Updated 8 May 2002
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
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White's 1857 Directory of Derbyshire
Neil Wilson is currently transcribing "White's 1857 Directory of Derbyshire" and has allowed me to put the Wirksworth Area onto this website. Thanks Neil.
Alderwasley| Ashlehay| Biggin| Blackwall| Bolehill| Bonsall| Brassington| Callow| Carsington| Cromford| Grange Mill| Griffe Grange| Hopton| Hulland Ward| Hulland Ward Intakes| Ible| Idridghay| Ireton Wood| Ironbrook| Kirk Ireton| Longway Bank| Matlock| Matlock Baths| Middleton| Riber| Slaley| Wigwell Grange| Wirksworth| Wirksworth Hundred| Shottle & Postern|
This Hundred is bounded on the north and north-east by the High Peak Hundred, on the east by the Scarsdale Hundred, on the south and south-east, by the Appletree Hundred, and on the west by the river Dove, which separates it from Staffordshire, where at the north-west extremity, the Middle and Upper quarters of the parish of Hartington bound the south-west portion of the High Peak Hundred for ten miles, to the source of the rivers Dove and Goyt. This portion was, by order of Quarter Sessions of 28th June, 1831, annexed to the Bakewell division of Petty Sessions, and is now comprised in the north division of the county, the remainder of the Hundred being in the south division, with the Appletree, Morleston and Litchurch, and Repton and Gresley Hundreds, for which the polling places are Derby, Heanor, Ashbourn, Wirksworth, Melbourn, Belper, and Swadlincote; and those for the north division, Buxton, Alfreton, Bakewell, Castleton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Chesterfield, Glossop, Tideswell, and Eckington. This Hundred contains 77,659 statute acres of land. The northern side of this Hundred partakes of the same features as the High Peak, though not quite so mountainous, and is often designated the Low Peak. It is noted as being almost the first seat of the cotton manufacture, (See Cromford,) for its warm baths at Matlock, its numerous caverns and picturesque dales-particularly Dovedale,-and the rich mineral field at its northern extremity. The southern side is more an agricultural district of fertile land with a variety of soils, principally a red loam on various substrata, and chiefly occupied in dairy farms, many of which are large. Cheese is made to a very considerable extent, and is in great repute for its excellent quality. The houses have been much improved during the last thirty years, and it contains many handsome mansions and neat villa residencies. The old thatched farm houses have in many instances been replaced by handsome modern structures, with convenient and well arranged farm yards. The cottages are also principally built of stone, and roofed with slate.
(See list of "Notables and Tradesmen")
WIRKSWORTH, a township and ancient market town, situated in a pleasant valley, much frequented by antiquarians and visitors during the summer months, for its beautiful scenery: it contains many good modern mansions, and is distant 13 miles N.N.W. from Derby, 10 miles W. by S. from Alfreton, 6 miles N.W. by N. from Belper, 2 miles S. by W. from Cromford station, and 140 miles N.W. from London, by road; contains 2959A. 3R, 32P. of land, of which 50A. are roads and waste, and 49A. 2R. 27P. houses and gardens, and in 1851 had 1,019 houses, and 3,923 inhabitants, of whom 1,911 were males and 2,012 females; rateable value £8,977. 18s. 5d. Peter Arkwright, Esq., is lord of the manor, and the principal land owners are F. G. Goodwin, Esq., George Greaves, Esq., Peter Arkwright, Esq., James Toplis, Esq., Rev. John Toplis, Phillip A. Hurt, Esq., Wm. Leacroft, Esq. Mr. Jno. Smith, Mr. Wm. Hunt, Mr. W. Williamson, Mr. Fras. Page, and Mr. Joseph Wheatcroft, with several smaller freeholders. The principal employment of the inhabitants arises from the lead mines, but a considerable number are employed at the three factories for the manufacture of small-wares, &c. Malting is also carried onto a small extent, about 2,500 quarters being made annually. A market on Wednesday, and an annual fair for three days, were granted by Edward I., in 1305, to Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, The Market is now held on Tuesday, and Fairs for horned cattle on Shrove Tuesday, Easter Tuesday May 12th, September 8th, and third Tuesday in November. The Feast is on the first Sunday after September 8th. There were formerly some mineral springs within the parish, but they have been destroyed by the draining of the mines. Many Roman antiquities have been found at various times in the immediate neighbourhood; and in 1822, Jacob Buckley found the bones of a Rhinoceros in the Dream lead mine, about ten fathoms below the surface; they are now in the Museum at Oxford. The Petty Sessions for the Wapentake are held every fortnight, at the Red Lion Inn, by the county magistrates.
