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 V.

SOME NOTES ON THE PARISH REGISTERS.

DR. Cox in his 'Notes on the Churches of Derbyshire' states that the Parish Registers of Hope commence in the year 1559: but the earliest date in the first volume of the Registers is February 1598-9. This volume is in a very dilapidated and disfigured condition, for reasons connected with its custody already referred to, and many of the entries are so defaced by stains as to be quite illegible. The Baptisms extend to March 1646, with a few isolated entries up 1659; the Marriages to August 1640, with two isolated entries in 1642 and 1656 respectively; the Burials end in September 1641, with a single entry in 1644. The second volume of the Registers commences in 1661. The hiatus between the two volumes corresponds roughly to the period of Civil War followed by the Commonwealth, when Church observances were discouraged and records were kept spasmodically or not it all. Registers were supposed to be kept during this period, but were taken out of the hands of the Church by an ordinance of 1653. There is one entry during this period of a marriage by a Justice of the Peace, when marriages were not recognised as legel unless they were performed before a Justice of the Peace. The entry referred to runs as follows:

“Richard Shalcross of Shalcross esqre. and Anne Rowley of Rowley were married the 12th of June Anno Döm 1656 by Lancelot Lee esqre. one of ye Justices of Peace for ye County of Salop, in the presence of Roger Rowley esqre. and Mr. Francis Banney Minister of ye Parish Church of Worfield in ye said County of Salop as appeals by a Certificate under ye hand and seal of ye said Lancelot Lee, dated the day and yeare aforesaid.”

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The first vicar whose name appears in the Registers is Robert Eyre: “Mr. Robert Eyre vicker was buried the xviii of October Año. Döm: 1601”. His successor's burial, the following year, is thus recorded under “Ao: Döm: 1602”: “Edmunde Eyre, vicar of Hope, was buried the xvth of Aprill, without service or bell in ye nighte”. This note is in the handwriting of his successor Rowland Merrike, the first vicar whose signature appears in the Registers. There is a note to the effect that the latter was inducted as vicar of Hope by William Greaves, vicar of Tideswell, on July 16th 1602; but an earlier note in his handwriting records that he was officiating at “Christenings” as early as April 24th in that year. He signs the Registers occasionally until June 20th 1604, but the same handwriting continues until the following October. From Feb. 9th 1605 William Leadbetter signs as vicar, and the entries, which up to this date are in English, appear in Latin and so continue until 1734. William Leadbetter's name does not appear in the Registers later than 1634, but there is no apparent change in the handwriting of the entries until 1639. He buried his first wife, Margaret, at Hope in October 1613, and married secondly at Hope, Feb. 5th 1614, Elizabeth Thornell, widow. On March 14th 1624 a marriage took place between Thomas Thornell and Elizabeth Leadbetter, the latter probably the vicar's daughter Elizabeth, who was baptized at Hope March 13th 1607.

Two subsequent vicars of Hope figure in the entries of weddings and burials in the second volume of the Registers. Thomas Browne was married at Hope on May 17th 1692 to Mrs. Phoebe Hawley of Upper Padley, and was buried at Hope Nov. 12th 1695. His successor in the vicarage Jacob Creswell was married by licence at Fairfield (then in the parish of Hope) Jan. 29th 1701-2 to Phoebe Browne of the parish of Sheffield, and he was buried at Hope Dec. 14th 1722. Did Jacob Creswell marry his predecessor's widow?

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Allusion has been already made to the succession for so many generations in the Woodroofe family of the office of Parish Clerk. On a blank page to the first volume of the Registers, in a late and feminine handwriting, occur or the following entries relating to some of these Parish Clerks:

Nathan Woodroofe baptized March 11th 1643.
Ellis Woodroofe " October 13th 1667.
Nathan Woodroofe " January 22nd 1702.
Nathan Woodroofe " September 14th 1751.
Nathan Woodroofe " August 4th 1773."

On a later page, headed “Burials of Parish Clerks at Hope”, in the same hand, the following:

Nicholas Woodroofe,Parish Clerk, interredMarch 11th 1628(1629)
Thomas Woodroofe"""May 19th 1667.
Nathan Woodroofe"""Nov. 19th 1676.
Ellis Woodroofe"""July 19th 1731.
Nathan Woodroofe"""March 25th 1761.
Nathan Woodroofe"""March 10th 1798."

