Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1817.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
ECKINGTON, in the hundred of Scarsdale and deanery of Chesterfield, lies about seven miles from Chesterfield. The parish is divided into four quarters; Eckington, Mossborough, Renishaw, Ridgway, and Troway. Each of these has its overseer and churchwarden. The principal villages or hamlets are, Bole-hill, Bramley, Ford, and High-lane.
The manor of Eckington was given by Wulfric Sprott, in the reign of King Ethelred, to Burton-Abbey. (fn. n1) The Survey of Domesday describes it as belonging to Ralph Fitzhubert. The Stotevilles inherited half the barony of Fitzhubert, of which half this manor was part. (fn. n2) Sir John Darcy, to whom it had been granted in 1340, on the forfeiture of Sir John Stoteville, died seised of it in 1344. The coheiresses of Lord Darcy, in the reign of Henry VI., married Strangeways and Conyers. In or about the year 1540, Sir James Strangeways conveyed this manor to William Lord Dacre. On the attainder of Leonard Dacre it became forfeited to the crown; and was leased, in 1570, to Henry Carey, Lord Hunsdon. This manor continued on lease to the Carey family till after the death of Robert Carey, Earl of Monmouth, in 1639. During the interregnum, it was seized as crown property. King Charles II., in 1675, granted a beneficial lease to the loyal Lord Frecheville, for 99 years, which expired in 1774. A new lease, for 28 years from that period, was granted to Andrew Wilkinson and others: the term was in 1783 enlarged for 11 years further, commencing in 1802. This estate was assigned by the lessees, in 1804, to Sitwell Sitwell, Esq., afterwards Sir Sitweli Sitwell, Bart.; and the lease is now vested in his son, Sir George Sitwell, Bart.
In the parish church are monuments of the Sitwell family (fn. n3); the families of Wigfall, and Newton of Renishaw (fn. n4); Francis Stringer, Esq., of Stoke, in the High-Peak, 1727; and the Lady of Sir William Wake, Bart., who died in 1791. There are some memorials also of the family of Stones, of Mossborough. (fn. n5)
The King is patron of the rectory of Eckington, with the chapel of Killamarsh. The advowson was in the Rolleston family in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. (fn. n6)
The free-school at Eckington appears to have been founded by Mr. Thomas Cam, at the beginning of the last century (fn. n7); and endowed with lands let at 19l. per annum about the year 1787, when a return of charitable donations was made to the House of Commons. George Sitwell, Esq., in 1717, gave the school-house and a close; Lady Frecheville, in 1719, the sum of 100l. The present revenue of this school is about 70l. per annum.
Mossborough seems to have been purchased of the Burtons about the year 1671, by the family of the Stones, who possessed the hall, and resided there for several generations. It is now the property and occasional residence of Mrs. Elizabeth Poynton, widow, sister and devisee of the late Samuel Staniforth, Esq., of Mossborough-hall.
Mr. Joseph Stones, in 1680, gave lands, let about thirty years ago at 61. per annum, for teaching 15 children at Mossborough. Anne Stones, in 1702, gave 2l. 10s. per annum to this school, which, in the return of charitable donations, is spoken of as supposed to be lost. The present value of its endowment is under 20l. per annum.
Renishaw-hall and estate belonged for some generations to the family of Wigfall. It was purchased by Francis Sitwell, Esq., of Eckington, who dying without issue in 1753, it devolved by bequest to Francis Hurt, Esq., his cousin, who took the name of Sitwell, and was father of Sitwell Sitwell, Esq., created a Baronet in 1808. Sir Sitwell died in 1811, and was succeeded in title and estate by his son, now Sir George Sitwell, Bart. Renishaw-hall was enlarged and altered by the late baronet.
Killamarsh, a parochial chapelry, lies about three miles from Eckington and ten from Chesterfield. Killamarsh, is described in the record of Domesday by the name of Chinewoldemaresc, as having two manors; one of them belonging to Ascoit Musard, the other to the King's Thanes. We have not been able to trace both these manors. We find that Philip de Dovecote held a manor in Killamarsh in the reign of King John; Cecily Meynell, in the succeeding reign; and in that of Edward II. Hugh, son of William de Kinwaldmarsh: but at a later period, we find no record of any other manor of Killamarsh, than that which was held in the reign of Henry II. by the family of Hathersage, and passed in moieties to the Longfords and Goushills, as representatives of that family. Sir Ralph Longford died seised of a moiety of this manor in 1513. Sir William Holies died seised of the other moiety in 1542. In 1551, the last-mentioned moiety was sold by Sir Thomas Hoiks to Sir Richard Pype and George Basford: Sir Richard died seised of it in 1587. It is now the property of Sir George Sitwell, Bart. The Hewets had considerable property in this parish, which passed by marriage to the Osbornes, but whether they were possessed of the manor, we have not been able to ascertain.