Special Sessions are also held here on the first Wednesday in every month, for hearing appeals, transferring and granting licenses, for the return of jury lists, and for the general transaction of highway business. Messrs. G. Hodgkinson, and J. C. Newbold, are clerks to the Justices.
The Lock Up, North End, was erected in l842; it is a substantial building, with a residence for the superintendent constable, and contains four cells. Henry Tomlinson is the superintendent.
The Church, dedicated to St. Mary, is a spacious and venerable structure, exhibiting various styles of architecture, the oldest portions being in the Early English, or style of the 13th century. It is built in the Cathedral manner, comprising nave with side aisles, choir with side aisles, chancel, transepts and tower with six bells, (re-cast in 1702) and is capable of seating 2000 persons, of which number, 250 are free and unappropriated In 1820-21, the church was repaired and re-pewed at a cost of upwards of £2,000; it was also enlarged by additions to the east of the transepts. In 1826, an organ was procured at a cost of above £400, raised by subscriptions, and placed in the tower of the church, but the situation being found objectionable, it was removed in 1853, to a more convenient one in the nave; at the same time, new stalls, were erected for the choir, and, also seats on each side for the Sunday school children, the total cost of which was about £150. The organ is endowed with £1000., three per cent consols, for defraying the salary of the organist, Mr. Thos. Reeves. In 1854-5, further improvements were made, A memorial to the late Francis Hurt, Esq., of Alderwasley, having been determined upon by the county at large, the restoration of the chancel, with the addition of the memorial windows, was the result; the old chancel roof was replaced by one of stained oak, the floor laid with encaustic tiles, and a handsome chancel arch erected, A beautiful stained glass window, in the perpendicular style, was placed in the east end, and four other windows; two on each side of the chancel were filled with stained glass, the gift of Francis Hurt, Esq., and his sisters. The east (or memorial) window, contains the armorial bearings of the family, interspersed with which are angels bearing obituary inscriptions; the five chief lights below contain as many subjects, and over each of these subjects are lofty canopies, with angels holding sacred symbols; beneath them are pedestals bearing scrolls, inscribed with scripture texts, referring to the several subjects. Along the bottom runs the following dedication :-"Memorial to Francis Edward Hurt, Esq., of Alderwasley, died March 22nd, 1854, aged 73, by public subscription, 1855." About the same time, a new reading desk and pulpit, also stalls for the chancel were put up by private subscription, including the cost of the chancel arch above referred to. The interior is heated by stoves, and lighted with gas, the latter being introduced in 1851, and the tower has a good clock, put up in 1848, at a cost of about £180. It contains some ancient monuments: one to Ralph Gell, Esq., with effigies of the deceased and his two wives, dated 1534; another to Anthony Gell, Esq., founder of the grammar school and almshouses, with his effigy in a gown and ruff, dated 1583. In the chancel is a beautiful altar tomb to Anthony Lowe, Esq., servant to Henry VII., Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Mary I., was buried December, 1555, has representatives of the deceased in armour, Other monuments to the Lowe, Gell, Blackwall, and Wigley families, are worthy of inspection. In the churchyard is a headstone to the memory of Matthew Peat, of Alderwasley, who died December 11th, 1751, aged 109 years and 10 months. In the north aisle of the nave, and fixed in the wall, is a specimen of rude and ancient sculpture in bas-relief, representing various events in the life of our Saviour, as related in the gospels, the material is sandstone, and the dimensions are 5 feet in length, by 2ft. 10in. in width, This relic of primeval piety was found during the repairs in 1820, on removing the pavement in front of the altar railing, it was laid with the sculpture downwards, about two feet from the surface, over a stone built vault or grave, which contained a perfect human skeleton of large size; it must not be understood to have formed the cover of this vault, as it had another suitable covering quite unconnected with the sculpture; there is every probability that it has formed an altar piece in a church erected soon after the conversion of the Saxons to Christianity. A. description of this sculpture is given in the "Gentleman's Magazine," of November, 1821. The living is a vicarage, valued in the King's book at £42. 