Parishes: Packington - Repton

Pages 228-246

Magna Britannia: Volume 5, Derbyshire. Originally published by T Cadell and W Davies, London, 1817.

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In this section


PACKINGTON is partly in Leicestershire and partly in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, in Derbyshire. The church is in Leicestershire; the greater part of the houses are in Derbyshire.


PENTRICH, in the hundred of Morleston and Litchurch and in the deanery of Derby, lies about two miles and a half from Alfreton and about twelve from Derby. The parish comprises the township of Ripley and the village of Hartshay.

The manors of Pentrich and Ripley were given, in the reign of Henry II. by Ralph Fitz-Stephen, the King's Chamberlain, and Hubert Fitz-Ralph (fn. n1), to the Abbot and convent of Darley. (fn. n2) King Edward VI., in the year 1552, granted it to Sir William Cavendish (fn. n3), ancestor of his Grace the Duke of Devonshire, who is the present proprietor.

In the parish church are memorials for Edward Home, captain in the navy 1764; " Madam Mawer, wife of the Reverend Kaye Mawer, son of John Mawer, of the ancient and illustrious house of Mawer," 1776; and of the family of Bradley, of Butterley-park, 1701–1718, &c.

The church of Pentrich was given to the abbey of Darley by Ralph Fitz-Stephen, and became appropriated to that monastery. The Duke of Devonshire is now impropriator and patron of the vicarage.

The Independents have a meeting-house at Pentrich which formerly belonged to the Presbyterians.

The Abbot of Darley had, in 1251, a grant of a market at Ripley on Wednesday, and a fair for three days at the festival of St. Helen the Queen. (fn. n4) The market has been long discontinued; there are now two fairs, on the Wednesday in Easter-week, and on the 23d of October, for horses and cattle: the latter is a great fair for foals. The manor of Ripley, which had been given (as before-mentioned) to Darley-abbey, was most probably granted to George Zouch, who died seised of it in 1556. Sir John Zouch, in or about the year 1565, conveyed it to Thomas Boswell and George Smith, and the heirs of Smith. (fn. n5) Isaac Smith died seised of it in 1638. It is now divided into severalties. The Unitarians have a chapel, and there is a meeting-house for the Wesleyan Methodists at Ripley: the Unitarian chapel is now rebuilding.

The manor of Butterley belonged to the abbot and convent of Darley (fn. n6), who had two parks there (fn. n7) : the site of one of these, though long since disparked, retains the name. The manor was granted to Sir William Cavendish, and has passed with that of Pentrich. The family of Home had, for some descents, an estate with a park, at Butterley-hall, where they resided. William Home, Esq., died, in 1747, at the age, as it is said, of 102. (fn. n8) His eldest son, William Andrew Home, Esq., was in the year 1759, at the age of 74, executed at Nottingham for the murder of an illegitimate child, in the year 1724, by exposing it under a hay-stack at Annesley in Nottinghamshire. Charles Home, his brother, who was the principal evidence against him, survived till the year 1784, when he died at an advanced age, being the last of the family. Edward Warren, a nephew, who took the name of Home in 1784, inherited the Butterley estate, which he sold, about the year 1790, to Francis Beresford, Esq., and Benjamin Outram, Esq. It now belongs to John Beresford, Esq., and Francis Outram, a minor. Butterley-hall is in the occupation of Mr. William Jessop, a partner in the firm of the iron-works at Butterley, which were established about the year 1793, by Messrs. Wright of Nottingham.

Waingriff, in this parish, was given by Fitz-Stephen to the Knights-hospitallers, who have been supposed to have had a preceptory at this place. (fn. n9) It was the property, by marriage, of the late Robert Strelley, Esq., who built a house upon the estate, now the property and residence of his widow.

The manor or reputed manor of Padley, in this parish, belonged to Darley Abbey, afterwards to the family of Zouch. The assignees, of John Zouch, Esq., sold it, in the reign of James I., to Mr. Smith, of whose descendant it was purchased, in 1710, by the ancestor of the Reverend Henry Peach of Derby, the present proprietor.


PINXTON, in the hundred of Scarsdale and deanery of Chesterfield, lies on the borders of Nottinghamshire about three miles from Alfreton, which is the post-town. A considerable part of the parish is in Nottinghamshire. The manor is supposed to have been the Snodeswic, which was given, by Wulfric Spott as an appendage to Morton, to Burton-abbey; and the Esnotrewic of the Domesday Survey, which was held by Drogo under William Peverel. The manor of Pinxton has passed, for several centuries, with one of the moieties of South-Normanton, and is now the property of D'Ewes Coke, Esq., son of Heigham Coke, Esq., of Suckley, in Worcestershire, who is patron of the rectory.

In the parish church are the monuments of D'Ewes Coke (fn. n10), Esq., 1751, and Robert Lillyman, Esq., of Brookhill (fn. n11), in this parish, 1765.

Pleasley or Plesley

PLEASLEY or PLESLEY, in the hundred of Scarsdale and deanery of Chesterfield, lies on the borders of Nottinghamshire, and on the road from Chesterfield to Mansfield, at the distance of nine miles from the former. The villages of Shirebrook and Stony-Houghton, are in this parish.

The manor of Pleasley belonged to Thomas Bee, Bishop of St. David's, Lord Treasurer to King Edward I., who, in 1284, had a grant of a market at this place on Mondays, and a fair for three days at the festival of St. Luke. (fn. n12) The market has long ago been discontinued. There are now two fairs, May 6, and October 29, for fat and lean cattle, horses, and sheep.

There are some considerable cotton factories at Pleasley.