The manor of Killamarsh was held by the tenure of providing for the King's army in Wales, a horse of the value of 5s., with a sack and a (fn. n8)spur, for four days.
The following inscription is on a tablet affixed to the outside of Killamarsh chapel. "To the memory of John Wright, a pauper of this parish, who died May 4th, 1797, in the hundred and third year of his age. He was of a middle size, temperate and cheerful, and in the trying situation of darkness, poverty, and old age, bore his infirmities with such Christian meekness as excited the benevolence of good men, and is here recorded as an instructive lesson to others. Rev. C. Alderson, B.D., P. P. P., anno D˜ni 1797."
In the year 1720, Robert Turie of Sheffield, clerk, gave a house, then valued at 2l. 7s. 6d. per annum, for the purpose of instructing six children. John Kay gave a school-house. In 1747, Mrs. Sarah Pool gave 30l. to this school; Philip Butcher the same sum in 1749; and in 1752, Mrs. Margaret and Mrs. Mary Pole, a house and some land, le in 1786, at 5l. 8s. per annum. The whole endowment is now between 12l. and 13l. per annum.
EDENSOR, in the hundred and deanery of the High-Peak, lies about ten miles west from Chesterfield, and about three from Bakewell, which is the post-town. This parish contains the townships of Edensor and Pilsley.
The manor of Edensor (Ednesoare) was in the reign of Edward the Confessor the joint property of Levenot and Chetel; when the Survey of Domesday was taken it belonged to Henry de F rrars. The mesne signiory was for several generations, at a remote period, vested in the ancestors of the Shirley family. The immediate possession appears to have been in the Foljambes, whose heiress brought Edonsor to Sir Robert plumpton. Sir William Plumpton, grandson of Sir Robert, died seised of it in 1480. His daughters and coheirs married Sotehill and Rocliffe, A moiety of this manor passed by marriage to the Cliffords, and was sold by George Clifford, Earl of Cumberland, to the Countess of Shrewsbury. Sir Ralph Langford, who it is probable purchased of the Sotehills or their heirs, died seised of the other moiety in 1513. (fn. n9) The whole is now the property of the Duke of Devonshire. The manor of Pilsley has passed with that of Edensor.
In the parish church are the monuments of Henry Cavendish, Esq. (fn. n10), of Chatsworth, who died in 1616; his younger brother William, the first Earl of Devonshire, who died in 1625; and John Beton, an attendant on Mary Queen of Scots, who was employed by the Royal captive in various negotiations: he died at Chatsworth in 1570. (fn. n11)
The church of Edensor was given by Fulcher, son of Fulcher, ancestor of the Shirleys, to the monastery of Rocester in Staffordshire. The Duke of Devonshire is impropriator of the tithes, and patron of the donative.
There is a school at Edensor, founded, in 1734, by Mr. John Philip, for poor children of Edensor, Pilsley, and Beeley; and endowed with a moiety of the rent of land directed to be purchased with the sum of 100l. The present amount of this moiety is 2l. per annum: the other moiety goes to the school at Hardwicke. The schoolmaster receives also 30l. per annum from hie Grace the Duke of Devonshire. (fn. n12)
Adjoining to Edcnsur, is the extra-parochial hamlet of Chatsworth, well known as having been long the chief country seat of the noble family of Cavendish. Chatsworth is written in the Domesday Survey Chetesvorde, it would have been more properly Chetelsvorde, as no doubt it took its name from Chetel, one of its Saxon owners, mentioned in that survey. William Peverel held it for the King, when the Survey was taken. The manor of Chatsworth was for several generations in the family of Leche or Leech. John Leche, Esq., one of the King's surgeons, was of Chatsworth, in the reign of Edward III. This family became extinct about the middle of tlre sixteenth century. Chatsworth was sold by Francis Leche, who died in or about the year 1550, to the family of Agard, of whom it was purchased by Sir William Cavendish.