7s. 8d., now £340. The vicarial tithes (mineral tithe excepted) have been commuted at £91. The vicar is also by custom and endowment entitled to the tithe of lead ore. The Bishop of Lichfield is patron; the Rev. Thos, Tunstall Smith, M.A, vicar, and the Revs. D. R. Norman, B.A., and Chas. Henry Owen, M.A., curates. The Vicarage is a neat residence on the north side of the church-yard, rebuilt near the site of a dilapidated structure, in the year 1831, at a cost of £1,200, and since enlarged by the present vicar. The rectorial property is vested in the Ecclesiastical Commissioners, and Geo. Henry Errington, Esq., is the lessee. The Independent Chapel, Coldwell street, built in 1700, was formerly in possession of the Presbyterians, but was re-opened in 1703, by the Independents. The Wesleyans have a chapel in Bailey croft, built in 1810, it is a plain stone building, and will seat about 250 persons. The Baptist Chapel, Coldwell street, was opened in 1816. It is a neat brick building, and will seat about 300 persons. The Rev. Thos. Yates, is the pastor. Wesleyan Reformers Chapel, Warmbrook, was originally in possession of the old body, but was claimed by the Reformers, when they seceded from them; it is a small stone building. The Free Gospellers Chapel, in the Dale, originally an old building, was converted into a chapel about two years ago, at a cost of £100. The Primitive Methodists have a neat stone chapel, in the Dale, erected in 1828, will seat about 300 hearers, besides a smaller one at Gorsey Banks, erected in 1846, at a cost of about £90. A General Cemetery, under the management of a Burial Board, situated at the North End, was formed in 1854, and consecrated in 1856. It occupies about three acres of ground, and has two neat chapels, one for the Church and the other for the Dissenters, with a residence for the sexton. The want of such a place of interment has long been felt, owing to the overcrowded state of the church-yard. The cost was upwards of £1,500., borrowed from Government, to be repaid by 20 instalments in 20 years. The Free Grammar School, on the N.E. side of the church-yard, is a handsome Gothic building, rebuilt in 1828, at a cost of £1664. The present rental of the charity estates is £295, (see Charities) out of which £170 is paid in salaries to the masters. It is managed by six governors or trustees, who meet in the school half-yearly, to elect as many boys as there may be vacancies for and to transact other business The average number of boys attending the school is 50, of these 20 are admitted on the foundation, and the rest are subject to moderate quarterly charges for education. The course of instruction embraces Greek, Latin, English Grammar, Mathematics, Arithmetic, History, Geography, &c. The Rev. Fras. Hy. Brett, M.A., head master. Mr. Marcellus Peal, second master. The National Schools, North End, erected in 1851, at a cost of £1,457. 3s. 4d. which was defrayed by private subscriptions, with grants from the National society, of £80., the Committee of Council on Education, £234., and the Duchy of Lancaster, £30., besides other sources. It is a handsome stone building in the Elizabethan style, with residence for the master and mistress attached; the present number of scholars is 210, viz., 70 boys, 50 girls. and 90 infants. A Parochial Library was established in 1846, and contains about 800 volumes; it is kept at the Grammar school, and books are exchanged every Tuesday. There are four Lodges of Odd-Fellows, and three sick societies in the town, besides a Clothing Club, a Dispensary, and other charitable and religious associations. The Mechanics Institute, Market place, was established in 1852, for the purpose of supplying its members with the means of acquiring useful knowledge. Members are not admitted under 16 years of age, and every candidate for admission must be recommended by two members. The Reading Room is liberally supplied with periodicals and newspapers, and the Library contains about 500 volumes; the number of members at the present time is 100, besides 15 honorary members, Wm. Cantrell, Esq., is the president, and Mr. J. W. Hall, librarian. A most gratifying festival, in connection with this Institution was held on the 26th June, 1856, in the beautiful grounds of Wm. Cantrell, Esq., at which upwards of 2000 persons were present, who having partaken of tea, liberally provided by the ladies of the town and neighbourhood, were addressed by several influential gentlemen, under the presidency of T. W. Evans, Esq., of Allestree Hall; after which a grand display of fireworks brought the day's proceedings to a close. The Cricket Ground a short distance S. of the town, is near Miller's Green. The cost of preparing the ground and erecting a wooden house for the convenience of players, was about £200. It is now one of the best grounds in the county. The Cricket Club was established in 1849, and has now nearly 100 members.
The Savings' Bank, in St. John street, is a handsome stone structure, erected in 1842, at a cost of £1200, paid out of the surplus fund. The bank was opened 17 March, 1818, and has been established 38 years, and in November, 1855, the number of depositors were 1507, besides 8 Charitable and 31 Friendly Societies, having deposits amounting to £59,730 17s. 2d. The bank is open on Tuesday, from 11 to 1 o'clock. Mr. Samuel Frost, actuary.
The Gas Works were erected in 1838, at Warmbrook, by a proprietary of shareholders, who circulate this luminous vapour at 8s. 6d. per 1000 cubic feet; Edward Robinson, manager.
The Inland Revenue Office is at the Red Lion, Market place; Mr. Richard Holmes, Supervisor; also the Ecclesiastical Court, for the conveyance of property, at the same house; Mr. John Marshall, bailiff.
The Copyhold and Freehold Courts, for the inspection of nuisances is held at the Moot Hall, under Peter Arkwright, Esq.; Mr. John Marshall, bailiff.
