to all these labours Clegg was the business adviser of half the countryside; executor and trustee of half a dozen estates at once, guardian of infant children, and defender of the widow and oppressed. He was evidently in request as a negotiator of sales and purchases of land and the mediator in disputes and a regular attendant at Copyhold and other Courts. There can be little doubt that he was a shrewd business man who, pious as he was, knew when to watch as well as when to pray. When he heard that George Thornhill of Warmbrook had an execution in, he moralises on the wretched condition to which Thornhill’s unclean life and intemperance had brought him and his family, but he adds “sent for a cow he had of mine in haste and got her”. On the death of Clegg Senior “my dear and honoured father who departed on Lord’s Day morning between twixt 1 and 2 by ye clock” he observes “A kind providence ordered matters so that he altered his Will a little before his death in favour of me and mine and I hope his children will have peace. God grant we may.” About two years before his death the Doctor formed a scheme for making the best of both worlds. He says “I was under apprehensions of dying shortly, and my greatest concern was for ye continuance of ye means of Salvation in these parts after my decease but God can provide, and on him I rely. With a view to this I have a ticket purchased for me in the Irish Lottery. If Providence shall favour me with a prize, I have determined that one halfe of it shall

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be applied to that use or some other that shall appear more pious or charitable". He does not record the winning of a prize. Of course Lotteries at that day were quite legal, although one would have thought a man of such sound commonsense would have taken warning by the effects of the South Sea Bubble and other catastrophes with which he must have been familiar However, the sporting chance of benefiting himself and the means of Salvation at the same time must have carried him away.

Reference has already been made to his quick temper and fondness for litigation. He never allowed anyone, in modern parlance, “to sit upon him” if he could help it. Probably in some measure owing to the Ford Hall influence he became involved in several Parish disputes, but it is right to say that he did what he could both with the Vicar, Mr. Byron, and with Mr. Bagshawe, “to accommodate matters” as he terms it. In the third and fourth decades of the eighteenth century there were three burning questions in the Parish. An action was brought against the Churchwardens with reference to the Parish Accounts, and this on a point of law is still quoted in the Ecclesiastical text books. 1 Mr. Joseph Trickett, a speculator in property and a friend of Mr. Bagshawe’s, in another action commenced proceedings apparently with the object of compelling the removal of the handsome candelabra in the Church.

Another dispute in which Mr. Clegg was more personally concerned was as to a legacy left by Mr. Wm. Barber of Malcalf for charitable purposes. For some years the Trustees, Arnold

1 Phillimore’s Ecclesiastical Law, 2nd Edtn, 1487 Wainwright v. Bagshaw,
2 Stra P 974

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Kyrke of Martinside and Robert Middleton, both good friends to Chinley Chapel, had paid £1 a year to Dr. Clegg, but some Church people, more zealous than charitable, had objected to any part of the income being paid to a Dissenting Minister and the matter being referred to the Arbitration of the Churchwardens and Overseers the latter, perhaps not unnaturally, awarded part to the Vicar and the remainder to the poor of Chapel, holding that no part was intended for the benefit of a Presbyterian Minister. All these suits appear to have gone against Clegg and his friends, and he rather disgustedly notes that the Church bells were rung and a good deal of rowdy rejoicing took place in Chapel in consequence. His share of the costs came to £27, which he paid, being fully resolved never more to engage in any more suits. He had already had a row with his lawyer when he “went up to Chapel to settle matters with him about ye lawsuits, had some hot words with him about his bill which cost me some concern after. I have not that rule over my own spirit that I recommend to others. May God teach me more meekness and humility and watchfulness.” Shortly afterwards the Overseers, as they were entitled to do, sent him a parish apprentice. This he seems to have looked uponas was no doubt intendedas a studied insult, but he was not legally exempt. This he strongly objected to and appealed to the Quarter Sessions at Bakewell, where, after dining with the Justices, his appeal was allowed. On another occasion Mr. Shepley, the postmaster, refused to deliver a letter from London out of the office (there must have been no house delivery then) unless he paid ½d. more than the law required, “which I am not willing to do: he has abused me in other ways and I’m determined

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to seek satisfaction”. This involved an application to Justice Chetham at Mellor and Clegg rode there with four witnesses but found the Justice had not confirmed the appointment. Later on he had a letter from Chetham which gave him ease, so it is to be hoped that he saved his half-penny after all.

Clegg was twice married. First to Ann, daughter of Mr. Joseph Champion of Edale, by whom he had a family of six or seven children. She died in January 17412, after nearly forty years of married life, causing “the widest breach that ever came upon me”. Two years later his daughter married Thomas Middleton, “grandson to Mr. Robt. Middleton my old friend”. The marriage settlement is now in the possession of the Shepley family and relates to the property now occupied by Messrs. T. Shepley & Co., Ltd., where Thomas Middleton carried on the business of a “tobacconest”. Clegg, described as a Doctor in Phisick, gave his daughter a dowry of £90. The Middletons were substantial tradespeople-old Robert being a Mercer and also the chronicler of various matters of local interest preserved in the Parish Book. The Doctor was now left “in solitary state” and was advised by his friends to look out for a suitable companion. Having consulted with Mr. Thomas Kyrke of Spire Hollins, he came to a conclusion about marrying and lost no time, for on 22nd August 1744 he was married at Disley to Mrs. Sarah Eyre, widow of Thomas Eyre, Esq., of Hathersage and Stockport, and sister of a special friend of Clegg’s, the Rev. John Jones of Marple. The next day he writes in his Diary “I find myselfe now much better both in body and mind; calm, cheerful, composed and easy.” Mrs. Clegg only lived for about four years, dying after a short illness

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on 24th Nov. 1748, leaving him as he pathetically says “in my advanced age in a solitary state”. Mrs. Clegg’s daughter, Misttess Eyre, lived on at Stodhart for some time, but she irritated the old man a good deal and when she goes off to be married he hopes for peace at home. A granddaughter kept house for him and although active to the last his remaining years passed peacefully away. The last entry in the Diary is on 29th July 1755 and he died on 5th August following, and is buried in the graveyard of the Chapel he had helped to build and which he so much loved.

Thus ended the life of the first and greatest Minister of Chinley Chapel. A kind if somewhat severe parent, an affectionate husband, no respecter of persons but the true friend of great and small, his memory is still worthy to be had in remembrance as a

High nature amorous of the good

But touched with no ascetic gloom.

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Early Guide BooksParliamentary ElectionsThe ‘45Cattle

PlagueThe Wastes enclosedTurnpikes-Parish accounts

Burying in woollenTyburn TicketsSportingA stranger’s view

ClubsThe Reform ActThe WakesCensus returnsMore

parish accountsEarly directoriesCoachesRailways.

IT is rather difficult to-day to visualise the Chapel of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and, what is perhaps the more striking feature from the modern point of view, the isolation, not only of the outlying farms and hamlets but of the town itself. Travellers and writers of guide books, such as they were in those days, generally ignored the Peak or warned their readers of its dangers. It is true that Philip Kinder, writing in the latter part of the seventeenth century, had a good word to say for the Peak, but most writers seem to agree with Drayton, the writer of the ponderous poem entitled Polyolbion: -

Like it in all this Isle for sternness there is none,

Where nature may be said to shew young groves of stone, As she in little there had curiously compiled

The model of the vast Arabian stony wild.”

Most writers have something to say about the Ebbing and Flowing Well at Barmoor (which they generally confuse with Tideswell) and Peaks Hole at Castleton, quoting from the well known poem by Thomas Hobbes “The Leviathan”. Even

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travellers on foot or on horseback, like Moritz and Celia Fiennes toward the end of the eighteenth century, when they get to Castleton turn off by Tideswell or Buxton and ignore the northwest corner of the county altogether.

The earliest guide book reference we have found is contained in “Index villaris or an exact Register of all the Cities of each County” published in London 1690, but the information is, to say the least, scanty. “Chappel in the Forest, Darby, a Market town with one gentleman seat, N.W. of London.”

The name of the seat is not given. Incidentally it may be remarked that this book includes 14 other “Chapels” with or without prefixes. It is not till 1802 that we find in Britton and Brayley’s Beauties of England and Wales the more kindly reference quoted on p. xiii. Nevertheless we have one or two sidelights on the people of the eighteenth century as we shall see.

A centenarian who had lived all his life in Chapel, if any such there were, would in 1799, in retrospect, recall happenings and changes as great in degree as anything that such an one would be able to remember to-day. He would recollect the opening of Chinley Chapel in 1711, which although without the parish boundary was, as now, the spiritual home of not a few parishioners: the coming of the Methodists and the visits of John Wesley: the gradual removal of the disabilities of Nonconformists and the building of the first Chapel and school at Town End. He would also have seen the new schoolthe fore runner of our National Schoolsin Cromwell Croft and near to it the Parsonage House built by subscription for the Incumbent who had “hitherto been destitute of a house for him and

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his family to reside in”. Close on this came the restoration of the Church, surprisingly giving to a Gothic structure a classic Georgian exterior, and the famous Candelabra the cause, we are told, of much trouble:

“ The Protestant and Schismatick

Fell out about a candlestick.

The Father, Sister, Son and Brother,

Fought till they’d ruined one another.

And then the Church had rest awhile

Till strolling Fiddlers did defile

The place, and Heaven and Earth affront,

By making a vile play house on’t.”

A story has come down that about 1740 one, John Shirt, brought an action about this candelabra and had to pay the costs for which he was obliged to sell some of his property at Bowden Head. He was afterwards known as “Candlestick John”. The last lines above quoted have reference to the musical festival held in Wakes week 1778 to celebrate the placing in the church of an organ, some parts of which are still in use.

In spite of Internal dissentions the parishioners stood together when their right of presention to the living was assailed and for the last time in 1748 they withstood the interference of the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield to the nomination of the Rev. John Byron when the Capitular authorities finally confessed themselves beaten. It was a’ propos of this nomination that Mr. William Bagshawe, writing to his nephew Colonel Bagshawe, M.P., expressed his opinion that the general practice of the parishioners was to exercise their patronage “in favour of the worst man they can find to the best of their ability”.1

1. The bagshawes of Ford, P. 184.

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Although local political feelings may have run high, when it came to national politics practically all were united for the Whigs, no doubt owing not only to the strong Protestant tendency but to the influence of the Cavendishes and the family at Ford.

The General Election in December 1701 is recorded in a Poll Book which appears to have been an official record of all the votes cast; as it gives the name and address of each voter and the candidates for whom he voted it is valuable and interesting as giving some particulars of the land owners in every parish.

This election was an important one. While both the great political parties at this period were united against France, broadly speaking the Whigs supported the Low Church and Nonconformist view and with it the Hanoverian (i.e. Protestant)

Succession while the Tories were the High Church faction and many of them were suspected, not always without reason, of Jacobite tendencies. As we can gather from Dr. Clegg’s Diary, Churchmen and Nonconformists were not always too friendly. It is however quite clear that the majority of both parties were still united in their ingrained dislike of Roman Catholicsim whether theological or political but as has been well said “the surest appeal of both the English parties was made not to the religious instincts of the ordinary man, but to his dislike to the religion of others.”1

There were still harsh laws against the Romanists on the Statute book but the only part of these actually enforced against them at that time were the laws excluding them, as the Protestant Dissenters were also excluded, from civil office and

1. England under Queen Anne, by Professor G. M. Trevelyan, i. p. 191.

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a further law which subjected Roman Catholics to pay double Land Tax.

As we see in the case of the congregation at Malcoff and Chinley, the Protestant Dissenters, protected by the Toleration Act of 1689, “were by this time firmly established and were the strongest in the middling classes of society they followed the Russells, Cavendishes and Whartons all the more faithfully because they themselves were not of social rank to aspire to seats in either houses of Parliament, were rigidly excluded from the Universities and were prevented by the Test Act from taking any considerable part even in local administration. Yet they could not be indifferent to politics.”1 The same writer points out that in some towns the wealthy and educated Dissenters were beginning that drift towards Unitarianism which became a marked feature of English as distinct from Scottish Presbyterianism. An example of this is seen in the “Elder Yard Chapel” at Chesterfield so often visited by Dr. Clegg the congregation of which some time after his death transferred their allegiance from Presbyterianism to Unitarianism and so continue to this daysimilarly the Flower Gate Chapel at Whitby, Yorkshire, founded in 1695 is now Unitarian. Such in brief was the position at the date of the General Election of December 1701 and; knowing something of local opinion through the Diary of Dr. Clegg and of the Cavendish influence in North Derbyshire, strongly supported by the Bagshawes of Ford, it is not very surprising to find that the voters from Chapel were practically solid for the Whigs. The polling took place for the whole county at Derby and

1 Ibid.

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lasted three days, December 11th, 12th and 13th. Scarsdale and High Peak Hundreds were polled at the Shire Hall. Only Freeholders owning land or tenements of the annual value of 40s. had a vote and, under a then recent Act of Parliament, before polling each had to swear that he had the necessary qualification and had not previously polled. The four candidates for the two seats were the Marquis of Hartington, afterwards second Duke of Devonshire and John, Lord Roos, Whigs, and Thomas Coke of Melbourne and John Curzon, who represented the Tories.

Coke (who had sat in the Parliament of 1698) headed the poll and Mr. Curzon was second, only 19 votes above Lord Hartington, the latter and his colleague who had sat in the last Parliament being thus unseated.1 The total number of voters was 3,057: at the General Election in 1935 in the High Peak Division alone the actual voters numbered 35,535.

The following is a list of the Freeholders having qualification in Chapel parish who voted. Those non-resident are noted: John Bradshaw, Esq., John Waterhouse, Bowden Head. Robert Wainwright, Bradshaw. Edward Kirke, Wm. Bennett, Robert Middleton, Anthy Cooper, Sparrowpit Gate, Joshua Wood, George Shirt, John Hadfield of Padfield; John Walker, John Bradshaw (sic). Samuel Frith of Peak Forest; Nich. Cresswell, Wm. Davenport of Stockport; John Wild of Disley; John Dearniley of Smithy Lane; Thomas Shirt of Maxfield; Adam Fox, John Bowler of Baslow. James Carrington of Bramshall; John Bennett, Peter Kennion, John Bullock of Marple; John Hegginbotham of Sutton, Cheshire; Henry Kirke, Anthony.

1.Vict. Hist., ii. P. 143

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Bellott, senr., Anthony Bellott, Robert Bagshaw, Holling Knowle; Robert Thornhill, Wm. Cooper, Nich Lingard, Thomas Kirke, Henry Marchington, Arnold Kirke, Martinside; George Wright Thomas Barber, James Carrington, Blackbrook; John Daine, Peter Downes, Henry Mellor Thos. Mellor, Thos. Gee, John Shirt, Bowden Head; Rich Turner, of Brushfield; John Wright of Staden for Baghouse; Thos. Kirke, Whitehills, Robert Bagshaw, Nicholas Lomas, Isaac Lomas, Sam Bagshaw, Ford; Wm, Jackson, John Bennett, Silkhill; George Thornhill, Warmbrook; Anthony Ward of Brownside; Ralph Gee, of Lydgate; Joseph Thornhill, Fra, Moseley, Lightbirch; George Allen, Jun., Pyegrave; Ralph Dane, Nic Kirk, Laneside; Edmund Warrington of Waily; Rich. Greensmith, Ford. German Buxton of Chapel voted Tory in respect of property at Bradburn as did one of the Mosleysan outvoter Charles Hadfield of Chapel voted for Bowden Middlecale. Of the 62 voters in respect of property in Chapel the seven living in Cheshire voted for the Tories as did three Chapel men, one John Walker, gave one vote to Lord Hartington and one to Mr. Curzon. The remaining 51 voted solid for the Whigs in common with most of the electors in the north of the county. The Coke and Curzon interest was, however, strong in the south which of course had much easier access to Derby.

In three Duchy Rent Rolls for 1650, 1709 and 1760 the average number of persons paying the King’s Rent is about 140 but some of these may have been tenants paying for their landlords or for properties in more than one Edge. In any case the number is striking when it is remembered that so large an area of the parish was common land. If we take this number of


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Freeholders as fairly accurate it will be seen that a very fair percentage of the Freeholders voted at this Election particularly when we remember the difficulties of the journey to Derby in winter and other necessary disabilities.

Dr. Clegg records the death of Queen Anne on 1st August 1714 as “much lamented by some” and in his summary of the events of the year she “died very seasonably for these nations" his sympathies being naturally with the Hanoverian party, according to his view “all ye great places of power and trust being in hands suspected to be inclined to ye Pretender.” By the death of Queen Anne it was hoped and believed that the Schism Act passed about six months before her death would not be enforced. This Act aimed at the suppression of all Dissenting schools and academies "down to the meanest" and would have destroyed the only chance the Nonconformists had of educating their children at such schools as those attended by Dr. Clegg himself and the Academy at Findern so often mentioned in the Diary.

In the Life of Bishop Burnet it is recorded that when after “King George’s arrival in England the Dissenting Ministers went in their black gowns to read him an address, a courtier asked Bradbury ‘Pray, Sir, is this a funeral?’ ‘Yes, Sir,’ was the reply’, ‘it is the funeral of the Schism Act and the resurrection of Liberty’.”

The Act was never enforced and was repealed a few years after George I’s accession.

By another Act an oath of Allegiance to the Hanoverian Succession was required. A printed certificate signed by the Clerk of the Peace records that at the July Quarter Sessions at

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Bakewell I723, John Lingard of Stodhart, Yeoman, took the oaths prescribed by the Act of the first year of King George “entitled, an act for the further security of His Majesties Person and Government, and the succession of the Crown, Heirs of the late Princess Sophia, being Protestants, and for extinguishing the Hopes of the pretended Prince of Wales, and his open and secret Abettors.”

Although there were numerous General Elections with fluctuating successes on either side during the next thirty years we do not hear much about election politics for some time till the spring of 1734. In the meantime relations between the politicians and theologians remained more or less strained. Chinley Chapel could make a collection of £2 towards the repair of Chapel Church and at the same time Clegg and some of his friends, were supporting certain “parish suits” against the Churchwardens and others, and on the other hand young and irresponsible church people, probably annoyed at Clegg’s objection to the Wakes, did some damage to the Chapel. The Churchwardens and Overseers perhaps wishing to act up to the title of “Officers for the Church and King” conferred on them in the Parish Book, cited Clegg to appear in the Ecclesiastical Courts for non payment of Church assessments and later tried to compel him to take a parish apprentice, in both of which cases the Doctor was successful. He was at the same time trying to “heal ye breach” between some of his friends and the parish officials but, as he sorrowfully confesses, could not prevail. Meanwhile Clegg, Mr. Bagshawe and others were busy preparing for the coming General Election and to such purpose that they were able on May 15th to “set out for Derby with

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many neighbours. We entered Derby about 800 strong to vote for Lord Cavendish”. Mr. Wm. Bagshawe of Ford alluding to this says “The unanimity of my neighbours at the election was looked upon as a testimony of gratitude to the memory of my ancestors, and particularly to that of my late revered grandfather (the Apostle of the Peak) and at the same time as a thing that would enable me to be of some use in this country.”1

Dr. Clegg records that Derby was full of rioters but he personally had no affront or disturbance. For some unexplained reason, and with great misgiving, he claimed a vote and, after visiting several friends and having “discoursed the matter more fully with Mr. Shaw was satisfied as to ye legality of my vote and gave it for Lord Charles and afternoon set out for home”.

Lord Charles Cavendish headed the poll by a majority of 37 over one successful Tory Candidate Sir Nathaniel Curzon in spite of the strenuous opposition of the Tories whose second candidate Sir Hy. Harper was defeated. There was fierce rioting in Derby, at least one person being killed. A small printed pamphlet published shortly after this election shows that some 56 voters came from Chapel including “the Reverend Jas. Clegg” and nine or ten others voted for land in Chapel Parish all were practically solid for Lord Charles Cavendish there being only one or two split votes and about three “plumpers ,” for the Tory candidate.2 The Doctor was much troubled in his mind during the next three months as he was threatened with prosecution for voting. He writes plaintively that he did not vote rashly nor did he “act against conscience in it, and

1 The Bagshawes of Ford, p. 130.

2 Jackson Collection, Sheffield City Library, No. 1172.

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this gives encouragement to hope that God will protect and deliver me”. But on 8th August, while he was still “under some uneasiness to hear tidings from Derby” came the news that Lord Charles and Mr, Curzon agreed well and it was hoped there would be no further strife about the election.

Clegg gives no explanation as to why he claimed to vote. He may possibly have done so under a Statute of Queen Anne which allowed a vote in respect of offices or Preferments but it is hardly likely that this would have been held to apply to his position as Minister of Chinley Chapel. Clegg’s adherence to Whig principles on this and a subsequent occasion did not go altogether without an earthly reward for, through Mr. Bagshawe the Duke of Devonshire in January 1750 conferred on him an annuity which the Doctor says is a handsome and seasonable present and a kind and evident answer to prayer.

A document 1 dated about 1661 relating to Trained Soldiers in the County discusses a scheme for the maintenance of each man by a rate assessed on every £400 of rateable value of real and personal estates in the respective parishes. The suggestion is that more men should be raised in market towns “where is more choice of men fit for service and less land to maintain them and in country towns, villages and places less choice of fit men for soldiers and more real estate to raise money for payment”. The stress laid on the importance of land may be noted. This document states that in 1641 the whole county provided 400 trained soldiers of whom 80 came from the High Peak Hundred Bowden Chapel furnished 6, the lowest number in the Hundred being Bakewell, with 2 and the highest, Hope with 10.

1 Brit. Mus., Wooley MSS. 6688, fos. 253/4

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There was a good deal of discontent as to the levying of the rates or lays, as they were called, and the writer of this document hopes that the Commissioners to settle these matters may be able to do so and “expedite his Majesty’s service, be ease to the Ld. Lieutenant in his musters, and cause of His Majesty’s subjects unity in duty, love and peace and to such healing commissioners themselves all lasting honour due to good reformers and blessed peasemakers”. The discontent was of long standing for in the Parish Book is a list of all the occupiers in the parish with the acreage held by each in the year 1651 prepared for the commissioners who were to fix the assessments for the Army. Incidentally this is of great interest as giving a full list of occupiers and in some cases naming the owners where non resident.

The number of men provided by Chapel was still six in 1715 as appears by a copy in the Parish Book of a return furnished to the Deputy-Lieutenants at Chesterfield on October 3rd in that year. The form has a certain feudal ring, as suggesting a personal responsibility for a given man.

The form shows a “Principal” and a number of “Boarders” in the case of each man: thus in the return for this year George Thornhill is Principal in respect of Wm. Swindells aged 26 of Wharmbrook (the soldier) and there are thirteen Boarders: the value of each estate is given and the Lay payable from each; The Boarders in this case are Jno. Olliver, Geo. Bowden, Ja. Carrington, Nich Cresswell, Tho. Mellor, Sa. Bagshaw, Henry Kyrk, Ralph Cresswell, Geo. Bagshaw, Jno. Lingard, Nich Kyrk, Mr. Moult and Jno. Bullock and Thornlhill. The assessable value for each soldier averages £51 spread over the Principal and from

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nine to fifteen Boarders and the single lay for each man about One Guinea and for each ratepayer about 1s. 8d. It is not shown how many lays were levied. By the Militia Act of 1757 all men between 18 and 50 were liable to be called up to serve for a term of years; the officers held rank according to a graduated property qualification and the men were chosen by ballot in proportion to the population of the parish, 850 men being required under this Act to be furnished by the County. Our records say little about the administration of this act beyond an occasional entry in the churchwardens accounts such as “spent when we met about militia business”. Nor is there any note that the ballot took place in the church as was the case at Hope and elsewhere although it is most likely that this was the practice here. In the Parish Book is a notice of a ballot at Bakewell for five men and what appears to be another man to come from this and other parishes which were apparently grouped to ensure equitable assessments.

Having regard to their political leanings it is not likely that the people of Chapel would favour the Stuart risings. The 1715 insurrection only touched them as ratepayers, for Ralph Bennett, Parish Constablerecords in his accounts “Mdm £14 of this money was for hire of horses and men pressed for car: of Arms to Preston Fight from 9br. (November) 5th to 9br 20th 1715”.

But in 1745 things became much more serious when Prince Charles Edward actually invaded England with his Highlanders. It was believed the local Militia in Derbyshire were not to be trusted owing to the strong Romish tendency in the county and a meeting was called at Derby by the Duke of

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Devonshire to concert measures for raising forces for the defence of the nation which meeting, as Dr. Clegg tells was attended by “our gentlemen”. It was resolved to raise 600 Volunteers for which purpose a fund was formed to which Mr. Wm. Bagshawe of Ford and Mr. Thomas Gisborne each contributed £50.1

There is no record of any Chapel men in this Corps, and it is to be hoped there were none for it is recorded that after the regiment, 1000 strong, had been reviewed at Derby they heard that the Scots had entered Ashbourne whereupon “they all marched off by torchlight to Nottingham, headed by his Grace the Duke of Devonshire,” and got safely out of the way. The danger on the line of the Rebels’ line of march was, as we know from experiences of residents of Macclesfield and elsewhere, not unfounded and many fled from Lancashire and Cheshire to the Peak district. On 26th Nov. Dr. Clegg dined at Chapel with friends who were flying for safety to Sheffield and at night he sent away his wife’s clothes and linen and some writings to be concealed a while. The next day “our town is full of refugees”. It is related how Mrs. Bagshawe urged her husband to leave Ford and ride over to Norton but Mr. Bagshawe being a Deputy Lieutenant and wishing to continue as long as possible at his post replied “Not till the rebels appear in sight of the house”. Nevertheless horses were kept saddled and bridled day and night for a fortnight.2

On November 30th the gentlemen and farmers in the neighbourhood

1 Three Centuries, i. p. 194.

2 The Bagshawes of Ford, p. 135.

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sent their servants to assist in making trenches to obstruct the roads about Whaley Bridge. Clegg sent two men “but in my thought it could not answer any good purpose but was very bad for travellers”. The next day the rebels left Manchester but at Bullock Smithy (now better known as Hazel Grove) they turned to Macclesfield and so to Derby. They returned almost immediately and on December 7th “a rumour prevailed that ye Rebels were just coming upon us which occasioned great confusion but they were only advancing towards Macclesfield”. This was the end of the trouble so far as Chapel was concerned and on the 8th February following the Church bells were rung from 7 in the morning till 4 in the afternoon “on advice of ye Duke’s (of Cumberland) raising ye siege of Stirling Castle”. Mr. Bagshawe writing two months after the Invasion says “Upon the return of the , Jacobites’ from Derby” hearing they were within two miles of us a quantity of valuables were buried in such haste that they could not be found again.1 He also remarks on the serious depreciation in the value of land arising from the uncertainty of the times and mentions the sale of a farm for nearly 30 percent less than it would have fetched six months earlier. The close of this year brought other troubles. A severe cattle plague or “pestilence amongst horned cattle” broke out and raged in England for ten years: so much so that a special form of prayer was ordered in Churches. The Wardens’ accounts of this year show a payment of 10s. for “Cowpapers and forms of prayer”. Dr. Clegg mentions cases at Rushop Edge and on Dec. 27, 1745, “This week I sent away 2 potts of butter for son Joseph to London. A very mortal

1. The Bagshawes of Ford, P, 135.

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disease prevails among the cattle about London, and very few dare eat any Beefe or butter made there.”