Sir William Cavendish, who may be said to have been the founder of the two noble houses of Newcastle and Devonshire, was son of Thomas Cavendish, who held an office in the Court of Exchequer. Here, it is probable, he attained that knowledge which qualified him to be an useful instrument in the Reformation. The eminent talents and zeal which he displayed in this important work appear to have gained him the favour of his Sovereign, and to have raised him to considerable honours and preferments. (fn. n13) In 1530, he was made one of the commissioners for visiting religious houses; and in 1539, one of the auditors of the newly erected Court of Augmentations: as a reward for his good services to the crown, in these employments, besides some valuable grants of abbey lands, he was, in 1546, made Treasurer of the Chamber, was knighted, and admitted of the Privy Council. Sir William Cavendish died in 1557. It is well known, that his last wife, (the heiress of Hardwicke) and widow of Robert Barley, Esq., became eventually Countess of Shrewsbury; William, his second son, by this lady, who, on the death of his elder brother, in 1616, inherited the bulk of his large estates, had previously, (in 1605) through the interest of his niece, Arabella Stuart, been created Baron Cavendish of Hardwicke; in 1618, he was created Earl of Devonshire. William, the third Earl, was, in the reign of Charles I., a zealous royalist; his younger brother Charles was much distinguished in the field, and lost his life in the royal cause; William, the fourth Earl, inherited his family's attachment to the house of Stuart, but when the conduct of James II. was such as brought the Protestant religion, and the liberty of his subjects in the free exercise of it, in danger, he was one of the first to project, and the most zealous to promote, the measures, which happily ended in his abdication, and the peaceable accession of the Prince of Orange to the throne of these realms. In 1694, he was created Marquis of Hartington and Duke of Devonshire. This noble Duke and his successors have held high offices in the state, and have been successively Lord-Lieutenants of this county. William, the third Duke, who, in addition to other high offices which he bore, had been Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, spent the latter part of his life in retirement at Chatsworth, and died there in 1755. Chatsworth is now the property and chief country residence of his great-grandson, William Spencer, the sixth Duke and ninth Earl of Devonshire of this noble family.
The Leches had a respectable mansion at Chatsworth, with a park. Sir William Cavendish, soon after his purchase of the estate, pulled down the old hall, and began the building of, what Camden calls, a spacious elegant house, which was left unfinished at his death, and completed by his widow. This mansion, which appears to have been a quadrangular building, with turrets, was the occasional residence of Sir William Cavendish's widow, during her union with her fourth husband, George Earl of Shrewsbury. This Earl having been entrusted with the custody of Mary Queen of Scots, Chatsworth-hall acquired a more than common interest, as having been one of the prisons of that unfortunate Princess. She appears to have been resident at Chatsworth for some months in 1570, having been removed thither from Winfield-Manor. In the month of October this year, Lord Burleigh (then Sir William Cecil) and Sir Walter Mildmay, being then engaged in the preliminaries of a negotiation between Queen Elizabeth and her royal Prisoner, remained for twenty days at Chatsworth. (fn. n14) Sir William Cecil, writing to the Earl after his return to Court, thanks him for " his chargeable and lovyng interteynment of them." In this letter, he says, "the Q's Maty is pleased yt your L. shall, when yow see tymes mete, suffer yt Quene to take ye ayre about your howss on horsebacke, so your L. be in co[m]pany; and not to pass fro[m] your howss above one or twoo myle except it be on ye moores." (fn. n15) Soon after this the Queen of Scots was removed to Sheffield Castle, which was her chief residence during the ensuing fourteen years, indeed, we believe her only residence, except a few removes to Chatsworth and Buxton. It appears that she was at Chatsworth in 1573, 1577, 1578, and in 1581. (fn. n16) In 1577, Lord Burleigh observes to the Earl, that he thought Chatsworth " a very mete hows for good preservation of his charge, having no town of resort wher any ambushes might lye." (fn. n17) It appears that the royal Prisoner was never removed from one house to another, without the Queen's express permission: (fn. n18) in 1580, though it was much urged by the Earl and his friends, the Queen refused to permit him to go with his charge to Chatsworth, because his daughter-in-law, Lady Talbot, " was so near lying in childbed," and she would not suffer any of his children to be with him " wher this Quene (fn. n19) was." In 1577, the Queen wrote with her own hand, to thank the Earl and Countess of Shrewsbury for their hospitable entertainment of her favourite minister, the Earl of Leicester, at Chatsworth. (fn. n20)
Chatsworth old hall acquired additional interest, in an historical point of view, from having been occupied as a fortress in the civil wars, both on the side of the King and of the Parliament: it Was garrisoned for the latter by Sir John Gell's forces, in 1643. After the Earl of Newcastle had taken Winfield manor, he possessed himself of Chatsworth-hall in the month of December of the same year, and placed a garrison in it for the King, under the command of Colonel Eyre. In the month of September, 1645, the governor of Welbeck put a fresh garrison into Chatsworth, with three hundred horse, under the command of Colonel Shalcross. About this time, Major Molanus was sent against it with four hundred foot, who besieged it fourteen days, when they received orders from Colonel Gell to raise the siege and return to Derby.