Anthony Bee, Bishop of Durham and Patriarch of Jerusalem, (brother of the Bishop of St. David's,) died in 1310 or 1311, seised of this manor (fn. n13) : it was inherited by his nieces, married into the families of Harcourt and Willoughby, who possessed the manor of Pleasley, in moieties, for several generations. (fn. n14) The manor was afterwards in the Leakes, who appear to have been possessed of it, in the reign of Henry VI. (fn. n15) After the death of Nicholas Leake, the last Earl of Scarsdale, it was purchased by Henry Thornhill, Esq., great uncle of Henry Bache Thornhill, Esq., the present proprietor, to whom it was given by his father, Bache Thornhill Esq., of Stanton.

A park in Pleasley, called Warsop-wood, was held for several generations by the family of Roos, under the manor of Pleasley. (fn. n16) This estate is now the property of Edward Greaves, Esq.

On Sunday the 17th of March, 1816, a large chasm was made in the church steeple at this place, by the shock of an earthquake, which was felt over a great part of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, &c.

The advowson of the rectory, which had passed for several centuries with the manor, is vested in Bache Thornhill, Esq., of Stanton. There is a chapel of ease at Shirebrook, about two miles distant, at which divine service is performed once a month by the rector of Pleasley or his curate. The chapel is repaired by the inhabitants.

Radborne or Radburne

RADBORNE or RADBURNE, in the hundred of Appletree and deanery of Derby, lies about four miles west from Derby.

Radborne was one of the manors of Henry de Ferrars, at the time of the Domesday Survey; but it appears that Ralph Fkz-Hubert claimed a third.

The coheiresses of Robert Fitz-Walkelin, who lived in the twelfth century, and was possessed of Egginton, Radborne, and other estates in this county, married Chandos and Stafford as already stated in the account of Egginton; the whole of this manor (in consequence, probably, of the purchase of Stafford's moiety) became vested in Chandos. (fn. n17) After the death of Sir John Chandos, the celebrated warrior, without male issue, in 1370, the Radborne estate passed to his representatives in the female line, and eventually to Sir Peter de la Pole, who married his niece, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Lawton. Sir Peter, who was one of the knights of the shire in 1400, is described as having been of Newborough in Staffordshire; but it appears that his ancestors had been, at an early period, of Hartington in this county. Ralph Pole, son of Peter before-mentioned, was one of the Justices of the King's-Bench, in the reign of Henry VI. Radborne is now the property, and Radborne-hall the seat of his immediate descendant, E. S. C. Pole, Esq. The parish of Radborne contains 2,125 acres of land, of which more than 2000 belong to Mr. Pole, who is patron also of the rectory.

In the parish church are some monuments of the family of Pole, two ancient monuments already more particularly described (fn. n18); a large marble monument, with a sarcophagus, for Sir German Pole, who was knighted for his good services in Ireland, under Lord Mountjoy in 1599, he died in 1634; German Pole, Esq., his son, who died in 1683, married Ann, daughter of Sir Richard Newdigate, but having no issue, bequeathed his estate to Samuel Pole, Esq., of Lees, descended from German, a younger son of Francis Pole, Esq., which German settled at Lees in the reign of Queen Elizabeth. There is a monument also for Mary, widow of George Parker, Esq., of Ratton in Sussex, and daughter of Sir Richard Newdigate, ob. 1708.

German Pole, Esq., who died in 1683, founded a charity school at Radborne: the present value of its endowment is 15l. 10s. per annum, besides a moiety of the profits of a lime-kiln. (fn. n19)


RAVENSTONE, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley and in the deanery of Repington, is surrounded by Leicestershire, to which county a considerable part of the parish belongs. It is situated about three miles south-east from Ashby-de-la-Zouch, on the road to Hinkley.

When the Survey of Domesday was taken, the manor of Ravenstone belonged to Nigel de Stafford, ancestor of the Gresley family. A manor in this parish was given to the monks of Gerondon, by Hugh, son of Roger de Herdberewe, before the year 1168. (fn. n20) Another manor belonged to the Despencers, and having been forfeited, was granted to Henry Lord Beaumont. Elizabeth, widow of this Henry, died seised of it in 1427. The manor of Ravenstone with the advowson, was granted by Henry VIII. to Thomas Earl of Rutland, who, in or about the year 1542, conveyed it to Henry Digby. Thomas Digby, great-grandson of Henry, died seised of it in 1619. (fn. n21) John Wilkins, Esq., who was possessed of this estate before the year 1689, built a noble mansion, which, after his death, was sold with the manor in 1726, to Roger Cave, Esq. After the death of Mr. Cave, in 1741, it was purchased by the ancestor of Leonard Fosbrook, Esq., of Shardelow, the present proprietor. Mr. Fosbrook, after his purchase of the manor, pulled down the great house, and built one on a smaller scale for his own residence. It is now occupied by the Reverend William Ward, as undertenant to R. Creswell, Esq., who rents the estate under Mr. Fosbrook.

In the parish church is a monument put up by the late Sir Joseph Mawbey, Bart., in memory of his family, who had an estate at Ravenstone, now the property of Joseph Alcock, Esq. Mr. Alcock's father purchased this estate of his brother-in-law, Sir Joseph Mawbey. The King is patron of the rectory.

The open fields in this parish have been inclosed under an act of parliament, passed in 1770: an allotment was made in lieu of tithes.