Important as these occurrences were at the time our centenarian would remember two happenings which had far reaching effect on the farming and commercial life of the parish: the final enclosure of the Wastes or Commons the coming of the Turnpike Roads and, at the end of the Century, the construction of the Peak Forest Tramway and the Combs Reservoir.

Although the division of the Wastes into King’s and Tenants’ parts had been made in 1640 nothing further had been done, “because of the late troubleous times” until in 1674 Charles II granted the King’s Part to Thomas Eyre. A commission issued in the next year for the division of the Tenants’ part included Henry Bagshawe, Edmund Bradbury, Esq., and Thomas Bagshaw, Gent.1 The freeholders did not approve of this grant alleging that it deprived them of some of the rights of pasturage they had previously enjoyed over the King’s Part. But after a good deal of litigation in the Duchy Court and a final appeal by the freeholders to Parliament Mr. Eyre was confirmed in his rights. There were also questions as to the respective rights of the freeholders of Chapel and Fernilee, a suggestion of the common rights that existed when these township were in the great ecclesiastical parish of Hope. Finally the freeholders agreed to a division of the Tenants’ Part being made by a Mr.Samuel Hutchinson “with the assistance of Edmund Buckley, Saml Frith and Francis Gee chosen by ye Gentlemen and owners of ye said Commons”, which was accordingly made in 1712. There was still some dissatisfaction for in the Parish Book is a

1 Brit. Mus. Addl. MSS. 6667, fo. 560.

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copy of a document signed by Henry Bradshaw, Esq., Thomas Bagshaw Esq., Wm. Bagshaw, gent., Arnold Kyrk de Whitehills, Wm. Moult, gent., and Henry Kyrk de Eaves, who while they accepted the division considered that they had been wrongfully deprived of their shares of the Commons taken as the King’s Part which “were heretofore of antient time and beyond all memory intirely enjoyed in right of our severall freehold estates and looked upon as part thereof” and their ancient freehold lands and tenements were much impaired and diminished in value by the taking of the King’s Part and they agreed that so much of the commons as had been allotted to them should not be separately rated. It will be observed that nobody but the Gentlemen and freeholders are assumed to have any rights. These commons, however, were not quite like the open spaces in the villages in other parts of the country and in any case a certain number of cottagers or squatters held by copyhold tenure in which cases they probably had gardens or crofts attached. The freeholders would hardly get their allotments as a free gift as in addition to the building of the stone walls which are now the wonder and admiration of strangers they would have to work the land to agricultural uses for a good deal was probably heather and moorland. An article by the late Mr. C. E. B. Bowles in vol. xxiv of D.A.J contains some further interesting particulars about the inclosure of the Wastes in the parish. In the reign of George II there was trouble about Heriots. Sir John Statham of Wigwell near Wirksworth had a lease of the heriots etc. from the Crown which expired in 1729 and three years later he was called on in the Duchy Court to account for the heriots he had received since

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his lease ran out which he appears to have pocketed. According to the papers Sir John was a most intractable person and with violent language, refused to meet Davenport in any way.1 There exists an undated agreement with certain freeholders which shows that Statham had sought to claim heriots in respect of the Herbages, then recently enclosed, which the owners repudiated and there is another agreement with George Thornhill of Warmbrook by which Sir John purported to release Warmbrook from heriots for 99 years in consideration of £16 and a peppercorn on each St. John’s Day. If he received this money he obtained it by false pretences as he could not bind the Crown or succeeding lessees and it may be that this and similar transactions caused the action taken by Davenport the result of which is not recorded.

But much more important than these matters was the inception of the Turnpike Roads. It is difficult to realise that when George III came to the throne, Chapel had not a single main road as we know them to-day. The direct way to Whaley and Cheshire was over Eccles Pike: to Peak Forest, Castleton and Sheffield up Peaslows: to Edale, Penistone and the Woodlands the way would be by Bagshaw and “Rushop Yate” to the Stake Road and to Glossop, New Mills, and Manchester by "Drum and Monkey Lane", to the two latter places bearing to the left and crossing the Blackbrook below Bugsworth Hall. As late as 1792 Chapel was only served by wagons passing through two or three times a week: “No coaches to or from this town.”

The Parish Book gives details, much too copious to be transcribed at length, of “Church Seat Leys”, Land Leys, the

1 Brit. Mus. Wolley MSS. 6690, fo. 283.

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accounts of the Churchwardens Highway Surveyors and otherparish officers and lists of all these officers roughly from 1699 to 1830. From these lists we find that these officers, whose duties were at that time compulsory and unpaid, were selected on a regular system of rotation for each Edge known as “serving by house row”, a system obtaining in many parts of England, particularly in the north, the officer being noted in the

book as serving in respect of the particular tenement he occupied. Although compulsory it is noted in a good many cases That the person appointed, especially those in he upper classes, “hired so and so” to serve for him when all dues both national and Parochial were collected by the local officials we get an idea of the incidence of taxation in the early days of eighteenth century. In 1700 the accounts of “money paid out of the parish for the Publique uses” was as follows:-

Paid to the King for the Land Tax 137 7 6

for Windows, Births, etc. 25 0 0

To the Constable 24 4 1½

To the Churchwardens 5 16 6

To the Poor 149 10 9½

tott p ann £344 18 11

“Births” was a duty imposed on marriages, births, etc., for having them duly registered, by an Act of 1694.

The average for the 21 years 170021 is £437 12s. 4d.per Annum. In 1713 the Queen’s Taxes are 2s. in £; in’ 16, King’s taxes 4s.; in 21 3s. in 1938 the amount levied in the

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parish for local Governmnet purposes only (including county calls) was 9s. 11d.in the pound.

There is an account covering several years of “Cloths given To the poor people accidentally.” This seems to mean gifts of clothing provided other wise than from the rates e.g. from various Charities and private donations, to the men and “a manty, overbody or petticoats” to the women. One great object at this period was as far as possible to get rid of paupers to prevent their obtaining a “settlement” and so becoming chargeable to the parish. For instance in the Parish Book there is a copy of a certificate signed by the Churchwardens and oversees of the Poor of Glossop and “allowed” by the justices that Margaret Swindells and her bastard child called Mary are both of them settled inhabitants of the town of Glossop and “doe only remove themselves into Chappell le frith for their greater convenience of their subsistence and livelihood” and there are many notes of similar certificates given and received by the local Poor Law authorities. For the same reason they were willing to pay a premium to anyone outside the parish to take a pauper apprentice in the hope that the child would obtain a settlement and so cease to be a charge on the parish and this with a cruel disregard to the feelings or future prospects of the unfortunate infant. Such a case a was that in 1799 of little Peggy Ford, aged eight years apprenticed at Rowarth “to learn the art of spinning and manufacturing cotton wool”. A later Overseer, Adam Fox of Martinside, in 1818 showed he was not to be trifled with for, having evidently “arranged” a marriage to get rid of a young woman and her possible child, he took rather drastic means of ensuring

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the presence of the Bridegroom and Best Man by locking them up the night before the ceremony. In his account of “Occasional allowance to paupers and other payments” he enters “Henry Andrew Lawton” (the name in the Parish Register as of Mottram, Widower) “Marriage to Betty Holdgate, Licence £3 3s. od., Church dues 7/6. Expenses on the parties the man and comrade being kept in confinement the night preceding the marriage 12/11.”

Another duty of the Overseers or, as at Chapel, the Churchwardens, is mentioned in the accounts of the latter for 1756 “spent when Mr. John Frith’s money for burying in Linnen was distributed to the poor 2/ 8”. This was under an Act of Charles II which required all bodies to be buried in woollen shrouds for the encouragement of the woollen trade. Under later acts an affidavit of compliance with the original act was to be delivered to the priest under a penalty of £5. Hence we find in the Parish Register notes such as 21 April 1688 “noe affidavit was made for these two corpses.” This was a most unpopular act and Pope in Moral Essays grimly satirises the strong objection to it:-

“Odious! in woollen! ‘twould a saint provoke,”

Were the last words that poor Narcissa spoke.

“ No; let a charming Chintz and Brussels lace

Wrap my cold limbs, and shade my lifeless Face;

One would not, sure, be frightfull when one’s dead,

And Betty, give this cheek a little red.”

A resolution of the Freeholders at a meeting held in February I7056 “for the better management of Public Affairs” directed that whosoever should bury any person in Linen should pay

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50s. to the Overseers of the poor to be disposed in or towards “ye putting forth of a poor child apprentice pursuant to an order made 18th June 1703 by two Justices of the Peace”.

This act was repealed early in the reign of George III.

An Act of William and Mary (1699) was doubtless more popular than that last quoted. Amongst the papers of the Rev, John Lingard, once Vicar of Edale, the last of the Lingards of Stodhart, is a certificate under this statute by the Clerk of the Peace for Cheshire, that one James Swindells had apprehended a young woman and caused her conviction for stealing twelve yards of printed calico the property ofand for so doing he was “discharged of and from all and all manner of parish and ward offices within the parish of Stockport”. These certificates were valuable securities as is shown in the present instance for this document is endorsed with a deed, duly stamped, by which Swindells, in consideration of forty guineas paid to him by Charles Lingard of Stockport, Grocer transfers to the latter all his (Swindells’) interest in the certificate and all exemptions, privileges, benefits and advantages thereunder. As at that time the penalty for practically all felonies was death our ancestors cynically called these certificates Tyburn Tickets.

As Dr. Clegg’ s Diary shows us there was shooting, fishing, coursing and racing, for at any rate some people and the writer of “Bassano’s” notes early in the century says “A little distance southward from Chapel le Frith are a few houses or village called Black Brook by which runs a little brook called Black brook water which affords, plenty of Troute considering the scarceness of ye Rivulet (that in season Trouts are usually sold at Chapel le Frith for two pence per pound) the spring head of

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this would be within two miles of this place and near to the vill is a common or pasture called Blakewell Pasture.” A little later

some good people professed to he shocked by a report that Mr.Grundy the Vicar of Chapel, had been seen on the stand at the races on Fairfield Common. The gardens at Ford were evidently progressive. Clegg mentions seeing a Pineapple there (then agreat novelty) “the growth of the High Peak and ripe on the 23rd of January (17401) in an hard winter”.

On the whole conditions in the eighteenth century were no doubt fairly good for all classes. A young Irish baronet, Sir James Caldwell, whose sister was the wife of Col. Samuel Bagshawe, M.P., when on a visit to Ford in 1757 writing to a friend says:-

“This country is extremely populous almost every family is possessed of a small freehold of their own. They have no corn nor hay stocked abroad, but make it up in large houses built of stone, which comes out of the quarry shaped like brick, and lies together so true that they do without lime or cement. They cover those houses with large thick Rags which they lay together with moss instead of lime. All sorts of cattle are kept in the house day and night six months of the year: lead and wool are the staple commodities of the country. These things with its being in the neighbourhood of many great trading towns, make it a very rich district. The natives are rather slovenly in their dress, but within doors have everything very neat, and are, in their way, very civil and good natured.”1. A little later Sir James could have added that the natives were also

a thrifty race. A society thought to have been the earliest

1 The Bagshawes of Ford, p. 237.

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modern Friendly Society was Founded in London in 1715 and before the end of the century two societies were flourishing in Chapel. Prints of their rules have happily been preserved. The first set are the revised Rules and Orders to be observed by the United Society in Chapel-en-le-Frith in 1786; the Society must therefore have existed for some time before this date. The Society is to be “governed by one Master or Treasurer, three stewards (one of which shall always reside in the town of Chapel, one in Bowden Edge or Peak Forest and the other in Combs Edge or the neighbourhood thereof) and six council” two From each Edge or the neighbourhood thereof. Samuel Frith Esq. to be Master and Treasurer for life or so long as he shall think proper for the good of the Society. Stewards and Council to be elected at each quarterly meeting and act for one quarter: Entrants to be between 18 and 35, in good health, not in receipt of relief from the rates or in any other club or society and to pay 5s. entrance fee. The General Meeting or Feast Day to be Tuesday in Wakes week and other meetings on the Saturdays before St.Luke’s Day. the 20th Day (sic) and St. Mark’s Day. Contribution is. and “4d. to be spent” at each meeting whether present or absent: A table to be provided at the expense of the public fund: also what forms or seats be necessary for the members to sit on in the club room, together with proper candlesticks to hang in the room and a proper set of drinking horns and also a Box with four keys, the box to be in the possession of the Steward who resides in the town. Sick or disablement allowance (after one year’s membership) 4s. per week for the first eight weeks and 3s. per week afterwards (apparently without any time limit) with power to the officers to make a composition

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when the member is able to “get somewhat towards his livlihood”. A steward and one of the council to visit sick persons each week. The stewards are to call for all ale, which is to be supplied in turn by such of the subscribers as are public house keepers, who are to bring the ale to the club house. From this it would appear that they did not meet at an inn but there is no provision as to the place of meeting.

On the death of a member his representatives are to receive £4 10s. 0d within two days and every officer is to attend the funeral himself or by proxy of another member. The members are to attend on the feast day and walk in the procession and attend Divine Service. Fines are to be levied on members contravening the rules, making untrue statements as to eligibility for membership, disability, etc., disturbing meetings, playing games or calling for drinks in a meeting.

The other Club is the Chinley United Female Society holden at the Bull’s head in Chapel, instituted 1796. The rules seem to have a common basis with those of the men’s club, particularly the last one, common to both. This provided that every member shall use his (or her) “utmost endeavour, as well by example as admonition, to suppress and discourage vice and profaneness in general; to promote the faith and practice of our true religion in particular; . . . and now if you . . . forbear excess and riot, and live in peace; then you shall have a blessing and health to yourselves, these articles will be kept with ease, the stock will increase, the whole society will enjoy prosperity, and we shall become superior to all our opponents; and he an ornament to the Hamlet of Chinley, and the surrounding neighbourhood”.

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This Society was to meet: for the Annual Meeting or Feast Day On Saturday after St. Bartholomew’s Day, the other meetings on the Saturday next but one after St. Martin’s Day, Old Candlemas Day, and Old May Day.

The Society is to be governed by one Mistress or Patroness and one Cashkeeper (acting in concert) three stewards and Six Councils to be chosen annually. The next rule is curious : “It is also ‘further agreed that twelve men viz: A Beadle, Master and Cashkeeper (in concert) : and six Councils (who voluntarily offer their services) shall regularly attend at the said meetings to lend every assistance in their power in the execution of their respective offices, without any fee emoluments or gratuity whatsoever . . . . so long as they behave themselves with decency, good order and general satisfaction to the Society,” If

they misbehaved they were to be expelled " as reproachable characters” otherwise they might act so long as a majority of the Society should think proper. (One wonders what men, except under female compulsion, would undertake the job!) Entrance fee 2/6, quarterly payment “thirteen pence for the good of the box besides three pence for her club” and on each general meeting day thirteen pence for her club. Any person between 14 and 38, not suffering any infirmity or receiving any relief may attend personally on a club day and propose herself and if elected shall pay the entrance fee and three pence for liquor and be received as a member. If any member “offers to abuse any other member, by any sneering, scoffing, scandalous,

or under-valuing behaviour or language . . . is disorderly and doth not keep her own seat or place of sitting down during club time . . . or rehearse any argument . . . after

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the same hath been candidly discussed” she shall be fined sums varying from 2d. to 2s. and if she “is litigious and refuses to pay” shall be excluded. It is fair to the men’s club to say that these provisions are not included in their rules. Swearing, offering to play games, wagering, coming intoxicated or not observing silence when required by the officers is prohibited. Any member shall have what kind of liquor she choose but if she calls for or orders more liquor than her club will pay for (presumably three penny worth) she must pay for it herself or be excluded.

Sick or incapacity allowance, after one whole year’s membership 3s. per week indefinitely with power to the officers to make a composition, in case of a long indisposition. No lying-in benefit but if necessary sick allowance may be given at the expiration of a month. Death allowance after two years’ membership £2; after three years £4. The officers (or their substitutes) and five other members to attend at funerals “decently apparelled and walk in regular procession before the corpse to the church or chapel”; 3d to each who attends. On the Feast Day members will attend at the School House, Chiney at 10a.m “in a neat and decent apparel as the nature of their situation and circumstances in life will admit” to walk with the band to the place of worship and afterwards to the place of dining. A sermon to be preached at Chinley Chapel and Chapel Church on the Feast Day in alternate years: a band be provided “on reasonable terms as they can”. The Beadle to be provided with a suit of clothes, a hat and other articles that may’ be judged requisite and expedient and he and the Officers

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with staves out of the general stock. The other rules follow closely those of the men’ s club.

These clubs no doubt served a good purpose in their day and early in the next century they were followed by organisations affiliated to the Ashton and Manchester Unities, working on a sound financial basis, such as the “Welcome Friend” Lodge of the Ancient Order of Shepherds, which recently celebrated its centenary, and The Loyal Protestant Lodge almost as old. But if certain allegations, oft repeated are true, Clubs and schools had not civilised all the people. There is a contemporary tale that in 1802 a wife a child “and as much furniture as would set up a beggar were sold at the Market Cross at Chapel-en-le-Frith for eleven shillings”. There is no local record of this alleged transaction and it is to be hoped that neither the vendor nor purchaser was a native. There were great crowds in the late fifties in a field off Gipsy Lane above Slack Hall to see a prize fight between the famous Bendigo and “Luny”.

The Reform Act of 1832 divided Derbyshire into two electoral divisions North and South. Under it the Justices appointed five polling places for the North and the importance of Chapel was recognised by being one. The bad roads and long distances, however, were found very inconvenient and other polling places were required but it was not till 1838 that Buxton and Tideswell were added to the list. This Act gave a very large franchise to the middle classes but universal suffrage and the ballot were still a long way off. At the first election under the act the Whig candidates for the Northern Division were Lord Cavendish and Mr.Thomas Gisborne, of Horwich House and they were returned by a large majority. In 1837 Mr. Gisborne

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retired in favour of Mr. Evans of Allestree, a relative by marriage, and a member of the well known Banking firm now merged in the Westminster Bank. The Tory candidate was Mr.Arkwright the Mill owner and largely interested in the Peak Forest Canal. The method of polling was still by each voter giving his vote publicly at the hustings. In the possession of Brig. Gen. Goodman is an old paper giving the name of each voter at Chapel and for whom he cast his vote, he having a vote for two candidates. There were as usual, some split votes but about 176 voters are recorded and it is stated that 56 did not vote. Therefore there were in the parish at this date about 232 voters; some 90 more than at the time of the 1701 election. 64 cast their votes for the Tory: 114 for Lord Cavendish and 115 for Mr. Evans, the two Whigs being again returned by a big majority.

The political differences between the Arkwrights and Mr.Gisborne led to a curious law suit, engineered by the former in which one Rayner a Basket maker of Buxton, who was supposed to have leased the osier beds in Combs Reservoir sued Mr. Gisborne for trespass. The latter claimed the right to fish from the bank of Newfield part of which he had sold for the Reservoir which right, he said, was given to him as a riparian owner by the Canal acts. He lost his case on the dry technical point that the acts only gave fishing rights to riparian owners on the “canal or cut” and not on the reservoir and he afterwards became very angry when he was advised by Counsel, who had not been engaged in the case, that if he had raised the still more technical point that as the owner of Back Courses Farm about two miles from the reservoir he was a riparian owner on the tramway which

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taking the place of the abandoned “canal or cut” to Chapel Milton was (said counsel) a canal or cut in law he must have succeeded.

Before this Mr. Gisborne had a more unpleasant experience. On 22nd July, 1825, Mr. Francis Duckenfield Astley, was Found dead in bed at Horwich House, having the night before indulged, contrary to Mr. Gisborne’s inclination, in one of those “long sittings over the port” of which the Chroniclers of Georgian times have accustomed us to hear a good deal. A lengthy inquest was held and the evidence, including, with other medical men that of Mr. John Bennett, surgeon of Stodhart, clearly justified a verdict of death From apoplexy. Political animosity, more virulent than at the present day made most sinister suggestions against Mr. Gisborne and were not rendered less violent by his marriage, about a year later to Mr. Astley’s widow. Twelve years after the tragedy he was openly called “an Assassin” by a Manchester paper. Much as he was annoyed by these attacks Mr. Gisborne, by the advice of his friends, took no notice of them and, as we have seen, they had no effect on his Parliamentary career.

For practically seven centuries until the Fairs were abolished in 1910 Wool Fair Day, the seventh of July, was one of the most important days, if not the most important day, in Chapel’s year. The 7th July is the Feast of the Translation of St. Thomas Beckett and it is believed with some reason that on Tuesday 7th July, 1226 the original Chapel in the Frith was consecrated by Bishop Stavenby of Lichfield. The Wake had been from time immemorial the customary festival of the dedication of the parish church. Burn in his Ecclesiastica1 Law quoting an old


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manuscript, tells us that Wakes took their name from the original church festival when people would wake and come to the church in the evening with lights burning “and after they fell to lechery and songs and dances harping and piping gluttony and sin” so the Church ordained that the old Wakes or vigils should cease. The same authority adds that as far back as the time of Pope Gregory the Great (the end of the sixth century) the anniversaries of the dedication festival were celebrated “with an accustomed Fair and in the most private (i.e. remote) places with feasting and a great concourse of people”. There is there-fore no doubt that the Wool Fair Day had, ever since the church was consecrated, been held as the opening day of the dedication festival or that the original fair was held, if not in the churchyard as was the case in many parishes, on the ground immediately to the south of the churchyard where as the survey of the Lichfield Chapter estates in 1650 says “some part of fair hathused to be held”.

The survey speaks of a little piece of land called the Dean’s Yard and half an acre of land near the churchyard. This corresponds exactly to the site of the cottages and garden s On the east side of Church Brow, and the Dean’s Yard (or according to good Derbyshire pronunciation “( Danes Yard)” is doubtless the site of the Tithe Barn to which the tithe wool was taken. Below this barn, at the back of Burbage House, is a croft called in old deeds the Wool Croft or Dock Yard in which old Mr. Lowe, whose Family had the carpenter’s business adjoining for more than a century could remember wool being pitched for sale.

There is also a wool croft behind the Roebuck Inn and the

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Old Town Hall in the Market Place which was no doubt used for the same purpose.

Many will remember the stirring scenes in the Market Place and “down the street” on three or four days surrounding “Wakes Sunday” and the famous cricket match which everyone attended on Wakes Monday afternoon. Altered habits and means of locomotion no longer bring the “great concourse of people” to the ancient Festival: on the contrary it seems that all who can do so go out of the town, and such entertainments as survive are banished to a field out of the way of motor traffic. Therefore it may be well to record some memories of those who take us back for the greater part of a century.

On wakes Monday I908, one of the last of the old-fashioned anniversaries, I wandered in the crowd down Market Street and there met a farmer over 75 years of age, a member of one of our oldest yeoman families. Asking him what he thought of it he said the Wakes in his young days were not near so good as now (‘08). There were a few swing boats (sic) and some stalls but most of the time was spent in the inns and every one got quarrelsome and there was plenty of fighting-so much so that when he “lived up the Plane” he seldom troubled to come to the wakes. He could remember when there was both bull- and bear-baiting: there would be small bets and many rows. Our friend went round the wakes on this evening and expressed himself much pleased with the orderly and quiet behaviour of the crowd.

The same evening I had a chat with an old lady about the same age as my earlier gossip. Her remembrances were not so

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rosy; she said in her time only respectable people went, now all

sorts go!

She recollected one occasion when fourteen couples walked home together and of them all only one couple married. I was unable to gather the true implication of this somewhat cryptic utterance and have often pondered since, but unsuccessfully, as to whether righteousness was to be imputed to the couple who married or to those who did not or to all or none of them. It is rather to be feared that it was not with the married pair. Another parishioner, older than either of these, remembered the bull-baiting in a field at the back of the New Inn and bear-baiting in “Town Gate” as he termed the Market Place near the Cross; there was a ring let into a flag before the Market Place was paved. Incidentally this shows that the Market Place was not paved until well into the nineteenth century. Tradition said that this stone was removed to the back of the house adjoining the Swan Inn which was verified in the summer of 1938 when during some repairs to a wall in the garden of this house the stone was found with a ring attached. Those were the days of “Shotta’s Bear”. The family of Shotwellor Shatwell who lived in Bagshaw owned several bears which they took to all the wakes around about and into Yorkshire as well.

It was said of one of the last of these “Bearwards” in his old age that his hands shook so that he could not raise a cup to his lips and when he wanted a drink his friends used to “teem it down”. The last of this family to travel the Peak was worried to death at Rotherham. It is said that he made a bet that he would go into the place where the bear was housed for the night


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and unmuzzle it. He had cut his lip while shaving that night: the bear smelt blood and killed him before help came. Deeds of 1747 and 1766 relating to premises adjoining the open space at the foot of Terrace Road opposite Burbage House say they are “at or near to the old bear stake within the Burrough” of Chapel.

The same informant mentioned another wakes custom of his youth. He said that lads wishing to be hired as servants stood at the top of Danes Yard on the churchyard footpath for which they paid a toll of 2d. and girls stood in the Market Place between the Roebuck and Swan Inns for which they paid 1d. hence this spot was known as “Penny Hill”. The writer has recently found verification of this story, but no record of the receipt of these tolls by any local authority but it is very significant that the first named “stance” should be indicated to he on the site believed to be that of the earliest fairs and the other to be in front of the old Town Hall. The time of hiring is unusual and may be another indication of the local importance

attached to the Wool Fair.

No official census was made in England till 1801, therefore it is difficult to obtain reliable data as to the growth of population before that time but some approximate figures can be obtained. It has been estimated that in 1700 the population of England was about 5,475, 000 and in 1800 it had nearly, doubled. On the basis of a calculation for the whole county adopted by Dr. J. C. Cox founded on a return of the religious views of the community made in 1677 the population of the ancient parish would then be between 900 and 1,000. Pilkington in 1784 tells us there were 474 houses in the parish, which


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on a similar basis gives the population as 2,370 this being probably approximately correct for the numbers in the first official census were 2,507. In 1901 they were 4,626 and in 1931 5,662.

The Parish accounts for the year ending 31 March 1819, to which we have referred are interesting as compared with those for 1700 which have been seen. The purely Poor Law expenses amount to £ 1,293 9s., a striking figure when it is remembered that the whole population was then about 3,000. The allowances to paupers include money paid for rent, clothing (in one case repairing shoes), funeral expenses, and weekly and special allowances, in one or two cases to families “who continue sick of a bad fever” or to pay removal expenses. Indoor relief was at that time provided at the Workhouse at Sterndale and there are charges for removing paupers to and from there. Other payments were the County Rate £8212s. 8d., paid to the Chief. Constable and the Churchwardens’ Accounts amounting to £183 5s 0d , a grand total of £1,559 6s. 8d.

To meet this thirty Leys were levied. The incidence of these is not very clear for each ley would average about £32 whereas it is stated that only two leys were made for the Wardens’ account so there must have been some differentiation. It will be noticed that these payments do not cover any “King’s Taxes”. In addition to the Window Tax which was still in force there was at that time a tax on horses kept for other than agricultural purposes. A list dated in 1821 shows that some twenty persons residing in Combs claimed a rebate from this tax for their horses used solely for husbandry.

