Bradwell: Ancient and Modern

A History of the Parish and of Incidents in the Hope Valley.

By Seth Evans (1912)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013

Chapter X.

EARLY CHURCHWARDENS.

How St. Barnabas' Church was Built.

There being no church here until the year 1868, the adherents of the Church of England had to attend service at the Parish Church of Hope, but there were not many after the Wesleyan Chapel was built. But prior to that time those who attended a place of worship - and it was compulsory to go to church - had to go to Hope. The list of churchwardens of Hope for nearly 300 years contains many old Bradwell names. There were generally three wardens, and very often one was from Bradwell, and a strange thing about it is that sometimes a Bradwell Dissenter would be filling the office. In the year 1529 Thomas Lowe, vicar of Hope, was inducted by Thomas Bradwell, chaplain of Hope.

Old Sunday School at Brookside
The Old Sunday School at Brookside, where the first Church Services were held.

As there are so many bearing the same surname, but resident in different places in the ancient parish of Hope, it is difficult, yea impossible, in some cases to distinguish the Bradwell wardens from others, so that accuracy in this respect is out of the question. For instance, there were the Middletons of Hope, Bradwell, and Woodlands; the Greaves from all three three places; the Poyntons from Bradwell and Little Hucklow; the Bockings from Hope and Bradwell; the Halls from Hope and Bradwell; and so on. Therefore, in the undermentioned list is to be found the name of the warden or wardens, bearing a Bradwell name, though some of the Greaves, Middletons, Halls, Poyntons, Bockings, Bradwalls, and Andrews lived in other places.

1686, William Bradwall; 1688, Dennis Bocking; 1689, John Bocking, Henry Ibutson, Smalldale; 1690, George Tricket, Smalldale, Henry Ibutson; 1692, John Poynton, John Hall; 1693, Edward Dernelly, William Poynton; 1694, John Hall, William Poynton; 1695, John Hall, Joseph Ibberson; 1697-8, John Ibbutson; 1699, Isaac Morten, Joseph Ibbutson; 1700, Thomas Middleton; 1702, John Hall{ 1703-4, John Greaves, Wm. Greaves; 1705, Robert Middleton; 1707, Ralph Bocking, Nathaniel Greaves; 1708, George Burrows; 1710, Wm. Greaves; 1711, Thomas Morton; 1714, Christopher Bocking; 1715, Philemon Pickford, Smalldale; 1718, Robert Burrs; 1719, Christopher Bocking, Robert Poynton, Robert Marshall; 1720, Thomas Morton; 1723, Robert Middleton; 1724, Godfrey Hall, Bradwall, Thomas Morton; 1725, Benjamin Andrew; 1727, Ellis Needham, Robert Middleton; 1730-1, Hugh Bradwall; 1730-1, Robert French, Smalldale; 1733, Robert

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Bocking; 1734, John Greaves, Bradwall; 1735-6, Isaac Morton, Bradwall; 1738-9, Charles Greaves, Thomas Bocking; 1740-1, Robert Marshall; 1743, Thomas Gleadhill; 1744, Isaac Hamilton, for Mr. Oliver, of Smalldale, William Oliver; 1745, John Elliott, Joshua Needham; 1746, Ralph Bocking, John Yellott; 1747, Martin Middleton; 1750, Thomas Fox, Thomas Marshall; 1751, John Greaves; 1752, Joseph Ibbotson, John Greaves; 1754, Robert Needham; 1755, Samuel Oliver; 1756, Ellis Marshall; 1757, John Middleton, Thos. Fox; 1759, Ellis Marshall; 1761, Abraham Ibbotson; 1764, John Bocking, Zaccheus Middleton, Robert Middleton; 1765, Anthony Wright; 1766, Francis Ashmore; 1767, George Hall; 1768, John Wright, John Bocking; 1769, Thomas Greaves; 1770, Christopher Bocking; 1774, George Barnsley, Francis Ashmore, Thomas Bradwall; 1775, John Middleton; 1778, Thomas Gleadhill, Samuel Oliver; 1780, Robert Hill; 1781, Godfrey Fox; 1783, Robert Poynton, George Fox; 1784, Benjamin Elliott; 1785, Hugh Bradwall; 1786, Thomas Fox; 1789, Thomas Cresswell, Joshua Needham; 1792, William Ashmore; 1794. John Middleton, Thos. Greaves; 1795, Robert Hill; 1796, John Ashmore, Hugh Bradwall; 1797-8-9. Robert Middleton; 1801-2, Edmund Ashmore; 1803, John Gleadhill; 1804, Joseph Ashmore; 1806, Benjamin Pearson (Brough); 1807, Isaac Hill, Isaac Middleton, John Bradwall; 1808. Isaac Hill, Thomas Jennings; 1811, Hugh Hill.