Dr. Kennet in his memoirs of the family of Cavendish, after relating the circumstance of the first Duke (then Earl) of Devonshire having been prosecuted in the court of King's-Bench, and fined 30,000l., for striking Colonel Culpepper in the King's presence chamber, adds, " it was under this load of difficulties that he first projected the new glorious pile of Chatsworth, as if his mind rose upon the depression of his fortune. For he now contracted with workmen to pull down the south side of that good old seat, and to rebuild it on a plan he gave to them, for a front to his gardens, so fair and august, that it looked like a model only of what might be done in after ages. When he had finished this part he meant to go no further; till seeing public affairs in a happier settlement, for a testimony of ease and joy, he undertook the east side of the quadrangle, and raised it entirely new, in conformity to the south, and seemed then content to say, that he had gone half way through and would leave the rest for his heir. In this resolution he stopped about seven years, and then reassumed courage, and began to lay the foundations for two other sides to complete the noble square, and these last, as far as uniformity admits, do exceed the others, by a west front of most excellent strength and elegance, and a capital on the north side, that is of singular ornament and service. And though such a vast pile (of materials entirely new) required a prodigious expence, yet the building was his least charge, if regard be had to his gardens, water-works, statues, pictures, and other the finest pieces of art and of nature that could be obtained abroad or at home."
Dr. Kennet's account of the building of Chatsworth is confirmed, in most points, by the auditor's account, and a book of the artists' and tradesmen's receipts, of which we have obtained the perusal, through the permission of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire. It appears that the south front of the present magnificent mansion was begun to be rebuilt on the 12th of April, 1687, under the direction of Mr. William Talman, the architect: the great hall and staircase were covered in about the middle of April, 1690, from which it appears, that the inner flank of the east side was built up immediately after the south front. In the month of May, 1692, the works were surveyed by Sir Christopher Wren, at which time upwards of 9000l. appears to have been expended. In 1693, Mr. Talman was paid 600l. in advance, for building the east front and the north-east corner. The east front appears to have been finished in 1700, and in that year the old west front was pulled down. The old south gallery was pulled down to be immediately rebuilt, in 1703. In 1704, the north front was pulled down, the west front was finished in 1706, and the whole of the building not long afterwards completed; being about twenty years from the time of its commencement, during which, however, it does not appear that the works were, as Dr. Kennet supposed, ever wholly suspended,
The artists employed in this magnificent mansion, were the architect, William Talman: painters, Laguerre and Ricard (fn. n21), engaged in Jan. 1689; Monsieur Huyd (fn. n22), in March, 1690; Anthony Verrio (fn. n23), in Nov. 1690; Mr. Highmore (fn. n24) and Price (fn. n25): carvers in stone, Caius Gabriel Cibber (fn. n26), engaged in 1687; J.T.Geeraertsleus (fn. n27), who assisted Cibber; Augustine Harris (fn. n28), engaged in 1688; Mr.Nost, (fn. n29), engaged in 1694; Mr. Davies (fn. n30) in 1696; and Mr. (fn. n31)Auriol, in 1697.
Mr. Thomas Young was engaged as the principal carver in wood (fn. n32), in Ja nuary, 1689. In 1691, Joel Lobb was employed in conjunction with Young. In September, 1692, Lobb, William Davis, and Samuel Watson, contracted on behalf of Young, with whom Lobb appears to have been then in partnership, each of them to do a third part, for carving the ornaments for the great chamber (fn. n33), in limetree, for 400l. It appears that this was not finished in August, 1694. Mr. B. Lanscroon was employed as a carver, in March, 1696: in September that year he was paid 42l. for carving the festoons in the gallery. (fn. n34) In July, 1697, Watson was employed on the capitals and pilasters of the gallery. In September, 1698, he was paid, for carving the ornaments of the gallery and the gallery-chimney, 33l. Watson carved most of the ornaments in stone on the outside of the west front; in 1711 he was employed on the library cornice, and making mask heads in alabaster for the lower dining, room, &c. Monsieur Nedauld (fn. n35) executed the ornaments of the great frieze for that front.
There is nothing to confirm the tradition that the apartments occupied by Mary Queen of Scots were preserved when the house was rebuilt; on the contrary, it appears the whole of the south and east fronts was then taken down. There is no doubt, however, that the rooms which now bear the name of the royal prisoner occupy the site of those which she inhabited; and that what is called her bed-room is furnished with the same bed and tapestry.
Chatsworth-hall forms nearly a square, containing a court on the inside, in the middle of which is a fountain, and a colonnade on the north and south sides. The south front is 190 feet in length, enriched with pilasters of the Ionic order, resting on a rustic base; the whole surmounted with a ballustrade.. The west front is 172 feet in length, with similar enrichments, and also a pediment supported by half columns of the same order. Elevations of these two fronts are engraved in the first volume of Campbell's Vitruvius Britannicus (fn. n36); and also plans of the three stones of the house. (fn. n37) In the Nouveau Theatre de la Grand Bretagne, published in 1708, is a view of Chatsworth-house (fn. n38), shewing the several parterres, gardens, &c. as originally laid out.