The New Small Debts Act, or County Court,-This important act, which superseded the Court of Requests, came into operation on the 15th March, 1847.
Wirksworth County Court is held at the Moot Hall, Beeley Croft, monthly, and the district comprises the following places:-Alderwasley, Alderwasley Forge, Alton, Aldwark, Ashleyhay, Bonsall, Bradbourne, Brassington, Carsington, Callow, Cromford, Darley, Dethick, Elton, Hackney, Hognaston, Holloway, Hopton, Ironbrook Grange, Idle, Idridgehay, Ireton Wood, Kirk Ireton, Lea, Matlock, Matlock Bank, Middleton-by-Wirksworth, Northwood, Snitterton, Sidnope, Stancliff, Tansley, Toadhole, Wensley, Winster, Wirksworth. Judge, Joseph Thomas Cantrell, Esq. Registrar, Philip Hubbersty, Esq.; Office St. John's street. High Bailiff, William Marsh.
The Moot Hall, in Beeley croft, erected in 1814, is a neat stone building, ornamented with the Miners' arms in front, and contains an ancient miners' dish made of brass, given by Henry VIII, A.D., 1513. It contains a little more than 14 pints Winchester dry measure, and has the following inscription upon it "This dish was made the iiij day of October, the iiij yere of the reigne of Kyng Henry the viij., before George Erle of Shrowesbury, Steward of the Kyng most Honourable household; and allso Steward of all the honour of Tutbery, by the assent and consent as wele of all the Mynours as of all the Brenners within and adioynyng the Lordshyp of Wyrkysworth Percell of the said honour. This Dishe to remain in the Moote Hall at Wyrkysworth, hanging by a Cheyne so as the Mchanntes or Mynours may have resorte to the same att all tymes to make the trw Mesure at the same." The original Moot Hall, built in 1773, by the direction of Thomas Lord Hyde, chancellor of the duchy of Lancaster, stood in the Market place. Peter Arkwright, Esq., is lessee, under the crown, for the soke and wapentake of Wirksworth. James C. Newbold, Esq., of Matlock Bath, is the acting steward of the barmote court, under the lessee, and Mr. John Alsop, of Wensley, the head barmaster. A Barmote court and court leet is held here on Lady-day and Michaelmas.day; presided over by the steward, by whom all mineral disputes within the Wapentake are tried, The township of Wirksworth contains two manors besides that of the rectory. The chief paramount manor belonged, in the year 835, to the abbey of Repton, and at Domesday survey it belonged to the crown. King John, in the fifth year of his reign, granted it to William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, having been forfeited by the attainder of Robert Earl of Derby, in 1265. It was granted, together with the Wapentake, by Edward I., to his brother, Edmund Earl of Lancaster. The manor of Holland, otherwise Richmond, was given by Thomas Earl of Lancaster to Sir Robert Holland; it was forfeited by the attainder of Henry Holland, Duke of Exeter, in 1461, King Henry IV. granted it to his sister Ann, Duchess of Exeter; afterwards it belonged to Margaret Countess of Richmond, mother of King Henry VII., on whose death it devolved again to the crown, and was granted, in 1553, to Ralph Gell, Esq., in whose descendents it still remains. This manor extends into the townships of Ashley Hay, Middleton, Carsington, Hognaston, and Kirk-Ireton. A court baron is held at Wirksworth. About half a mile north from Wirksworth are several extensive quarries of very superior limestone and marble, of which large quantities are conveyed by the High Peak railway to the Cromford canal, and thence to various parts of the kingdom. Considerable quantities of lime are burned about a quarter of a mile north of the town; and together with the lead mines, form the chief occupation of the inhabitants, which latter have been worked from the earliest period of history, or even tradition. There can be no doubt that they were worked by the Romans, as pigs of lead have been found in the neighbourhood inscribed with the names of Roman Emperors, and are now in the British Museum. That they were worked by the Saxons, is also evident by the names which several of them bear at the present time, In Domesday book there is mention of mines in Wirksworth, and from that time down to the present, mining has been the staple trade of the town and district. Mining operations have been governed from remote antiquity by peculiar laws and customs, which until the passing of the "Wirksworth Mining Custom and Mineral Courts Act," in the year 1853, were dependent upon oral tradition, and some collections of the laws and customs which have been printed at various times; now, however these customs have become statute laws, one peculiarity of which is, that any person can search for it, and if he find lead ore, can work the mine in any other person's land without leave or without paying any compensation to the owner of the soil, In the course of time the mines were worked to such a depth as to be impeded by water. To relieve them several adits, or (as they are called) soughs have been driven at various intervals. The oldest is the Hannage Sough, which relieved the mines to a certain depth; then the Cromford Sough was driven from the market place, in Cromford, but that became in the course of time useless; and about the year 1777, the Meerbrook Sough was commenced from the level of the Derwent, near Hotstandwell Bridge. For many years this important adit was in abeyance, but in the year 1841 an Act of Parliament was obtained, incorporating a company to prosecute the works. It has been driven into the Valley of Wirksworth, a distance of three miles, at an expense of £27,500, and has had the effect of relieving the mines from water, some of which have been and are now very productive. The Ratchwood Mine has within the last three years realized upward of £30,000, and other mines it is expected will be equally as productive
BOLE HILL, a small village on a bold acclivity, half a mile N.E. from Wirksworth, is principally inhabited by miners. The Bage mine adjoining the village, was formerly the most productive mine in the district. Here is a Primitive Methodist chapel, erected an 1852, on the site of the old one, at a cost of about £200; it is a good stone building and will seat about 200 hearers.