The Universal British Directory published in five volumes

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in 1792 alleged to be “for many localities the earliest directory published” contains interesting information about “the small market town” of Chapel where it is stated a small cotton manufacture was carried on. The Editor was not very good at surnames as many are obviously misspelled and only a few in habitants are mentioned, only one farmer is named and no one living outside the Town itself is given. The “list of the principal inhabitants” comprises 59 names. Amongst these are Gentry. Mr. Bennett (probably the Rev. Wm. Bennett then residing at Stodhart) and Mrs. Bennett (his mother Mrs. Grace Bennett who would then be living in Market Street); Georgerill-Esq. (?Jodrell). Clergy man Grundy, Rev. Mr. Physic. Bennett Joseph, Surgeon; Green William, Surgeon. Law Wheeldon, John, Attorney Traders, etc. (amongst others) Barber, John, Weaver; arnes, Wiliams, Sadler; Beard, James, Wheelwright; Booth, , Brewer; Bramwell, Peter, Slater. Cooper, James, Farmer Freith ( ? Frith) William, Mason; Gaskin (? Gaskill) Wm. & Co. Cotton factors; Goddard, James, Shopkeeper. Hyde, Thomas, Butcher, Lowe, John, Carpenter; Nall, Ann, Shopkeeper; Organ (Orgill) Thomas, Kings Arms Inn; Pickford, C, Shopkeeper; Sanderson Miss, Mantua Maker; Shipley (Shepley) William, Painter.

The post office was at the King’s Arms, Post to Buxton three times a week. “No coaches to or from this town.” Two waggons to Manchester on Tuesday and Friday, and to Sheffield on Wednesday and Saturdaya waggon three times a week to Macclesfield and three times a week to Sheffield. William Carrington goes three times a week to Stockport and

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three times to Manchester. Peter Hickingbottom from Mansfield to Stockport and Manchester comes through here three times a week, George Potter from Chesterfield to Manchester and James Goddard from Sheffield to Manchester the same, George Lomas from Mansfield goes through here three times a week to Macclesfield and Manchester.

Piggott’s Directory of towns, etc. within twenty-four miles of Manchester (1824) shows that communication has improved. The Post Office kept by John Pickford was in the Market Place and “a horse post arrives from Buxton with letters from all parts of the Kingdom every afternoon at three o’clock and returns to Buxton every morning at half-past seven”. Isaac Cresswell if our story is true, must have flourished before this time.1 There were three carriers, James Hibberson then of Stodhart House “by land and water to all parts of the Kingdom daily” James Cooper to Stockport, Stoney Middleton, etc. (no fixed days) and Jumps to Macclesfield, Mansfield and Sheffield three days a week and the same to Chesterfield. Johnson also conveyed by water” to all parts of the Kingdom”. There are now two coaches from the King’s Arms, The Wellington to Manchester through Whaley, Bullock Smithy and Stockport every morning at half-past eleven and to Sheffield via Castleton, etc., at one every afternoon, and the Royal Champion to Manchester at half-past two every afternoon and to Nottingham via Chester field, Mansfield, etc., every morning at half-past nine. From the Royal Oak a market coach ran to Stockport and Manchester every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday at

1 Supra,p. 67.

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7 a.m., returning the same evening. In an account in the handwriting of Mr. William Bennett, a well-known solicitor in 1828, he paid 15s. 6d. for the return coach fare to Manchester “and the coachman”, his dinner that day at White’s Hotel cost 2s. and wine and ale 5s. 3d. At the same date, to send a parcel of papers by coach to London cost 6d. for porterage and 3s. 6d. for carriage.

An interesting almanack was published by Josiah Taylor, “Printer, Paper Ruler and Bookbinder” of Market Place, Chapel-en-le-Frith, a copy of which for 1839 has been preserved. The Champion Coach was still running between Manchester and Nottingham, but the Wellington is replaced by the Peak Ranger, and the Market Coach from the Royal Oak is no longer mentioned, the Accommodation now going to Stockport from the Gisborne Arms (now Gisborne House) on Fridays only at 7 a.m., returning at 7 p.m. Cresswell carries daily to Buxton and others to Manchester, Sheffield and Stockport. This almanack gives a “Weather Prognosticator” founded on the moon’s changes, and with it is bound up “Vox Stallarum or a Loyal Almanack for the year of Human Redemption 1839”, by Francis Moore, Physician (Old Moore). Coaches were still running in 1855. From an old Post Office Directory of that year it appears that from the King’s Arms Hotel (landlord, Charles Timms) The “Perseverance” leaves for Manchester every morning at eight and returns at half-past four in the afternoon. From the Royal Oak Inn (land-lord, Thomas Timms) the “Celerity” leaves at 5 o’clock in the evening for Stockport (Nelson Inn), and returns the following morning from the Nelson at half-past seven. The Mail

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leaves at half-past five in the afternoon and returns at a quarter-

past nine the following morning.

William Carrington was then the Postmaster and money orders were granted and paid at this Office from 9 to 5.

The day of coaches was, however, now coming to an end. The railway from Manchester to Whaley Bridge was continued to Buxton and was Opened in I863. In 1848 the sixth Duke of Devonshire, and his famous henchman Mr. (later Sir Joseph) Paxton had taken an active part in the promotion of a Bill in Parliament for a railway on practically the present route from Ambergate to Manchester. In August of that year when the Duke gave evidence in support of the Bill the people on the line of route thought it as good as won and there were great rejoicings. “At Chapel-en-le-Frith the children of the National School were paraded and walked in procession to the place where it was hoped the railway would enter”. 1All this enthusiasm was, however, premature, for, owing to the opposition of the then Duke of Rutland, the railway was authorised only as far as Rowsley, and it was not for another twenty years that the Midland Company was able to complete its through line from Derby to Manchester with the present Central Station at Chapel.

A Victorian institution, still flourishing, is the Savings Bank, now affiliated to the Manchester and Salford Savings Bank. It was opened in 1840, and amongst its founders were the Rev. William Bagshawe, the Rev. George Hall, the Rev. Ebenezer Glossop, and Messrs. H. M. Greaves, William Bennett, Thomas and Davenport Goodman, and Thomas Gisborne.

1 Paxton and the Bachelor Duke, P.133.

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VERY soon after John Wesley began his great evangelistic mission one of his first preachers, David Taylor, came to Chapel in November 1741 and preached in the street when, as Dr. Clegg tells us, “some persons set the bells ringing, which gave him great disturbance and highly provoked many”. A few days later he preached on the common near Gorsty Low to a great multitude; and he came again in the January following, when Clegg had an argument with him at the house of John Bennett but could not convince him of what the Doctor considered his errors. This Bennett had been converted by Taylor and was for many years one of Wesley’s most enthusiastic preachers until after his marriage to Grace Murray, when the relations of the two men gradually became strained.
Wesley himself first preached in the district on May 28th, 1745, as he records in his Journal. “At five I preached at Mill town near Chapel-en-le-Frith. The poor miller near whose pond we stood endeavoured to drown my voice by letting out the water, which fell with a great noise. But it was labour lost, for my strength was so increased that I was heard to the very skirts of the congregation.” About twenty years later he again visited Chapel: he had a “rough salutation in riding through the town at the end of which a multitude of people being gathered together in a convenient meadow I preached on ‘By grace are ye saved through faith’ ”. A story has been handed down that

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on this occasion Wesley preached In a field at Townend opposite the end of Ashbourne Lane, and stood up on a barrel which, in the middle off his discourse, gave way under him. His next visit was on 1st April 1782 in a storm of snow, wind and rain when he found a chapel had been built. He refers to this again on his last visit to Chapel on 3rd April 1786 when he was 83 years old. The Journal says: “preached to a crowded congregation in the new house near Chapel in the Frith. Many of these lively people came from among the mountains and strongly reminded me of the words, ‘The hills are a refuge for the wild goats, and so are the stony rocks for the coneys.’ It is chiefly among these enormous mountains that so many have been awakened, justified, and soon after perfected in love.”
This visit was made at the request of Grace Bennett, and Wesley spent a short time with her. It is said he had never mentioned Grace’s name since her marriage and was never known to mention it again. The “new house” mentioned in the Journal was erected in I780, and on its site is the present Chapel. A reminder of the original Chapel is an old doorway, now at the back of the present building inscribed “I780”.
Before the original Chapel was built services were held for some years in a building behind the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, and it is also recorded one notable minister of those days, the Rev. John Bowers, conducted services in a room at “the Roebuck” in the Market Place.

About 1780 Thomas Oliver of Longnor, yeoman, had bought about ten acres of the Warmbrook Estate, and in 1811 he formally conveyed the site of this Chapel to eleven trustees,

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namely Henry Merrill, currier; Josiah Bradbury, junior, of Combs, yeoman; Edward Vernon of Dove Holes, cotton manufacturer; Thomas Hyde, butcher; Samuel Taylor of Barmoor, yeoman; William Barnes, sadler; James Booth, brewer; Josiah Barnes, Thomas Bennett of Sparrowpit, yeoman (all these or Chapel Parish) ; John Goddard of Chinley, weaver, 3rd Thomas Smallwood of Macclesfield. A relic of the Chapel a Communion cup used at its services is still in the possession of a member of an old Chapel family.

This Chapel served its purpose until 1874 when the present Chapel was opened on April 9th, the total cost, including the organ and improvements made in 1890, being £3,000, including the site of the land required. Miss Heald (a descendant of the Heald family once resided at Chapel Milton) in 1885 gave £1,000 (to which her executors added another £100 covering the total cost) for the erection of the Manse adjoining the Chapel. A further sum of £100 was raised for furnishing.

The beauty and convenience of the Chapel was much increased by the addition in 1930 of a new porch, the gift of Mr. And Mrs. William Hadfield of Walton House.

The windows in the new Chapel (erected in 1874) were leaded lights with tinted glass which were, in 1890, replaced by the present stained-glass given by Messrs. Joseph and Ebenezer Hyde; Mr. W. A. Millward; Mr. John Smith of Town End, in memory of his parents; the Sidebotham family, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sidebotham; the Heathcott family, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. Edward Heathcott; and Mr. T. J. Warhurst, in memory of Mr. and Mrs. William Joule Warhurst. The Chapel also contains a Memorial Bust of

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Mr. James Heald of Parrs Wood, Didsbury, and a wall monument to Mr. Eli Atkin of Bagshaw and formerly of Newton Heath, Manchester, and brasses, in memory of Mr. W. A. Millward and Miss Mary Ann Hyde.

The Chapel Wesleyans followed very closely, if they were not actually contemporaries of Robert Raikes, the founder of Sunday Schools, in establishing one at Town End before the close of the eighteenth century. indeed they claim to have been amongst the pioneers of the movement. It is said that the first school was conducted in a dark cellar under a cottage near the original chapel, but this was soon removed to a more light and airy place though still a cellar-under a shop in the Main Street.

The next change was to an upper room reached by a flight of stone steps by the side of the Shoulder of Mutton Inn, but eventually, in 1809, a room was built on land on the north side of the Main Road opposite the Chapel still called “School Yard”. The first trustees of this room were Thomas Hobson,

Thomas Pott, James Booth, Thomas Bennett, Edward Vernon, Josiah Bradbury, Robert Marshall, Joseph Barnes and Jonathan Taylor. This building, now converted into cottages, was used until 1853. In that year the first part of the present school, built on the site of three cottages, was opened as a Sunday school, a day school being commenced in 1870.

About this time new day and Sunday schools were also erected on the present site, the first Trustees being Thomas Sidebotham, chairman; James Thomasson, John Smith, Joseph Marsland Shepley, Francis Frith, Thomas Frith and Ebenezer Hyde.


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These schools have been improved and enlarged in 1887 and again in 1929 at a total cost of some £15,000, and now consist of a fine range of buildings, meeting all the requirements of the Education Authority. A plot of ground between the school and the main road was recently presented to the School Trustees by the Executors of the late Miss Ellen Hall.

Mr. John Sidebotham, who like his ancestors has been long connected with the Chapel and schools since their foundation, kindly allows us to quote some curious papers in his possession. The rules of the old Sunday school include the following:

“This School is open for poor children of all description except those who are afflicted with any dangerous contagion, or who are scholars of any other Sunday School in the town.”

“It is required that children shall attend clean washed and hair combed by half past eight in the morning from April to October by nine from October to April, and a quarter before one in the afternoon. Those who have been scholars three month being able to read the Bible and say the Church Catechism, will be taught to write on providing their own pens and paper.”

In the account of Mr. John Watts the school treasurer in I806 there is an item of 6s. 9d for “ink, pencils, etc.”

It was a common practice in those early days for children to be taught the rudiments of reading and writing in the Sunday schools. In the gallery of the old Church at Esher in Surrey, where Queen Victoria worshipped as a child, there may be seen places for ink stands in the book rests in the gallery which are said to have been used by the children at Sunday school.

Another interesting item is a copy of the hymns sung by the

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scholars at this school at the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, two verses are worth quoting:

Guard her from all who dare oppose

Thy delegate and Thee;

From open and from secret foes,

From force and perfidy.

Confound who’er her ruin seek,

Or into friends convert;

Give her, her adversaries’ neck,

Give her, her peoples’ heart.

The penultimate line is good evincing as it does the robust loyalty of’ the Townenders. Other papers relate to Wesleyan sermons in 1814 at Gap House, Kettleshulme, and the Sunday school anniversary at Chapel Church, when the Rev. Samuel Grundy, the vicar, preached. Rather curiously the same hymn was sung at both services. One verse runs:

“Tears such as tender fathers shed,

Warm from my aged eyes descend.

For joy to think when I am dead

My son shall know mankind his friend.”

This was sung as a solo at Kettleshulme, but at Chapel by all the scholars, the last line being sung in the plural.

The Primitive Methodists (now amalgamated with the Wesleyan Methodists in one body) were established in Market Street about 1830, amongst the local pioneers remembered being Thomas Potts, Thomas Shepley and John Walton.

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ONE of the incidents of the tenure of land in the Peak Forest was the obligation by custom for the tenants (that is the occupiers whether freeholders or not) to grind the corn produced on their land at specified mills. Doubtless a large part of the assarted land had to be utilised for the production of cereals, for at that time, quite apart from any protective laws, the transport of foodstuff of any kind by the rough tracks over the hills was almost impracticable.

In many manors in England the lord would build a mill in a convenient part of the manor or estate, and the tenants were bound to “make suit to the mill”, i.e. they must bring their corn to be ground there, giving the lord or his miller a toll or, mulcture’, consisting of a certain customary proportion of the flour or meal as a fee for grinding the corn. In 13 Ed. II. (131920) the tenants of the Manor of Baslow paid a toll of 1/20th to 1/16th of the grain brought to the Lord’s Mill to be ground, and one tenant is “presented” at the manor court for having " withdrawn his suit " from the mill, i.e. he had his corn ground somewhere else.

Although such customs may appear arbitrary to modern view, yet a study of the life of the village community of the period proves that they had many good points, and unquestionably

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they had much influence on that parochial spirit so strongly developed in rural England.

That there were numerous mills erected or permitted by the bailiffs of the Peak Forest in the Peak district at a very early period is proved by the published records of the Duchy of Lancaster. Amongst the receipts by Thomas de Wendesley, Bailiff and Receiver, for 13912 ( 14 Richard II), it appears he received in that year from the mills of Castleton, Maynstonfield,Tunstead, Hayfield, Chesworth and Beard with their fisheries, £10 13s. and in 1404, £12 4s. 1d. was spent in the building of a new mill at Maynstonfield, this pointing to the antiquity of the old one. A miller, Ralph Molend (arius), is mentioned in the earliest Forest Roll relating to Bowden temp. Henry III.

Some explanation of the term Maynstonfield may here be interesting. The old mill at Chapel Milton is not in the Parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith but in the Township of Chinley. In most documents from the middle ages downwards, this Township is spoken of as Mainstonefield or “Mainstonefield alias Chinley”, the latter being the usual designation, and the spelling of both names having numerous variations. Chinley was said by Mr. William Bennett to derive its name from the tumulus on the Churn, (the cairn or burial ground of one Chindlei, or Chinlys), but he does not put forward any meanimg of Mainstonefield. It is suggested that it is “the stonyfield” as will be recognised an appropriate description of the geological formation and actual appearance of the Township. Maen or Meyne is an ancient British word for a stone-some say a stone or altar to which was attached the privilege of sanctuary. For instance the present name of a well-known landmark in the Lake district

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Coniston Old Man is simply a phonetic rendering of ald maenthe high or big stone. There may have been a stone of reputed sanctity marking the tomb of Chindlei, and in any case, the whole township gives plenty of indication of its stony nature. In course of time some would speak of “Mainfield” and some of “Stone field”, and in the true English spirit of compromise “Mainstonefield” is the result. As instances of similar compound words from two having cognate meanings, the very commonplace names “Frith-wood” and “Shawwood” may be cited.

There is a record in the Court Rolls of II Edward 1V (1452) that Robert Kirke took of the Lord a cottage and garden “near the Mill of Manestrefield” of a new taking rendering annually 4d. and did fealty, and apparently this same cottage was owned by Thomas Kirke in 1678. It was in Chapel and seems to have gone along with Waterside Farm, the owner of which, Dorothy Holland, sister and heiress of Thomas Harrison 1 was admitted copyhold tenant of the cottage at a Court Baron held at Chapel-en-le-Frith, October 20th 1726.

Amongst the earlier Stodhart muniments is a certificate of livery of Seisin by Agnes Ashton, widow, of her “lands in Mylton oderwise called , Stoddart , on April 15,19 Henry VII (1504) but in a deed of 2 and 3 Phillip and Mary ( 1556), Agnes Tunstead, a daughter or granddaughter, probably, of Agnes Ashton, is described as of “Chapell Mylneton”the first mention of the name that we have seen.

The Mill, then, was in Chinley, although only separated From Chapel by the brook and, looking at its goyts and lodge

1 Supra, p. 138.

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to-day, there is no doubt one reason for its situation was the water supply which would be best obtained, as it now is, from Hockholme Brook and also it would be placed there with a view to convenience of access from the district it was designed to serve, namely the Townships of Chinley, Brownside, Bugsworth, Bowden Edge and Bradshaw Edge. Another reason may have been its proximity to a royal hunting box. There is, or was, a local tradition that there was a royal lodge or hunting box at Gorstylow. This story-if authentic-may elucidate several unexplained matters. The neighbourhood of Gorstylow would then probably represent the immediate area specially reserved as the private demesne of the King. In many places the vicinities of royal residences have the attribute of extra parochiality, Peak Forest being a local example. Many years ago a suggestion was made-but overruledthat Chinley Chapel was in an extra-parochial area. Mr. Wm. Bennett in The Relifluary Vol. VII. p 5 (1866) quotes the Rev. Mr.Ridgeway “to whose family the estate of Gorstylow belonged within the last Sixty or seventy years” as alleging that Edward I was hunting in Derbyshire and was actually at Gorsty-low when he heard of the death of Queen Eleanor and that “Gorsty-low was a feudal tenure held by the same Family (Ridgeway) from the conquest to the present generation.”

The Duchy Rent Rolls and other authorities do not bear this out. In a statement of the boundaries of Chinley, in 1609, Charles Ashton is given as the owner of Gorsty-low which is expressly described as , “ his inheritance”.1 The Ridgeways may have been owners from the close of the seventeenth century

1 Brit. Mus.,Wolley MSS., 6692, fol. 224.

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but if the place were a royal lodge, as of course is not impossible, no subject could have been owner “since the conquest”.

A mill was a useful and needful adjunct to an important mansion and apart from the question of water supply, would be properly erected on the demesne rather than on the tenants’ lands, but on the other hand, the hamlet that sprang up near the mill would be confined to the Chapel side of the water to prevent intrusion on the demesne. Hence the name Chapel Milton. The houses on the Chinley side are modern. The tract of land in Chinley to the north of Hockholme Brook and west of the mill until comparatively recent it times known as “the Mill Marsh” was, as Dr. Clegg’s diary tells us, a common or waste. Too much importance need not be attached to the foregoing legend as it saw the light in the sixties of the last century when romance was more popular with a certain class of antiquarians than strict accuracy.

It may be interesting to note here that some time prior to 1500 a “New Mill” was set up in the Peak Forest. This is supposed to have eventually given a name to New Mills, the site of the King’s Mill in that town now being occupied by Salem Mill.

The rents received from the Fermors, as the lessees of the various mills are called, are returned year by year in the Duchy accounts. In 1405, Walter Kyrke paid £2 13s. 4d. for Maynstone Mill. He was succeeded by Bagshaws, Halleys and Leghs, and later by John Lingard.

In a rent roll preserved at Belvior Castleascribed by Mr.Pym Yeatman to the reign of Henry IV but believed by other authorities to be not earlier than about 1500under the heading of

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“Farms of the Mills” are entered the myln of Mestonfield 53s. 8d., Tonstyd Mylne 46s. 8d. It is recorded that James I by Letters Patent granted these mills and the toll and soake thereof in 1608 to Edward Ferrars and Francis Phillips and their heirs at a fee farm rent of 55s. 4d. for Mainstonefield Mill and 47s. 8d. for Tunstead Mill. Thus the value of the mills to the king at this date was practically the same as two hundred years previously. Ferrars and Phillips soon sold the mills to Mr. Thomas Bagshawe of Ridge Hall, who by Deed dated 1st April 1622 sold them with all the soke and suit to Dorothy, one of the daughters of Sir John Stanhope, late of Elvaston in the County of Derby, deceased. Both mills subsequently passed to the Davenports of Davenport, ancestors of the Bromley-Davenport family of Capesthorne near Macclesfield, by whom the Mainstonefield or Chapel Milton Mill was held until it was acquired by the then Midland Railway Company in 1892. This mill is said to have been used as a corn mill by a Mr. Gregory down to about the middle of the nineteenth century. He is commemorated by the nearby houses on the Chapel side of the brook known as Gregory Row. Close by the mill, also in Chapel, are one or two cottages knownno one call tell whyas Dunkirk. In Dr. Clegg’s day the miller was Godfrey Lingard, the death of whose child in the mill dam is recorded in the diary. This may have been a milling family for several generations as a John Lingard was the lessee of both mills in the sixteenth century. Tunstead Mill ceased to exist long since, before the construction of the Combs Reservoir and little trace of it now remains. It stood on the south side of the present main road adjoining the foothpath leading to Cadster

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and on in a direct line to Taxal Church. Some traces of a channel or race for the water which is shown in a map of. 1 604 may still be observed. The freeholders, at any rate in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, did not take kindly to their customary duties, for several actions are recorded by the lessees to compel them to grind at one or other mill.

In II Henry VIII (1520) when the Mills were held by separate farmers, Richard Bagshaw was summoned in the Duchy Court to shew cause why he had reared a new Horse-mill in the King’s Town of Chapel-en-le-Frith whereby the King’ s Mill called Mainstonefield Mill was hurted and divers of the King’s tenants and other inhabitants there which should grind at the said Mill then ground at the said Horse mill and an injunction was granted, and in 20 Henry VIII (1529) an award was made by six freeholders in another action, this time between the two Fermors as to who should grind at each Mill, that while they (the freeholders) could not say with certainty whether any inhabitants were bound to grind at either Mill they must go to one of them or the Fermors could obtain redress by Recompense or suing at law, but the inhabitants were not bound to take corn not grown in the particular township to either mill. In 26 Elizabeth (1584) John Lingard sued Arnold Kyrke (of Martinside) and others concerning soke and suit to the Mills and another action is recorded the next year against the same Arnold Kyrke and Alice Newell in right of Henry Bagshawe for the same.1

A Decree of the Duchy Court dated July 6th 1674 in all action brought by the Attorney-General of the Duchy at the

1 Reliquary, vol. vi, p.218

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relation of John Davenport, Esq., against William Andrew Robert Hadfield and Robert Bennett (all of Chinley) sets out the Plaintiff’s allegations that these two Mills had been time out of mind repaired by the King or his Fermors for the necessary use of the inhabitants of Bradshaw Edge, Bowden Edge, Brownside, Chinley and Bugsworth, and that all tenants and freeholders in those hamlets had been accustomed to grind all corn and grain growing on their lands within the said hamlets at one of the said Mills and not elsewhere and to pay a reasonable toll for the same and that no other mills or querns till the late trouble (i.e. the Civil Wars) were ever erected within the said hamlets for the grinding of the corn aforesaid.

Davenport did not claim any custom in the inhabitants of Combs Edge “except Mellor and Ollerenshaw” (who were the owners of two Farms at Tunstead). He refers to some of the proceedings in the time of Henry VIII, and goes on to say that some years previously he had laid an Information against Nicholas Bowden, Esq., and George Bagshaw for erecting Mills within the said hamlets and for withdrawing their own soake and suit and persuading others to grind at their mills or other mills and in 1664 the Court had ordered these inhabitants not to make use of the water corn mill erected by Mr. Bowden nor of the quern erected by Bagshaw. He had hoped that after the making of this decree he might have enjoyed the toll soake and mulcture of all the inhabitants in the said hamlets, but the defendants designing to defraud him of their toll grist and mulcture, thereby to disable him to pay the fee farm rents reserved for the said mills, had not only withdrawn their own soake and suit but had also endeavoured to

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persuade others and thereby have prevailed with divers of the inhabitants of the said hamlets that ought to grind their Own corn at the said mills to withdraw from them to the making of them of little value. The defendants, confess, that the inhabitants of the said hamlets paid relief and other services for their lands, but in true legal form deny all Davenport’s allegations; they knew nothing about any award in the time of Henry VIII and have as often as they pleased ground their corn and grain sometimes at Hayfield Mill, sometimes at New Mill and at other times at Whaley Bridge which they believe were the King’s Mills; they consider they are entitled to go to which mill they like and have not withdrawn their grist from Davenport’s Mills or persuaded others to do so nor have they erected or threatened to erect any querns or handmills in the said hamlets. The Court, however, with the assistance of Mr. Justice Ellis, a Judge of the Court of Common Pleas and one of the Judges Assistant of that Court, after hearing evidence on both sides, which unfortunately is not recorded, decided that Davenport had made out his case and that the inhabitants of the hamlets named must grind all their corn grown on their own land at one or other of the two Mills and must pay the costs.

This judgment has been transcribed from a copy dated October 1747, and was probably obtained for the purpose of ascertaining the liability of the inhabitants of the townships mentioned to grind their corn at the two King’s mills. There was further dispute about this time, for we read in Dr. Clegg’s. There was some years ago a very old building in Bridge Street at the back of the present picture house in Whaley Bridge which may have been this Mill.

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Diary on April 13th, 1749, “the Court Leet was held at Chappell, and I went up and spent some time with the Steward and several neighbours. Ten levies were assessed to defend our liabilities with regard to the grinding of our corn”.

A very large area must at this time have been under cultivation. Dr.Clegg makes many references to ploughing and corn Harvest, and seventy years later nearly the whole of the Farm at Stodhart occupied by him in 1749 was arable.