At this place is an hospital, founded, in 1712, by Rebecca, wife of John Wilkins, Esq., with the consent of her husband, for thirty blind, aged, or impotent widows and three able women as servants. (fn. n22) The foundation is stated in the will of Mrs. Wilkins, to have been in memory of her son, Francis Wollaston (fn. n23) Wilkins, who died in 1711: she endowed it after the death of her husband, with all her lands in Thorpe-Ernald, Higham, and Sutton-Cheney in Leicestershire. The widows are to be of the parishes of Ravenstone, Swanington, and Cole-Orton, or in default of proper objects, of other neighbouring parishes; to be fifty years of age at the least, unless blind or impotent, of good fame, and members of the church of England; the servants of the hospital, if widows, may succeed to vacancies although only forty years of age: if any widow marry, she is to be removed; any widow of kin to the founder or of reduced gentry to be preferred to all others. The widows to receive 3s. 6d. a week each, besides clothes and coals; increased rents, after defraying repairs, &c. to be applied either to encreasing the pensions, or the number of pensioners, at the discretion of the trustees. There are ten trustees, under the founder's will, which number is to be made up whenever they are reduced to five. There is a master or chaplain of the hospital, who has a salary of 6ol, per annum. The present chapel and a house for the master were built out of the savings of the fund in 1784. The present rent of the estates is about 940l. (fn. n24) The widows now receive pensions of 4s. 6d. a week each, a gown and petticoat, and five tons of coal yearly.

Repton, anciently Repington

REPTON, anciently REPINGTON, gives name to the deanery, and jointly with Gresley to the hundred in which it is situated. It lies on the south side of the Trent, four miles from Burton and seven from Derby.

This place is supposed to have been a Roman station, called Repandunum. In the time of the Saxons it was called Repandum, and was the capital of the Mercian kingdom. Before the year 660 (fn. n25), there was a nunnery at this place, under the government of an abbess, in which Ethelbald and other of the Mercian monarchs were interred. (fn. n26) The Danes having driven Buthred, King of the Mercians from his throne, wintered at Repandum in 874. (fn. n27) Jt is probable that the nunnery above-mentioned was then destroyed.

The manor of Repton (Rapendune) was part of the royal demesne when the Survey of Domesday was taken. It soon after belonged to the Earls of Chester. Maud, widow of Ranulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, who died in 1153, founded a priory of black canons at Repton in 1172, or, rather, in that year, removed them thither from Calke, where they were first established. This priory was dissolved in the year 1538, when its revenues were estimated at 118l. 8s. 6d. clear yearly income. The site of the priory was granted by King Henry VIII., in 1540, to his servant, Thomas Thacker, Esq., who had taken possession of it for the King's use in 1538, and purchased most of the furniture and stock. The furniture of the high altar, and of St. John's, St. Nicholas's, St. Thomas's, " Our Lady's," " Our Lady of Pity's" chapels, with the images, &c. sold for fifty shillings: the grave-stones were not then sold, nor the buildings. (fn. n28) It appears that there was a shrine of St. Guthlac at this priory, to which was a great resort of pilgrims, and his bell was applied to the head by superstitious persons, for the cure of the head-ach. (fn. n29)

Fuller relates in his Church History, on the authority of his kinsman, Samuel Roper of Lincoln's-Inn, that one Thacker being possessed of Repingdon-abbey in Derbyshire, "alarmed with the news that Queen Mary had set up the abbeys again (and fearing how large a reach such a precedent might have) upon a Sunday (belike the better day the better deed) called together the carpenters and masons of that county, and plucked down in one day (church work is a cripple in going up, but rides post in coming down) a most beautiful church belonging thereunto, saying he would destroy the nest for fear the birds should build therein again."

Sir Henry Spelman, in his history of Sacrilege, notices Mr. Godfrey Thacker of Repingdon, as an instance of a person possessing church tithes and lands, and making a very insufficient allowance to the minister of his church, and remarks his having been reduced in his circumstances without any assignable cause. Gilbert Thacker, Esq., the last of this family, died in 1712, leaving an only daughter, who bequeathed the priory estate to Sir Robert Burdett, Bart., grandfather of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart., the present proprietor.

The remains of the priory have been converted into the school-room, and offices belonging to Repton school. The mansion, which was the seat of the Thackers, is rented of Sir Francis Burdett by the governors of the school, and is occupied by the head master, Dr. Sleath.

The manor of Repton was divided among the coheiresses of Ranulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, and passed through various hands in severalties. The capital messuage of Repingdon was taken into the King's hands in 1253. (fn. n30) Before the year 1330, the greater part of the manor appears to have passed into other hands from the representatives of the Earls of Chester. John de Britannia, William de Clinton, and Julia his wife (fn. n31), the prior of Repingdon, Robert de Becke, Philip de Strelley, William de Handesacre, Emma, relict of Robert de Tateshall (fn. n32), John Swinnerton, and Christian, relict of John de Segrave (fn. n33), were then joint owners. No mention is made in the record (fn. n34) of the Baliols; yet it appears that Mary de St. Paul, Countess of Pembroke, who inherited from the Baliols, gave her share (one-third of a fourth) of the manor of Repingdon, to the master and scholars of Pernbroke-hall, (of her foundation,) and that the college exchanged this share with the priory of Repton, for a rent-charge issuing out of the manor of Grantesdenin 1411 or 1412. (fn. n35) Before the year 1330, Bernard Brus, as representative of David Earl of Huntingdon, who married one of the coheiresses of the Earl of Chester, had given his share of the manor to the prior and convent (fn. n36), and in or about 1413, Peter de Melborne gave them onethird of a fourth part. (fn. n37) These formed afterwards a distinct manor, which, by the name of the priory manor, passed with the site of the priory, and is now the property of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart.