WIGWELL GRANGE, a manor within the manor of Wirksworth, from which it is distant 1 miles east, and consists of the Grange and other lands-about 500 acres, with a stone mansion and pleasure grounds commanding picturesque views of the surrounding country. The Grange was given by Wm. le Fawne and others, in the reign of Henry the III., and confirmed by William de Ferrers, Earl of Derby, to the Abbot and Convent of Darley, near Derby, and was the favourite summer residence of the Abbots of that house. At the dissolution of the Monastery of Darley, by Henry VIII. it was granted to Thos. Babington, Esq., and forfeited by the conspirator Babington, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth to the crown, and regranted to Anthony Babington, who sold it in 1585, to Wigley, of Middleton, near Wirksworth. It was bought in 1774 by Francis Green, Esq., and is now the property and residence of his grandson, Captain Francis Green Goodwin.
CHARITIES.-Agnes Fearne, by will dated 1574, devised a house and garden in Wirksworth, on trust, to the intent, that if after her decease there should happen to be a free school in the town of Wirksworth, the trustees should cause five marks out of the profits of her lands to be conveyed to the said school for ever. She also directed 40s. yearly to be paid to the poor folk in a bede house in Wirksworth; and devised £1 6s. 8d. out of lands in Kirk Ireton and Idridge Hay, to be expended in clothing and given to the most necessitous poor of the parish, but we have not been able to find any trace of the payment of this latter sum. By indenture of feoffment, dated 1585, the lands and cottages of the said Agnes Fearne were conveyed by the surviving trustee to the governors of the free school and almshouse and their successors, for the support and maintenance thereof.
Gell's Almshouses were founded in the 26th of Elizabeth, by Anthony Gell, Esq., who left £60, and directed his executor, within one year after his death, to build an an almshouse in Wirksworth, on the side of the Hannage, for six aged, poor, and impotent men. He also left £20 per annum to be divided amongst the inmates, out of the rents of the lands and tenements devised for that purpose. The same donor also devised certain lands for the maintenance and support of a free grammar school, which was founded by letters patent in the 26th of Elizabeth, as "The Free Grammar School of Anthony Gell, Esq., for the education and instruction of boys in grammar and other literature;" and her Majesty ordained that there should be six descent and honest men, inhabiting within the Wapentake of Wirksworth, to be governors of the said school and almshouse, and that they and their successors should be a body corporate. When any of the said governors should die or be removed from his place or office of governor, or inhabit out of the Wapentake, the other governors, or the major part of them, might nominate any other fit person within the said Wapentake, to be governor. The endowment consists of 154A. 0R. 22P. of land, producing a rental of upwards of £280 per annum. A portion of this land, in small detached parcels amounting to 45A, was exchanged at the Wirksworth enclosure, in 1806. In most of the instances in which the lands of this charity lie open to those of other persons, the boundaries are marked by mere stones. It is proper that these stones should be inspected by the trustees, and new ones placed where necessary. The old school room, built in 1576, was taken down in 1828, and a commodious structure erected on its site. An annual sum of £170 is paid to two masters.
Henry Gee, in 1618, left a rent charge of £10, out of lands at Bolehill, £5 of which is given to the head master of the grammar school, and £5 distributed to the almsmen.
Anthony Bunting, in 1685, left £5 per annum to be given to the almsmen, out of land called the Dale Field.
In 1744, John Taylor left £100 for the benefit of the poor, which was invested in land, called Middlehills and Botham's close, in Ible, the rent is received by the churchwardens at Christmas, and has hitherto been distributed amongst the poor of the township, but it appears from the testator's will, that this donation was given for the benefit of the poor of the whole parish, and not intended to be confined to the township alone.
