Notes from a Peakland Parish

An Account of the Church and Parish of Hope in the County of Derby,
by William Smith Porter (1923)

Transcribed by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 1999-2000

Chapter III.

THE FREE SCHOOL OF HOPE.

WE know that there was a schoolmaster at Hope, who drafted wills, in 1559, as the will of Edward Eyre, dated in that year, to which reference has been made, was drafted by Francis Langton, schoolmaster of Hope. There is no evidence of the existence of a School House earlier than 1632. By the courtesy of Mr. E.G. Bagshawe of Sheffield, I have been enabled to supplement the knowledge I had previously obtained from deeds in the parish chest at Hope as to the origin of the School.

In 1695 the opinion of Counsel was obtained as to the liability of the Churchwardens to be called to account for payment made by them for the repair and upkeep of the School House. These payments occur from time to time in the Churchwardens' Accounts in common with then expenditure upon the repairs of the Church, and the opinion of Counsel appears to have been that the Accounts had been duly passed by the parishioners nomine contradicente the Churchwardens could not be held liable. One of the documents of 1695, stating the case for Counsel's opinion, opens as follows:

“One Skinner, born at Thornhill in the parish of Hope and County of Derby, goeing up to London where he for sometime lived and there dieing, did by his last will and testament, as supposed, give A Hundred Pounds, the Interest thereof to be paid to A Schoole-master to come and reside in Hope aforesaid, and allso upon condition that the parishioners would build a Free School House in Hope aforesaid for the fit habitation of an honest and sufficient Master and Schollars;

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which in the seventh year of the Raigne of King Charles the first, in the year 1632, A messuage was bought in Hope aforesaid by the Gent: and Parishioners, and in times after by ye Parishioners repaired and most part new built, the Hundred Pound put forth to Interest and by gifts and Legacies of severall Gent: and other persons of the said parish since added Sixty Pounds more to the said 100lb. ... but the first 100lb. and part of the rest given with this proviso that the Schoole-House be upheld and kept in good repair, as, by their severall last wills and testaments will appear”.

The rest of this document states the case for Counsel, and contains his opinion on the various points raised, with the signature T. Parker attached.

These documents of 1695 were enclosed in a letter, without date or address, from William Browne, a former vicar of Hope (1679 to 1690), to John Hall of Hope, gent, one of the Trustees of the School. After alluding to his interview with “MR. P”, the Counsel whose opinion he had obtained, Mr. Browne proceeds:

“The sixth of April next it will be seventeen years since I was collated to the vicaridge of Hope. I continued there eleven years within nine or ten weeks, part of which time I was School master, viz: from the death of Mr. Stanley till my leaving of Hope, all which time, as well as the residue of the eleven years I was there, the School of Hope was repaired at the publick charge of the parish, without the least opposition or contradiction of any person in the parish. And I doubt not but the yearly Accounts of the Churchwardens seen and allowed by the parishioners will evidence the same. And my Brother, who was Schoolmaster a year or thereabouts can testifie the same likewise”.

The brother referred to was probably Thomas Browne, who succeeded him as vicar on his resignation in 1690.

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In a deed of May 27th 1688 (1st William and Mary), relating to the appointment of fresh trustees to fill vacancies caused by death of those appointed under a deed of 1655, which is now missing, it is recited that:

“Whereas Thomas Stevenson heretofore of Hope aforesaid, gentn, deceased, by his Indenture of Bargaine and Sale, under his hand and seale beareing date the first day of May in the seventh yeare of the Raigne of King Charles the first over England, (1632) and for the consideration therein expressed did give grant bargaine aell aliene enfeoffe and confirm unto Thomas Eyre of Highlow esqre., Ellize Woodroffe of Hope aforesaid esqre., Thomas Balgay of Aston aforesaid gent, William Leadbeater clerke, Richard Stevenson of Over Shatton gent, Thomas Eyre of Nether Shatton gent, Thomas How of Little Ashopp gent, Robert Ward of Twichill, Adam Eyre of Crookehill, William Glossopp of Offerton, Francis Wilcockson of Abney, Nicholas Hadfeild Of Hope aforesaid, Richard Middleton and Godfrey Kirke of Bradwall aforesaid yeomen, their heires and assignes, one messuage containeing fourteene yards in length and seven yards in breadth, situate and beinge in Hope aforesaid, then or late in the occupation of one Ellize Longden, with the appurtenances, upon trust and confidence, and to the end intent and purpose that they the said” (here follow the names of all the above trustees again) “should employ the said messuage and premises for a Free School House in Hope aforesaid, and for the habitation of all honest and sufficient School master and scholers, And that when they the said Trustees should be all dead but foure of them, that then those foure survivors should convey the said messuage and premises unto other fourteene of the most sufficient inhabitants within the said parish of Hope and their heires upon the like trust and confidences in them to be reposed.” The deed proceeds to the appointment of new trustees to fill vacancies caused by death.

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It would appear from the above deed that in 1632 Thomas Stevenson of Hope sold a messuage there for the purpose of a School House, thus enabling the conditions of Skinner's legacy of £100 towards a School master to become effective in accordance with the latter's will. Thomas Stevenson defined the purpose of the sale and the conditions of Trusteeship, and it would appear that his representatives furnished a further endowment in 1655 (Charity Commissioners' Report, vol. xviii, page 79), when other Trustees were appointed. At this time the School House appears to have been rebuilt. The 1655 deed, as I have stated, is missing, and this circumstance gave rise to a legal difficulty in 1855, when Counsel's opinion was again taken, to which I shall refer later.