In the reign of Henry IV., John Finderne was seised of an estate called the manor of Repingdon alias Strelley's part. (fn. n38) It is most probable that the Finderne family became possessed of most of the lay shares, by purchase or inheritance, for except in one instance, we find no mention of any other manor than that of the priory, and the manor of Repton, which passed with the heiress of Finderne to the Harpurs, about the year 1558, and is now the property of their descendant, Sir Henry Crewe, Bart. There was an extensive park belonging to this manor, the paling of which still remains.

In the year 1554, William Westcote conveyed the manors of Repington and Willington to Sir John Porte. This was probably that part of the manor which belonged to the Segraves, and passed by inheritance to the Mowbrays. The last-mentioned family possessed also the manor of Willington. This estate at Repton became afterwards parcel of the endowment of the school and hospital founded by Sir John Porte.

The proprietors of the manor in 1330 claimed to be lords of the hundred, and to have within their manor a pillory, tumbrell, and gallows, for the punishment of criminals: they claimed also by prescription a market at Repton on Wednesdays, and a fair on the first of July. (fn. n39) Both these have long ago been discontinued. There is a statute fair at Michaelmas, for hiring servants.

In the parish church, which is a handsome Gothic structure with a spire, are some monuments of the Thacker family (fn. n40); George Waklin, of Bretby, Gent., 1614; that of William Bagshaw Stevens, D. D., late master of Repton school, who died in 1800 (fn. n41); and a memorial for Catherine daughter of the Reverend Thomas Whelpdale, who died in 1746, at the age of 100.

The church of St. Wistan, at Repton, was given to the priory, with all its chapels, at the time of its removal from Calke. The rectorial estate belongs to Sir Henry Crewe, Bart., who is patron of the donative curacy.

The parish was inclosed by act of parliament in 1766.

In the year 1556, Sir John Port devised all his estates in Lancashire and Derbyshire, in trust, for the foundation and endowment of a grammar school at Repton, and an hospital at Etwall. The Harpur family had the direction of these institutions till the year 1621, when Sir John Harpur conveyed the superintendence to the Earl of Huntingdon, Lord Stanhope, and Sir Thomas Gerard Bart., as right heirs of the founder. The present hereditary governors are, the Marquis of Hastings, the Earl of Chesterfield, (now a minor), and Sir William Gerard, Bart. In the year last-mentioned the master of Etwall hospital, the schoolmaster of Repton, the poor men, and poor scholars, were made a body corporate. The establishment at Repton consists of a head master (the Reverend John Sleath, D.D.), two ushers, and 20 scholars on the foundation. (fn. n42) The master has a salary of 200l.; the first usher, 100l.; the second usher, 80l. The improved rent of the estates, which are now about 2500l. per annum, have long enabled the governors to increase the number of pensioners in the hospital, to augment the establishment of the school at Repton, and to give larger salaries to the masters. The governors elect the master of the hospital, and the master and ushers of the school: the Harpur family have, by the original charter, a fourth turn with them in the appointment of the pensioners of the hospital and the foundation-scholars.

Mr. Thomas Whitehead gave some land at Repton for the head-master's use. Some land at Ticknail, now let at 5l. per annum was given for the purchase of books: the name of the donor is unknown; but it is supposed to have been Philip Ward, a former master.

John Lightfoot, the learned divine and Hebraist, was appointed first usher at the original establishment of the institution. Among eminent persons educated at this school, may be noticed, Samuel Shaw, a learned non-conformist divine, and master of the school at Ashby-de-la-Zouch; Stebbing Shaw, the historian of Staffordshire; Jonathan Scott, translator of the Arabian Tales; W. Lillington Lewis, M.A., the translator of Statius; and the late F.N.C. Mundy, Esq., author of the elegant poems of Need-Wood Forest, and the Fall of Need wood.

Mrs. Mary Burdett, in 1701, gave the sum of 200l., and Mrs. Dorothy Burdett, in 1718, the same sum, for buying bread for the poor, and clothing and teaching poor children of Repton, Ingleby, and Foremark.

The parochial chapelry of Bretby lies about three miles from Repton. The manor of Bretby, which had belonged to Earl Algar, was part of the royal demesne when the Survey of Domesday was taken. It afterwards belonged to the Earls of Chester, and passed with a portion of the manor of Repton to the Segraves. Nicholas de Segrave, had a charter of free warren in Bretby in 1291. (fn. n43) His son, John de Segreve, who was the King's Lieutenant in Scotland, and was taken prisoner in the battle of Bannockburn, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron in 1295. In 1300, he had the King's licence to castellate his mansion at Bretby. (fn. n44) Bretby Castle passed with the manor to the Mowbrays, Lords Mowbray and Dukes of Norfolk. One of the coheiresses of this noble family brought Bretby to the Lords Berkeley. Henry Lord Berkeley was possessed, in 1554, of the manors of Bretby Collet and Bretby Preposita. From whence these names originated we have not been able to discover, not having observed the name of Collet among any records relating to the chapelry. In 1585, the castle and manor of Bretby were purchased of the Berkeley family by Sir Thomas. Stanhope, grandfather of Philip, the first Earl of Chesterfield. In the year 1639, a masque, written for the occasion by Sir Aston Cokaine, was performed before this Earl and his second Countess, at Bretby, on Twelfth-Day. In the month of November, 1642, the Earl of Chesterfield fortified his house at Bretby, and "garrisoned it with 40 musketeers and 60 horse. Sir John Gell, having intelligence of it, sent 400 foot, with a party of dragoons and two sacres, under the command of Major Molanus. Sir John Gell relates, that after a short defence the Earl and his party fled through the park towards Lichfield; that they took in the house 7 drakes, 30 steel pikes, 20 or 30 muskets, 5 double barrels of powder, and good store of match and bullets; that the officers entreated the Countess to give, the soldiers 2s. 6d. a piece, to save the house from plunder, as it was free booty; she said she had not so much in the house; they proposed 40 marks as a composition, to which she returned the same answer; they then offered to advance it for her, but she declared that she would not give them one penny (fn. n45); then, indeed, he adds, the soldiers plundered the house, but the officers saved her own chamber, with all her goods. (fn. n46) Philip, the second Earl, resided much at Bretby; his second Countess, daughter of the Duke of Ormond, was one of the beauties of Charles II.'s court, and is celebrated as such in the Memoirs of Count Grammont.