German Buckston, in 1765, left £100, which was invested in land, called Youlcliff Head. The rent, £5 per annum, is received by the churchwardens, and distributed in sums of 5s. each, amongst the most necessitous widows and housekeepers of the parish.
Elizabeth Bagshaw, in 1797, left £2,000 three per cent. consolidated annuities on trust, the dividends thereof to be given to the poor decayed housekeepers resident in the parish of Wirksworth, at the rate of 20s. each. The dividends amount to £56 8s., one-fourth of which has been confined to poor persons of Middleton, and the remaining three-fourths have been given to the poor of the township of Wirksworth only. It appears, however, to have been Mrs. Bagshaw's intention, that her charity should extend to poor decayed housekeepers resident in any part of the parish. The poor of this parish partake of the Rev. Francis Gisborne's charity-(See Bradley.)
William Greatorex, in 1734, left a rent charge, of £3 per annum, out of land in Wirksworth, called the Green Yard, to be applied in apprenticing poor boys.
WIRKSWORTH township.-Daniel Dean, in 1637, left 20s. yearly, out of a house in Derby, which is laid out in bread, and distributed at Easter amongst the poor.
Dorothy Lees, in 1646, left lands for the benefit of the poor, now let for £13 13s. per annum, one-fourth of which is given to the poor of Middleton, and the remainder to the poor of Wirksworth.
George Summers, in 1683, left a rent charge of £3 yearly, out of land, called the Fishpool Flats, which, in 1801, was exchanged for the Dale Closes. We apprehend the parties had no power to change the security of this donor's charity, and that the land called the Fishpool Flats is still liable to the annual payment of £3, if it should become necessary to resort to it. The annuity is received by the churchwardens, and distributed to the poor at Christmas.
Francis Bunting, in 1693, left a rent charge of £5 per annum, to be issuing out of his houses and lands in Wirksworth, to be distributed in sums of 5s. each to 20 poor housekeepers, on St. Stephen's day.
Mary Hoades, in 1702, left 40s. yearly, charged on a piece of land in Hognaston, called the High Greave, which is given to the poor on St. Thomas's day.
In 1707, Sarah Woodis left 40s. per annum for the benefit of the poor; she also directed 40s. per annum to be paid to the minister at the meeting-house in Wirksworth, so long as there continued to be a meeting-house there, and when it should be discontinued and there should be no minister, then the whole sum of £4 to be paid to the poor.
Elizabeth Blackburn devised certain lands for the benefit of the poor, which were afterwards exchanged for Wheatcroft Close and Nash's Close, now let for £14 per annum.
Poor' Allotments-1A. 1R. 36P., by the High Style road, were allotted to the overseers and churchwardens, as trustees for the poor, at the enclosure in 1802, and the rent thereof is given to the poor.
In 1802, Mrs. Bridget Cheney gave £100 to be invested in the Wirksworth Savings'bank, the interest thereof to be distributed at Christmas. In 1823, a sum of £12 13s. 8d. was added to it; and in 1825, a further deposit of £13 10s., arising from a legacy given by John Harrison, of the Isle of Man. These three sums amounting to £126 3s. 8d., are now in the Savings bank, and the interest forms part of the distribution to the poor at Christmas.
In 1831, Mary Harrison left £45 to be invested in the Savings' bank at Wirksworth, and the interest to be given to the poor.
Gisborne's Charity.-(See Bradley).-£7 5s. 0d., received on account of this charity, is laid out by the vicar, in the purchase of cloth and flannel, and distributed amongst the poor.