Over the colonnade, on the north side of the quadrangle, is a gallery nearly 100 feet long, in which have lately been hung up a numerous and valuable collection of drawings, by the old masters. The dancing gallery, 90 feet by 22, has lately been fitted up by the present Duke for a library; and a great number of books (fn. n39), from his Grace's extensive and valuable collection at Devonshire-house, have been already removed thither.
The old gardens, which were laid out by George London, were begun in 1688: the grand parterre at the south front was contracted for in June, 1694, by London and Wise. (fn. n40)
The water-works, which were constructed under the direction of Monsieur Grillet, a French artist, were begun in 1690, when the pipe for the great fountain was laid down. They were executed by Mr. Cock, a plumber from London, who made the artificial tree in 1693. These water-works being still kept up, exhibit almost an unique specimen of what seems then to have been considered as a necessary appendage to a noble mansion; and they are on a scale commensurate to the magnificence of the building. Those at Bretby, which were on a smaller scale, have been many years destroyed. The great fountain at Chatsworth throws the water 90 feet in height j another throws it to the height of 60 feet.
Dr. Kennet relates of the celebrated Marshal Tallard, who was taken on the plains of Hochstedt, near Blenheim, by the Duke of Marlborough, in 1704, and remained seven years a prisoner in this county, that having been invited by the Duke of Devonshire to Chatsworth, and nobly entertained by him for several days, he was said to have parted from him with this compliment — " My Lord, when I come hereafter to compute the time of my captivity in England, I shall leave out the days of my enjoyment at Chatsworth."
On the 3d of September, 1768, the King of Denmark dined at Chatsworth, having been on a tour to the north of England. Chatsworth has been very recently honoured with a royal visit in the person of the Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia, brother to the Emperor, who was splendidly entertained by the present Duke, on the 8th and 9th of December, 1816.
Chatsworth-house stands near the foot of a steep hill, finely covered with wood, and at a small distance above the Derwent, which runs through the park in a rich and well-wooded valley, bounded by the Peak mountains. On the point of the hill, behind the house, is a tower, about 90 feet high, called the Hunting-Tower; another ancient tower, within a moat near the river, is called the Bower of Mary Queen of Scots, and is said to have been her favourite place of retirement whilst she remained at Chatsworth.
The manor of Edlaston was given to the prior and convent of Tutbury, by Robert Earl Ferrars, son of the founder. (fn. n41) After the reformation, it was granted by King Henry VIII., in or about 1543, to William Lord Paget, who the next year conveyed it to Sir Edward Aston, Knt. This Sir Edward, or a son of the same name, died seised of it in 1596. At a later period it belonged to the Eyres of Hassop, and was sold by Rowland Eyre, Esq., to Mr. Daniel Morley, of Ashborne, of whose devisee in trust it was purchased by the ancestor of the Rev. Thomas Gisborne, of Yoxall, in Staffordshire.
EGGINTON, in the hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, and in the deanery of Castillar, lies about seven miles south-west from Derby, near the road to Burton-on-Trent, from which it is about four miles distant.
In the month of March, 1644, there was a battle on Egginton-heath, between the royalists and Sir John Gell's forces, commanded by Major Molanus and Captain Rodes. The Royalists are said to have been defeated, and to have been driven across the Trent. (fn. n42)
The manor of Egginton (Eghintune), which had belonged to Tochi in the reign of Edward the Confessor, is stated in the Survey of Domesday to have been held, at the time of the survey, by Azelin, under Geoffry Alselin. This manor, or a moiety of it, was held under the Bardolfs (fn. n43), descendants of the above-mentioned Geoffry, by Ralph Fitz-Germund, whose son William Fitz-Ralph, Seneschall of Normandy, and founder of Dale-Abbey, gave it to William de Grendon, his nephew, in exchange for Stanley, near Dale-Abbey, which he had first given him. Ermitrude Talbot gave to Robert, son of Robert Fitz-Walkelin, in free marriage with Margaret her daughter, all her lands in Egginton which she had of the gift of William de Grendon, her husband, Margaret, elder daughter and coheir of this Robert married Sir John Chandos; upon the death of whose descendant, Sir John Chandos, the celebrated warrior, in 1370, a moiety of the manor of Egginton passed to his niece Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Lawton, and wife of Sir Peter De la Pole, who was one of the Knights of the Shire in 1400. This moiety is now the property of Edward Sacheverell Chandos Pole, Esq., of Radborne. Ermitrude, the other coheiress of Fitz-Walkelin, married Sir William de Stafford, whose son Robert left five daughters coheiresses; in consequence of which this moiety became divided into several shares. These having been re-united by purchases, were vested in the family of Lathbury. A coheiress of Lathbury brought this moiety to Robert Leigh of Whittield, in the parish of Glossop, descended from the Leighs of Adlington, in Cheshire. On the death of Sir Henry Leigh of Egginton, in the reign of James I., this estate passed to his daughter and coheir Anne, married to Simon Every, Esq., of Chard, in Somersetshire, who was created a Baronet in 1641. It is now the property, and Eggintonhall the seat, of his descendant, Sir Henry Every, Bart. The greater part of Egginton-hall was destroyed by fire in the year 1736, and soon afterwards rebuilt: the late Sir Edward Every made considerable additions to it.