The Bretby estate now belongs to George Augustus Frederick, Earl of Chesterfield, a minor, who succeeded to the title and estate on the death of Philip the late Earl, in 1815.

Bretby Castle, the site of which is still discernible near the church, is said to have been standing in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and we are informed by Mr. C. Burton, steward of the late Earl of Chesterfield, that it was then inhabited by Mr. John Mee, lord of the manor, and Mary his wife, and that he has seen a receipt for a rent payable to them by the Stanhope family. In the year 1569, Henry Lord Berkeley had demised the manor and castle of Bretby for 41 years to Thomas Duport; and it is probable that this John Mee might have married his heiress, in which case they would have been jointly seised of the manor, &c., till the expiration of the above-mentioned lease. Mr. Burton, on taking up the foundation of the castle-walls found that it was a building of great strength, and consisted of two large courts.

The old mansion at Bretby park, which most probably was built by the first Earl of Chesterfield (fn. n47), was pulled down by the late Earl in the year 1780. There is a view of it, drawn by Knyff and engraved by Kip, in the " Nouveau Theatre de Grande Bretagne." Mr. Wolley, in his MS. account of Derbyshire (1712), speaks thus of Bretby. " The seat of the Earl of Chesterfield is situated in the midst of a very large park, well wooded and stored with several kinds of deer, and exotic beasts; there are several fine avenues of trees leading to the house, which is of stone, though not of the modern architecture, yet very regular, convenient, and noble, with a very curious chapel, and very good outbuildings; but the gardens, fountains, labyrinths, groves, green-houses, grottoes, aviaries, but more especially the carpet walks, and situations of the orange-trees and water-works before the marble summer-house, are all noble and peculiarly curious and pleasant, suitable to the genius of the owner, who has also been the chief contriver of them (fn. n48), the present Earl of Chesterfield, Philip Stanhope, the third, who, now about 80 years of age, retains a great deal of that vigour and capacity which has hitherto rendered him the glory of the nation." The chapel here spoken of adjoined the house: it was of the Ionic order, and finished in the year 1696; it had a handsome altar-piece of Italian marble. (fn. n49) This chapel was pulled down with the house in 1780. It appears by the life of John Hieron, an eminent non-conformist divine, that he preached a weekly lecture on Fridays in the chapel at Bretby, for Catherine, Countess of Chesterfield. (fn. n50) His biographer relates as an anecdote of this Countess, that she claimed precedence for her gentlewoman above Baronets' daughters, and that the Earl-Marshal, on being appealed to, gave it in her favour.

Bretby-hall is a castellated mansion, of a quadrangular form, which had been several years in building, and was left unfinished at the death of its noble owner, in 1815. The greater part of it had been fitted up and inhabited: the building has been since discontinued. The park is well wooded, and in some parts exhibits varied and picturesque scenery. On the east side of the house is preserved a fine cedar of Lebanon, which probably is the oldest tree of the kind in the kingdom. It appears by the gardener's bill, still in the Earl of Chesterfield's possession, that it was planted in the month of February, 1676–7. We find by Evelyn, that the cedar had not been brought into this country in 1664. The Enfield cedar was planted about the same time as that at Bretby; those in the Physic-Garden at Chelsea, in 1683. The Bretby cedar is 13 feet 9 inches in circumference.

The late Earl of Chesterfield, who resided wholly at Bretby during the latter part of his life, and dedicated a considerable portion of his time to agricultural pursuits, had one of the most complete farming establishments in this part of England. Plans and elevations of the farm-yard and offices are given in the second volume of Farey's General View of the Agriculture of Derbyshire.

The chapel of Bretby, with the tithes of the chapelry, were parcel of the rectory of Repton, which belonged to the priory at that place. It passed with one of the coheiresses of Port to the family of Hastings, and seems to have been brought into the Stanhope family by the marriage of the first Earl of Chesterfield with a daughter of Francis Lord Hastings.

The minister of Bretby chapel, which is a donative, is appointed by the Earl of Chesterfield.

The late Earl and Countess of Chesterfield supported a school for 30 boys, and another for 30 girls; in which the children were clothed, and instructed in reading, writing, and arithmetic. These schools are still kept up by the trustees, at the request of the young Earl and his sisters.