From this date the residences of the wardens are given, and down to the year 1842 the name of the place is spelt Bradwall. Henceforward the wardens from Bradwell were: 1814, Robert Middleton; 1817, Thomas Jeffery; 1823, William Bramall; 1826, William Ashmore; 1830, Thomas Hill, George Bingham, Hazlebadge; 1833, William Bramall; 1834, Robert Middleton, Brough; 1836, Robert Middleton, Bradwall; 1839, William Ashmore; 1841, George Fox, Hazlebadge: 1842, William Kenyon; 1845-6, Elias Needham; 1849-50-51, Robert Hill; 1853, Durham Wragg, Hazlebadge; 1856, Thomas Bradwell.

For this valuable information we are indebted to Dr. Porter's “Notes on a Peakland Parish”.

Building of the Church.

Saint Barnabas' Church
St. Barnabas' Church.

It was not until the year 1868 that the present church was built and dedicated to St. Barnabas. Bradwell was then in the extensive parish of Hope, and those of the inhabitants who professed to belong to the Established Church were obliged to attend service at Hope Church, although for some twenty years occasional services had been held in the town's day school, which was licensed by the Bishop of the diocese. In 1862 the Rev. Alfred Harrison was curate. At this time the Rev. Chas. John Daniel was vicar of Hope, and his curates were the Revs. Ridley Daniel Tyssen and Edwd. T. Churton, and it was through their efforts that the church was built as a chapel- of-ease to the mother church of Hope. It was a small building of local limestone, in the perpendicular style, consisting of chancel, nave, vestry, organ chamber, and a small turret containing one bell.

The contractors for the building were Messrs. Ash and Clayton, of Sheffield, whose tender for the work was £1,117, and “extras” amounted to £145 15s., making the total paid to the builders £1,262 15s. The exact sum paid to Colonel Leslie, of Hassop Hall, for the ground on which the church was built, was £76 17s. 6d., the wall round the churchyard cost £60, and other expenses connected with the building and furnishing brought up the total cost to about £1,800, which was raised by local efforts, the largest subscribers being: The Rev. C.J. Daniel, £152 10s.; Samuel Fox, Esq., £100; Robt. How-Ashton, Esq., £100; Lichfield Diocesan Society, £100; Rev. Ralph B. Somerset, £100; the Duke of Rutland, £75; the Duke of Devonshire, £50; Mr. Thos. Somerset and his sisters, £50; Miss Rawson. £50; J.R.D. Tyssen, Esq., £53 15s.; Rev. R.D. Tyssen, £37; Lichfield Dean and Chapter, £35; W.A. Tyssen-Amherst. Esq., £25; Rev. E.T. Churton, £25; T.B. Cocker, Esq., £25; John

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Fairburn, Esq., £25; William Pole Thornhill, Esq., £25; Rev. Chas. Bradshaw Bowles, £20; Thos. Brocklehurst, Esq., £20; Joseph Hall, Esq., £20; Wm. Jackson, Esq., M.P. for North Derbyshire, £20; Martin Middleton, Esq., £20; and many smaller sums, amounting to a total of £1,800. Many local people gave team work and labour. Samuel Fox, Esq., gave land to enlarge the churchyard, and also a site for the vicarage. The fine organ was the present of Wm. Jackson, Esq., M.P., at a cost of £200; it was built by Mr. Brindley, of Sheffield. The Rev. Chas. John Daniel presented the beautiful window in the east end, representing the Fall and Redemption of Man, and also the silver communion service. The Rev. R. B. Somerset was the donor of the communion rails, chancel screen, and pulpit, made partly from two desks given by Trinity College, Cambridge, a book-desk and light for the pulpit, and a sedilia; Rev. R.D. Tyssen, tiles for the chancel; Mr. Daniel-Tyssen, a corona; and Miss Daniel-Tyssen, a silk altar cloth. On the day of consecration the sum of £26 was collected in church. Subsequently, various improvements were effected in the grounds, the paths formed, trees planted round the churchyard, and the the avenue leading from the gates to the church door constructed.