As time went on and the district slowly passed from agricultural to pastoral the importance of the old King’s Mills gradually died out. Tunstead Mill has vanished and Maynestonefield Mill was a few years agofor a time at leasta plum-pudding factory! Sic transit gloria mundi

A fleeting reference is made in the Judgment of 1674 to Combs Edge. In the Duchy accounts for 1544 (35 Henry VIII) is a rent of 8d. paid by Edward Bagshawe, Combs, in respect of a plot of land “for a mill which is not to be to the King’s loss or his former at any future time”. This Edward Bagshawe was probably the Edward Bagshawe of The Ridge who was living in 1534. This mill may have been established for the convenience of the Ridge Estate tenants under an arrangement between the Bagshawes and the “farmers” of Tunstead Mill. It was worked or owned by the Bagshawes of the Ridge a hundred years later, for in a grant in 1659 to Henry Deane the Younger of “Austen lee” husbandman of lands there-released by Barbara, Widow of Thomas Bagshaw of The Ridge gentleman, and Henry Bagshaw their son there is a covenant by Deane to grind at Combs Mill all

1 Ministers A/c. D. of L. Bundle 24, No. 418


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such corn as should be got upon the said premises and he and his successors should be minded to grind into groats bran or flour paying the annual and accustomed toll and service for the grinding thereof. Combs appears to have been exempt from service to either of the other mills.

Combs Mill was situated near to Rye Flatt where the lodge or dam remains. It is said to have been occupied as a corn mill by a member of the Morten family within living memory.


From a very early period a considerable source of income derived by the Duchy of Lancaster and later by the Crown in right of the Duchy was from tolls levied in the Manor of the High Peak. In medieval times the tolls of passage and markets were valuable and were farmed, i.e. let on lease, to persons who collected the tolls paying a rent to the Duchy and making such profit as they could.

These tolls were no doubt originally arbitrary and, like the Chief rents described in another chapter, gradually became fixed by custom.

One of the earliest legal tolls known to our ancestors was that for “Passage”, or cheminage as it was called in Norman French, which has been defined as “wayleave or passage through a forest in return for payment". It appears to have been originally imposed during what was known as the “Fence Month”, that is from fifteen days before midsummer to fifteen days thereafter, in order to protect the deer from disturbance during fawning time, but it seems in course of time to have been generally applied to prevent the free use of the

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forest roads so as to check the disturbance of the King’s game

at any time but particularly during the fence month.

A “Case submitted to Counsel” in 1765 on behalf of the then ‘farmer’ of the tolls and Mr. Sergeant Hewitt’s Opinion thereon 1 sets outno doubt correctly-a resume of the facts as to these tolls from which it appears that in the ancient town or village of Chapel en le Frith markets and fairs had been immemorially held and at another village called Heafield fairs but no weekly markets had also been held time out of mind. Besides the toll of these markets and fairs there is another toll belonging to the King called a Passage toll or through toll being a toll or duty for draft cattle passing through the said vills or either of them from fair to fair or market on sale to wit 4d. for every score of such cattle and a farthing a head for all under a score and for every pack of sheeps wool one penny such cattle or wool not being the property of any one holding lands in the said village of Chapel, by Burgage tenure or not being by law or custom exempt from payment of the said toll or duty for their passage through the said vills. Mr. John Shallcross and his representatives had for many years leased these tolls and also the right to get coals in Middlecale. Mr. Simon Jacson the then owner of the Shallcross Estate had a lease for 18 years from Michaelmas 1765 at the rent of £1 3s. 4d. for the said tolls and 15s for the right of getting coals in the Parishes of Chapel and Hope. 2

1 Communicated by the late Mr J.C.Hyde

2 No doubt at Whaley Bridge where the Duchy leased the coal under “New lands” of this part of Chapel and Fernilee until the Gisborne colliery closed down in 1909. Coal was being worked at Whaley early in the seventeenth century. See p.312.

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He only paid half a crown a year for all the toll of Hayfield, but as the story shows even at these low rents the speculation was a bad one. The case sets out that Edward III granted to John Duke of Lancaster, that the Duke and all men being his tenants and residents in his Duchy of Lancaster should be free of all tolls, passage, stallage, pontage and all other customs whatsoever in and though thc whole Kingdom of England.

This of course would free men of the High Peak in their journeying through thc country just as it exempted residents in other parts of the Duchy lands coming here, but the difficulty seems to have been for those who held such tights to prove their title in districts where they were unknown. Several confirmations of this grant were made by Henry VIII and other Kings, but that upon which most reliance was eventually placed was a grant of 3 James I ( 1605) whereby the King commanded that all his tenants and also the inhabitants and residents within the Honour of Tutbury as parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster with all goods and merchandises to any Fairs, Markets, Vills and places where and when they pleased should pass toll free. That this was an actual and valuable right is shown in a complaint against a London toll gatherer taking illegal tolls in the time of Edward VI, when it was ordered that all tenants of the Duchy should go toll free-and again in 1675.1

A good deal of trouble arose in consequence of this grant as the toll owners or lessees in some places (Chapel for one) thought they were entitled to see the actual grant or a certified

1 Brit.Mus. Addl. MSS.667, fols. 114, 211.

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copy for which the Bailiffs of the Honour charged a fee of two guineas.

The lessee states that in, 16 James I (1618) the Duchy Court made an order “commanding all persons that should pass through the said town (of Chapel) and the precicts thereof with packs, carriages and loading that they upon pain of £100 did pay unto the said farmer (lessee) and his assigns or his or their servants all the said duties of toll, stallage and passage, as has been anciently and accustomably paid, gathered and taken”.

In 1765, however, people began to refuse payment. The lessee applied to the Duchy Court to give him the relief granted to his predecessor in James I’s time, but was curtly refused, the Court remarking rather unkindly “many things had been done in the reign of James I and those arbitrary times which ought not to be precedents for the present times” and left the Lessee to proceed for the recovery of the tolls as he should be advised. Distress or the seizure of the animal or article tolled had never been attempted in the memory of anyone living, but a case was quoted about 1730 where a lamb was seized by the toll-taker for non-payment of passage toll for a flock of sheep driving through Chapel, which toll the owner afterwards paid and had his lamb returned to him without disputing the same at law.

The learned Counsel advised that the lessee of the Market tolls might distrain, but for the Through tolls an “Action of debt” must be brought, therefore each time a wandering drover came through the town the toll-gatherer must not seize any of his beasts, but must begin an action against the drover

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if he could catch him-and this seems to have proved the last straw, for from this time onward we do not meet with any further reference to these Passage tolls.

Records of these tolls occur more than five hundred years back and, as we have just seen, continued to the middle of the eighteenth century. 1

In the Duchy Accounts for 13912 we find £6 13s. 4d. entered for passage and stallage, and toll for cows at Chapel-en-le-Frith; but this may have included rent for pasturage. A few years laterin I4045is an entry of 2d for a key to the door of the toll-booth at Chapel.

The office of Pinder, whose duty under the Duchy was to impound cattle and other animals straying in the precincts of the Forest, continued until quite recently, the last holder being a well-known local worthy, John Hague. The remains of the local “Pound” were visible until 1938 at the back of the New Inn at Chapel.

In the reign of Henry IV there is a record of a grant to a William Bagshawe of 2d. a day, to be received from the toll of the town and fair of Chapel, and in the Belvoir Castle Records is the item “Tolls of ye Chapel £1 10s.” From other records of the same reign we find in 1480 a lease to Oliver Kyrke and in 1485 a grantt to Sir John Savage in farm. ie. on lease of amongst other items, the Passage. Stallege and Toll of the Market de la Frith in the High Peak; rent £1 13s. 4d. In the next reign there is a similar grant to Thomas Hyde at “ the old rent of £1 10s. and the increased rent of 3s. 4d. per annum”.

1 We are indebted to Vict. Hist , vol i, for many of these particulars

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This Thomas Hyde had to take proceedings to protect his rights and in so doing gives some information as to the fairs in his day. He filed a Bill about the year 1525 in which he says he “is seised of the manor of the chapell of the Fyrthe parcel of the Duchy of Lancaster” where the King from time immemorial has had three fairs a year-on Ascension Day, Corpus Christi (the Thursday after Trinity Sunday) and St. Thomas’s Day besides a Market every Thursday with “tolle passage Stallage and all other profittys”. By letters patent under the Duchy Seal 20 May 15 Henry VIII (1523) the King leased the farm of these profits to plaintiff for seven years at 33s. 4d. per annum. Rycherd Bagshay of Chapell in Fyrthe, yeoman “of his evyll Rancor . . . to youre seyd orator” will not allow him to take the profits of the fairs, in despite of the King’s proclamation for their holding and has persuaded others who resort to the fairs to buy and sell to refuse payment of toll and other dues. He formerly refused to be served with a privy seal, which the plaintiff had issued against him out of the Duchy Chamber in the Chancellor ship of Sir Richard Wyngfeld, when he not only shut the door but abused plaintiff in the vilest manner.

In another Bill addressed to the Privy Council of the Duchy Hyde complains that Richard Bagsha, Humfrey Aleyn and John Sowersby “beyng cruelly disposed” have impeded him in collecting dues at the fairs.1 Some interesting details about Chapel are contained in General Survey taken in July 1650 of the Manor of High Peak “Parcell of the possessions of Charles Stuart late King

1 P.R.O.,D of L. Pleadings, etc. Hen. 8, vol. I, 8.

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of England as belonging to ye Dutchye of Lancaster” by a Commission grounded upon an “Act of ye Comons of England in Parliament Assembled for a sale of the Honours Mannors and Lands heretofore belonging to ye late King Queen and Prince.”1

The Commissioners report as follows:

“Profits of the Tolls of four Fairs kept yearly at Chapel-en-le-Frith on Ascension Day, Thursday after Trinity Sunday, Seventh July, and Thursday after Michaelmas Day with Piccage and Stallage of ye said Fairs and Passage and Through Toll paid for Packs and Carriages passing at Heyfield and Walley Bridge valued at £7.”

King Charles had let the passage tolls at Heyfield and Whalley Bridge for £3 6s. 8d. per annum and tolls of fairs at Chapel to Rowland Eyre at 33s. per annum, the lease having 21 years unexpired was then held by Thomas Hadfield Gent, the Lessee For the “Commissioners for Sequestration”.

The perquisites and profits of Court Leets and Court Barons “held for the said Manor at Chapel, Fines and Amerciaments of Courts, Fines upon Descent and alienation, Harriotts, Relieves, Estrays Fellons goods and Deodands, Hawkins, Huntings, Fishings, Fowlings and all other Perquisits profits and Casualties were valued at £85 per annum.”

These, including the profits and amerciaments of two Court Leets and fifteen small Courts (“as by ye word of ye grant itself appeareth”), were leased by King Charles to Walter Vernon Esq. for 31 years which term was then vested in John Jackson and Humphry Pegge Gents. Rent £10 of

1 Brit. Mus., Wolley MSS. 6687, fol. 34.

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which £9 7s. was in respect of the Lordship of High Peak and 13s. for the Manor of Castleton.

“All those Quarries or Pits of Lymestone lying in ye Crofts by ye Dovehole neare Chapell Frith within the wast (waste) grounds of the Manor aforesaid for the burning whereof there are at present 14 Kilns at work or thereabouts the Kilns being set up ordinarily and taken downe again by the people thereabouts at their pleasure without any license in that behalf butt if the benefit of digging and burning of Lymestone there might be quietly enjoyed by one single person as tenant to the state whose right we conceave it is wee vallue the same to be worth £7 per annum.”

This is the earliest reference to lime burning in this district that we have met with. Lime appears to have been used at that period for spreading on the land. On many manors the tenants had the right of taking lime from the waste land. Fitzherbert mentions lime being burnt with wood, peat, etc., for agricultural purposes at the end of the fifteenth century. It will be noticed that the Commissioners do not mention any lead working in the parish.


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TithesMortuariesEaster DuesFlocks and HerdsSeventeenth century farming agreementsDr. Clegg as a farmer-Prices of grainOatcakes and wheaten bread.

The lack of good highways and good and efficient road transport was, until towards the beginning of the nineteenth century, one of the main factors in compelling the dwellers in villages and small towns to produce as much as possible of the needs of everyday life within their own borders and thus no industry has so early a history or a more important bearing on the life of the people as farming. In the Peak Forest this has been seen from the earliest Norman Court Rolls wherein complaints are continually being made against trespass on the common land by the Rocks and herds of the freeholders. Some idea of the extent and importance of farming, both pastoral and agricultural, can be gathered from the accounts we have of the tithes and Easter offerings arising and collected in the Parish. In 1842 Mr. Thomas Gisborne, M.P., of Horwich House, stated in a letter to the Tithe Commissioners that the Great Tithesi.e. of corn and haywere payable in respect of about 5, 300 acres and that this tithe had never been paid in respect of the remaining 3,800 acres which were waste on common land when the Peak Forest was disafforested in the time of Charles I. Tithes of wool and lambs, part of the small tithes, were however payable out of all lands in the parish whether common lands or not. From this we learn that

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before the disafforesting about two-thirds of the parish area was under some form of agriculture, either as arable or as meadow or pasture, the commons being used for grazing, and, as we know, the farmers had-in Combs at any rate-a customary right to run on the common land a certain number of sheep in proportion to the size of their holdings, a custom known at Fairfield, as elsewhere in the North of England, as “stinting”.

It is unnecessary here to go into the remarkable question of the ownership of the local tithes which from the time of the second Peverel to the suppression of the Monasteries caused almost continuous litigation between the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield and the Priory of Lenton.1 From a very early period the tithes were paid, not in kind but by a modus or fixed yearly sum which at the date of the Tithe Commutation Act 1837 in respect of the Great Tithes and tithes of Wool and Lambs was £20 per annum of which the Duke of Devonshire took two-thirds as representing the Priory of Lenton and the Dean and Chapter took one-third. The old estimate of statisticians as to the comparison of medieval values with those of the present day are in modern circumstances rather unreliable, but it may be assumed that the approximate modern value of the tithes when the modus first came into operation cannot have been much less than £300 or £400 per annum, a not inconsiderable sum for such a parish as this. In 1272 the tithes of Chapel were much larger than those from the surrounding parishes. Other incidents of the ownership and occupation of land and personal property were the

1 Those interested will find a full account of this litigation, in D.A.J., vol. V.

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claims of the Lord and the Church arising on the death of the freeholder or occupier. Estate Duty as we know it is a growth of modern economic conditions, nevertheless the system of payments arising on death goes far back in our history. Of these were Heriots, Deodands and Mortuaries.

A Heriot was a tribute, payable to the Lord, of the deceased’s best animal, or in the Peak Forest the best piece of household goods and that these were, for many centuries, real exactions is shown by the Duchy Accounts, leases and other documents. But if the death was accidental the Lord was, in addition, entitled to the animal or thing by which the accident arose. This was called a Deodand which has been defined as a thing given to God to appease His wrath where a person comes to a violent death by mischance not caused by any reasonable creature. It was forfeited to the King or his grantee and the King’s Almoner disposed of it for the benefit of the poor. The learned lawyer Coke, as if he doubted whether the poor always did benefit, says “also if forfeited to the Lord of a liberty it ought to be so distributed”. The origin of this custom seems to have been religious; the man having met an untimely death without an opportunity of absolution the cause of his demise was to be given to the Church for charity, and for prayers for his soul. Dr. Clegg records the death in 1729 of Ralph Gee of. Lidgate, the result of a fall from his horse, and a few days later he went with the dead man’ s son to see Mr. Thornhill at Stanton (the lessee of the tolls) “to agree with him for the Deodand due on his father’s death.” Then, when the dead man’s family had satisfied the Lord’s

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claim to the Heriot and, if the death were accidental, to a Deodand as well, the Church stepped in and demanded its Mortuary. This in its origin was a gift left by a man on his death to his parish church as a set-off against any personal tithes or offerings that he had forgotten or failed to pay in his life timesomething analogous to our “conscience money” for Income Tax. At first voluntary, the payment became customary

in most districts and finally became payable both by civil and ecclesiastical law. In the Peak in the fourteenth century the Mortuary was taken by the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield but later,at Chapel it seems to have been received by the Incumbent. Jone Brockylhurst in 1557 bequeathed “in the nature of my mortuary as ye law will”, and in 1702 Anthony Bellott, the son and executor of Anthony Bellott, of Castle Naze, paid 10s. to Mr Cook the Incumbent of Chapel for his father’s mortuary.

The Mortuary list of the Dean and Chapter for the year l339 shows a number of people who, dying in that year, left more than one animal, and commenting on this Dr. Cox observes that this affords a remarkable proof of the prosperity of the inhabitants of the Peak in the fourteenth century, a prosperity that he considered compared most unfavourably with the condition of the cottagers and labourers in the same district when he wrote, namely in 1889.1 This return was made some ten years before the pestilence known as the Black Death swept over the country. We have no evidence as to its economic effect in the Peak, but it must have had its repercussions, at least temporarily, on the prosperity

1 D.A.J., xi. P. 144.

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of the district. Some of the mortuaries in this list are as follows. Each item commences “For the body of”:

For the body of Margery del Ford of Chapel one worn tunic which is given for the love of God.

Dyonisius, son of Hugh of Bagshaw, the half (medietatem) of one ox sold for 4s.

William, son of Hugh del Clough, one ox sold to William of Wheston, chaplain, for 11s.; settled for 9s. 8d.

Robert de Sydbotham of Bonges, in the parish of Chapel del Fryth, one bullock sold to Peter Gyfford for 4s.

Richard en le Lane of Chapel, one cow sold to Richard of Hatton for 7s.

Alice, wife of Richard de Horderne, one ox sold to John le Porter for 12s.

Richard Douche, “de capella”, one cow sold to Peter Giffard for 6s.

Richard de Hirdefeld, de cappella, one ox sold to Gervase, Vicar of Baucquell, for 14s.

In addition to the payment of the tithes the minister, or curate as he was then called, was entitled to receive a part of the small tithes payable by all inhabitants whether farmers or not, and for some centuries this was all he had by way of stipend beyond the customary fees for burials, etc., and “except the people’s gratuity” as a report in 1650 puts it. The Parliamentary Commissioners in that year gave the value of the living at £10 13s. 4d. a year. It is no wonder that in the seventeenth century we find so many changes in the record of ministers. The customary payments to the minister in lieu of his share of the small tithes were 1½ d. for every

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milk cow and calf 1d. for every barren cow, 1½d. for every mare and foal, 1d. for each hen and duck, 1½d. for each pullet, 2d. for each turkey and goose, 1d. for every hive of bees and 2s. 6d. for each litter of pigs. Comparing these payments with those in Chinley we find that within that township the Vicar of Glossop was entitled, for every turkey, duck or hen to two eggs at Easter, “sending one to gather them”, and he was also entitled to a plough penny, a hay penny and a garden penny”, and each chimney paid ½d “for smoke”, and every tradesman “for his hand” 1d. as an Easter offering. These payments do not appear in Chapel or Fernilee, and only a plough penny was gathered at the Mother Church of Hope. Chapel people were valued more highly than in Chinley where the Easter offering for married couples was 2d., all others being exempt whereas in Chapel the offering was 3d for a man and his wife, 1½d for a widow or widower, and 1d. for each unmarried person above 16 years of age. These payments gradually fell into disuse in most parishes, but in recent years they have been revived by the

special voluntary offerings made in churches for the Incumbent at Easter.

It may be mentioned that Chapel parish has been free of tithe since 1842, and so has been spared the unfortunate troubles that have taken place concerning the payment of tithe in so many other places. By a wise arrangement between the parishioners and the Rev. William Bagshawe of Ford Hall certain waste moorlands belonging to the Parish at Colborne and Rushop, part of which is known as Poor Piece, were conveyed to the latter in consideration of which

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he agreed to pay the sum of £14 per annum to the Incunmbent, which sum is now paid by the owner of a Farm called Whitelee near Rutshop on which it was charged and time remainder of the tithes have been extinguished. But it does not follow that the tithe had always been paid willingly. For instance John Wright of Chapel, Skinner, was cited to appear before the Chapter Court at Lichfield on 2nd July 1731 to answer the Rev. Benjamin Bardsley “in a cause of subtractions of Tithes and other Ecclesiastical rights and profits”.

This may have had something to do with the parish troubles, so often mentioned by Dr. Clegg, which were about this time coming to a head. The Incumbent’s share of the small tithes seems to have been paid to him in the church. In the P.B. 1717 is a payment of £4 6s. 8d. to him and “Received as a modus decimandi att the communion table Sunday after 7th (July)”.
Although the first settlers, as we have termed them, were allowed to assart on payment of a fine and an annual rent they were for a long period carefully restricted in the enjoyment of the common land. The Agisters were chiefly concerned in looking after the agistment or feeding of pigs and cattle in the demesne woods of the forest and in collecting fees for agisting. Sheep were, at first at all events, specially restricted, and goats were at all times peculiarly disliked by the deer and were very rarely permitted. The encroachments by sheep and cattle on the deer in the later history of this forest is of special interest.1 Sheep farming was then, as now,

1 Vict. Hist., i. 400.

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an important industry. The Wool Crofts and the old Dean’s yard Barn adjoining the fair grounds are evidence of this and, as a list of tithe payers of wool tithe in the parish for the year 1491 testifies, the flocks at that time must have been very considerable.

In the Capitular Records is a fragmentary list of tithe giving the number of tithe payers in the parish for this year giving the number of tithe fleeces.1 The names appear to be those of residents in the Combs Edge district, and are as follows:

Thomas (?) Coker, Ux. Robt. Crossley, Nicholas Brown, Henry Bagshaw, Thomas Bramall, Thomas Cowp(er), Wm. Belot, Richard Cowp., Thomas Aleyne, Thomas ffernle, Walter Melor, Ux. Edward Aleyne, Rico. Redfern, Ada Redferne, Ux. Nichs Yown, Ux. Willi Redfern, Thomas Marler, John Redfern, Robert Redferne, Hochor Cowp., Robert Mellor, Radi Ollerenshaw and Robert Ollerenshaw. The total number of tithe fleeces is 112.

Other names, most of them connected with the Bagshaw and Ford side of the parish, are:

Nichs. Cresswell, Lawrence Greensmith, John Cresswell, Margaret Greensmith, Ux. John Gibbe, Thurston Dicson, Ux. Willianm Greensmith and John Hobson. These appear to have paid no tithe of wool.

Derbyshire has always been noted for its horses and horsebreeding, and stud farms were a very early institution in the Peak Forest. The second Peverel in his famous grant to Lenton (c.1150) gives that Priory all the tithes of colts and fillies wherever he had a stable in the Peak. In the Patent

1 Communicated by Mr. Edward G. Bagshawe.


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Rolls 12151252, amongst those who built houses in the King’s Forest are Richard le Stodhard and Will de Stockerd, the latter at Whitehall or Whitehough. It is suggested that these men were connected with the district of Stodhart, which comprised not only the farms of that name but also Chapel Milton and Watersidein seventeenth- and eighteenth-century documents written, and no doubt pronounced, “Stoddard”. Owners in modern times appear to have derived the name from “Stodhart” (A.S. heart, a stag or hart) a stand for stags, i.e. an ambush or observation post for hunting, but it is probably a Norman-French version of the occupation of the first settler who would be a stud keeper (Stud or stod-heord). Stode is used in this sense in The Owl and the Nightingale an early English poem written about the date under review, “stott” is a North-country term for a steer or young ox; “stotarius” was, according to Jacobs’ Law Dictionary, an ancient name for one who had the care of the stud or breed of young horses, and “herd” is still in common use in several counties, so it is quite likely that these men were stud-keepers who have left their name on the property.

In 1280 it was presented that the Queen Consort (lsabella) had a stud of 115 mares and their foals in Campana to the great injury of the forest, and other people had 135 horses and mares in Campana on the pretence that they belonged to the Queen.
Robt. de Austude (? Halstead), forester, who had six horses and mares, for which the pasturage was rated at 2s., was fined and ordered to pay the pasturage and remove the animals. Other local horse keepers are Robert Bozin and

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William Halley who were fined and had to remove their animals.1

The Victoria History (i, 406) dealing with the period 1250-1285 says that the offences both of vert and venison trespass and of agistment proved against the majority of the hereditary foresters of fee, and so many of these in the highest positions, shows that there was very little moral stigma attached at any time to such transgressions in the Peak where there was more laxity in this respect than in any other forest district and this is attributed in part to the long continued state of turmoil during this period throughout the district. The trouble caused by the increasing trespass of sheep on the Forest, however, became increasingly acute until the deer were finally abolished about 1640.

Beyond the tithe and the forest records we have quoted, we have little information about farming life in the Middle Ages, but several leases and agreements of the seventeenth and later centuries have survived.

A lease of 1626 is of interest as showing the terms on which the owner of a considerable estate let his land at that period. It was granted some forty years before feudal tenures were finally abolished, and was no doubt in the “common form” adopted on the Ridge Hall estate from a much earlier period. The lease is dated 2nd October, 2 Charles I (1626), and runs from that day. The Lessors are Thomas Bagshawe of Rydge Esquire, Elizabeth his Wife and Edward his son and the Lessee is Robert Joydrell alias Bagshawe of Austonlee,

1 Bozon Hey appears to have been the early name of Haslehurst or the

Hurst Farm in Combs P.R.O., D. of L. Mix. Rec. Class 25. Bag F. Ro. 52.

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yeoman.1 The farm is described as a tenement at Austenlee in the occupation of Henry Gee and all houses leasures and commons of pasture and turbary, the acreage not being stated. The term is 100 years if Robert Joydrell alias Bagshawe Anne his wife and Henry Joydrell alias Bagshawe so long live, but the Lessee can assign to his wife, children, grandchildren, brothers or brothers’ children. Otherwise “if he shall be minded to assign his estate” he must assign it to the Lessors who are to pay as much as any other person would truly and bona fide be willing to give and if the Lessors would not pay this the lease to be void. The Lessee pays £80 down and is to pay 18s. per annum at the Feast of St. Martin the Bishop in winter (November 11th), also a heriot at the decease of any person dying tenant or occupier who had an interest of more than three years in the lease and the Lessee is to perform and do the yearly “Boons” (i.e. services in kind) thereinafter mentioned; these boons were considerable namely : one day ploughing, one day harrowing, one day mowing and three days shearing in any land of the Lessors in the parish of Chapel “at the election and appointment of the said T. Bagshawe and his heirs” the keeping of one hound, the getting of peat, the supply of so many capons, hens and chickens as theretofore by the tenant of the demised premises had been accustomed to be paid: the leading of twenty horse loads of cole from the colepitt of the said T. Bagshawe at Fernilee into the house of the said T. Bagshawe called the Rydge Hall, every year quarterly five loads, or from any colepitt distant

1 A family usually styled Bagshawe alias Jodrell was living at Wilkin Hill

about this time.

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but four miles from the said house of the said T. Bagshawe: the fetching and carrying of half the salt from “the wytch” 1 to the said Rydge Hall every fifth year of the said term which the Lessor shall spend and have occasion to use in his said house: “And further also yielding and doing unto the said T. Bagshawe and his heirs such like contributions and services in time of warres as other his or their tenants of or within the said parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith of and for the like tenement or rent hereafter shall do or heretofore have done so often within the same term as the said T. Bagshawe and his assigns shall be commanded or forced personally to serve in the warres of his Matie his highness heirs and successors.” The Lessee must not cut oak, ash or quicken except such oak and ash as shall be necessary to be employed on the premises for housebote, haybote, ploughbote and cartbote. He is to pay all chief rents, out rent, tithe rents, duties, lays and payments due or payable to the church or otherwise and be a true tenant to the Lessor and not to give up possession to any one claiming the premises. Other provisions are for distress, re-entry, repair and quiet enjoyment not very different from modern form.