The parochial chapelry of Foremark lies nearly two miles to the east of Repton, and about seven miles from Derby. The manor, called in the Survey of Domesday and other ancient records Fornewerche or Fornewerke, belonged, when that Survey was taken, to Nigel de Stafford. In the reign of Henry II. it was given by Robert de Ferrars, Earl of Derby, to Bertram de Verdon, in marriage with one of his daughters. (fn. n51) It seems to have continued in a younger branch of this family, after the extinction of the elder branch in 1316; for we find that John de Verdon had a grant of free warren in Foremark in 1327. It was purchased of the Verdons (fn. n52) before the year 1387, by Sir Robert Francis, who obtained a confirmation of freewarren from the crown in the year 1397. (fn. n53) The heiress of Francis married Thomas Burdett, Esq., of Bramcote, in Warwickshire, who was created a Baronet in 1618. In consequence of this marriage, Foremark has been ever since the chief country seat of the Burdett family; but the present possessor, Sir Francis Burdett, Bart., one of the representatives for Westminster, has not resided there for several years. The hall was some time in the occupation of Sir Hugh Bateman, Bart.; it is at present unoccupied. Foremark has been noted by Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy, as a pleasant, wholesome, and delightful situation. The present hall was built about the year 1762, by the late Sir Robert Burdett, who pulled down the old mansion of the Francis's.

At Knowle-hill, a little to the south-west of Foremark, was a house built by a younger son of the first Baronet, and sold by him to the Hardinge family. It was repurchased by the late Sir Robert Burdett, who inhabited it while Foremark-hall was rebuilding. This house was afterwards pulled down. There is a singular rock, about a quarter of a mile north-east of Foremark, having at a distance the appearance of a ruin, with a rude door-way which leads to several cells or excavations: it is called Anchor-church, and is said to have been the residence of a hermit. Human bones have been found on this spot. (fn. n54)

The present chapel at Foremark was built by Sir Francis Burdett, the second Baronet, and consecrated by Bishop Hackett, in 1662. In this chapel are several monuments of the Burdett family. (fn. n55) The benefice is a donative curacy in the patronage of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart. It was endowed by his ancestor of the same name, in the reign of Charles II., with 20l. per annum; and it has since been augmented with Queen Anne's Bounty.

The manor of Ingleby (fn. n56), formerly one of the chapelries of Repton, belonged, when the Survey of Domesday was taken, to Ralph Fitz-Hubert. Clementia, Countess of Chester, held it in dower in 1255. (fn. n57) In the year 1290 Edmund Earl of Lancaster granted the manor of Ingleby to Sir Robert Somerville, whose family had some time before possessed lands in this chapelry. Sir Robert gave it the following year to Repton priory. (fn. n58) Having been granted to the family of Francis, it has passed with Foremark, and is now the property of Sir Francis Burdett, Bart. Ingleby-hall is in the occupation of Robert Charles Greaves, Esq. The chapel has long ago been demolished. The manor of Milton was parcel of the priory estate, and has long been in the Harpur family being now the property of Sir Henry Crewe, Bart. The village is about a mile east of Repton.

Measham, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, and in the deanery of Repington, which, though long esteemed a separate parish, is, more properly speaking, a parochial chapelry, within the parish of Repton, lies in that detached part of Derbyshire which is surrounded by Leicestershire, three miles from Ashhy-de-la-Zouch, and ten from Burton-upon-Trent. Part of the townships and villages of Donisthorpe and Oakthorpe is in this chapelry.

In the year 1310, a market at Measham on Tuesday, and a fair for three days at the festival of the Translation of St. Thomas the Martyr, were granted to William de Bereford, who then possessed a manor in Measham. (fn. n59) A market house was built not many years ago by Mr. Joseph Wilkes; but there is now neither market nor fair. The market-house is converted into a dwelling-house, the arches having been walled up.

The manor of Measham (Messeham) was in the crown, at the time of taking the Domesday Survey. It was afterwards in the Earls of Chester. Clementia, widow of Ranulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester, was possessed of it in 1235. (fn. n60) Edmund de Bereford, probably a son of William, died seised of a manor in Measham in 1355, Joan de Ellesfield, John de Maltravers, and Margaret de Audley being his next heirs. (fn. n61) Sir William Babing ton, in 1454, died seised of Bereford's manor in Meysham, and of the manor of Meysham called Dabridgecourts. (fn. n62) John Babington was possessed of the manor of Meysham in 1474. (fn. n63) Sir Francis Anderson died seised of a manor in Measham in 1616. Only one manor is now known, which seems to be that which, in 1563, belonged to Edmund Lord Sheffield, and in 1712, to his descendant, Edmund Sheffield, Duke of Buckingham. The manor of Measham is now the property of the Reverend Thomas Fisher, who purchased it after the death of the late Mr. Joseph Wilkes. Mr. Wilkes had purchased it of William Wollaston, Esq.

William Abney, Esq., who died in 1800, built a good house at a place called Measham-field in this parish, now the property and residence of his son, Edward Abney, Esq.

The chapel of Measham, was given as appendage of Repton, by Maud, Countess of Chester, to Repton priory 5 it is said to have belonged afterwards to the priory of Gresley. Mr. Fisher is the present impropriator and patron of the benefice, which is a donative curacy.

The Ashby canal passes through Measham, and there are two considerable cotton factories there.

The manors of Donisthorpe and Oakthorpe have been spoken of under Gresley. John Savage had a manor in Oakthorpe in 1200: and the abbot of Burton had an estate there. The Marquis of Hastings claims a manor by descent from the Earls of Huntingdon.

The parochial chapelry of Newton-Solney, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, and in the deanery of Repington, lies about three miles from Burton-on-Trent, which is the post-town, and about nine from Derby.

The manor was held, at an early period under the Earls of Chester, by the ancient equestrian family of Solney, whose coheiresses married Sir Nicholas Longford and Sir Thomas Stafford. (fn. n64) This manor was inherited by the Longfords, of whom it was purchased by the Leighs, in or before the reign of Henry VIII. The heiress of Leigh brought Newton-Solney to the Every family, and it is now the property of Sir Henry Every, Bart. The principal landed estate in Newton-Solney belongs to Abraham Hoskins, Esq., who purchased of Sir Henry Every, about 1795, and resides at Newton-Solney.