The manor of Hargate, formerly called Heath-house, is supposed to have been a portion of the original manor, not granted by William Fitz-Ralph to his nephew William de Grendon: it was afterwards successively the property of the Frechevilles and the Babingtons of Dethick. It was purchased of the latter by the Leighs, and has since been annexed to their moiety of the manor of Egginton, being now the property of Sir Henry Every.
In the parish church are several memorials for the family of (fn. n44) Every. The rectory is in the alternate patronage of Mr. Pole and Sir Henry Every.
ELMTON, in the hundred of Scarsdale and deanery of Chesterfield, lies about three miles from Bolsover, and seven from Chesterfield, which is the post-town. Part of the hamlet of Cresswell is in this parish.
The manor of Elmton belonged to Walter Deincourt when the Survey of Domesday was taken; and it continued in that family till the death of William Lord Deincourt, in 1422. Ralph Lord Cromwell, who married one of his sisters and coheirs died seised of this manor in 1454; his sister and heir brought it to Sir William Lovell. On the attainder of Francis Lord Lovell, in 1485, it was granted to Sir John Savage. Sir Francis Rodes became possessed of this manor in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and it is now the property of his descendant Cornelius Healthcote Rodes, Esq., of Barlborough.
Elmton was the birth-place of the celebrated Jedidiah Buxton, a daylabourer (fn. n45); who, with the most uncultivated understanding, possessed very wonderful powers of calculation, and a singularly retentive memory, aided by which alone, he solved the most difficult problems, in the midst of laborious employments and in the most numerous assemblies. Many specimens of Buxton's extraordinary arithmetical performances are to be found in the. Gentleman's Magazine for 1751, 1753, and 1754. Among other instances, we are told that he measured most accurately the extensive manor of Elmton by striding over the land, and brought Sir John Rodes the contents, not only in acres, roods, and perches, but in square inches; and afterwards, for his own amusement, reduced them into square hairs' breadths. (fn. n46) Jedediah Buxton was born on the 20th of March, 1707; and buried in the church-yard of this his native place, March 5, 1772. There is an engraved portrait of him, taken from a drawing made by Miss Hartley in 1764.
The manors of Ælvoldestun (Elvaston), Emboldestune (Ambaston), and Torulfestune (Thurlston), which had belonged in the reign of Edward the Confessor to Tochi, were held, when the Survey of Domesday was taken, by Geoffry Alselin. This Geoffry was ancestor of the Baronial family of Hanselyn whose heiress brought this manor and the rest of the barony to the Bardolfs. It afterward belonged to the family of Blount Lord Mountjoy; and at a later period to the Stanhopes. (fn. n47) It was one of the seats of Sir John Stanhope (father of the first Earl of Chesterfield), who died in 1610, having settled the Elvaston estate on Sir John Stanhope, his eldest son by his second wife. Thomas Stanhope, Esq., of Elvaston, grandson of Sir John Stanhope the younger, had three sons: William, the youngest, who succeeded to the estate on the death of his elder brothers, having been employed in many important negotiations with foreign courts, was created a Peer in 1729, by the title of Baron Harrington. He afterwards twice filled the office of one of the principal Secretaries of State, and was, in 1742, created Viscount Petersham and Earl of Harrington. Elvaston is now the property of Charles Earl of Harrington, his grandson.
Elvaston-hall, then the seat of the Lady Stanhope, is said to have been plundered in the month of January, 1643, by Sir John Gell's soldiers, who demolished a costly monument newly made for Sir John Stanhope, and committed great outrages in the family vault. (fn. n48) Mrs. Hutchinson speaks of this as the act of Sir John Gell himself, and attributes it to personal enmity against the deceased. This outrage, according to Mrs. Hutchinson, seems to have led to the singular event, of Sir John Gell's marrying the (fn. n49) widow. Eivaston-hall is now rebuilding in the Gothic style, under the direction of Mr. Richard Walker.