This lease is quoted at length as an excellent example of the relation between landlord and tenant in the early seventeenth century, and especially as to attending the landlord to war. It recalls a period when the great houses were replenished in kind by the tenantry in lieu of the money rent

1Lysons (Cheshire, p. 699) says in reference to Northwich in Cheshire that

the term “witches” has been applied in common to several places where brine is found and the term has sometimes been applied to salt pits and adds that they are so called in Domesday.

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which later became universal, and when the difficulty of transport from any distance made the maintenance of supplies precarious. It also shows incidentally that Thomas Bagshawe was working coal in Fernilee, and that other pits existed in the neighbourhood. The reference to “horse loads” is a reminder that at that day, as it was for more than a century later, transport by packhorses was practically the only means of carriage, and the condition as to the supply of salt for the use of the Hall also recalls the time when it was the custom to kill cattle in the autumn and salt the flesh down for consumption during the winter months, a custom arising in great measure from the difficulty of providing fodder in winter time.

The system of granting leases of farms for one or more lives or for long terms on payment of a sum in cash and the reservation of a small annual rent with “boons” was not uncommon in the parish. In 1631 Katherine Yeaveley leased a shop and premises in Chapel called the New Shop (probably the site of the Bull’s Head Inn) to Dorothy Suite and Nicholas Smith for 80 years for a payment of £30 and a rent of 10s. and “two daies sheaving of corn” each year.

A few years later on “the last day of February” 1636 Nicholas Browne the Elder of Marsh Esquire and his son Nicholas of Stonyloe in Staffordshire Gentleman granted to John Heathcote of Cowdale husbandman a lease of Downlee Farm, the closes being called Little Downlee, Greenfield, the croft at the nether end of the Downlee and Bell Lane (some of which can still be identified) with sufficient hedgebotee

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plowbote, cartbote and wainebote (“if there be any upon the premises”) for 99 years if John Healthcote, his son John and daughter Anne so long live. The consideration is a cash payment of £83 and twenty (? shillings) a year to John Adyshed of Marsh husbandman during Adyshed’s life and after his death to Nicholas Browne, Senior, and his successors, payment to be made at the feasts of St Michael the Archangel and “the Annunciation of our blessed ladie Sainte Marie the Virgin” and the boons, heriots, duties and services, viz. two shillings part of the King’s Rent, one day mowing, one day sheaving, and two loads of “coles” at the feast of the Nativity of our lord god [sic] and also all dues to the Church and King.

We do not know who John Adyshed was; his mark is appended to the lease as witness. The Heathcotes seem to have had some connection with Chapel before this date. In 1591 John Heathcote of Cowdale was, along with John Carrington of Blackbrook in Chapel parish, a trustee of a Chelmorton charity.

In 1663 the Brownes granted another lease of Downlee to John Heathcote, probably the second life mentioned above, the then occupier, for 99 years or two lives for the consideration of £40 in cash and 1s. per annum rent, if demanded.

A curious estimate of the area of land occurs in a lease granted by William Barber to John Lomas of Bowden Head, husbandman, of a farm at Malcoff “computed in the whole to be 37 days work be the same more or less”. In some parts of England “a day mere” of land was as much as a man

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could plough in a day or “journey”. And “Day Math” is a not uncommon field name.

Dr. Clegg’ s Diary gives us some interesting peeps into farming conditions in the first half of the eighteenth century and some suggestions of the busy scenes when much of the enclosed land was under the plough. The Tithe Commutation Award made in 1846 states that 1,000 acres, just over a tenth of the whole parish, were arable. Four or five years ago the writer had occasion to make enquiry as to the arable land in the parish. careful research revealed some half dozen fields under the plough with an area of less than ten acres.

According to an old field book Dr. Clegg would hold at Stodhart about 45 acres, part of the Bowden Hall Estate, of which a considerable area was arable. On a day in March 1727 he had six teams working for him, and in the next month four others ploughed for a day. Eleven years later “we had 6 teams came to plough for us. They did a great deal of work and did it well and blessed be God no disaster befell any of them.” On August 24th of that year he stayed at home with the reapers owing to the uncertainty of the weather and next day 20 reapers were at work. As the Doctor’s account books have not been preserved it is not clear whether this ploughing and reaping was done voluntarily by his friends and neighbours and members of his congregation or whether it was hired labour. He speaks of sending his man to help his neighbours to house their hay and he and his family also assisted Godfrey Lingard (the miller at Chapel Milton) and Job Bennett in harvesting as if this were an exchange of help which, according to several chroniclers was a common practice

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throughout the country at this period. From the harvest records we gather that the seasonal weather was very much what it is to-day The following dates, it must, however, be remembered, refer to the “old style” which makes them eleven days later than ours. Robert Middleton records in the P.B. in 1719 so dry a summer and so great a drought that all the corn in this parish was housed before the 29th day of August except a very small parcel growing upon the King’s part of Eccles. In June, 1731, Dr. Clegg notes hay cutting began on 14th and on 20th led hay. “It was very fine and good.” On August 16 reapers were at work and on Sept. 7 he “was at home all day overseeing the reaping and leading of my wheat”. 1734: The latter part of July and most of August was very rainy. 1736: Led hay out of Bent Meadow on 30 July, but cutting on Shorehay and Little Meadow no completed till 24 August “a very good harvest season all oats were got in by Sep. 5 and fallows ploughed or wheat sown on 10th”. In 1739 the summer was wet and stormy, the hay spoiled and corn late. July 31, 1741, “all hay got and never had a more favourable season nor a greater quantity of hay than this year”. On 31 August 25 Reapers were at work. September 1745. A very good hay and corn harvest in Chapel parish but not elsewhere. 1748: June 9, began mowing. Sep. 16 reaped beans (a crop now never seen in North Derbyshire).

Next year, May 15 to 20, the weather is described as very hot, and on June 3 “for some days past so much frost and snow as I never knew before at this time of the year” an almost exact echo of this was found as recently at 1935.

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The Diary gives us some particulars of the prices of horses and cattle then current. At Chapel fair an old mare was sold for two guineas and a young one for £3 10s. A young horse is bought from Joseph Taylor of Barmoor for £5 8s. 6d., and a grey mare at Lydgate for seven guineas. Two fat cows are sold to Kershaw a butcher of Ashton, for £6 15s., and another fat cow for £ 3 17s. 6d. In October “sent my son to Manchester for four Scotch cows." The cost is not stated. Four years later the Doctor hires Francis Dean at £5 a year and his vails (i.e. perquisites) and cloth for a shirt; to come at May Day, presumably as indoor servant. We have a record of prices in the

Parish Register for 1649 “oat meale sould at 4s. a pecke, wheate a Chesterfield load 40s., white rye at 1s. 9d., a load of granes at 1s. 7d. and oats 3s. a bushel at Stopford” (Stockport). A little later than this, about 1665, Philip Kinder in his projected History of Derbyshire, which it is much to be regretted was never completed, speaking of the Peakwhere he tells us the “moorlanders” in his time indulged in seven meals a day -says “the common people do prefer oates for delight and strength above any other grain for here you may find jus nigrum, the Lacedaemonian pottage to be a good dish if you bring a Lacedaemonian stomach. It is observed that they have for the most part fair long broad teeth which is caused by the mastication of their oat bread.” In the Parish Book Robert Middleton, noting the rebuilding of the Market House in 1700 Says “Att which time . . .t meal was sould by Ann Cooper at 20d pr peck . . . nchester measure, but upon renewing the old market was advanced to XVId peck; the said Jno Shallcross advancing moneys out of his own pockett for bringing in corn

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to lower the price untill the markett was otherwise supplyed. R.M.”

Long after this the chief cereal continued to be oats, wheaten flour was a luxury not for the poor until practically the middle of the nineteenth century. Elizabeth Scholes evidently thought of this when, by her will in 1734, she left the income of a sum of money to, amongst other places, the Churchwardens of Chapel to be laid out in buying twelve manchets or loaves weekly for poor housekeepers and children. To the children of the poor at that day white bread was a great treat. An old man, a child when Queen Victoria came to the throne, remembered how children would haunt a house where a “present burying” was likely to take place to beg a bit of burying cake.1 He also recalled the feast, when he, about the age of nine years, “walked with the scholars” (apparently at Queen Victoria’s Coronation). Asked what was the occasion, “Why that I cannot tell,” said he, but he kept the lively recollection of the mug of tea and currant bun. Other old people have told how, in a bad season, when the harvest had been late the oatmeal would not set on the Brade (the shelf or board on which the oatcakes were baked in the oven) the baking resulting in a kind of paste.

Primitive methods of transport lingered long, and traces of this may still be seen in the sledges and low carts used for carting hay and manure on the hillsides, where the work is often heavy and difficult. An old lady who had differences of opinion with the Government as to the value of some hilly land remarked, “Ef them i’ London had to mak’ hea on’t brew (brow) edge they’d happen think different.”

1 See Chapter XIX, post.

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A tenant of Diglatch in the I890’s remembered carts with solid wooden wheels, and his sister spoke of a tenant of Pyegreave, Combs, who always ploughed with oxen, but this practice is said to have been noticed in some parts of rural England in quite recent times.

Many changes must have come over the parish during the eighteenth century when the wastes began to be enclosed. Dr. Clegg noted how in early February, 1737, he went to see Henry Marchington at Sittinglow and after dining there “crossing over the pastures towards Ford lost my way and was in danger of being laid fast in ye bogs. It was a thick mist, but I came at last into the high road and to Ford.” A member of the Marchington family, born in 1823, used to tell how his father said that, in his early days the best besoms in the neighbourhood were made from the heather growing in the Big Meadow at Sittinglow. Some time, probably towards the end of the eighteenth century, a drift road for cattle was wanted through the old Sittinglow estate and two members made a “swap” of two acres of land for two heifers.

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Prehistoric roads—Drovers—Smithy Bridge—Highway Surveyors
The first local Turnpike Act—An old map—Whaley Bridge
Blind Jack of Knaresboro’.

WHETHER or not the suggestion is correct that the choice of the site of the future “Borough” of Chapel as the Capital of the Peak was in some measure due to its proximity to ancient tracks or roads intersecting at Town End, there is no doubt that such ways existed not only in the thirteenth century but that they had existed from periods far back in the history of the world.

The late Professor Sir William Boyd Dawkins has told us that, probably before the existence of man in this country, there ran a track made by the feet of animals from the plains of what is now South Yorkshire to the salt beds of the Cheshire swamps. This way may still be traced from Sheffield (Salter Lane) through Bamford and Hope and along Rushop Edge right through Chapel and over Eccles Pike to Whaley Lane till it is lost on Whaley Moor. At a point above Slack Hall whence the line can be traced in a beeline till it disappears over the southern shoulder of Eccles Pike, is a footpath which at Town End passes through some fields known to this day as “the Leys”. This place name is most suggestive. In a very interesting work on prehistoric and other roads1 Mr. Alfred Watkins has

1The Old Straight Track (Methucn, 1925), p. 159.

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propounded, amongst other’s, two theories—one that old ways may be identified by a “sighting line” drawn from or through some prominent object on the landscape, and the other that the place name “Leys” with its numerous variations of spelling is a sure indication of a prehistoric way. He claims that “ley” was the original prehistoric term for a sighted track, and says “the sequence seems clear”. We have not space to follow Mr. Watkins in his elaboration of these theories, but they are certainly suggestive and his definition of the growth of the term “leys” is exactly what we may conclude has taken place in our own example.

Another interesting road is that crossing the one just described at Town End. This way appears to have come from the direction of Lancashire by Bowden Lane, known to Early Victorians as “Drum and Monkey Lane” from an inn at Waterside, and Ashbourne Lane to Dove Holes and on by Long Edge Lane to Blackwell Dale, forward to the direction of the Roman Road between Buxton and Derby and so towards the south and west Midlands. Drovers have told that they have driven cattle along this track in practically a straight line from Town End to Monyash. This old track was in 1828 considered to be of sufficient importance to be surveyed for the purpose of a suggested turnpike from Chapel to Blackwell Mill, where there was to be a junction with the road at the bottom of Topley Pike and a branch was to be taken down the Wye Valley to Millers Dale and on to Litton Mills. Nothing, however, was done beyond the preparation of the plans which may be seen in the “Fairbank Collection” in the Sheffield Public Library (E.R.o.71.L.).


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The road via Bowden Lane, at the S.W. end of the Parish: is probably that referred to in a petition to Quarter Sessions in 1714 from the freeholders and in habitants of Chapel-en-le- Frith for assistance “towards cutting a trench four hundred yards in length to turn the River called Blake Brooke betwixt Chapell Parish and Bugsworth which has by the rapidness and force thereof utterly ruined the King’s highway adjoining thereto at a place called Crispend” ( ? Crist End). Dr. Clegg seems to have gone this way to Manchester, for he records “a merciful preservation” when his mare lost her footing one January night “in ye ford below Bugsworth Hall” and again when son Ben on a journey to Manchester was “carried down

stream in Bugsworth water”.

Returning to Town End, the track of the old road in the direction of Terrace Road is now obliterated, but scraps of reminiscences of old inhabitants gathered from their ancestors and corroborated by modern builders, point to there once being a brook or watercourse coming from the direction of the Warm-brook estate (perhaps it was the Warmbrook) and passing a short way to the North of Market Street. There is some evidence that the front of some of the houses on this side of the street was to the north and that before them there was a paved way. The inference is that the old track followed this line up to Church Brow. It would thus skirt the old Wool Croft and passing up Terrace Road and “the Town Gate” proceed on its way to Eccles Pike. Probably at a very early period in the history of the town this road was to some extent superseded by a road or lane on the line of Market Street for in a deed of 1663 relating to a plot of land which must have been directly opposite

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the Methodist Church, it is said to be bounded on the south by “the highway as it goeth from Chapel to the Great Peak Forest”, on the north by a close called Prayer Acre, east by Aspin Croft and west by a little croft near Smith Bridge, and a pointed out in Chapter III, there were burgages on the south side of the present Market Street with a continuation alone High Street, which in the eighteenth century is called Lowe Town Head Lane, though how far it extended is not clear from the records mentioned below, it would seem that then was no bridge here till 1715: possibly there was a wooden foot bridge or stepping stones. The Prior Acres lay on the north side of Market Street and extended from Smith Bridge to Bowden Lane. Aspin or Aspen Croft is the site of Sevil Terrace and the land immediately behind. in the P.R. 4 Feb 1627/8 “Anthony Barbor of Malcalf was drowned in the Priraccor Water on Jan. 28, but was not found till 31st.” There must then have been a ford here, there are sever references in the Parish Register in the seventeenth century to “the Causeway”, the houses opposite the Methodist Church, where the road was sunk to come down to this ford. A petition was presented at the Michaelmas Quarter Sessions 1714, from freeholders and inhabitants of Chapel asking for the benevolence of the Court “to enable the making of a Bridge over a rapid Brook called Smithy Brook near the towne of Chappell in le Fryth”. The Court ordered a gift of £12, but “that for the future there never be any more money give to the repair of the said Smithy Bridge”. 1 In P.B. is the entry. “August 18th A. Dom. 1715 in the second year of

1 Three Centuries, ii. 222.

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the reign of or Sovn Lord King Georg The foundation of the Arch brig over smithy brook was laid by William ffrith and John Beard, and twelv pounds was given by an order of Sessions into the hands of Robt Middleton towards defraying the charg thereof. the whole charg of the brdg & the pavement att the end between the two crofts amounting to seaventeen pounds the remaining five pounds was paid by the parish of Ra: Gee being that year Constable. R.M.”

Another obviously old road is that from Hayfield via Maynestone Road and Whitehough to Crossings and Hollin Knowle and so to a junction with Ashbourne Lane at Martinside. I have a strong suspicion that this road must have at one time meandered from Higher Crossings to Marsh Hall and thence by Bluebell Lane over Down Lee Farm to Marsh Green and so to Hollin Knowle. Crossings Road and Long Lane have a certain artificial air, but there is no evidence of any deviation if it ever took place although a plan dated 1777 rather confirms this view.

These old roads are discussed in some detail in the hope that it may help the reader to visualise something of the old roads of our country used as trackways, perhaps long before man adopted and adapted them to his own purposes, and followed by travellers on foot and with pack animals until improved highways and turnpike roads gradually caused them to be abandoned.

At Common Law the parishes were liable For road repair, and the first Highway Act of 1555 made provision for the appointment of responsible Highway Surveyors for each parish, this system being carried on with various statutory

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amendments till the office was abolished by the Local Government Act of 1894. Under the old acts farmers and others, instead of paying Highway Rates would provide teams and labour according to fixed scale. It used to be said in our own parish that the custom of appointing Surveyors alternately for each Edge was beneficial as each Surveyor looked after the roads in his own township and so ensured a Fair system repair throughout the whole parish. But this was not always the case — in 1702 “the ways being not well repaired” Adam Fox, the Highways Overseer For Bradshaw Edge for 170l was continued in office for another year.

The first “Turnpike Road” was authorised by Parliament 1663. The name is said to be derived from the original Frames consisting of two crossbars armed with pikes and turning on a post set up at points where tolls were to be taken. The Turnpike Acts appointed a number of trustees, usually, local men, to make or improve roads and to charge tolls and to this system, in vogue for two hundred years, we owe most of the main roads of this country.

It was not, however, until 1724 that the first Turnpike Act (II George I, c. 13) for this district was passed. The preamble to this Act says “Whereas the highway leading from the Top of Sherbrook Hill near Buxton and from Chappell in the Frith in the County of Derby (through Stockport in the County of Chester) to the town of Manchester in the County of Lancaster (being the nearest road from London to Manchester) is very ruinous and many parts thereof almost impassable in the winter season and in divers places so narrow that it is become dangerous to persons passing through the

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same . . . that it be . . . enacted, etc.” A large number of trustees were appointed to carry out the Act including Edmund Jodrell, Gent.; John Shallcross, Esq.; Simon Degge, Esq.; Arnold Kirk, Gent., and Edmund Warrington, Gent. Tolls were fixed, including for a coach, chariot, chaise or calash drawn by six horses or more 1 s., and for every wagon, wain, cart, or carriage drawn by five or more horses or oxen 1 s., with descending scales for a less number of. animals; also tolls for droves of cattle, sheep and pigs. There were to be no tolls on Parliamentary election days for the Counties of Derby, Chester and Lancaster, or for carrying limestone, lime or coal, stone for road repair, for passing to or from Whaley Mill, or for any coach, etc., horse or mule taking parishioners of Yeardsley and Whaley to Taxal Church on Sundays or Holy days. A “Turnpike” or Toll gate was to be set up on the Cheshire side of Whaley Bridge. This would be in the ancient parish in what is now Bridge Street as the present main road bridge was erected some 60 years later. In spite of the tolls the persons and lands hitherto responsible for the maintenance of the road were still to remain so, and statute work was still to be performed.

So far as this road concerns Chapel it seems that it followed the line of the present Manchester Road out of Buxton to Cold Springs where it bore to the right past White Hall and Withen Lache, descending by Elnor Lane to Horwich End and thence by “the Old Road” as it is still called—meeting the road over Eccles Pike at Old Turns. The latter road came down to Greendale near the Whaley Drill Hall, turning sharply to the right, where its line through a garden can still

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be discerned, to its junction with the road to Silkhill opposite Christ Church. This point is called in old maps and documents “Old Turns” or “Old Thorns”. Either or both may be correct for the roads here have several turns: or there may have been thorn trees planted here, as is said to have been done in some parts of the County, to mark the way or the boundary between Fernilee and Chapel which the old Road now followed to the back of the present White Hart Inn. Before Market Street Whaley Bridge existed this road passed on the north (that is Chapel side) of the River Goyt to the old bridge at the bottom of Bridge Street— which was the Whaley Bridge. When the present bridge was erected some very old timbers were found in the old structure, and from these was made a seat for the Chairman of the Whaley Bridge Urban District Council now inn the Council Chamber. In the County Records at Derby is a plan showing the line of the old road in Chapel Parish.

A note annexed to the plan states that “in 1782 there was some question as to the erection of a new bridge: it appears to have been erected about 1800, but there is no record of the dedication of the new road or stopping up the old one.”

But in the Quarter Sessions Accounts for 1782 an order is recorded for the payment of £190 for Whaley Bridge.1 The new road is the present Market Street of Whaley Bridge. In 1937 there died at Whaley Bridge Mr. James Jackson, the last of an old family of blacksmiths who for several generations were blacksmiths at the old smithy still standing at the corner of Market Street and Bridge Street, which smithy was

1 Three Centuries, i. 122.

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in existence long before the latter street ceased to be part of the old turnpike road.

The antiquity of this road is shewn by the fact that for a considerable distance it marks the boundary between the parishes of Chapel and Fernilee and many years ago it was described to me as “the old Coach Road”. In the Parish Register

under date 26th October, 1720—before the Act just quoted — is an entry “John Kenion who was a day labourer and following

a London Carrier’s s horses part of the way from Manchester his master found him on the moor near Within Lache house very weak and being carried to Within Lache house died there and was buried in the Churchyard the same day.”

It will be noticed from this entry and from the Act next referred to that most of the traffic — even to London — was by pack horses. It was about this time that John Bennett of Chinley, before his conversion to Methodism, was trading with pack horses between Macclesfield and Sheffield.

In 1754 Quarter Sessions fixed the rates of carriage of goods between Chapel and London at 7s. 6d per cwt. in summer and 8s. 6d. in winter.

From the recitals in the Act of 1724 and later Acts it seems that at first at any rate they dealt with quite a network of roads, all connected, but later when the Turnpike system became more standardised the trusts were more localised.

The improvement of the roads soon had an effect both in the great increase of wheeled vehicles and the growth of the lime trade, for the next Act, 3 George II, c. 4 (1729), states that “the manner of carriage through the said roads which was usually by horses, by the great amendment and widening


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of the said roads is of late changed into wheel carriages whereby the tolls and duties have greatly diminished” and the trustees were thereby authorised to increase the tolls and charges for carriages and horses laden with lime.

The next Act, 22 George II, c. 12 (1758/9), refers to the roads from Chapel to Hernstone Lane Head, Sherbrook Hill to Hurdlow House and Ardwick Green to Didsbury, which join the roads authorised by the previous Acts and “are very ruinous and some parts thereof almost impassable in the winter season and the same cannot by the ordinary course appointed by the laws now in being for repairing Highways be kept in good repair.” Amongst the trustees appointed by this Act are Samuel Bagshaw, £sq., Rev. John Byron, Clerk, Anthony Carrington, Thomas Cresswell, James Carrington, Samuel Frith, Henry Kirk, John Moult and Henry Kirk of Eaves. It is provided. That single horse loads of lime shall be toll free and that the Rector of Taxal and his curates shall be exempt from tolls on the Turnpike Road at Whaley Bridge “when visiting any of his parishioners being sick or to do any other duty relating to the office of a clergyman in the same parish”.

The next Act was of great importance to the inhabitants of Chapel as it authorised the making of the present main road from Horwich end to Sparrowpit via Barmoor Clough. The Act (4 George III, c. 45 (1763/4), after referring to the previous Acts quoted, proceeds “Whereas part of the road leading from Whaley Bridge to Chappell in the Frith being part of the road directed by the said Acts to be repaired is very mountainous steep and dangerous to Travellers and it

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would be greatly for the convenience of the public if the said road was turned or altered from a certain part of the present tunpike road leading from Whaley Bridge to Buxton at or near a Bridge called Shallcross Bridge over Horridge Common1 and through certain enclosed lands and a wood called Ollerenshaw Wood at or near Chapel Tunstead of or belonging to Simon Jackson, Esq. (of Shallcross) John Gaskill (Ollerenshaw) William Thomason and Francis Thomason (Cadster and Crosleys, now The Cedars) and thence through certain lanes called Bye Lanes to the Turnpike Road in the Town of Chappell.”

In the Public Record Office are some depositions taken in 1604 in an action relating to the ownership of Wilkin Hill Farm2; with these depositions is a map shewing the road over Eccles Pike, which is marked “the usual way from Wayley Bridge to the Chappell in the Frythe” and is called by one witness “the Highe Street”. The lane from near Ollerenshaw Hall to Tunstead Milton is shewn as bending sharply to the east at Milton and proceeds towards New Field Farm, where the map ends. This lane is marked “The Heigheway”. The map makes it perfectly clear that there was then no road or footpath along the valley in the direction of Whaley. A lady having great local knowledge always called this lane “Tom Lane” and I was puzzled to know why it should be so called when the hamlet of that name is several hundred yards away, but this map makes the matter

1This is evidently at the junction of the Main Road and Elnor Lane. The

road past Overleigh was made by Mr Gisborne about 1840.

2 Duchy of Lancaster Depositions, 4. Jas. I, No. 50/24 (now M.P./C. 209)


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clear. Tom Lane evidently ran from the Eccles Road to Cockyard and was one of the Bye Lanes referred to in the Act. How these Bye Lanes went from thence to the Turnpike at Chapel is uncertain, but it is suggested that they took a line now in part marked by footpaths via Marsh Hall. An old track parallel with the present main road from Cockyard to Lower Crossings has been mentioned, but it may only have been an occupation farm road. The difficulty of tracing old tracks where they are now obliterated is enhanced because the plans of authorised diversions before the commencement of the nineteenth century, if they ever existed, have been destroyed or lost.

Our Act contains another recital as to the state of the road leading from Chapel to Sparrow Pit Gate in similar terms to that relating to the road from Whaley and the trustees were empowered to make a road from Whaley to Chapel and to widen turn and alter that from Chapel to Sparrow Pit and to acquire land, etc. A toll bar might be erected at Higher Crossings on the western side thereof on the road used and travelled before the passing of this Act, but no resident in Chapel parish was to pay toll for any carriage or cattle except such as should carry goods, wares and merchandise for hire. The late Mrs. Olive Bramwell said that her father, Mr. Jno. Lomas, remembered a “Pack Horse Toll Bar” at Diglatch. Among the trustees are Stephen Bellott, Josiah Bradbury, John Cresswell, James Carrington, Philip Chandley Gent., John Frith Junr. Gent., John Gee (Clerk), Elias Needham, James and Cornelius Pickford, Francis, William and Henry Thomason.

This Act also refers to the road from Sparrow Pit Gate to

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Longside Common, presumably the road via Peaslows, Eccles

Pike and Whaley Lane.