When the church was erected it was intended that ere long a separate parish should be formed, and with this end in view some handsome subscriptions were promised towards its endowment, including -- Samuel Fox, Esq., £100; Wm. Jackson, Esq., £100; Duke of Rutland, £75; Rev. C. J. Daniel, £25; W.A. Tyssen-Amherst. Esq., £25; Rev. E.T. Churton, £20; and W. C. Moore, Esq., J.P., of Bamford, £20. For some years subscriptions continued, and in 1875, during the curacy of the Rev. Wm. James Webb, an intimation was received from the Ecclesiastical Commissioners for England that they had granted an application made to them to separate certain townships from the very extensive parish of Hope, and form them into a distinct parish. The townships referred to were Bradwell, Hazlebadge, Great Hucklow, Little Hucklow, Abney, Grindlow, and Wardlow, and from the first of May in that year those townships constituted a separate parish, with St. Barnabas' as the Parish Church. As an endowment for the new district, the Vicar of Hope (the Rev. Henry Buckston) gave up £60 per annum from the income of the mother church, and the capital sum of £1,200 was raised by the contributions of landowners and inhabitants, and other friends of the church and parish. This the Ecclesiastical Commissioners met with a grant of £1,500 from the Consolidated Fund Of the Church Revenue at their disposal, and the patronage of the new parish was vested in the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, the patrons of the parish of Hope.

Rev. W.J. Webb, First Vicar of Bradwell
Rev. W.J. WEBB,
First Vicar of Bradwell.

The first vicar of the new parish was the Rev. Wm. Jas. Webb, who laboured here thirteen years as curate and vicar respectively, when he removed to Alrewas in 1881. In that year the vicarage was built - one of the handsomest and best-appointed parsonages in the country. In August, 1881, the Rev. Henry Thornton Dudley, M.A., of Queen's College, Oxford, was ordained to the living, and during his vicariate (in 1889) a square embattled tower in the Decorated style was added at the south-west angle of the church, at a cost of nearly £700. The tower clock has a curious history, given on another page.

The east window represents the Fall and Redemption of Man. There is a very fine window by Burlisson and Gryll to the memory of the Rev. Wm. James Webb, curate-in-charge 1868 to 1875, and vicar 1875 to 1881. An alabaster monument in the chancel commemorates Ralph Benjamin Somerset, Fellow and Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge, who died in 1891.

The Rev. George Bird has held the living since 1893.

The church schools were built in 1873, at a cost of £1,150, including a Government grant of £236 18s. 1d.

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Educational History.

A perusal of the original trust deed of the ancient school of Hope makes it clear that Bradwell had an interest in that school even at the time it was founded, for in 1688 Adam Kirk and Godfrey Kirk, of Bradwell, were trustees of the school. The premises consisted of school-house and master's residence combined, and a small garden, in fact the very plot of land on which the present school at Hope is built. When a new trust was constituted, in 1742, Isaac Morton, of Bradwell, Richard Oliver, of Smalldale, and George Bagshawe, of Hazelbadge, were trustees.

First Bradwell Schools.

The first provision for elementary education was made by Elias Marshall, who in 1762 (as is noticed elsewhere) left land worth £3 per year, the rents to be paid to a schoolmaster or mistress to teach five of the poorest children in Bradwell to read. Those who availed themselves of it were described as “charity scholars”. Edward Fox was a schoolmaster so long ago as 1782. In 1825 John Birley built a school-house in Hugh Lane, where the two houses now stand next to the Primitive Methodist Sunday School, and in this building John Darnley, a famous schoolmaster of that day, taught these poor children. From time to time trustees of the charity were appointed. But reading, writing, and arithmetic were then taught in the Sunday Schools. Subsequently a National School was opened in the public schoolroom over the brook (now the Conservative Club).

The National School was built in 1871 at a cost of £1,200.

School Board History.

Bradwell was one of the first places in England to take advantage of the Education Act of 1870, for at four o'clock in the afternoon of February 25th, 1871, a public meeting of the ratepayers was held in the schoolroom to consider the expediency of a School Board for Bradwell. A great deal of feeling was shown, and excitement was high. Mr. Thomas Shaw Ashton. of Wheston, Tideswell, presided. Mr. John Barber proposed “That in the opinion of this meeting it is expedient that a School Board be formed for the parish of Bradwell”. Mr. John Hall seconded. Mr. Thomas Somerset proposed an amendment “That it is not expedient”, and Mr. Joab Hallam seconded. Among the speakers in favour of a Board was Alderman Fairburn, of Sheffield; against it the vicar of Hope, the curate of Bradwell, and Mr. Robert Somerset. The result of the show of hands was: For the Board 72, against 52. Of course a poll was demanded on the question, and was fixed for the following Saturday.