A solitary instance of the entry of the names of the payers of tithe in the parish, with their assessments, occurs in the Registers under the date Nov. 10th 1605, and is headed: “Memorandum of all such duties as are Agreed by the Inhabitants of the Parish of Hope for there Teithe Values due unto the Vicar of Hope to be paid at Martlemas yearly.” “Robert Eyre genr. Xs. Tho: Eyre genr. VIs.. VIIId. Tho: Balgye genr. Xs. Nycholas Barber Xs. Adam Eyre Xs. Edmund Barber Xs. Edward Barber IXs. Edward Haighe IXs. Robert Haighe VIIIs. John Dunne IIIIs. Uxor Barber de Westin VIs. VIIId. Henrie Barber VIs. Thomas Bockinge VIs. Richard Cocke VIs. William Kinge Vs. Thomas Mortin Vs. Thomas Ealiott Vs. Uxor Steeveneson Vs. Thomas Wilcockson Vs. Thomas Howe Vs. Peter Martin Vs. Nycholas Hill Vs. Elize Furnies IIIIs.

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William Heathcote IIIIs. Edward Harrison IIIs. VId. Ralphe Bockinge senior IIIs. IIIId. Alexander Eyre IIIs. IIIId. Robte Glossoppe IIIs. IIIId. Charles Hadfelt IIs. Robt. Martin XXd. John Bradwall XXd. Thomas Thornill XIId. Robte Eyre. IIIIs. Henry Furnies Vs. Laurence Barber --- Robt Eyre de Shatton IIIIs. Thomas Balgye de Hagge Vs. Robert Hinckes IIIIs. Peter Bagshaw IIIs. IIIId.”

The following list appears, under date August 14th 1635: “Excommunicants -- excommunicated at the Visitation of the Ld. Archbishoppe His Grace of Canterburie:”

“Elizabeth Hurdesfeild. Lawrence Andrewe. Matthewe Jonson. George Barbar. Mary Ealiott. Frauncis Ealiott. Margret Ealiott. Matthawe Furnies. Robt Brailesford. Thomas Eyre et Uxor ejus. Thomas Eyre. John Howson. Robt Bagshawe. Gartrid Ealiott. Edmund Furnies et Uxor ejus. Richard Loungden. Alice Ealiott. Mary Cleaton. Thomas Eyre. Dorothie Staundley. Lawrence Morten. Anne Bore. Marye Daniell. Alice Hawly. Frauncis Ashton. Benitt Blackewell. Edmund Barbar. Thomas Kitchen. Marmaduke Seales. John Heathcoate. Elizabeth Eyre. Anne Eyre. Joane Eyre. Margrett Steevenson. Frauncis Bowman. Peter Howson. Tho: Berchenhunge (sic) et uxor ejus. John Steure (sic) et uxor ejus. Dorothe Morten. Law: Berchenhunge. Willia: Furnies. Mary Balgie. Joane Milnes. John Staly. Hughe Brittlebancke. Thomas Loungden. John Wilson de Thomhill, Margrett Ashton. Elizabeth Mellor.” In all fifty three persons. One wishes that some information had been afforded as on what the offence or offences were that led to the excommunication of so large a number of pairshioners in 1635. I failed to find any reference to it in the Chapter Records.[1]

The Registers contain few incidental notes. Some Derbyshire Registers chronicle phenomenal snowstorms or tempests,

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or severe epidemics. There is no mention of any cases of “plague” in 1665-66, when the neighbouring parish of Eyam suffered so severely. The only recorded instance of pestilence at Hope is the following note in the Registers: (the first few words are illegible)

“. . . . . . yeare of Our Lord God one thousand six hundreth thirtie and six, beganne the great death of many children & others by a contagious desease called the children pocke: & Purple Pocke: & whyt hives with blisters...”

The English Dialect Dictionary gives the definition of Hives as “an eruption of the skin, water blebs or blisters”, and “a feverish complaint amongst children”. Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic Words merely states that hives were “water blebs on the skin”. The term seems to have been used in connection with several different affections, including ‘nettle rash’ and ‘chicken pox’.