The road from fairfield by Barmoor Clough to Sparrow Pit and forward to the Wininatts (i e. the road from Little Sheffield to Sparrow pitt Gate) was made or tunrnpiked in 1759. In that year it is recorded that the length between Castleton and Sparrow Pit appears to have been constructed entirely at the cost of Colonel Samuel Bagshawe, M.P., of Ford Hall. His Agent wrote to him “we have nothing to complain of but that turnpike roads will needs swallow money faster than I can raise it.”1

Smiles tells us that the famous Johrm Metcalfe, “Blind lack of Knaresborough”, “constructed the roads between Macclesfield and Chapel-en-le-Frith and between Whaley Bridge and Buxton. “It was said of him that” most of the roads over the Peak in Derbyshire have been altered by his directions, particularly those in the vicinity of Buxton. “No details of these roads are forthcoming, but there can be no doubt that some of them were those authorised by the Act of 1763. Metcalfe was a most extraordinary man—blind from six years of age, he began making roads in 1765 and was the first known road contractor. “The business of contractor had not then come into existence nor was the art of road making much understood.” 2 One road he constructed was from “Whaley Bridge to Buxton to avoid a hill over a tedious piece of ground called Peeling Moss” four miles in length. For this he “received near £1000”.3 Hayfield Road was

1 Bagshaws of Ford p. 258.

2 Lives of the Engineers, History of Roads, p. 86.

3 The Life of John Metcalfe, York, 1795.

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constructed under an Act of 1793 and the Castleton Road from Townend was not opened until about 182o. This road cut through the grounds of Slack Hall, the remains of the, old garden being still visible on the south side of the road. Some years after this Slack Hall, now a farmhouse, was licensed for a time as " The Ram". The tenant, who was more interested in his farm than in the sale of ale, is said to have made it a rule to serve one drink only and to tell the traveller who demanded a second that one drink at a time was quite sufficient and the wayfarer must pass on about his lawful business.

The turnpike road up Barmoor Clough was made prior to 1796, in which year Anthony Bellott and James Carrington entered into an agreement for constructing a road connecting the new road with Blackbrook. Not every one has accepted these roads as blessings. Thomas Frith of Town end, mason, bought part of a field called “Capon Greaves” at the bridge end of Blackbrook in 1783, on which he built three houses, one of which he occupied as a publichouse, but “in con-sequence of a new turnpike road being opened and taking away the traffic” he had to let it in 1797 and thereby became involved in a law suit. The “Brown Cow” said to have been at the top of Peaslows probably had to close its doors for the same reason. By the reign of William IV the clerks to the various Turnpike trusts were complaining in their Returns that “the new railways made and contemplated are or in the near future will seriously injure the road receipts”: to-day the railways are asking for a “square deal” and what shall be the end thereof?

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IN common with most old country parishes, Chapel has numerous charities, which if individually small in amount make up quite a considerable Sum in the aggregate.


1625 WILLIAM WALKER. £40. Originally invested in the purchase of land at Lesser Lane, Combs.

1633 GEORGE BOWDEN. £2 per annum in land. This was charged on a pasture field at Upper End, Wormhill.

1635 FRANCES BRADSHAW. 10s. per annum. This is paid by the owner of the Bradshaw Hall Estate.

1666 WILLIAM BARBER, of Malcalf Gentleman, by his will gave to his Trustees £82, part of his residuary estate, and empowered them to dispose of the same in such way as counsel should think meet for pious or charitable uses f-or Chapel-en-le-Frith. The Trustees knew that Mr. Barber intended this gift to be for the benefit of a Protestant Dissenting Minister officiating in Chapel parish, but by reason of the Act of Uniformity he gave them this power and for some time they paid half the income to the Poor of Chapel and half to the Protestant Minister.

In course of time new Trustees were appointed and questions arose as to their power to pay anything to Dr. Clegg, then the only Dissenting Minister, and the matter was referred to Thomas Bagshawe of Bakewell, Esq., “who was by far the largest Freeholder in the said parish”, and he proposed that 20s. should be paid to the Incumbent of Chapel, 20s. to a Protestant Dissenting Minister and the remainder to the Poor. This arrangement was carried out by an Agreement

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entered into in 1726 between the Trustees and the freeholders and principal inhabitants.

But two years later some of the Freeholders again objected to any part of the income going to Dr. Clegg and the then Trustees, Arnold Kirk and Robert Middleton, agreed to refer the matter to the Churchwardens and Overseers. Dr. Clegg says this was done “unadvisedly” and the arbitrators, not unnaturally from their point of view, “have deprived me of ye small share I formerly had of it tho’ they had sufficient evidence that it was all intended for the benefit of a dissenting Minister”. By 1750 £15, part of the capital, had been lost through the insolvency of Robert Middleton, but Mr. William Bagshawe had caused 15s. to be paid to “Master James Clegg” and a number of the freeholders gave Mr. Bagshawe a Bond of indemnity for continuing to pay this sum to the Doctor during his life. It is pleasing to notice that the Incumbent, Mr.Byron, was one of the guarantors. The writer is indebted for most of the foregoing to information supplied by the late Mr. Greaves Bagshawe.

In l835 the Charity Commissioners reported that £1 5s. was paid to the incumbent and the residue to the Poor.

1687 THOMAS BARBER by Will gave £2 per annum charged on an estate called Clough.

16— EDWARD DIXON. 20s. per annum charged on Hordron alias Lee Field.

1696 MARY DIXON (widow of the above). 20s., also charged on Hordron. As to Hordron see below under “School Charities.”

1699 EDWARD DAIN. 10s. per annum charged on land at Broad Lee, Combs.

1704 FRANCIS MOSLEY left the residue of a sum of £600, the income “to be applied in buying convenient clothes for the oldest and most decrepid poor people either male or Female in the parish.” He also left the income of £150, two-thirds to the Curate of Chapel and one-third to the Poor. This sum was invested in land at Rushop.

1718 FRANCIS GASKELL by Will bequeathed £100: the income to

be paid as to 20s. yearly to an orthodox minister at Chapel:

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40s. yearly to the poor of Bradshaw Edge and 20s. yearly to the poor of Combs Edge and Bowden Edge respectively. Mr. Gaskell evidently though t that the rate of interest would stand at 5 per cent For ever. In 1722 the Trustees subscribed £20 of this fund towards the building of “The Old Parsonage” on the condition that 20s. a year should be secured on the house for the Incumbent for ever and this sum is still paid by the owners.

1730 JOHN VERNON left 10s. per annum charged on the White Hills Estate, Combs.

1734 ELIZABETH SCHOLES by Will left £52, the income to be paid to the Churchwardens and laid out in buying twelve manchets or loaves weekly, to be distributed every Sunday immediately after morning service in the Church to such poor housekeepers and poor children as should attend that service as the Church wardens should think proper objects. In 1835 the Charity Commissioners stated that the Churchwardens received the sum of 50s. a year and distributed six two penny loaves on 50 Sundays to the poor in the Church. Mrs. Scholes also left a considerable sum to charity in the Manchester district, which is administered by a body of Trustees.

1763 SAMUEL WOOD by Will gave £200 to the Rev. John Byron and Edward Bennett upon trust to lay out one-fourth of the income on wheaten bread and distribute the same on every Sunday in the year amongst the poor widows and fatherless children of the parish not receiving pensions or weekly pay: another fourth to Chinley Chapel for the same purpose: another fourth to the Minister of Chinley Chapel for permitting six poor widows to sit on the north side of the chapel seat free, and the remaining fourth to the poor of Bowden Edge.

1775 JOHN FRITH by Will gave half the income of £125 for woollen cloth for the poor.

1784 JOHN BADILEY RADCLIFF by Will charged property in New Mills and Whitle with payment of income for the poor of amongst other places, Chapel.

180—SAMUEL NEEDHAM of Rushop Edge by Deed charged land at South Head, Chinley, with £28 per annum, of which £2 is payable to the poor of Chapel.

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1817 THE REV. FRANCIS GISBORNE by Deed and Will settled a large sum, the income of which is distributed to the poor of one hundred parishes of which Chapel is one.


1676 THOMAS HIBBERT by Will gave £60, the interest to be applied annually for the purpose of binding a poor child as Parish apprentice and to be paid to the Overseers of the Poor of Fernilee, Taxal, Combs Edge and Whaley in rotation, and he charged “the same annual rent charge of £3” upon his estate at Folds in Fernilee. This was received every fourth year and was used for a child living in any part of the parish. It is now paid by the present owners of Folds Farm.

1703 HENRY KIRK of Eaves by his Will gave £100, the interest to be used for binding forth two of the poorest male children yearly for ever apprentices in husbandry or other manual occupations, and devised his estate at Eaves to his nephews, Thomas and Henry Kirk, on condition that they paid this sum. By his Will dated 25th August 1731 Henry Kirk, the nephew, charged the Eaves estate with the annual payment of £5 to meet the above gift, and it is now paid by the owners of part of the Eaves land.

1703 THOMAS MARSHALL of Combs Head by his Will gave £ 100, the income to be paid yearly, one-half to the Minister in Priest’s orders in Chapel and the other half to apprentice a poor child from Combs Edge. This sum was laid out towards the building of the Church during the restoration about 1734 and the pew rents were divided between the Vicar and the Overseers of the Poor, although for a good many years before the gallery was taken down the rents must have been negligible. In 1894 the gallery was removed and the late Mr. Samuel Needham of Lower Eaves gave £ 100 to replace the original sum.

Thomas Marshall is buried near the south door of the Church. We have heard a legend that he had “dealings with the Devil”, but have never been able to learn what those dealings were or how they differed from what most of us have.

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As this charity proves, he was at any rate a benefactor of the parish.

1775 JOHN FRITH gave the income of half the sum of £125 for apprenticing one of the poorest boys belonging to the parish.

1679 FRANCIS GEE of Roeside by his Will dated 1st October 1679 charged Roeside Farm with the annual payment of 20s. for pious and charitable uses within the parish. This is paid by the owner of Roeside.

Two Charities of which no trace can be found were mentioned on a tablet formerly in the Church, viz.: DOROTHY

SUITE’ S Charity of £120, left in 1670 to pious and charitable uses; and MARY FROST’ S Charity, given by Will in l775, of £200 for apprenticing poor boys of the parishes of Chapel and Sheldon The Parish Book contains records of boys apprenticed down to 1778, but no further.

References to some educational charities will be found in the

section relating to the Schools.

The provision of adequate elementary education and the general discontinuance of the old custom of indentured apprenticeship has rendered the original purpose of many of the educational charities obsolete. Therefore, under schemes formulated by the Charity Commission the income of most of these charities is now paid to a common fund, “The United Charities”, administered by representative Trustees appointed by the local authorities, and applied mainly to the provision of secondary education for children from all parts of the parish.

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The Parish—later the National School

CHAPEL has for three centuries at least done much for education. No earlier reference to the existence of a school or accredited master than the following has been met with, but its language suggests that there was a Parish schoolmaster at that time. In the Church safe is an undated letter written early in the seventeenth century to the inhabitants within the Parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith by the President of the Chapter of Lichfield as follows: —

“I dare presume so farr in their (the Dean and Chapter) absence not dowting of their contentment to give license and liberty for your schoolmaster to heare his schollares in the Chancell provided that you keepe and leave the same in good and sufficient repaire at your own cost and charge according to your promise under your hands.”

Whether this was the inception of a village school or whether for some reason it was desired to use the chancel of the Church temporarily we cannot say.

A few years later John Marchington by his will dated 20th November 1630 gave 20s a year to be paid to the Parson and Churchwardens on Friday three weeks after Ascension Day for and towards the maintenance, education and schooling of five poor children of Chapel, and he charged this sum on a “messuage or burgage” in Chapel. This house was for

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many years occupied by the family of Bradley, it was known in the eighteenth century as Bradley House, and seems to be the site of a house belonging to one of the first Burgesses of the Borough”. It is situated on the west side of Church Brow at the rear of the Bull’s Head Inn, and the rent is still duly paid by the owner. This is the earliest educational charity recorded .

In 1696 Mrs. Mary Dixon gave by will to her trustee, Henry Kirk, his son Arnold Kirk, Thomas Gee and Thomas Mellor a farm at “Horderon”, later known as Lee Field or Upper Hordron (which had already been charged with 20s a year to the poor of Chapel), upon trust to pay 20s. yearly on St. Thomas’s Day amongst the poorest inhabitants of the parish, and the remainder of the rents to “such schoolmaster as should from time to time be authorised, approved of and licensed as well by the laws of this Kingdom as by the allowance and consent of the said trustees to teach and instruct the children of the inhabitants of the said parish as well petties and incipients as grammarians and those that should have attained to ‘further proficiency in learning”. There is no record of any school building at this time and any instruction was probably given at the schoolmaster’s house, as was the case much later.

Among the Archer correspondence is a letter dated 16th April 1716 from Mr. Thomas Bagshawe of Bakewell Hall (and of Ridge Hall), from which the following is an extract: “George Burton tells me of the favour you are pleased to do me in leasing me the ould house Widdow Ann Bagshaw holds at xxd. yearly and the Cromwell Croft that Kirk holds at


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3s. 4d. yearly—the house is tumbling down. The croft I take to build a schoolroom upon. The croft is about 2 roods between 2 highways and useful only on the fairdays in the summer.” This is the site of the present Cromwell House and garden and the passage on the east side, known as “School Croft”, recalls the fact.

The same papers contain several letters and petitions about the appointment of a master. Mr. Archer had apparently only the right under his settlements to lease for twenty-one years, but he accepted a nominal rent.

The Parish Book tells us more about the building of this school. Unfortunately the first line or two are missing : “on the five and twentyth day of June in the second year of King G Annoyt Dom 1716. The Ground upon which it was builded given by William Archer Esq reserving to himself yearly ren three shillings four pence to be paid by the School master. The moneys raised for the building of itt was by 8 leys through the pa—which amounted to 74lb. 12s. 4d. whereof 62lb 13s. 0d. was but collected the remainder was the benevolence of divers gent and others below mentioned the whole charg of the building amounting to 0741b. 12s. 4d.

“The Freestone and small stone was given by Thomas Bagshaw Esq.

the parish paying for the getting of itt

two ffloor beams and 1 p. of couple blades by

Henry Bagshawe, Esq value 2 0 0

Given by Jno Olliver of Haslehurst Combs Esq. 5 0 0

by Major Davenport owner of. the Milns 1 1 0

I piece of timber by Jno Shallcross Esq besides

his lays 16 0

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Edmund Nickson of Hockerly 3s.; Geo. Shuttle-

worth 2s. 6d 5 6

Mr. Anth Carrington and sister 7 6

Mr. Wm Moult I guinny 1 1 0

W m Middleton 5s.; Cornelius Pickford 5s. 10 0

Robert Needham 5 0

Arnold Kyrk from Leefield rent 3 10 0

Another benefaction to the School was made by Robert Kirk, who by his will (the date of which is not recorded) gave a croft called Hazel Croft, the rent thereof if his niece Mary Jackson should die without issue, to the School master who should teach in the school built on Cromwell Croft, on condition of his teaching three of the poorest sort of children yearly, and he referred this to the discretion of the Minister and Churchwardens of the Parish. Mary Jackson died with out issue on 29th November 1763. Hazel Croft was a small enclosure on the east side of Bowden Lane. It was sold in the early part of the present century and is now built over.

Piggotts’ Manchester Directory for 1824-5, under Chapel, gives the names “Thomas Bagshaw, commercial academy and flax dealer”, and “John Braddock, ironmonger and schoolmaster”. The latter lived at Topping House and also held a Sunday School there.

At the sale of the Archer property in 1802 Cromwell Croft was described as “Schoolhouse and yard” occupied by Robert Barlowe, who had a private boarding school. The Report of the Charity Commissioners on the local charities published in 1835 states that at that time “In respect of the donations above mentioned 19 children are taught Free in reading and writing, but when they are sufficiently advanced

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to learn arithmetic their names are removed from the list of free scholars and others are appointed in their places. Of these children 16 are appointed in respect of Mrs. Dixon’s donation, by Mr. Fox and Mr. Henry Kirk as agents for Richard Kirk Esq., and three are appointed by the incumbent and churchwardens in respect of Robert Kirk’s donation. The master has usually from 30 to 40 scholars; he is not competent to teach grammar, though it appears from Mrs. Dixon’s will that she contemplated the establishment of a grammar school.” The master here referred to was probably Mr. Braddock.

In the 18th century certain boys from this parish, among them that litigious person Joseph Trickett, had gone to school at Glossop, and the necessity for a more liberal education was recognised by some of the parishioners, as is shown by a letter to Mr. Thomas Goodman of Eccles (kindly communicated by Sir G. D. Goodman) from Mr. Richard Kirk, of Gwersyth Hill in North Wales, who then owned Martinside. Mr. Kirk wrote on 5th March 1815, in reply to a letter from Mr. Goodman : “I am still of opinion that a good classical master would be the best thing that could be done for the partish at large if it could be accomplished. I have ordered Adam Fox to pay the amount of the rent, as it may be called for weekly or monthly, to the man that is now teaching the children as wages only, that the thing may be kept open if any person qualified should offer. If you think a subscription could be raised to make the present endowment worth such a person’s attention and you will take the trouble as you mention yourself and Mr. Bennet as two you may put me down

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for fifty pounds, and at any time the business may be brought forward as to require a meeting I will come over and give you every assistance in my power.”

Nothing appears to have come of this proposal, and the education of the poorer children of the parish remained in this unsatisfactory condition until the Rev. George Hall became Vicar in December 1836. By his efforts a modern school was erected and completed in 1839. It is now known as the Church Boys’ School and was so well built that now, 100 years after, it is classed as satisfactory by the county authority and the Board of Education. The site was given by the Rev. William Bagshawe, the Trustees being Thomas Gisborne, Henry Marwood Greaves, Thomas Goodman, Davenport Goodman, William Fleming, John Slack, William. Pass and the Rev. George Hall. The deed allowed for higher education by providing that the upper room of the school might be used as the schoolroom for any competent grammar master. Mr. Greaves Bagshawe states that the total cost of the building was rather more than £ 1,200, towards which the Rev. W. Bagshawe contributed between £800 and £900 (Bagshawes of Ford, p. 504). Other donations were from “The Lords of Her Majesty’s Treasury £ 105”, The National Society £25, most of the Trustees, Mrs. Bellott, Mrs. Hall, Henry Kirk, Laurence Potts, John Taylor, Henry Kirk (Townend), Godfrey Webster, Walter Gisborne, Edwin Oldham, Mrs. Williamson, Mr. Hall (Cart Cottage), and others.

About the year 1869 Mr. Hall built the school at Gnat Hole, Bugsworth, and in 1881 the first school at Dove Holes.

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on land given by Mr. Henry Kirke of. The Eaves. In 1889 the present Girls’ and Infants’ Schools at Chapel were built and in 1895 the school at Dove Holes was enlarged, the present Infants School there being added in 1904.

In 1927 substantial improvements were effected to the schools at Chapel and Dove Holes and a fine new playground provided for the girls on land given by Mr. Ernest Bagshawe as part of the War Memorial scheme.

The Townend Schools are treated of in the chapter on Methodism.


The Charity Commissioners’ Report dated 1835, already quoted, says: “There is a small dwellinghouse in the village of Bowden Head, in this parish which is stated to have been built by subscription for the residence of- a schoolmaster or schoolmistress upwards of 50 years ago. This house, with a garden adjoining, is now occupied by a schoolmistress rent free, and we are informed that she keeps the premises in repair at her own expense, and that they are in good condition.”

Mrs. Mary Bagshawe, the wife of Mr. William Bagshawe of Ford, who died in 1754, by her will left £100 upon trust to be applied f-or the teaching of eight children of such of the poor inhabitants of the parish as should have legal settlements in the parish to read, such children to be nominated by her husband and his heirs. To this was added a sum given by Mr. John Frith in 1782. At the date of the Report 14 children “appointed From the neighbouring parts of the parish by Mrs. Bagshawe (of Ford) and Mr.Needham (the trustee of

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John Frith): all the children are taught reading and the girls knitting and sewing”. This little school did good work for nearly ninety years longer but, owing to improved educational facilities, it gradually became obsolete, and in 1927 the house was sold with the approval of- the Charity Commissioners and the proceeds added to the investments of the United Charities.

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WHETHER or not the Trained Bands and Militia served under compulsion, Chapel has always answered the call for voluntary service. We have seen the support given by Chapel to the volunteers of 1745.

The fear of an invasion by the French at the beginning of the nineteenth century brought a volunteer force into being.

Three infantry corps were raised in the county in I 798 and five years later it was found necessary to put the volunteers on a statutory basis and to grant the officers formal commissions.

Brig.-Gen.Goodman kindly allows us to copy a contemporary paper which is as follows :

At a meeting of the captains of the Northern part of the High Peak Hundred held at the George Inn at Hayfield on Friday, the 30th December, 1803, it appeared very desirable that we should form a Regiment, of which the following companies consent to become a part, viz: Men

Two Comps at Chapel commanded by Captains Frith and
Goodman and consisting of 120

One comp at Mellor commanded by Captain Oldknow

and consisting of , 120

Two comps at Glossop commanded by Captains Hadfield

and Thornley and consisting of 120

One compy at Hayfield commanded by Captain Kinder

and consisting of 60

Resolved that to complete the Regiment application shall be

made by Captains Frith and Goodman to the Bradwell Company

or any other that it may be Found convenient to solicit.

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It was also resolved that the order of the last meeting for long gaiters for the officers shall be rescinded and Military boots be sub stituted in the place there of.

The two Chapel companies had already been approved as “The Bowden Chapel Volunteers”, the officers being Samuel Frith (Squire Frith) and Thomas Goodman, Captains; Henry Kirk and Stephen Bellott, Lieutenants; and Thomas Gaskell and J. H. Pickford, Ensigns. On 1st May 1804 these Companies were reorganised as the North High Peak Battalion, with Samuel Frith as Lieut.-Col. Commandant; Samuel Oldknow Major; Thomas Goodn1an, Stephen Bellott, Ralph Fearn, James Ratcliffe and James Carrington Captains; James Harker Pickford, Thomas Gaskell, Immanuel Wilde, Henry Downes, Robert Slack and Jonathan Bridge Lieutenants.

The uniform of this Battalion was scarlet coat, with blue collar and cuffs, and white trousers. The officers of some of the corps had gold lace, of others, silver, and some had none. It is not recorded what, if any, lace the officers of this Battalion wore or whether they drilled on Sunday, as did several detachments in other parts of the county.

The Volunteers were disbanded when they were merged in the Local Militia in 1809.

In 1859, again in dread of a French aggressive policy, the Volunteer movement was started afresh, this time to culminate in the present Territorial Army. We are again indebted to Gen. Goodman for some interesting notes on the early days of the local company compiled by the late Col. Edward Hall, of Horwich House. He tells us that a public meeting was held at the Town Hall at Chapel on 17th

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November I 859, when it was decided to “form a Company of Volunteers”.

Mr. Arthur Neild, of Ollerenshaw Hall, was the first Captain and he, Mr. Norman Bennett and Col. Hall (then a private) were the first three members to be attested before Mr. Slacke, J.P., on December 31st, 1859. The Lord Lieutenant’s formal sanction to the Company (which was No.7 of the County with a “subdivision” at Whaley Bridge is dated January. 20th, I860. Mr. Norman Bennett was Lieutenant and Mr.Andrew Welch, of Whaley Hall, Ensign. These two with Capt. Nield attended the Queen’s Levee in 1860. “The uniform adopted was grey with green facings, bright buttons and brown belts: at first we provided our own, but it was soon found necessary to obtain subscriptions to equip those who could not afford to do so. The Chapel men drilled in the National School, Sergt. Robert Longden of the Militia (The Chatsworth Rifles) being Instructor. Early in the spring (1860) we commenced weekly Saturday afternoon drills, the two half-companies meeting at Ollerenshaw Hall: the Brass Band founded at Chapel attended these drills.” Col. Hall got his first commission as Ensign in August 1860 and eventually rose to the command of the Second Volunteer Battalion, the Derbyshire Regiment. In October 1860 there was a “Grand Review in Chatsworth Park”, at which No.7 Company was present as part of the 3rd Battalion. “We were taken to Chatsworth in omnibusses starting at 4 a.m. and reaching home at midnight; the return journey was in pouring rain, made memorable to me by the fact that I was in charge and also that the wayside Pubs were attractive.”

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In 1862 Capt. Nield left the district, when Lieut. N. Bennett became Captain, Ensign Hall Lieutenant, and Colour Sergeant (Joseph) Lingard Ensign. In 1865 the Whaley Bridge half-company became a separate Company. Capt. Bennett retired about this time from the command of the Chapel Company and was succeeded by Mr. Francis Greaves, brother of Mr. W. H. Greaves Bagshawe, Charles Ferguson joining as Ensign. The latter soon retired and was succeeded by Mr. Thomas Davenport Goodman, who died in 1875. On the retirement of Capt. Greaves he was succeeded by Ensign Lingard, who, with the exception of a short period when Mr. J. B. Boycott commanded, acted as captain for many years, retiring with the rank of Major. His successor was Lieut. J. S. Simpson (afterwards Major) and he was followed down to the time of the Great War in the command of the 6th Territorial Battalion, The Sherwood Foresters, as it then was, by Captains C. H. Heathcote, G. D. Goodman and H. Welsh. The Battalion, which went out to France in February 1915, under the command of Lieut.Col. (now Brigadier-General) Goodman, and was later commanded by Col. Edward Hall, D.S.O., the son of Col. Hall before named, took a distinguished share in the War. The 6th Battalion has under recent legislation become the 360/40th (Sherwood Foresters) Anti-Aircraft Battalion, Royal Engineers,

Territorial Army.

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THE following have been told to me by people of undoubted veracity with whom I was well acquainted, some of whom are happily still living, and I set them down as nearly as they were given to me. My readers may believe them or not as it pleases them, but I suggest that, whether as folk-lore or as tales, they are worth recording.

Many years ago when the old farmhouse at Far Courses (now pulled down) was occupied by one D. a man stole some of D.’s malt. D. went to “one of those spiritualists they had in those days”, who “showed him the man”, who was a slater (the narrator did not say if D. knew or suspected the man before). The spiritualist asked if D. were going to punish the man or only torment him. D. preferred to torment him, so the spiritualist gave him a doll which he hung up in “Far Courses house”. Whenever D. wished to torment the slater he would knock the doll down and the slater would fall to the ground at the same time. One day a well-known local tradesman, who told the story to my informant, was watching the slater at work on a roof in Chapel when D. came by, going home, and said to the tradesman: “Watch him and in about twenty minutes you will see him tumble”. Accordingly in about that time the man fell: “he was not much hurt”. The narrator herself had seen the doll hung up. A man and a friend were walking home on Loads Moor

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when they heard dogs barking. The man remarked: “There are the hounds”. “No”, said his friend, “it’s the Gabriel hounds. Whenever you hear that there is misfortune. “On arrival at home the man found his child dead.

The followi ng was told by a well-known local J.P., now


Sixty or seventy years ago a family of brothers living at Blackbrook were carriers and sold lime in small quantities. One day one of them, whom we will call G., sold sixpenny-worth of lime to an “apothecary” (we are not told where). It was a practice to try to palm off on the unwary what were known as “bullheads”lumps of lime not properly burned. Whether the apothecary received a bullhead or not he would not pay the sixpence. After many vain attempts to get his money G. became impatient. One day he called on the apothecary and asked: “What dosta charge for bleeding?” The reply was “Sixpence”. G. said: “Aw reet mon, bleed me”. This was accordingly done and so G., who was in perfect health, got his money back. A local gentleman once asked G. if this tale were true and he admitted it.

After the war of 191418 an old gentleman whose sons had served, comparing the youth of his own day with the moderns and being rather laudator temporis acti, as evidence that he feared nothing told the following rather gruesome tale of the 1840’s. He then lived at Kerridge near Macclesfield. A friend in the neighbourhood had three children all dead in the house at one time “From a fever”. As none of the relatives nor neighbours would help, my friend went with the father with the three coffins in a spring cart to Jenkin Chapel.