In the parish church is the monument of Sir John Stanhope, who died in 1610, with the effigies of the deceased (in armour) and that of his lady. Bassano, who took notes of the monuments in Elvaston church, in 1710, speaks of an unfinished monument of the late Sir John Stanhope, in an apartment 18 feet by 9, paved with black and white marble, attached to the north side of the church. He speaks of the monument of Sir John Stanhope the elder (fn. n50), as having been considerably injured in the civil war. The monument of Sir John Stanhope, the younger, was restored or completed by Charles Stanhope, Esq., in 1731. Walter Blount, Lord Mountjoy, by his will bearing date 1474, gave directions that the parish church at Aylwaston should be completed by his executors, and that a tomb should be erected over the remains of Ellen his wife. (fn. n51)
The church of Elvaston which had been given to the priory of Shelford in Nottinghamshire, most probably by its founder, Ralph Hanselyn, was granted to Sir Michael Stanhope in 1539. The Earl of Harrington is impropriator and patron of the vicarage. The inhabitants of Elvaston and Ockbrook were formerly obliged to brew, annually, certain church ales, at which they were all required to be present, and to contribute small payments which were applied to the repairs of the church of Elvaston. (fn. n52)
The parish contains the townships of Etwall and Burnaston. The manor of Etwall was held under Henry de Ferrars, at the time of taking the Domesday Survey, by Saswallo, ancestor of the Shirley family. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it was in the family of Riboef. In the year 1370: Sir William Finchenden and others, as trustees, probably conveyed it to the priory of Bellovalle or Beauval, in Nottinghamshire. (fn. n53) King Henry VIII., in the year 1540, granted the manor of Etwall, together with the impropriate rectory, and advowson of the vicarage, (which had been given to Welbeck-abbey, in the reign of King Stephen,) to Sir John Port, Knt. one of the Justices of the Kings-bench. (fn. n54) The elder daughter and coheiress of his son, Sir John Port the younger, brought Etwall to Sir Thomas Gerard, whose great-grandson, Sir William Gerard, Bart., sold this estate, in 1641, to Sir Edward Moseley, Bart, of whom it was purchased, in 1646, by Sir Samuel Sleigh. Mary, only daughter of Sir Samuel, by his third wife, married Rowland Cotton, Esq., of Bellaport in Shropshire. The manor, rectory, and advowson, are now vested in the committee of his grandson, William Cotton, Esq., a lunatic, who resides at Etwall-hall.
In the parish church is the tomb of Henry Porte, Esq., 1512, and Elizabeth his wife, with the figures, on brass, of the wife and seventeen children. There are the monuments also of Janet Cunliffe, 1712; James Chethan, S.T.P. master of the Hospital, vicar of Etwall, canon and chancellor of Lichfield (fn. n55), 1740; Dorothy, relict of Sir John Every, Bart., 1749; and Joseph Green, Esq. (fn. n56), 1810.
The church at Etwall received great damage from a violent tempest which happened on the 20th of June, 1545, and is mentioned in Stowe's Chronicle. A curious account of this tempest, copied from a letter lately discovered among the records in the Tower, is inserted in the note. (fn. n57)
The hospital at Etwall was founded by Sir John Porte in the year 1556, for six poor persons. It appears, by an inscription on the front, that the hospital having fallen to decay, was rebuilt in the year 1681; and at the same time the number of almsmen was doubled, and the salaries increased, in consequence of the improvement of the estates left for the support of this hospital and the school at Repton. The masters of the hospital and school, the ushers, and the three senior poor men, are a body corporate. The present revenue of the estate is about 2500l. per annum. The master's salary is 200l. per annum. The almsmen, who are now sixteen in number, receive 20l. 16s. per annum each (8s. a week): they have dark-blue cloth gowns once, in two years; and an allowance of 3l. per annum each for coals. The six seniors have perquisites in addition to their pensions, which amount to about 81. or 9l. per annum. A nurse, who lives in the hospital, washes and cooks for them, and gives other necessary attendance. She receives the same pay as the almsmen, and is allowed 61. 6s. per annum for coals. A surgeon is allowed 12l. 12s. per annum for medical assistance. The houses are whitewashed every year, and kept in excellent repair. The affairs of the hospital and school are under the direction of three hereditary governors, descended from the coheiresses of the founder. The present governors are, the Marquis of Hastings, the Earl of Chesterfield, and Sir William Gerard, Bart.