In the parish church are some ancient monuments of the Solney family (fn. n65), and that of Sir Henry Every, who married one of the coheiresses of Sir Francis Russel, Bart., and died in 1709.

Newton-Solney being a chapel of Repton, the tithes were appropriated to that priory, at that place. Sir Henry Every is the present impropriator and patron of the donative curacy.

The parochial chapelry of Smithsby, lies near the road from Ashby-dela-Zouch to Burton-on-Trent, about two miles (fn. n66) from the former, and seven from the latter.

The manor of Smithsby, which in the reign of Edward the Confessor, belonged to Earl Edwin, is described in the Survey of Domesday as the property of Nigel de Stafford. It afterwards belonged to the family of Comin whose heiress married Shepey. In the year 1330, it belonged to John Shepey, who in his answer to a quo warranto, stated, that his ancestors had from time immemorial had a park within their manor there. The heiress of Shepey married Kendall, of whose family it was purchased, in 1660, by the ancestor of Sir Henry Crewe, Bart, the present proprietor. Smithsby-hall, formerly the seat of the Kendalls, is now a farm-house.

In the parish church are some monuments of the Kendall family. (fn. n67)

The church of Smithsby, formerly a chapel to Repton, was given by Hugh, Earl of Chester, to the priory of Calke. The great tithes are said in the Liber Regis, to have been appropriated to Darley-Abbey. Sir Henry Crewe, Bart., is now impropriator of the tithes and patron of the perpetual curacy.

The parochial chapelry of Tickenhall or Ticknall, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, and in the deanery of Repington, lies about ten miles from Derby, which is the post-town, and about five miles from Ashby-de-la-Zouch.

The manor was given by Wulfric Spott, in the reign of King Ethelred, to the abbot and convent of Burton, under whom it was held by William Francis, Esq., in 1528. His son, of the same name, was seised of it in fee in 1538. Edward Abell, Esq., died seised of it in 1597: in or about 1625 it was purchased of his son, Ralph Abell, by the immediate ancestor of Sir Henry Crewe, Bart., the present proprietor.

In the chapel is the monument of Rachel, daughter of Gilbert Ward, and wife of John Hanson, 1636.

The chapel of Tickenhall, as an appendage of the church of Repton, was appropriated to the priory at that place. Sir Henry Crewe is now impropriator and patron of the donative curacy.

An hospital for decayed poor men and women of Tickenhall and Calke parishes, was founded at Tickenhall, by Charles Harpur, Esq., (brother of the late Sir Henry Harpur, Bart.,) who died in 1772. Mr. Harpur, by his will bearing date 1770, bequeathed 500l. for the building, and the sum of 2000l. to trustees for the endowment. There are now only women in this hospital, seven in number. The pensioners under Mr. Harpur's will were directed to be appointed by Sir Henry Harpur, Bart., and his heirs.