The Saturday following, March 4th, was a memorable day. Polling went on from 10 o'clock to 5, the result being: For a Board 128, against 115, majority in favour 13.

After this steps were taken to form a School Board, and August 19th, 1871, was the polling day for the first members of the Board. Five members had to be elected, and, as at almost every election for 30 years, the struggle was to get the majority, generally three members on each side being nominated. Here is the result of the first poll:-

Elected.
Rev. Walter Graham, Primitive Methodist minister227
John Barber, grocer, Wesleyan221
Rev. Robert Shenton, Unitarian minister213
Thomas Somerset, farmer, Eccles House, Churchman211
Rev. Wm. James Webb, curate of Bradwell190
 
Not elected.
Joshua Jeffery, farmer173

The first five were elected, and constituted the first Board.

There were remarkable scenes at the first meeting of the Board, which was held on September 7th at the house of the Rev. Walter Graham. Mr. Shenton was elected chairman, and Mr. Webb vice-chairman.

The opening of a Board School in the Primitive Methodist Sunday School was celebrated with a tea and concert in a marquee, but a good deal of strife was engendered between those for and against a School Board.

In 1893 the premises were condemned as unsuitable, and new schools were built, and have long required extension, the Wesleyan Sunday School being used as an Infants' School in order to relieve the main building.

Subsequent triennial elections of School Board resulted as follows:-

1874 (Uncontested).

Rev. Robert Shenton, Nonconformist.
John Barber, Nonconformist.
Robert Tanfield, Nonconformist.
Dr. Joseph Henry Taylor, Churchman.
Robert Hallam, Churchman.

1877 (Uncontested).

Mr. Robert Somerset and Mr. Thomas Bradwell withdrew, leaving the following elected:

Rev. R. Shenton, Nonconformist.
John Barber, Nonconformist.
Robert Tanfield, Nonconformist.
Thomps Elliott, Churchman.
Joab Hallam, Churchman.

1880 (Uncontested).

Rev. Robert Shenton, Nonconformist.
John Barber, Nonconformist.
Robert Tanfield, Nonconformist.
Joab Hallam, Churchman.
Wm. B. Prisk, Churchman.

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1883 (Contested).

Elected.
John Barber, Nonconformist211
Robert Tanfield, Nonconformist191
Rev. Robert Shenton. Nonconformist188
Robert Hallam, Churchman179
William Bramall, Churchman170
 
Not elected.
Joab Hallam, Churchman150

1886 (Uncontested).

 Rev. Robert Stuart Redfern, Unitarian minister.
 Stephen Dakin, Wesleyan.
 Robert Tanfield, Primitive Methodist.
 Robert Hallam, Churchman.
 William Bramall, Churchman.

1889 (Contested).

 Elected.
William Bramall, Churchman198
Zachariah Walker, Nonconformist195
Robert Hallam, Churchman171
Rev. R.S. Redfern, Nonconformist157
Stephen Dakin, Nonconformist155
 
 Not elected.
Robert Tanfield, Nonconformist144

1892 (Uncontested).

 Rev. R.S. Redfern, Nonconformist.
 Stephen Dakin, Nonconformist.
 Z. Walker, Nonconformist.
 Robert Hallam, Churchman.
 Wm. Bramall, Churchman.

1895 (Contested).

Elected.
Zachariah Walker, Nonconformist311
Charles Castle, Nonconformist295
Seth Evans, Nonconformist274
Joseoh Allen Middleton, Churchman239
Charles Maples, Churchman212
 
Not elected.
Wm. Bramall, Churchman183

1898 (Contested).

Seth Evans, Nonconformist272
Z. Walker, Nonconformist267
Chas. Castle, Nonconformist261
Wm. Bramall, Churchman254
Stenton Thos. Hallam, Churchman190
 
Not elected.
Jos. A. Middleton, Churchman99

1901 (Uncontested).

Z. Walker, Nonconformist.
Seth Evans, Nonconformist.
Chas. Castle, Nonconformist.
Wm. Nrickwood Prisk, Churchman.
Harvey Hallam, Churchman.

How the schools passed to the County Council under the Education Act of 1902 is a matter of recent history.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2013.

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