The manors of Barrowcote (Berewardescote), and Burnaston (Burnulfestun) were held by one Henry, under Henry de Ferrars, when the Survey of Domesday was taken. In the year 1290 Roger, son of Walter de Chambreis was Lord of Barrowcote and Burnaston; in 1297 William de Henore held both these places under the Earl of Lancaster; and in a roll of Knights' fees (fn. n58), made about the year 1370, they are stated to have been then held by John Bakepuz, for one knight's fee. Soon afterwards (temp. Hen. IV.) the Bonnington family possessed both these manors. Ralph Bonnington, Esq. sold Barrowcote, in 1672, to William Turner, of Derby, Gent. Mr. Exuperius Turner sold it to Robert Newton, Esq., who died in 1789, having bequeathed this and other estates to John Leaper, Esq., who has taken the name of Newton, and is the present proprietor. Burnaston became the property of Sir Samuel Sleigh, by purchase probably from the Bonningtons. It was inherited by his grandson, Samuel Chetham, Esq.; devolved afterwards to the Cottons, (descended from a coheiress of Sleigh,) and is now vested in the committee of William Cotton, Esq.
EYAM, in the hundred and deanery of High-Peak, lies about five miles from Tideswell, seven from Bakewell, and eleven from Chesterfield. The parish contains the townships of Eyam and Foolow, and the villages of Bretton, Hazleford, and part of Grindleford-bridge. The manor of Eyam (Aiune) was parcel of the ancient demesne of the crown; and having been granted by King Henry I., with his other manors in the Peak, to William Peverel, was held under him by an ancestor of the Morteynes. Roger de Morteyne sold it, about or after the year 1307 (fn. n59), to Thomas de Furnivall, lord of Hallumshire. A coheiress of Furnivall brought this manor to Nevill; and a coheiress of Nevill, to John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury. The Countess of Pembroke became possessed of it as one of the coheiresses of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, who died in 1616: from her it passed to her grandson, Sir George Saville. One of the coheiresses of Saville, Marquis of Halifax, brought it to Boyle, Earl of Burlington. It is now, in consequence of a decision of the Court of King's Bench, in 1781, upon the wills of the Countess of Burlington and William Duke of Devonshire, the property of the Right Honourable Lord George Henry Cavendish.
A branch of the ancient family of Stafford had an estate in Eyam, and resided there as early as the beginning of Henry III.'s reign. The last heir male of this branch died in the reign of Henry VIII., leaving four daughters, married to Savage, Eyre, Morewood, and Bradshaw, between whom the estate was divided. Bradshaw's share still belongs to a lineal descendant in the female line, Eaglesfield Smith, Esq., of Ecclesfeccan, in Scotland. Morewood's share has lately been sold by Mrs. Morewood, of Alfreton.
In the parish church of Eyam are memorials for the family of Middleton, of Learn. (fn. n60) In Bassano's volume of Church Notes mention is made of the monument of John Wright, Gent., 1693. The Earl of Thanet, the Duke of Devonshire, and the Marquis of Buckingham are joint patrons of the rectory, and present alternately. In the church-yard is a curious ancient cross of stone, already noticed.
In the month of September, 1665, this village was visited with that dreadful calamity the plague (fn. n61), which swept away four-fifths of its inhabitants. It appears by the parish register, that 260 persons fell victims to this fatal disease, 78 of whom died in the month of August 1666. (fn. n62) Four or five persons were sometimes buried in one day. The average yearly number of burials, for ten years preceding this calamity, was 22. In one of Miss Seward's letters is a very interesting account of the conduct of Mr. Mompesson, the worthy Rector, who, in spite of all intreaty remained at his post, daily visiting and praying with the sick; and to avoid spreading the infection, performed divine service and preached twice a week to his parishioners in the open air from a rock, which the inhabitants still call Lucklet-church. In the church-yard is a monument for his wife, who in her 27th year fell a victim to the disease when it was raging at its greatest height, in the month of August. In the second volume of Anecdotes published by William Seward, Esq., are some interesting letters of Mr. Mompesson's.
Thomas Seward, Rector of Eyam, who died in 1790, wrote some poems, printed in Dodsley's Collections, and published an edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's Plays, and a treatise on the conformity between the Pagan and the Romish church. His daughter Anne, well known by her poems (fn. n63), her life of Dr. Darwin, and letters published since her death, which happened in 1809, was born at Eyam, in the year 1742. (fn. n64)
The Honourable and Reverend Edward Finch, D.D., in 1737, gave the sum of 100l. for teaching five children of Eyam, and five belonging to the out hamlets. With this money, and 15l. given by some person or persons now unknown, was purchased land, now let at 4l. per annum. Mr. Thomas Middleton, in 1745, gave a rent-charge of 5l. per annum for teaching ten poor children of Eyam to read and write. In 1795, the sum of 120l. was raised by the Reverend Charles Hargrave, the present rector, and others, with which a house and garden was bought, and a school-room built.