  • n1. Hubert Fitz-Ralph was Lord of the fee. These manors were parcel of the Barony of Ralph Fitz-Hubert at the time of the Domesday Survey.
  • n2. Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 58.
  • n3. Rot. Pat. 6 Edw. VI.
  • n4. Chart. Rot. 36 Hen. III.
  • n5. Hieron's Collections.
  • n6. Esch. 15 Edw. I. 34.
  • n7. Dodsworth's Collections and Hundred Roll, 2 Edw. I., where it is stated, that one was at Butterley, and the other at Hurtlay (Harsthay), both then newly made.
  • n8. Life and Trial of W. A. Home, Esq., 1759.
  • n9. The words of the grant are rather equivocal; Ralph Fitz-Stephen grants, " beatis pauperibus Sancti Hospitalis Jerusalem, totam terram de Waingrif ad quandum domum restaurandum fratribus ibidem Deo servientibus." Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. iii. p. 58. We find no mention in any other record, of a preceptory at Waingrif.
  • n10. He married, 1. Frances daughter of William Coke, Esq., of Trusley; 2. Catherine, daughter of Francis Hurt, Esq. of Alderwasley.
  • n11. Brookhill, which is in the Nottinghamshire part of the parish, belonged to the Lindseys, from whom it passed by purchase to the Revels. Sir Eardly Wilmot sold it to Lillyman, of whom it was purchased by Coke. It is now the seat of D'Ewes Coke, Esq.
  • n12. Chart. Rot. 13 Edw. I.
  • n13. Esch. 4 Edw. II.
  • n14. Esch. Edw. II. Hen. VI.
  • n15. See Esch. 9 Hen. VI., under the name of Roos.
  • n16. Esch. Ric.II. Hen. VI.
  • n17. Leland speaking of Sir John Chandos the celebrated warrior, says, " This Chandois dyed witheout yssewe, and left his two systars heires, whereof one was married to Bridgs and the othar to Pole. Bridges had Cowberle and othar lands, to the some of 300 marks by the yere. Poole had Eadburne withein 4 myles of Darby, and othar 300 marks of land by yere. The olde howse of Rodburne is no greate thinge, but the last Chandois began in the same Lordshipe, a mighty large howse of stone, withe a wonderfull cost, as it yet aperithe by foundations of a mans height standinge yet as he left them. He had thowght to have made of his olde place a colledge." Itin. vol.viii. p. 25, 26. There are some errors in this statement. Sir John Chandos the warrior died in 1370; the coheiresses of Sir John Chandos of another branch of the family who died in 1427, married Brydges and Mattesdon. See Dugdale's Baronage. Coberly in Gloucestershire was inherited by Brydges, not from the family of Chandos, but from the Berkeleys.
  • n18. One of these is for Ralph Pole, one of the Justices of the King's Bench, who died in 1452.
  • n19. See p. 216.
  • n20. See Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. i. p.771.
  • n21. Nichols's Leicestershire.
  • n22. There were originally only thirty habitations for the widows; none, as it seems, having been provided for the nurses; there are now thirty-two habitations, which is the present number of the pensioners, including the nurses.
  • n23. Mrs. Wilkins was heiress of the Wollastons of Shenton-hall.
  • n24. The estates consist of about 800 acres of land, 200 of which are still held on a lease, made before the date of the foundation.
  • n25. Edburga, daughter of Adulph, King of the East-Angles was at this time abbess of Repton. Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. i. p. 88.
  • n26. Sax. Chron.
  • n27. Ibid.
  • n28. Particulars of sale annexed to a copy of the Register of Tutbury-abbey, in the possession of Sir Joseph Banks.
  • n29. Visitation of religious houses, temp. Hen. VIII., at Chatsworth, printed by Dr. Pegge.
  • n30. Originalia, 38 Hen. III.
  • n31. Daughter and heir of Sir Thomas Leybourne and widow of John Lord Hastings.
  • n32. Grandson of Mabil, one of the coheiresses of Ranulph de Blundeville, Earl of Chester.
  • n33. One of the Segraves married a sister of Henry de Hastings, who inherited part of the manor of Repton.
  • n34. Quo Warranto Roll, 4 Edw. III.
  • n35. Topographer, vol. ii. p. 264.
  • n36. Topographer.
  • n37. Inq. ad q. d. 1 Hen. V.
  • n38. Fin. 13 Hen. IV.
  • n39. Quo Warranto Roll.
  • n40. Elizabeth Thacker (no date); Francis Thacker, Esq., with his bust, 1710. In the Topographer is an account of two monuments of this family which are not now to be seen in the church: Gilbert Thacker, Esq., 1563; Gilbert Thacker, Esq., 1712, married, 1. Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Walrond; 2. a daughter of Marbury, of Cheshire. In the church-yard is the tomb of Mrs. Elizabeth Thacker, the only child of the last-mentioned Gilbert and the last of the family, who died in 1728.
  • n41. Epitaph, by Miss Seward: — " Reader, if thee each sacred worth inspires, Learning's calm light, and fancy's ardent fires, Unsullied honour, friendship's generous glow, Sky-pointing hope, that smiles on finite woe; Such Stevens was, and thy congenial tear Drop on the scholar, bard, and Christian's bier."
  • n42. These scholars have an allowance of 20l. per annum each, for seven years, towards their maintenance at school out of the endowment.
  • n43. Chart. Rot. 20 Edw. I.
  • n44. Pat. 29 Edw. I.
  • n45. This spirited lady was daughter of the loyal Sir John Pakington.
  • n46. Sir John Cell's MS. Narrative.
  • n47. The stones from the castle are supposed to have been used in this building.
  • n48. The water-works were began to be constructed in the year 1684, and finished in 1702, most probably by the same artist who constructed those at Chatsworth. They consisted of numerous jets-d'eau, one of which, from a dragon's mouth, was thrown to the height of 50 feet. On the east side of the house was an oblong piece of water; in the centre of which was a lofty pedestal, supporting a statue of Perseus: from the sides of the pedestal issued numerous jets-d'eau, forming arches round its base. In this water were dolphins, swans, and other animals, all throwing up jets-d'eau. The orangery was very extensive, its large and lofty trees all growing in the natural soil, the conservatory having a lofty roof, and sides of glass, removable in the summer. These gardens appear to have been preserved complete, with the water-works, &c., till 1780, when they were all destroyed with the house. (From the information of Mr. Charles Burton.)
  • n49. From the information of Mr. Charles Burton.
  • n50. She was widow of Henry Lord Stanhope, and mother of Philip, the second Earl of Chesterfield. On the restoration of Charles II., by a patent bearing date the very day of his return, she was advanced to the rank of Countess of Chesterfield.
  • n51. Dugdale's Baronage, i. 472.
  • n52. It was still held under the Verdons when William Francis died seised of it, in 1532.
  • n53. Pat. 20 Ric. II. pt. 2. m. 16.
  • n54. Topographer, ii. 40.
  • n55. Sir Francis Burdett, Bart., 1696; Robert Burdett, his grandson, who died (eleven days before his father Sir Robert) in 1715 — his widow, the Hon. Elizabeth Tracy, afterwards married Robert Holden, Esq., of Aston; Francis Burdett, Esq., 1794—he married the heiress of William Jones, Esq., of Ramsbury manor; Sir Robert Burdett, Bart., (father of the said Francis, and grandfather of the present Baronet,) 1797.
  • n56. It lies three miles from Repton on the banks of the Trent.
  • n57. Dodsworth's Collections.
  • n58. Topographer, vol. ii. p. 268.
  • n59. Chart. Rot. 4 Edw. II. 30:
  • n60. Dodsworth's Collections,
  • n61. Esch. 29 Edw. III. 41.
  • n62. Esch. 33 Hen. VI.
  • n63. See Esch. 20 Edw. IV., when Lord Mountjoy died seised of the manor of Stretton held under this manor.
  • n64. Plea Roll, 15 Ric. II.
  • n65. See the account of ancient sepulchral monuments.
  • n66. One mile only by the footway.
  • n67. William Kendall, Esq., 1500; Henry Kendall, Esq., 1627.