(See list of "Notables and Tradesmen")
ALDERWASLEY, or ARROWSLEY, a township, chapelry, and scattered village, in the Appletree Hundred, 2 miles E. by S. from Wirksworth, contains 3045A. 2R. 35P. of land, and in 1851 had 82 houses, and 400 inhabitants, of whom 201 were males, and 199 females; rateable value, £3075 15s. 0d. Francis Hurt, Esq.. is lord of the manor and sole owner. The Chapel, a small structure, near the Hall, erected in the reign of Henry VIII., is now disused; a new one having been erected in 1849, at the cost of £2000, defrayed by the late Fras. E. Hurt, Esq. It is a handsome stone building in the Elizabethan style, situated a little S.W. from the Hall, and has a nave, chancel, and low spire with one bell, and four of the windows are filled with stained glass. It will seat about 400 persons. The living is a donative, not subject to ecclesiastical jurisdiction, Francis Hurt, Esq., appoints the chaplain, which is enjoyed by the Rev. Alexander Orme, B.A., who resides at the Parsonage, a good house about half a mile W. from the Chapel, built by the late F. E. Hurt, Esq., at the cost of £1,200. The Hall, a handsome mansion, in a picturesque situation, surrounded with shrubberies and tasteful pleasure grounds, is the seat and property of F. Hurt, Esq. Here art and nature have combined to render this a most pleasing and delightful situation. The Dean of Lincoln is impropriator, under whom G. H. Errington, Esq., is lessee. The vicar of Wirksworth has the small tithe. In 1841, a mixed school was erected by the late F. E. Hurt, Esq., which is chiefly supported by F. Hurt, Esq. It is a handsome stone building, and is attended by about 60 children. Messrs. John and Charles Mold have extensive works on the bank of the Derwent, near the Ambergate station, for the manufacture of bar, rod, and sheet iron; and Messrs. William and Charles Milnes have extensive smelting and lead works near Whatstandwell Bridge 2 miles E. by N. from Wirksworth. The manor anciently belonged to the Ferrers family, and was afterwards annexed to the Duchy of Lancaster. Thomas Lowe married the heiress of the Le Foune or Fawne family, who had an estate here as early as the reign of Henry III. John Lowe, his son, procured from Henry VIII., in 1528, a grant of this manor. Elizabeth, the sister and heir of his descendant and namesake brought this estate and manor in 1690, to Nicholas Hurt, Esq., of Castern, in Staffordshire. In the civil war in 1643, this manor was sequestered as the property of Edward Lowe, a royalist.
CHARITY.-Grace Hurt, in 1727, directed 8s. weekly to be divided amongst four poor women of this township. The amount is now paid by Francis Hurt, Esq., the owner of Alderwasley estate.
(See list of "Notables and Tradesmen")
ASHLEY HAY township, and pleasant district of scattered houses, 1 miles S. by E. from Wirksworth, contains 1437A. 1R. 39P. of land, including roads and waste, and in 1851 had 54 houses, and 271 inhabitants, of whom 140 were males, and 131 females; rateable value, £1686. Francis Hurt, Esq., is lord of the manor, and principal owner, but Mr. W. Dean; Mrs. Elizabeth Spencer, Mr. R. Spencer, Mr. W. Pidcock, James Milnes, Esq., Miss M. Adsetts, Mr. Joseph Taylor, and Mr. Joseph Malin, have also estates here. There are also 50 small copy and freeholders. The tithe was commuted in 1842. Alport Hill is a commanding eminence, said to be the highest point in South Derbyshire. Extensive prospects are seen into Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, and Staffordshire. The Wesleyans and Primitive Methodists have each places of worship here; the latter is situated at Bacon Hill, and will seat about 100 hearers; the site and the stone for the building was given by Mr. W. Pidcock.
(See list of "Notables and Tradesmen")
BIGGIN, a township and small village, in Appletree Hundred, 5 miles S.W. by S. from Wirksworth, contains 577 acres of land, and in 1851 had 30 houses, and 133 inhabitants, of whom 73 were males, and 60 females; rateable value, £813 4s. 8d. The principal owners are, Mr. Wm. Webster, Mr. Jonathan Roose, Mr. Samuel Bainbrigge, Rev. W. R. Melville, Rev. C. Evans, Mr. John Booth, Mr. Jas. and Mr. Wm. Pearson. The tithes were commuted in 1844-the rectorial for £101, and the vicarial for £2 6s. 0d. per annum. George Henry Errington, Esq. is the lessee. Here is a Chalybeate spring, which is very efficacious in scorbutic and cutaneous diseases. It is in the occupation of Mr. John Booth, Lane head, and situated near his residence. Biggin House, situated on an eminence 5 miles S.W. from Wirksworth, is a neat brick building, the property of Mr. William Webster, and the residence of Mr. John Webster.
(See list of "Notables and Tradesmen")
BONSALL, a township, parish, and considerable, village, 3½ miles N.N.W., from Wirksworth, 17 miles N.W, from Derby, and 8 miles N.W. from Ambergate, comprises Bonsall Dale, Upper Bonsall, and the hamlet of Slaley, which together contain 2288A. 3R. 24P. of strong land, partly grazing, and partly arable, and in 1851, had 337 houses, and 1,449 inhabitants, of whom 670 were males, and 779 females; rateable value £3,040 17s. The principal owners are William Pole Thornhill, Esq., M.P., Samuel Prince, Esq., Robert Clay, Esq., and Miss Mary Woodiwiss, with several smaller owners; the former lord of the manor. The Church, dedicated to St. James, is a handsome embattled stone edifice, having a tower, terminating in pinnacles, and supporting an octagonal spire, with six bells. It has a nave, chancel, and side aisles, and in the centre, over the pulpit, is a painting representing Moses and Aaron holding the ten commandments. In the north west aisle is an ancient stone font. There are also several neat marble tablets to the family of Evans, and a brass one to Henry Hopkinson, who died 4th of December, 1635, containing the following lines:-
A Barrester a Batchellor of Arte, A Practiser, that chose the better Parte, That pleaded more For Ivste Defence then Gaine, That For The Poore and common good Tooke Paine; That covnsel'd Peace For Hee Did Plaainely See, Too much Decrease By Svites That Triviall Bee; That knewe EY Lawe, Yes Soe Lov'd Neighbovrhood Noe man Did know Him Sve Or To Bee Sved, Hee's Bvried Heere, His Sovle in Heaven Does Rest Withovt All Feare For Peace makers Are Blest.