Page 352


The clergyman and clerk “stood at the top of the ground” as far off as possible and they could only just hear the clergyman speaking. The father and my informant “put the coffins in the grave and put the soil on them”.

This is not an isolated tale of tragedies in the lonely farmhouses during the first seventy years of the last century, when there was practically no sanitation and water was more or less polluted.

A friend sends the following: “Up to fifty years ago it was the custom with people not overdone with worldly wealth to make a funeral the occasion for raising a little ready money by having what was called a ‘Present Burying’, which meant that those invited would be expected to leave a minimum of a shilling towards the funeral expenses: the chief mourner sitting beside the coffin to receive the donations. The mourners in return were presented with a Burying Cake, usually a flat cake with currants in and spiced. An old man living in one of the cottages where the Methodist Schools now stand, having buried his wife, made it a presentation affair. After the funeral he was called on by one of the neighbours to see if he were all right. The old man was so busy counting his takings over and over he never noticed his visitor, but kept reciting as he handled the cash: Them can have weddings as likes but buryings for me. Evidently the funeral had been a success from a financial standpoint.”

Speaking of these burying cakes, an old man born at Eccles Fold in 1825 told how as a child he and other children would look out for people returning from funerals to get a bit of the cake, which he described as a three-cornered bun.

Page 353


An old custom at Chapel (now happily obsolete) was Mischief Night on 29th or 30th of April—my informant thinks, the latter. He says the youths of the town on this night would go round and collect anything loose, such as rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, carts, etc., and dump them at a certain place where the owners would have to search for them the next morning. The dumping ground for Town End was at the bottom of Ashbourne Lane. Where the place for Up Town was I have not been able to learn. The practice was continued up to quite recently.

The late Mr. Henry Kirke said that in his youth children used to put new pins into wells on Palm Sunday, and as late as 1868 says: “On Whit Monday they had a curious custom in this parish of providing every child with a bottle, in which liquorice or Spanish juice is put and then hung round its neck by a string. The children march to the wells and fill the bottles with water, which they proceed to shake and suck at for the rest of the day. On this account the holy season is known amongst the juveniles as ‘Bottle Day’.”1 Mr. S. O. Addy notes both these customs as having prevailed at Castleton and Bradwell, where they seem to have been combined and observed at Easter only. Mischief Night was similarly observed as at Chapel.2

We have noticed “Dickie of Tunstead” in Chapter I, but he, or she, has not the monopoly of legendary tales. On the: opposite side of the valley the Black Dog of Ollerenshaw is reputed to walk, on or about the Ides of March, at Brooms

1 Reliquary, ix. (1868) 21.

2 Memorials, 362.

Page 354


Head. Fifty years ago this tale was repeated by old people and one person known to the present writer claimed to have seen it The black dog story is fairly common in the north of England : he is the Barquest, Bargist or Boguest of Northumberland, Durham and Yorkshire, and the Boggart of Lancashire. Ours appears to be a good-tempered creature and soresembles the Capelthwaite dog of Westmorland, which was not only harmless but performed many kind acts, such as helping the owners of the barn in which he lived to drive sheep. The curious will find much of the lore of these apparitions in Notes on the Folklore of the Northern Counties of England and the Border, by W. Henderson (1879).

Equally the stories of skulls having miraculous attributes are not uncommon, such as those at Wardly Hall, Worsley, near Manchester, the Calgarth skull in Westmorland, and others.

According to some local story tellers there were other black dogs in the parish, as one at Smithbrook and another at Barmoor Clough, which must have been worth meeting for he “came out of a culvert with his head under his arm”. Not far from the haunt of the Ollerenshaw dog is the site of the cross now in the Churchyard, and a little further, nearer to Horwich, is Hob Croft, a name more than three centuries old, which may suggest the home of a Hoba fairy or Hob goblinusually, like our dog, a kindly spirit unless annoyed. It is open to speculate as to whether this district was, for some reason, in prehistoric times believed to possess some elements of sanctity.

Page 355


Practically all the following have been collected in conversation with people (many old and, alas, now dead) in and about Chapel. They are noted not so much as peculiar to this district, as that they are in danger of being forgotten in a generation taught “English” and encouraged to despise the vocabulary of their ancestors.

Anklebadgers or anklebadges. Hangers on or spongers.

A monghand : Off and on; occasionally.

Ause or Orse [sic]: Defined as to shape. e.g. Why don’t you orse?

Badging hook: A kind of sickle Iarger than an ordinary sickle.

Brade: A board or shelf e.g. the oven shelf on which oat cakes were baked.

Cale: A turn. By cales: Turn and turn about; Cf Cales Dale on One Ash Farm near Monyash where the members of the famous Bowman family for generations took turns to attend to the stock in a building in the dale.

Choose how; Which or what: Means apparently “Come what may.” A common local expression. An old farmer (c. 1890) discussing a business proposal, “Ou wunner a’t choosehow.” Anglice “My wife (not before mentioned) will not have it (agree) on any account.”

Collywest : Contrariwise. Stated to be “an old word”.

Don or Doff: To put on or take off; don thi bishop, put on thy pinafore.

Dation: A tub for making oat cakes. Used for laying the leaven.

Faberry: A gooseberry (Peak Forest).

Farrantly : Gradely, good, great or fine (? Lancashire).

Gasing: Looking. Dialect for " gazing ".

Gawming. Staring.

How leach" [sic phonetic] : Why don’t you?

Ild or ild up : To cover or covered up.

Kine the candle : Light the candle; from kindle.

Lobscouse: Irish stew.

Laping. Ladling

Nazzie. Bad tempered.

Page 356


Ou, hoo or whoo (Saxon): A wife, a cow or anything female. (See “Choosehow” above.)

Partlywhat : Seems to be a sort of expletive. I have only heard it used by one person, but have found it in a story of agricultural life in mid-Cheshire c. I866.

Redding comb: An ordinary hair comb.

Kinning comb: A small-tooth comb.

Shive: A slice, e.g. a shive of bread.

Sluft or Slouse: To box the ears.

Smerk : A smack.

Sam or Sammle: To gather up. (Not uncommon.)

Should have: Very commonly used in gossip or repeating a statement; e.g. “A should have said, or done, so and so.” Found in this sense in the Paston Letters 1452 (Gairdner’ s Edn. 1 p. 242).

Thrutch: A push. (Lancashire.)

Thrutched up. Harassed, very busy.

Tappy : To be near to death, or likely to die. Used by several old persons, who said the term was common at Peak Forest. It is suggested that this is derived from a Norman-French hunting term referring to the habit of deer to retire to some thicket when about to die.1

Welly : Well nigh, nearly (Lancashire).

Wart : To tumble over. During a wet summer in the I830’s there came a fine Sunday. The family of old Mr. Hibberson wished to lead the hay, and started to do so in spite of his objection, so he left them working and went to morning service. At the church door he turned to have a look at the haymakers at Bowden Hall, and as he gazed he saw a load fall over. “Dn,” said Mr. Hibberson, “Ah sed thou’t wart,” and went into church.

Warch: To ache (Peak Forest).

Having a parle: A phrase often used by an old lady when she had been gossiping.

The same lady, speaking of the growth of. a tree, said, when she was a girl it “was about as thick as a maid’s waist”.

On a very wet day, “It rains very dree.”

1 Tapenagesecret or sculking. Halliwell, Dictionary of Archaic and Provincial Words (I874). Old French Tapinage (Ducange), cf. tapir, to hide. Colgrave, French and English Dictionary (1611).

Page 357



Appleton, Mrs. J. “ Inglenook.”

Appleton, Miss A. Victoria Cafe.

Ashworth, F. H. “ Whitestones."

Attenborough, J. Esq. J.P.
Hayfield Road.

Arnfield, Miss E.J. “Ollerenshaw.”

Baddeley, Mrs. Brook Cottage,

Bagshawe, E. Esq., J.P. Ford Hall.
5 copies.

Bagshawe, F. E. G., Esq. Ford Hall.

Barber, Miss E. The Wash.

Barber, G. H. Burrfields.

Barber, Miss H. Slacke Hall.

Barnes, Misses A. and H. “ The

Beard, R. York House.

Beresford, J. Gorsly Low.

Beswick, Mrs. S. H. Ashbourne

Beswick, J. W. Ashbourne Lane.

Billington, F. Slacke Hall Lodge.

Blackham,A. “West Meade."

Bradwell, A. “ Ashlyn."

Bramwell, A. Market St.

Bramwell, Miss A. Market St.

Bramwell, Miss S. W. Market St.

Bramwell, J. J. Dove Holes.

Burdekin, J. R. “ Lyndene."

Burman, A. L. “ Brincliffe."

Capper, G. Manchester Road.

Carrington, E. Longson Road.

Carrington, J. W. ,”Moss View."

Carrington, Miss K. Park Road.

Chaloner, J. “ Sandiway."

Chapman, Mrs. A. Manchester

Cluett, M. Hayfield Road.

Colman, Mrs “ Albuera."

Collett, O. Queen Anne’s Close.

Cooper, J. R. Manchester Road.

Cottrill, G. Town End.

Cowtan, R. A. “ Welby Croft."

Crapper, Miss. Slacke Hall.

Craven, Mrs. “ Newlyn."

Dalton, Mrs. Burrfields.

Daw, C. W. Longfield House.

Dawson, W. Village Way.

Day, Mrs. M. Market Street.

Dinsdale, T “ Treeton."

Dove Holes C. E. Schools, Dove Holes.

Eaton, A. S. “Hillsborough."

Etchells, Miss. Spire Hollins.

Eyre, G. S. King’s Arms Hotel.

Eyre, R. Ashbourne Lane.

Farrar, J. G. L. Stodhart.

Featherstone, J. Town End.

Ferodo Ltd. Burrfields.

Ford, A. “ Fern Bank."

Ford, Mrs. D. H. Town End Villas.

Ford, E. L. “ Fern Bank."

Ford, F. E. “ Franwell."

Ford, Miss H. K. “ Fern Bank."

Ford, Miss M. “Aldersyde."

Ford, W. Horderns.

Frith, F. Reddish Green.

Froggatt, Miss. Dove Holes.

Fuzzard, Mrs. “ Athelstan."

Gibson, F. High Strect.

Goodman, Brig. Gen. Sir G. D., K.C.B.,
D.L. Eccles House.

Goodman, T C. B. Eccles House.

Page 358


Green, Miss A. “ Thornloe."


Green, R. Warmhrook Cottage.

Green, T. Sandyway Head.

Green, Rev. W. H. M.A. The Vicarage.

Greenhough, Mrs. “ Vernstall."

Gregory, G. S Hall Hill.

Hadfield, W. Esq., 1.P. Walton House.

Hadfield, Mrs. W. Walton House.

Hague, Mrs. High Street.

Hall, F. High Street.

Hall, W. “ Merion."

Harding, A. E. Buxton Road.

Hallam, Miss F. M. Clifton Terrace.

Hamer, J. Pyke House.

Harrison, Mrs. Cross Street. 2 copies.

Hawksworth, Mrs. Netherfield Road.

Haynes, E. Jubilee Road.

Heather, Mrs. F. Clifton Terrace.

Helps, Mrs. S. E. “ Hermay “.

Hewitt, Miss M. E. “ Woodleigh."

Hibbert, A. “ Ashdene."

Hill, Master G. E. Beech House.

Hill, H. M. Spring Cottage.

Hitchins, F. J. “ Briar Bank."

Hobson, W. R. Hawthorn House.

Howardl, H. High Street.

Hudson, Mrs. R “ Portinscale."

Hudson, W. A. Horderns.

Hughes, H. Breck Meadow. 2 copies.

Hughes, O. M. Higher Crossings.

Hull, Mrs. “ Nearwell."

Huss, H. P. Reddish Green.

Huss, P. D. Reddish Green.

Hyde, Miss H. Prospect House.

Ibbotson, Mrs. M. Smithbrook.

Imbery, Miss Horderns Road.

Ivinson, F. “ Isleworth."

Jackson, W. B. Rye Flatt, Combs.

Jagger, L. “ Basking Ridge."

Jones, Mrs. A. H. Horderns Park.

Jolles, J. F Marker Place.

JouIe, G. W. Bagshaw Hall Farm.

Kennedy, Dr. Burbage House.

King, A. “ Windy Knowle."

Kirk, Miss A. Buxton Road.

Kirk, J. 2 Buxton Road.

Kirk, T. “ Round House."

Lauder, F A., Esq., J.P. Bowden Hall.

Lees, S. E. Smithfield.

Le Peton, G. G. Old Brook House, Combs.

Lingard, W. C. Bridgeholme Green.

Lomas, E. H. Garnet Villas.

Lomas, G. Newfield Farm.

Lomas, Mrs. W. “ Lynedale."

Lomas, W “ Holmleigh."

Longson, N. Ashworth House.

Longson, S. Town End.

Longson, Mrs. W. Burrfields House.

Lowe, Mrs. The Ridge.

Lyall, C. Crossings Road.

Marchington, Miss A. Townend.

Marchington, A. Horderns.

Marshall, W. H. West Horderns.

Martin, F. Warmbrook.

Martin, J. G. Newfield Nurseries.

MelIor, G. New Smithy.

MelIor, J. F. “ Glenfield."

MelIor, R. Chapel Milton.

Middleton, Miss M. B. Highfield.

Moore, C. H. Horderns.

Morten, E. “ Riber."

Muir, J. Smith Brook.

Muir, K. “ Aldersyde." Road.

Mycock, Mrs. G. W. Manchester

NaIl, J. J. 5 Horderns Park Road.

Needham, Mrs. S. “ Higher Acrc."

Needham, T. A. “ Redseats." 2 copies.

Page 359


Palmer, A. Eccles Road.

Partington, T. Park Road.

Peers, Mrs. Manchester Road.

Phillips, Mrs. “Scavefield “ 2 copies’

Pinder, A. C. Market Place.

Pinder, Miss M. Market Place.

Pinder, T Burrfields.

Pink, Miss M. “ Hazelhurst."

Porteus, C. Glenmoira, Combs.

Potter, Miss E. Link House.

Potter,Joel. Link House.

Potter, Jas. “ Fair Meadows."

Robinson. J. S. Higher Crossings.

Rodger, J. C. “ The Thorns."

Saunders, L. The Golf House.

Scarlett, L. A. Crossings Road.

Scott, R Bank Hall.

Segalla, E. “ High Croft."

Sidebotham, E. Netherfield Road.

Sidebotham, J. “ The Hollies."

Sidebotham T. Netherfield Road.

Smith, O. M. High Street.

Spencer, Mrs., J.P. “ Frith Knoll."

Stables, Mrs. J. H. “ Parkhurst"

Statham, A. R. Rose Cottage.

Sutcliffe, W. “ Uplands."

Sykes, H. K. Eccles Road.

Tallent-Bateman, Mrs. Burrfields.

Taylor, Miss R. E. “ Higher Acre."

Towllson, T. W. Eccles Road.

Turberfield, F. The Methodist School.

Turner, G. H. “ Brook Bank."

Walker, Mrs. W. Chapel Milton.

Wallis, Miss. “ Windyhaugh."

Walton, W. “ Longacre."

Ward, Mrs. E. Town End.

Ward, S. 2 Woodbine Terrace.

Warhurst, Mrs. T. J. Netherfield Road.

Wherrett, J. S. Netllerfield Road.

Whitehead, Miss M. “ One Ash."

Whitworth, A. Rowton Grange Road.

Williams, J. F. “ Quiet Ways," Combs.

Wills, C. H. Ashbourne Lane.

Winterbottom, R. P.O. Chapel Milton.

Woods, C. Horderns.

Wood, W. Cross Street.

Wood, W. M. Bowden Lane.

Woolfenden, S. W. “ The Laurels."

Yeomans, W. A. Burrfields.


Aldous, F. Buxton.

Anderson, Miss. Buxton.

Arnfield, H. Whaley Bridge.

Arthur, Mrs. F. G. A. Dornoch, N.B.

Ashwell, Mrs. A. Buxton.

Aspell, Sir J.,J.P. Grange-over-Sands.

Bagshawe, Ed. G. Sheffield. 2 copies.

Barber, A. New Mills.

Barratt, P Bristol.

Barnes, E. Chinley.

Bennett, Miss G. H. Chinley.

Bennett, Jas. Chinley.

Bennett, Jno. Bedford.

Bennet, Rev. N. R. O. G., M.A. Johannesburg, S.A. 2 copies.

Bennett, C. J. Derby

Bowles, Capt. H. C. B., J,p. Baslow 3 copies.

Bowley, R. L. Buxton.

Brady, C. R. Davenport, Stockport.

Bramwell, J. Sheffield.

Bramwell, S. J. Wallasey.

Page 360


Brandreth, J. Buxton.

Bridge, T. H. Marple.

Broadhurst, J. W. Esq., J.P. Buxworth.

Broadhurst, J. Buxworth.

Brocklehurst, Mrs. T Chelmsford, Mass., U

Buxton Public Libraries. Buxton.

Charlton, Mrs. Gateshead.

Clarke, J. H. Whaley Bridge.

Clements, F. J. Hazel Grove.

Coltman, Miss W. M. B. Loughborough.

Coltman, W. E. B. Loughborough.

Cresswell, F. W. Urmston.

Crothers, A. Buxton.

Cunningham, Mr. and Mrs. T. E. London.

Davenport, E. N. Whaley Bridge.

Dawe, Miss. Buxton.

De Jongh, W. C. R. North Harrow.

Derbyshire, Education Committee.

Derby. 2 copies.

Elliott, Mrs. Chinley.

Ford, E. Blackpool.

Fowden, H. Adelaide, S. Australia.

Fowler, F. W. Chinley.

Fox, J. T Buxton.

Frith, T. Withington.

Gee, Miss D. Buxworth.

Gee, R. Buxworth.

Given, Mrs. West Bridgeford.

Goodbehere, E. Furness Vale.

Goodwin, N. C. Stockport.

Grist, Mrs. F. G. Glasgow.

Hall, Col. E., D.S.O., J.P. Whaley Bridge.

Hall, Mrs. M. E. Whaley Bridge.

Hamer, Mrs. F. Marple.

Hampson Bros. Buxton.

Heathcott, Miss A. Preston.

Heathcott, Miss G. Heaton Moor, Stockport.

Heyworth, Miss A. V. Perry Barr, Birmingham.

Heyworth, Mrs. E. Rochdale.

Hick, F. J. Blackpool.

Hick, J. W. Blackpool.

Hobson, T. Oldham.

Hodgson, G. W. T London.

Horrocks, W. A. Boscombe.

Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Heckmondwicke.

Kirk, A. Esq., J.P. Whaley Bridge.

Kirk, A. Old Trafford.

Kirk, G. A. Oxford. 2 copies.

Kirk, G. S. Heaton Moore. 3 copies.

Kirk, H. Norton-on-Tees.

Kirk, J. H. London.

Kirk, O. Colwall, Gt. Malvern.

Kirk, P. Norton-on-Tees.

Kyrke, Mrs. Venables. Plymouth.

Kyrke, H. Venables. Chard.

Law, Sir A. J., J.P. Littleborough. 2 copies

Leigh,. F. Manchester.

Lingard, J. Manchester. 2 copies.

Lomas, H. A. Sheffield.

Lomas, R. W Preston.

Longson, Miss H. J. London.

Lowe, Miss S. H. Buxworth.

Mackenzie, Mrs. New Mills.

Manchester Public Libraries, Manchester.

Marchington, J.P. Georgia, U S.A.
Marchington, R.P. Liverpool.

Marsden, W. Murtay. Famham.

Marsland, E. Chinley.

Medcalf, Mrs. J. M. Radlett.

Middleton, Rev. T. M., B.A. Castltown, I.O.M.

Morgan, Mrs. M. A. Barry Dock.

Morten, R B. Buxton.

Murray, P. P. Chinley.

Page 361


Nadin, J. H. London.

NaIl, J. D. Rhode Island, U S.A

Norbury, Mrs. N. Taxal.

Porritt, Mrs. M. I. Gee. Hawkhurst.

Potter, J. Y Buxton.

Renshaw, Mrs. E. Matlock. 3 copies.

Renshaw, A. H. Hampstead.

Richards, A S. Hendon.

Searles, Mrs. Toronto, Canada.

Shallcross, G. P. West Derby. ,

Shawcross, Mrs. F. Sheffield.

Shepley, P. K. Romiley.

Shepley, T. H. Skipton-in-Craven.

Shepley, T. Hazel Grove.

Shipton, Dr. W., J. P. Buxton.

Shipton, W. L. Buxton.

Simpson, A. New Mills.

Simpson, F. Buxton.

Slack, E. S. Whaley Bridge.

Slacke, F. A., C.S.I. Budleigh Salterton. 2 copies.

Smith, Mrs. A. H. Ripon.

Smith, Mrs. Percy. Whaley Bridge.

Stopford, Mrs. Shortheath. 2 copies.

Tallent-Bateman, W. T. Cheadle.

Taylor, S. Buxton.

Taylor, J. R. Weybridge.

Thomas, D. Nottingham.

Thornhill, R Great Longstone.

Townson, G. Heckmondwike.

Townson, W. N. Goring-on-Sea.

Walker, J. Furness Vale.

Walton, H. W. Withington.

Waterhouse, J. A. Louth.

Waterhouse, J. L. Bryn, Wigan. 2 copies.

Waterhouse, T. N. Harpur Hill.

Wild, H. E. Levenshulme.

Williamson, Misses E. and K Rusholme.

Wilson, B. Thornhill.

Wilshaw, F. Didsbury.

Wise, H. Oldham.

Young, A. Hayfield.


Page 363



Abney, 110, 143

— Wm. de, 95

Accounts, parish, 53, 255—7, 271

Allen, Allyn, Thos. (1452), 96

— fam., 129, 160, 163, 166

Altars in church, B.V.M., 75; High, 76

Alstonlee, 29, 89 156,163

Altitudes, xiv, 4, 114

Anavio, 8

Anchor Farm, 35

Ancient parish, the, xiii

Anglo—Saxons, 9

Anne, Queen, 200, 244

Apparitions, 229, 353

Arborlow, 2

Archer fam. 31, 66, 339—341

Archer’s wall, 16

Area of parish, xiv; arable, etc., 300;

wastes, 3oo

Armour, Elizabethan, 189

Arrows, use of, 184, 188—9

Ashbourne Lane 11, 66, 320

Ashe, Rev. Mr., 134, 205, 220, 229

Ashenhurst, Randle, 83, 185, 192, 194

Ashton, Hugh. Robert (1381), 103

— farm., 75, 103—4, 127. 284

— Chas. (Gorslylow), 285

— Fields, 173

Aspin croft, 322

Attachment Courts, 20, 41

Arkwright fam., 265


Bag House, 161

Bagshaw, 29; Hall, 141—3

Bagshawe, Bagsha, etc., Elias (1216—22),

90, 168; Jordan, 91; Nich.(1317), 94—5;

Wm. (1222—37). 90—1

— of Abney and Ford, Mr. Ernest, 334;

Mr.F.E.G., 5, 133, 210; Mr. W.H.G.,

130—3, 210; Mrs. M., 344; fam., 19, 36—8,

48, 58, 126, 130—4, 201—5, 210, 239, 305,

328, 331

— of Alstonlee, 108, 164. 309

— of Combs Head and Hurst, 158

— of Further Bradshaw. Nich. (1509),

112; fam., 112, 117, 132, 141, 143. 162

— of Greave House. 162

— of Hollin Knowle, Town Head, Marsh

Green and Hill Top, Chris.(1509), 152;

Geffrey (1467), 125; fam., 52, 82, 125.

152—4, 171, 173. 187, 195

— of Ridge, Nic. de Rugg (1281), 93;

fam., 36—9, 56, 59, 84, 103, 117, 144,

153—5, 158—9, 161, 166, 168, 170, 173,

191—2, 195, 287, 291, 309, 339—40

— of Oaks, 227

— of Town End, Saml. (1742), 143

— of Tideswell, Chris. (1452), 96

Bank Hall, 168, 172, 174

Barber, Barbour fam., 132 185, 204—5, 233,

313, 333—4; Chas., “an estate in

Chancery,” 134

Bardsley, Rev. B., 54, 73, 86, 217

Barlow, Rev. R., 57, 341

Barnes. Jno. (1519),98

Barnes—Slacke — see Slacke

Barney, Fras., Thos., Sr

Basingwerk Monastery, 90, 180

Bate, Ino., 104, 128; Robt., 104

Bearstake, the old, 63, 270

Bear—baiting, 269

Beavaumond, Ric., Wm., 92

Beggars in 16th century, 179

Bell Lane, 312, 323

Bells. Church, 79; Ringers, 79; Sanctus, 72

Bellott Wm. (1381). 157; fam., 143, 145,

156—7. 160, 162, 167—8, 171, 332

Beymondleys, 118

Bennett, Anthonie, l08; Grace, 61, 127,

215. 276—7; John (Rev.). 61. 12O, 219,

276; Ric. (1237), 91; Wm. (Rev.), 62, 127,

215; Wm. (writer), 62, 117, 170, 283—5

— of Lightbirch, 96, 106

— of Stodhart, 127—8, 147, 215, 226

— of Whitehough, 120

Bennett v. Jodrell, l08, 329

Bernake, Gervase de. 24

Berners, Matilda, 104

Bettfield, 132, 158


Blackbrook, 11, 29, 91, 102. 144. 151. 258,


Blind Lane (park Road), 66

— Jack of Knaresborough, 331

Boler, Bowler, fam., 130, 142

Bolt, Bought, Bogg Edge, 146, 155

Bostock. Fras., 160

Booth, Jno., 55. 119; Peter, 54

Boons. 310, 312

Page 364


Borough of Chapel, 32, 43; foundation of,

23ff.; rents, 32ff., 42; rental (1702), 36

Bowden, 10, 23, 59, 89, Chap. V passim

— Chapel Volunteers, 347

— Edge, 36, 130—156, 335

— Hall Estate, 124, 126, 135, 140

— Head, 102. 137; School, 65, 344

— Lane, 138, 320—1; Little, 137

— Middlecale, 12, 29, 89

— Quire, 73, 77

— Egidus de. 135; Nich. (1660), 136;
Wm. (1450), 135

— fam. of Bowden Hall, 84, 96, 135; Arms of,

— fam. of Laneside, 144, 194

Bowles, Mr. C.E.B., 11O, 155, 184; Mr.


Bowling Green Lane, 58

Bows and arrows, use of, 184, 188—9

Bozon, Robt., 92, 157, 308

— Hey, 157—8, 309

Bradbury, Hugh (1317), 94; Robt. (1650), 142

— fam. of Coldwell Clough, 203, 207, 221

— of Combs, Josiah (1726), 162; fam.,

130, 156, 162—3, 167

Bradley House, 40, 339

Bradshaw, 40, Ch. V passim

— Edge, 36, I03—30, 172, 335

Hall, 59, 89, 109

— — fam., 109—12, 155, 158

— Fras. (1618), 81, 110; Godfrey (1568),

184; Hen. (1521), 147

— of Marple Hall, Ino. (regicide), 111,

136; fam., 111, 125

— of Combs. fam., 159, 168; Wm., 97

— Further, 112, 143

Braddock, fam., 49, 341

Bramwell, Bramall, Bromel, fam., 78, 79;

Jno. (temp Hen. VII), 124; Philip (1514),

97; of Laneside, 114

Brewers,, 43, 96, 97

Bridgefield, 171

Briefs, 199

Broadlee, 29, 156, 162, 166, 334

Brockylhurst, Jone, will of, 76

Bronze Age, 2

Brookfield, 160, 168

Browne, Brown fam., 39, 172—4, 312; Nic.