The earliest deed now in the parish chest at Hope is dated Oct. 2nd 1625, and is a conveyance of property at Chinley, which subsequently became in part the property of the School Trustees, and was in part acquired by the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty for the augmentation of the Vicarage of Hope. The parties to this conveyance were Peter Bradshaw, the elder, of London, gentleman, and Francis Bradshaw of Bradshaw in the County of Derby esquire, of the one part; and Robert Slack of the Brownisyde in the said county yeoman, of the other part. The property conveyed to Robert Stack was the “ffourstore” (fourth) part of an estate called “Mainstonefield alias Chinnilies otherwise called Chinlees in the High Peak”. The recital of title declares that in the one and twentieth year of King James “His Majesty did give, grant, bargain and sell” the aforesaid property to Edward Budbie and William Weltden; and that in the same year the latter sold the property to Peter and Francis Bradshaw. was no doubt an enclosure from the Royal Forest of the High Peak. The conveyance was “to the sole and proper use and behoof of the said Robert Slack his heirs &c in fee farm for ever to be holden of our Sovereign Lord the King's Majesty ” &c., &c.

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The above Francis Bradshaw was the son of Francis Bradshaw by his wife Anne, daughter and coheiress of Humphrey Stafford of Eyam. He inherited the Stafford property at Eyam as well as the paternal estate of Bradshaw near Chapel-en-le-Frith, and was in possession of the estates in 1619. Bradshaw Hall was rebuilt in his time, and he lived at Eyam until it was completed. He was the last of his family to reside at Bradshaw Hall. His brother George, who succeeded him, continued his residence at Eyam, in the Hall there which had been entirely rebuilt for him, and of which a fragment is still standing at the upper end of the village. In the latter's will, dated June 17th 1646, he names as supervisor his kinsman John Bradshaw, serjeant-at-law, who presided over the trial of Charles I. The present Eyam Hall was built rather later, in the middle of the village, by Thomas Wright, a member of the Great Longstone family, and is still occupied by his descendants.

The next document in the chest is dated June 11th 1726. It is written on paper and contains “articles of agreement” in reference to a proposed conveyance of the same property from Robert Slack of Little Hayfield, to Joseph Ashton of Ganissey in the parish of Glossop, yeoman.

Then follows a deed of conveyance, dated June 29th 1738, from Joseph Ashton to Thomas Wormald, vicar of Hope, of “all that piece or parcel of land situate lying and being in Chinlee, alias Mainstonefield, called Upper South Head”, then in the said Joseph Ashton's possession, “as the same is already or shortly to be set out, parted, or fenced off from the Nether South Head, lately conveyed from the said Joseph Ashton to the Govenors of the Bounty of Queen Anne for the augmentation of the Vicarage of Hope, also a slate break lying in Chinlee aforesaid and belonging to the said estate”.

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Then follow deeds of Lease and Release of the same property and the slate break, dated Aug. 1st and 2nd 1740, between Thomas Wormald, vicar of Hope, and Martha his wife of the one part; and Francis Foljambe of Aldwark in the county of York esqre. of the other part. Francis Foljambe is described as “the last and only surviving Trustee for the School of Hope”. In the second deed reference is made to the will of John Balguy esqre. late of Hope, dated 1712, and his legacy to the School; and also to the will of Mrs. Phoebe Creswell, late of Castleton, dated 1727, and her legacy for the instruction of two poor children of the town of Hope, as should be chosen by the Vicar and Overseers of the poor of Hope for the time being.

Two years later, in 1742, follow deeds of Lease and Release of the same property, from Francis Foljambe, the sole surviving trustee, to his son and others named as new Trustees of the School. Reference is made to the deed of May 27th 1688, appointing Trustees then to fill vacancies left by the death of all but three of the original trustees. It is also recited that a certain messuage in Hope, Containing in length fourteen yards, and in breadth seven, with the appurtenances, was by Indenture, dated in 1655, "granted and conveyed from Thomas Stevenson's Trustees and their heirs in trust for a Free School in Hope, for the habitation of an honest and sufficient Schoolmaster, with power to them to elect the said Master and remove him at pleasure and chuse another and so toties quoties".

The deed of 1742 mentions Bernard Jenkinson as then Master of the School at Hope. It also provides that the vicar of the parish church at Hope for the time being shall always be one of the trustees, and power is given to him, in the case of failure on the part of his co-trustees to appoint a schoolmaster within six months of the notice of a vacancy, to make the appointment himself. The deed also contains provision for the

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payment of interest on money left by Mrs. Phoebe Creswell of Castleton for the education of two poor children of Hope. Accompanying the deed, and bearing the same date, is an “account of moneys belonging to Hope School”.

In the parish chest is the full text of the case submitted to Counsel, and Counsel's opinion, on the position of the School trust in 1855, before referred to. It is pointed out that both the deeds of 1688 and 1742 were then invalid, owing to neither of them having been duly executed by all the conveying parties. In consequence of this, unless the original deed of 1655 could be discovered, and the legal representatives of the original trustees ascertained, there was no one at that time (1855) competent to appoint the schoolmaster or dismiss him, or to deal with the property or other matters of the trust. It does not now appear to be known whether any steps were taken at that time as the result of the above opinion of Counsel. New trustees, however, continued to be appointed from time to time.

There is no allusion to religions teaching in the deed of 1742, which sets forth the duty of the schoolmaster “to teach poor children in writing and reading or some other useful literature”.

There is now a large new Council School in the village, which has taken over all the functions of the old Free School of Hope. The school buildings erected in 1858, in place of the school house of 1655, have been leased for Church purposes.

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in September 1999.

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