The living is a rectory, valued in the King’s book at £9 16s. 0½d., now £201, in the patronage of the Bishop of Lichfield, and incumbency of the Rev. Eden S. Greville, B.A., who resides at the rectory, a substantial stone building in the Elizabethan style, situated a little S.E. from the church. The tithes were commuted in 1849 for £131, and here are 68 acres of glebe. The Baptists have a small chapel here. In 1852, John Smedley, Esq., erected a handsome chapel for the Wesleyan Reformers, at a cost of £350, it will seat about 200 persons; and in the same year the Primitive Methodists built one of stone, at a cost of about £200, exclusive of £65 for the site; it will seat about 150. Here is a lodge of Odd Fellows, at the Queen's Head, who hold their anniversary on the Wednesday near St. James's day; there is also a sick club in the village. Here is an ancient cross, which is annually decorated with flowers, on the Saturday after Whit-Sunday, and the day is afterwards spent in rural festivity by the villagers. It consists of a pillar, bearing the respective dates of 1678, 1769, and 1800, resting on a base, formed by an ascent of 10 steps, and crowned by a ball. The extensive lead smelting furnaces of Mr. Alfred Alsop, in Via Gellia, give employment to a number of hands. Red and sheet lead is also made to a considerable extent. In Bonsall Dale, is the comb manufactory of Mr. Robert Hartle, of Matlock Bath.
SLALEY, a small hamlet, half a mile S. from Bonsall, is principally occupied by miners, each of whom occupy a few acres of land. The manor, Bunteshalle, at the Domesday survey, is described as a hamlet of the manor of Mesterforde, then in the crown, the site of which is not known. It was afterwards granted to the Earl of Lancaster, and remained with the duchy of Lancaster till 1630, when King Charles granted it to Charles Harbord, Esq., and others, who in 1632 sold it to Henry, Earl of Dover. It was purchased in the following year, by the copyholders, for whom it has since been hold on trust. The vicinity of Bonsall is greatly diversified, and the Dale of Bonsall is most interesting. Its geological formation consists of 4 strata of limestone and 3 of toad stone. The neighbouring hills abound with lime stone, lead ore, and lapis calaminaris are obtained to a consid-erable extent.
CHARITIES.-The Free School, in Bonsall, was founded in 1717, out of the rents of land left by William and Elizabeth Cragge. The land is now let for the sum of £7 13s. 6d. per annum.
Elizabeth Turner, in 1737, vested certain freehold and copyhold lands, then let for £40 per annum, for the better support of the said free school; and she directed the funds to be applied for the instruction of 25 boys, 20 of whom to be children of the inhabitants of Bonsall, and 5 to be children of the inhabitants of Snitterton and Wensley; such children to be nominated by the trustees. The master receives the rents of Cragge's charity, £7 13s. 6d., including that of £3 5s. 6d., for the lands in his own possession, for which he accounts to the receiver. He also receives £40 per annum from Turner's charity, which salary was raised in 1807 to its present amount. In respect of these emoluments, he instructs 50 poor boys and girls in reading, writing, and arithmetic; 45 of the parish of Bonsall, and 5 from the townships of Wensley and Snitterton. 15 acres of land belonging to this charity are situated at Tansley; 21 acres, with a house and mill in Matlock parish, and upwards of 20 acres with a house and garden in the parish of Bonsall. Elizabeth Turner further directed a yearly sum of £10 to be paid out of the said lands in apprentice fees, for 2 boys belonging the free school to be instructed in useful trades; but there has not been, on an average, since the year 1806, more than one boy in two years thus apprenticed. The gross income of the school is £98 19s. 6d. and at the time of this investigation there was a balance in favour of the charity of £460 7s. 3d.
An unknown donor left £1 10s. per annum, which is distributed in bread on Good Friday.
A person of the name of Needham gave £2 18s. yearly, for the same purpose, and bread to that amount is given on St. Thomas's day. This pariah partakes of the Rev. F. Gisborne's charity.-(See Bradley.)
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