(1620), 84; Ric. (1317), 94; Thos. (1688),

173—4; (1702), 36, 39

Buckley fam., l03, 106, 252

Bugsworth, 12, 29, 40, 321

Bull’s Head Inn, 40, 43ff., 312

Bull Ring, earthwork, 2, 155

— at Chapel, 50, 269

Burbage House, 40, 63, 267

Burgages, 31 ff., 93

Burgesses, 31 ff.

Burials, in church, 69, 76; of non—

parishioners, 30; in woollen, 267; at Ford,


Burrfields, 40, 124, 126

Buxton, Michael de, 144; German, Senr.

and Junr., 36, 56, 121, 158; William, 121

Byron, Rev. Jno., senr., 56, 85, 217

— — — Junr., 86, 145, 217, 239,

328, 334—5


Cadster, 6. 107—8, 287

Camheved—see Combs Head

Campana, Champion, Champagne, 13, 28—

29, 182—4

Candelabra, the, 75, 239

Capital of the Peak, argument for, 28 ff.

Carriers, l07, 272—5; London, 221, 327

Carrington, Arthur (1399), 95; fam., 36,

44, 56, 98, l04, 113, 119, 123, 145, 167,

178, 313, 332

Castle Naze, 4, 157, 167

Cattle, in forest, 21; plague, 251

Causeway, the, 322

Celts, the, 8, 11

Census (1801), 270; (19OI and 1931), 271

— religious, 108, 270

Chamber in the forest, 20, 23, 30

Champion fam., 214, 229, 235

Chapel Milton, 222, 231, 276, 284, 314

Chapel P.C.C. v. Bagshawe, 85

Charities, Apprenticeship, 336—7; for Poor,

333 ff.; Schools, 338 ff.

Charley Lane, 115—6

Charter, dated 1323, 115

— land, 109

Cheminage, 292

Cheshire Acre—see Forest Acre

Chesterfield, 201; Elder Yard Chapel, 219,

241; load, 316

Chinley, 3, 10, 29, 119—20, 261, 283—6

— Chapel, 201—9, 285, 335; chapel regis—


— Manse, 208; Common, 21, 184—6

Church, the Parish, Ch. 1V

— Advowson, the, 27 ff., 8o ff.; altars,


— Bowden Quire, 77; burials in, 76

— original chapel, 68; dedication of, 68,

266; foundation of, 23

— Font, 74; repairs and restorations, 68 ff.

— Yard, 78; trees in, 69

— Wardens, 255; bells, 79

Page 365


Church Brow, 43, 63—4; Gennel, 46, 56, 79

Clegg, Dr James, Chapters IX, X; Diary,

Chapter x

—quoted passim

Clementson fam., 112

Clifford fam., 158

Clough, 99, 150; Wm. le. 90; fam.—see

Ford Hall

Coaches, 254, 272—5

Cockyard, 172—3, 330; Cocking match at,


Coal working, 156, 310, 312—3

Coffins, stone, 64, 78

Colborne Moor, 25, 132, 305

Collynhay, Cornheys, 131 ; murder at. 96,


Combs, 29, 89. 156—78

— earthworks, 4; Edge. 172, 335; Head,

94, 162

— Mill, 164, 167—8, 287; Moss, 4. 8. 25.

168, 170; reservoir, 108. 157, 171. 252,


Commons, area of, 300; disagreements as to,

181—3, 252; division of, 194, 252; King’s

and tenants’ parts of, 194, 252; pre—

Conquest, 10, 13

— Chinley, 21, 184—6

Cook, Rev. C., 56, 71, 85

Cooper, Cowper, Edw. Ric. Wm. (1471),

172; fam., 84, 162. 172

Coroner of High Peak, appointment of, 133

Courses, 93, 116, 123; Farm, 116; Far or

Back, 117, 170

Coterel, Jno. (1349), 177; Jno. (1356), Robt.,

177; Ric., 178

Court Rolls, 1216—1691, Ch. V (many names

not separately indexed)

Courts, Attachment, Leets, etc., 41

—profits of, 298

Cowlow, 5, 170

Cresswell, of Blackbrook, fam., 144; of

Ford, fam., 131; of Higher Eaves, fam,

149; Rev. E., 81—4

Cromwell Cottage, 177—8; Croft, 36, 339,

341; House, 57—8, 178

Crosses, 13—17; Draglow, 16; Edale, 14;

Lady’s or Woman’s, 16; Market. 50;

Martinside, 16; Ollerenshaw, 17; Peas—

lows, 15; Shallcross, 17; Swyer, 15

Crossings, 89, 109, 112, 115, 126—8, 323

Croslie, T., 124

Crossley, Crosler, Steven, l08; fam., 98

Crossleys or New House, 108

Crown, reversion 0f Duchy to, 18


Dain, Deane, fam., 93. 164, 291, 334

Dane Hey, 171

Danes, the, 9. 11, 156

Danes (Deans) Yard, 40, 43, 267

Davenport, Barbara. Ll0; Jno. (1674), 289—

298; fam., 180—3, 254, 287, 340

Degge Estate, 36, 40, 215, 224

— Sir Simon, 135

Deodands, 114, 302

“Dickie of Tunstead,” 6, 159, 171, 353

Diglatch—see Hall Hill.

Directories, old (1792), 271; (1820), 273;

(1839), 274

Dixon, Dickson, Dykson, Wm. (1381), 117;

fam., 95—7, 117

— of Tunstead, 159

— Charities of Edward and Mary. 334, 339

Domesday, 1, 9, 13

Downlee, 172, 312

Dove Holes, 2, 155, 299, 320, 343

Drum and Monkey Lane, 138, 254, 320


Earthworks, 2

Easter offerings, 304—5

Eaves, the, 66, 147; Castleton Glebe, 148;

Higher, 35, 149; Lower, 147

Eccles, 89; House, 121; Road; 49, 53, 129,

166; Pike, 114, 321

Edges, Bradshaw, 36, 103—130; Bowden, 36,

130—56; Combs, 156—178

Elections, of Minister, 80—87; Parliamentary

(1701), 240—3; names of voters at, 242;

(1734). 245—7; (1832), 264

Elizabethan Armour, 189; innkeepers, 43;

maps, 13, 14, 38, 72, 132, 183; Musters,

189—92; wills, 76, 102

Expenses at parish meetings, 54

Eyre, Rowland, Thos., 178; Thos. (of Row—

ter), 161, 168

— fam. of Hassop, 63, 158, 178

— of Highlow, Wm., 31, 36

Eyres of Forest Justices, 88 ff.


Fairs, 53, 267, 270, 297—8

Fall Head, 107

Family agreement, a, 167

Farming, difficulties, 317; leases, 310—13;

prices, 316; 14th ctntury. 303; 15th cen

tury, 307; 18th century, 231, 314—18

Fence Months, 292

Fernilee, 13, 16, 17, 25, 252, 310. 326

Ferodo Works, 127, 167

Ferrers, Robt. de, 18, 26; Wm. de.. 18, 23,


Page 366


Fleming Estate, 117, 126

Foljambe, Wm. (1237), 91—2; fam., 91—5,

150, 157

Ford, de, or de la, fam.,90 ff.

— Hall, 5, 29, 130, 141, 229, 259

— fam., ringers, 79

Forest of High Peak, 1 ff.; Acres, 90, 155;

courts, 20; districts, 13; game, 10—20; law,

10, 18; officers, 18; tribute, 10; cattle in,

21; deer, 21, 182, 306; horses in, 22, 28,

89, 307—9; sheep in. 21, 182, 306; wolves,


Forge Works, 118, 120

Fox, fam. of Salford, Jno. Junr., 126

— of Further Brndshaw, 112

— of Martinside, 150

— of Spire Hollin, 158; Adam

(1797), 158

Freeholders, Election of Minister by, 84, 87;

suggested original, 40; Parliamentary

voters in 1701, 242; number in 18th cen—

tury, 242; in 1937, 265

Friendly Societies in 18th century, 259—64,

modern, 264

Frood, Herbert, 167

Frith, Jno. (1514), 97. Wm. (1715), 322

— Jno., of Bagshaw, 48, 141, 230

— fam. of Bank Hall, 174—7

— Squire, 51, 167, 174—7, 269, 346—7;

his hunting song, 51, 58, 176

Further Bradshaw, 112


Garlick, Geo., 138; Wm., 138

Gaskell, Fras., 107, 334; Ann, Jno., Peter, 174

Gautries Side, 156

Gee, Robt. (1519), 113; Jno. (Rev.), 114,

252, 329; fam., 106, 113—4; Harry, 58

General Musters, 189

Gibb, Gibbe, Gybb, Hugh (1423), 142;

Robt., 83; fam.,98, 141

Gilbert, Jno. (1509), 114; Wm. (1515), 97

Gilbery Gate Lane, 114

Gisborne, Fras. (Rev.), 336; Jno., 105, 129;

Thos., M.P., 104, 106, 264, 275, 300;

fam., 66. 117, 129, 153—4, 156, 160, 161,

168, 170, 173

Glebe land, Castleton, 148; Chapel, 113,

166; Buxton, 143

Glossop, 11; Hugh, 118; poor, 138

Gnat Hole School, 343

Goodman, Mr. D., 121, 275, 343; Geo., 121;

Thos., 346—7, 275, 342; Sir G. D., 122,

347, 349; fam., 62, 119, 121, 341—3

Gorstylow, 285

Gospel Brow, 203

Greave House, 148, 162

Greaves, Mrs. H. M., 57

Greggs, the, 126

Green, Wm., 66; fam., 40, 63, 129

Grreenlow, tumulus, urn, 5

Greensmith fam., 97, 141

Grey de Ruthyn, Lord, 136

Grundy, Rev. S., 87, 259

Guide books, xiii, 7, 237

Guycroft, 66


Halsteads, Hausted, 84, 93, 154, 308

Hall, Mr. E., 105, 343; Col. E., senr., 347—

348;Col. E., D.S.O., 349; Rev. G., 46,


Hall Hill and Diglatch, 115, 173, 330

Halley , fil Wm. (1440), 95; Thos., Hugh,

134; Wm. (1280), 308

Hamlets (1251), 29

Hand Green, 154

Harbutchers, 35, .36, 126

Harper Cottage, 123

Harrison, Thos., 138, 284

Haslehurst, Hurst, 89—90, 157

Hat and Feathers Inn, 39, 60

Hayfield, 13, 230, 323, 332

— Mill, 283; Tolls, 293

Haylee, 29, 90, 156, 159, 60

— Marshes, 160—1

Headborough, 32

Hearse house, the, 65

Heathcote, Jno., 313

Hell Holes, 161

Herbages, 154

HeIiots, 31, 253, 302

Hide, Hyde (Whitehough), 119

Hibbert fam., 79

High Peak, the Forest of, 1—22

— Street, 58, 125

Highways, 254; Surveyors of, I80, 255, 323

Hiring at wool fair, 53, 270

Hobcoft, 105, 354

Hobson, Agnes, 115, 118

Hockholme, 128, 207, 284, 286

Hollin Knowle, 66, 152—3, 323

Hollingworth, Holynworth,Geo.,137.Isabella,
137; Jno., 124; Robt., 124; Thos.

(1423), 137

Honford, Wm. (1323), 119; Michi, Wm.,

119; Wm. de, 102

Hope, original parish, 11, 17, I9 20, 24,

27, 29

Hopedale, 13, 20, 94

Horderns, Hordron, 11, 29, 91, 125—6, 146,

177—8, 334, 339; Ric de, Wm. de, 95

Page 367


Horses in the forest, 22, 28, 89, 154, 182,


Hlorse fair, 129

Horwich, 89, 92, l04; tragedy at, 266

“House row," 32, 255

Hunter’s Farm, 137

Hunting song, Squire Frith’s, 5, 58, 176


Inquisition a.q.d. at Fairfield, 24, 94, 142, 148

Inns, local, Ch.II; social and public use of,

43, 214

Innkeepers, Elizabethan, 43


Jackson fnm., 156, 160, 167

Jodrell, Bagshaw alias, 1o8, 64, 309

Jodrell, Ghotrell, Geo.(1471), 107; Nic., 97

John, King, 18

Justices of the Peace, meeting places, 41.

marriages by, 194; Forest Eyres, 88


Kinder, Philip, 237

King’s Arms Inn, 53, 59, 85. 110, 125, 214

Kirk, Robt., statement of, 32, 123, 174. 177

— Charity, 341

— Kirke, Kyrke, Walter del (1399), 95;

Ottiwell, will of, 102

— of Courses, fam. of, 116

— of Eaves, Mr. Hy., M.A., 148; fam.,

66, 148, 328

— of Hall Hill, 117

— of Lnneside, 114—5

— of Martinside, 116, 148, 150. 155,

169, 195

— of Shireoaks, 158

— of White Hills, 167

— of Whitehough, Catherine, 119; 115,


— Ironfounders, 39, 137, 143—4, 151—2,

155. 169


Ladylow 5

Lady’s or Woman’s Cross. 16

Lancaster, Duchy of, 18, 19, 31, 96

Lancastrian raid, 96

Lane Head, 107

Laneside, Bradshaw Edge, 114, 128

— Bowden Edge, 144

Lauder, F. A., Esq., 136, 140

Law suits, 3dvowson, 27, 83, 85; King’s

Mills, 288—9; Lightbirch, 109; parish dis—

putes. 233—4; tithes, 27; tolls, 292—8;

Wilkin Hill, 108, 329; a legal quibble, 265

Lay subsidy (1327), 94

Lenses, for lives. 310—I2; by burgesses, 142

Lees, Stephen de, 91

Legh, Leigh, Legh, Peter Wm. (1233), 90;

Reynold, l09; Robt. (1509), 134, 140;

fam., 99, 101—3, 113, 119, 134, 137—8,

144, 193; of Adlington, IOI, lo3; of High

Legh, 186; of Eggington, 101, 103

Lenton, Prior of, 27, 91, 93

— Priory, 26, 29, 81, 156, 301

Leys, the, 143, 319

Liehfield, Dean and Chapter of, 26—8, 80 ff.,

85, 239, 301, 303—4

Lidgate, Lydgate, 93, 113

Lightbirch, Little Birches, 29, 89, 90, 98—9, I02—9

Limestone, carriage of, 325, 327

— quarries, 154, 299

Lingard, Walter (1524) ,98; Rev.Jno. 128, 258; Major Jos., 349; fam., 36. 40, 99,

128, 137, 192

— of Slack Hall, 140, 198

— of Chapel Milton, 287—8, 314

Little Ridge— see Bank Hall

Lock up, proposed, 47

Lomas, Lumhales, Lomalls, of Eaves, 148;

— of Thornilee, 159; of Rye Flatt, 129, 167

Longdendale, Langdendale, 13, 20, 29, 41,

91, 99

Longevity, .. “instance of hereditary,” 154

Lowe fam., 113, 149, 153—4, 166


Maglow Farm, 141; tumulus. 5, 141

Malcoff, Malcalf, etc., 29, 89. 90, 92, 102,

130—5, 214, 314

Maps, of Commons. I5, 16, 38. 132. 169,

183; Tunstead Milton. etc.. l08. 329; of

Graves, 77; Morden’s. 24

Marchington, Marchenton. etc.. Wm.

(1222—8), 91, 93; fam., 49, 92—3, 96, 98,

147, 318, 40

Market, Cross. 50; House, 51—3; Place, 49,

50, 58, 123; Street, 59, 321

— Resolutions re (1809), 52

Marsh Green. 152—3, 323

Marsh Hall, 153, 172, 323, 330

Marshall fam., 130, 162; Thos., 336

Marriott fam., 114, 138, 142

Martinside, 56, 91, 94 97, 149—51, I57—8, 177

Mary Queen of Scots, 59, 179, 187

Maynestonefield. 283—6

Memorial Park. 58

Mellor, of Tunstead. 104, 159; “Widdow

Page 368


“Mellors," 188; Recusants, 188, 195; of

Town End, 36, 143

Mercians, the, 9

Metcalfe, John, 331

Methodists, the, 218—9, 238, 276 ff.; Church

and Schools, 147, 277 ff.; Primitive, 281

Meverel, Geo., 99; Jno., 149; fam., 178

Middleton, Robt., 48, 51, 125, 235, 315;

Thos., 235; fam. of Rushop, 60, 156

Mill Marsh, 207, 286

Mills, Combs, 281; Hayfield, 283; Mayne—

stonefield, 231, 283—6; New Mills, 286;

Tunstead, 283; Whaley, 290; Law suits as

to, 289—91

Minister, election of (1836), 46; nomination

of by parishioners, 26, 80, 85—7; status of,

25; stipend (1650), 304; additions to, 57,

113, 154, 166, 333—6

Militia—see Trained Soldiers

Mixed races in the forest, II

Monasteries, 26, 29, 301; effect of dissolu tion
of, 179

Morten, Fras. (1679), 113; Ric. (1471), 163

— fam. of Haylee, 160

Mortuaries, 76, 302—4

Mosley fam, of Mosley Hall, 98—9, 105

— Rev.R., 148, 162

Mosse, Wm. de, 160

Moult, MaId, Molt, etc., Roger (1285). 92;

R. W. (1804), 172; fam., 60, 92, 95,98—9,

108, 118, 121, 158, 328, 341

Murfin Croft, 32, 34, 178

Musters, Elizabethan, 189


National Schools—see Schools

Needham, Chris. (l440), 95; Robt., 143,

341; Saml. (Lower Eaves), 147, 336; fam.

of Perry Foot and Rushop, 113, 143. 147—

148, 336, 341

Neighbourships, 155

New Chapel, 208; Mills. 286; Smithy. 208

Newfield, 129

New Hall, the, 51

Nightingale. Florence, 164

Normans. the, 10, 18


Old coach road, 16, 327

Oldknow, Saml., 171, 346—7

Old Parsonage. the, 56

Ollerenshaw, Alreshage.96, 107, 159; Adam

de (1251), 92—3, 107; Ric. (1225),90; fam..

97, 107; Cross, 17

Oliver, Benet, 103

Orgill, Thos., 51, 126

Overseers of the Poor, 180, 256—8

Owlgreave, 172


Papists, 83, 148, 187, 194, 218, 240

Paupers, treatment of, 179, 256, 271

Parish, accounts, 255—7, 271; area of

ancient, xiv; book, 194, 254—5; charities,

256; registers, 181, 193

Parsonage, Old, 56, 335

Partington fam., 145

Peak Forest, the, 1, 8—11, 23—30

— Tramway, 62, 154, 252

Peaslows, Persclough, 178; Cross, 15

Penny Hill, 53, 270

Peverel fam., 17, 19. 26—7, 156, 307

— Honour of, 13, 17

Phoenix, a girl’s adventure, 144

Pickford, Jno., 47; Mary, 54

Pinfold, the Duchy, 296; Farm, 142

Pipe rack, an old, 44

Place names, 11, 283

Plompton, Plumpton, 46, 135

— Sir Robt., 158; Wm., 95

Plumbe, Mrs. 119

Poor or poor’s piece, 305

— Overseers of the, 18o, 256

Population, xiv., 199, 270—1

Posts, the, 55, iq, 272, 274

Potter fam., 112

Potters Knowle, 128

Presbyterianism, 201, 204, 216, 234, 241

Prior Acres, 322; Water, 322

Purley , Wm. (1471), 134

Pyegreave, 163, 166


Qunkers, burying ground, 140, 195—8

Queen Anne’s Bounty, 57, 113, 143, 148, 166


Ragged, Thos. le, senr. and junr., 94; Ric.. 89

Ramscar House, 36, 38, 61

— fam., 38, 61

Railways, 275

Ratcliffe fam., 117, 163, 335

Rates and Taxes, 255, 271

Rebellion (1715). 249; the ‘45, 249—51

Recusants, 153, 159, 185, 187, 195—9

Reddish Green, 143, 151

Registers, Parish, 181, 193—4

— Chinley Chapel, 209

Reservoir, Combs, l08, 130, 157, 171

Ridge Hall, 168; Estate, 130, 153, 168, 171, 177

Page 369


Ridgeway fam., 173, 285,

Roads, ancient, 3, 15—7, 130

— Turnpike, 254, 324ff.

— to London, 327

Robinson, Jno., of Chesterfield, 163

Robinson’s land, 139

Roebuck Inn, 51, 175, 277

Roeside, 112, 337

Roman, traces of occupation, 3, 4. 8

Roosdych, the, 7, 104

Royal Oak Inn, 33, 39, 41, 59, 85,110, 214

Rushop, 15, 156, 183, 305, 334

— Herbage, 142, 155

Rye Flatt, 167


Salt, use of, 232, 311

Savage, John, 124, 126

Savings Bank, 275

School, Croft, 275; Charities, 338

Schools, Bowden Head, 344; Dove Holes,

343—4; Gnat Hole, 343; Methodist, 278.—

281; National, 58, 338—44

Scots, Mary Queen of, 59, 179, 186

— Army, 192

Seward, Anna, Rev. Mr., 217

Shallcross fam., 51—2, 104, 107, 125, 168,

191—2; Hall, 192; Cross, 17

Sheep, 21 181,301, 306, 309, 235

Sherwood Foresters (T.A.), 349

Shireoaks, Shayracks, etc., 102, 133—5

Sherd or Suite, Dorothy , 116

Shirt fam., Bowden Head, 137; “Candletick
John," 239

Shore, Samp., 97, 126; Ric., 124

Shore Hay, 127

Shotta’s bear’, 269

Shrewsbury, Countess of, 80, 193

— George, Enrl of, 59, 179 ff.

— Gilbert. Earl of, 187, 190

Sitch Croft, 33, 35

Sidebotham, Mr. Ino., 57, 59, 80, 280;

Robt. (1329), 304

Silkhill, 105, 113, 326

Slac, Rad de (1228), 90

Slack, Slacke fam., 120, 139, 159; Mr.

Fras. A., C.S.I., 139; Hy., 139; Jno.,

J.P., 64, 136—40; .Tos. (1726), 138—41;

Thos. (Chunal), 139; Thos. (Dr.). 64.


Slack Hall, 5, 102, 139——40, 319, 332

Slacke, Barnes—, Rev. W. S., 136, 140

Smith, Nicholas. 44, 49, 113, 178

— Bridge, 40, 322

Soldiers; wounded, 192; trained, 189—91,

247; ballot for, 249

Spark Bottom, 112

Sparrow Pit, 15, 328, 332

Spire Hollin, 158

Sport, 18, 258; Dr. Clegg on, 223

Stavenby, Bishop, 24. 26, 266

Steel, Steele, Peter, 48, 142

Stevenson, Ric. (1549), 149; Ric. (1625), 149

Stocks, the, 49

Stockport, 258, 316

Stone coffins, 64, 78

Suite; Shute, Dorothy, 44, 178, 337

Surveyors of Highways, 180, 323

Swainmotes, 20, 40

Swan Inn, 51, 269

Swyer Cross, 15


Tailour, Robt. le, 147

Taxal, 21, 92, 113—4, 287

Taylor fam. (1504—1654), 147

— Barmoor, 112

Terrace Road, 34. 49, 50, 63, 321

Territorials, the, 349

Thirdborough — see Headborough

Thomasson fam., 108

Thorn Inn and Farm, 34, 38, 64, 78

Thornilee, 29, 90, 156, 159

Thornhill, Geo. (1634), 195; (1702), 36;

Hump. (1692), 143; fam., 34, 123, 125

126, 134—5, 145—7, 154—5, 171, 219, 232

— of Ollerenshaw Hall, 107

Thornhill v. Tooker, 26, 83, 142

Thornholme, 118, 120

Tithes, 300—7; claims to, 27, 301; value of, 300—1

Token, N. Smith’s, 45

Toleration Acts, the, 196, 203—4, 241

Tollbooth, 34, 39, 296

Tolls, of mills, 282—92; of markets, 292—8

Tom Lane, 329

Topping House, 36, 40, 49, 341

Town, End., 89, 277, 320; Gate, 39 49.

264, 321; Hall, 64—5; Head, 23, 36, 53, 56;

End Farm, 141, 143

Townships in ancient parish, xiv

Trained soldiers, 189—91. 247, 347; ballot for, 249

Tramway, Peak Forest, 62, 154, 252

Travel and transport, dangers of. 199, 312.

318, 321, 327

Trickett, Jos., 134, 136; Lane, 135

Tumuli, 5 ff..

Tunstead, 6, 29, 107—8, 159

— Mill. 283. 287—91

— fam., Stodhart, 128

— “Dickie of,” 6. 159; tumulus, 6

Tyburn tickets, 258

Page 370



Urn, the Greenlow, 5


Vernon fam., of Haddon, 116, 131—2 of

Hazlebadge, 131; Jno. (1730), 167

Visitor impressions of a, 259

Voters (1701), 240; names, 242; (1734) 246;

(1837), 264

Volunteers (1745), 250; (1803), 346; (1859),



Wainstones, 161

Wainwright fam., 142, R., 36

Wainnright v. Bagshan, 233

Wakes, antiquity of, 266; Wool Fair, 267;

two views of, 268

War Memorial (1914—18), 51

Walker’s Farm, 129

Ward of Brownside, fam., 129, 160

Warmbrook, 38, 89, 90, 145—7, 321

Warrington, Alice (1509), 130; Edmund,

104, 126

Wash, the, 102, 138

Wastes— see Commons

Water supply from Courses, 3

Waterhouse, Mr. (1826), 138

— fam., Hayfield, 137, 139

— Sheffield, 141, 171

Waterside, 138—9, 284

Watson, Holland, 106; H.C., 106

Wattcroft, 159

Weather in 18th century, 315

Welcote lands, 107

Wesley, Jno., 120, 219, 238, 276

Whaley Mill, 290; Bridge, 90, 326, 331

White Hall, Chinley Mills, 119, 121

— Estate. Combs, 157—68

Whitehough, Whitehalge, 12, 29, 89, 95,

96, 102, 115, 117, 323

— Hall, 118; Head, 119

White Hills, 29, 56, 167

Whitesyde. 142, 155

Wilkin Hill, 108, 329

Wife, sale of, 264

Wilshaw, 119

Withen Lache, 161

Wills, Jno. Bennett, 75; lone Br0ckylhurst,

76; Nic. Cresswell, 145; Ottiwell Kyrke,

102; Jno. Wright, 161

Wool croft, 6, 267, 307, 321

— fair, 53, 267, 270

— tithes of, 307

Woollen, burial in, 257

Wright, Edw.’s house, 104


Yule loaf, 48

Yeaveley, Geo. (1571), 52, 80, 84, 124; Geo.

(1596), 120; Katherine, 104, 312; Thos.

and Constance, 120; Ric., 120

1notgnihcram trebor. DA0002


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