The following note, dated December 9th 1630, illustrates the common practice of the assignment of seats in church in connection with certain houses in the parish: “It hath pleased the right worspll. John Mannrs. of Haddon esquire at the peticon of Thomas Eyre of Twothorne feilde genr. to graunt & geve license unto the sd. Thomas Eyre to Install a seate or deske at the head of the South Ile within the Church of Hope in that same towne or place belounginge unto the house of Hasselbadge for & during his (? worshipp's) pleasure & his successors, and no longer to continue. Pme Wllm. Leadbetter vicar de Hope”.

Hazelbadge Hall, in the parish of Hope at that time, was an ancient residence of the family of Vernon of Haddon, whose estates passed by marriage into the Manners family.

The consecration of Edale Chapel, a chapel of ease to the parish of Castleton, is noted in the Hope Registers.

“Md. that Doctor Wright, Lo: Bishoppe de Coventrie ë Lichfeilde did consecrate the newe Chappell in Edall, called the Trinitie Chappell, Anno Domini 1634 Junii 27.”

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The. following is an example of a form of memorandum which figures several times in the margin, opposite entries of Burial only, in the second volume of the Hope Registers:

“Memorand: no Affidavit was brought within eight dayes for Alice Padley, and ye same certified to the Overseers of the poor of Bradwall, March 23 1688.”

This probably refers to an Affidavit required to show that each corpse had been “buried in woollen”. This was in pursuance of an Act of Parliament, of Charles II, for the encouragement of the English woollen industry as against the linen industry, then an alien one. The Act remained in force from 1678 to 1815. It was strictly enforced at the above period, and heavy fines were inflicted for its evasion.

Amongst unusual Christian names to be found in the Hope Registers are the following:

In those of the male sex: Archilaus, Arcalas, Hercules, and Benoni, all occurring in the family of Poynton of Little Hucklow; Dionysius, Gartrioke, Milo, Barsillaus, Rawlin, and Hersey (in several instances in different families): Ottiwell or Ottewell (fairly common), Thurston (still occasionally met with), and Elizeus, becoming later Elize and finally Ellis (still common in many local families). There is it solitary instance of the use of 'Amorous' as a Christian name in a family named Marsden in the Woodlands. Amongst female names are to be found: Scytha or Sytha or Syth (formerly in common use); Zena (also frequent); Emmota or Emote; Felicia, Fidelia, and Faith, Prudence, Silence, Patience, Temperance, Charity, Christian, Easter, June, Joyce, Philida, Jocosa, Christobella; and as single occurrences Hephonia, Lozzanna, and Clerajone. Was the latter in reality two names, Clara Joan?

Unusual surnames are fewer in number, though spelling is often very erratic. Dore and Hurloe or Hurlow of course suggest

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the not far distant villages of Dore and Whirlow in the neighbourhood of Sheffield; Whirlow is commonly written Hurlowe in early documents. Armitriding, Armitriden, and Trider, was a not uncommon surname in the district at one time; as also that of Frigley. Blacco or Blackoe occurs frequently. Hambleton is common, but becomes Hamilton in later times. The name Sheeplebotham occurs several times, and there are isolated occurremces of the names Whaywood, Fridgeon, Feepound, Bettony (of Eyam), and Stamberdine (of Sheffield).

Excluding the universally prevalent surnames of Brown, Robinson, Smith and Jones, though the two latter are comparatively rare at Hope, the family names which preponderate in the Hope Registers in the 17th and 18th centuries are Eyre, Woodroofe or Woodrove, Balguy and Bagshawe, to give those of the families who ranked amongst the gentry first; Ashton, Ashmore, Barber, Barker, Bocking, Bradwall or Bradwell, Bradbury, Bray, Barnsley, Bramwell, Broomhead, Buccocke, Burdekin, Chapman, Cottrill, Crossland, Cooper and Cowper, Cheetham, Clayton, Darwent, Dakin, Dernely, Elliott, Fox, Frost, Furniss, Greaves, Gleadhill, Gellott, Gould, Glossop, Hall, Hadfield, Hallam, How, Hancock, Ibbotson, Jeffery, Kirk, Kay, Longden, Littlewood, Low, Middleton, Morton, Marshall, Marrison, Micock, Needham, Outram, Oliver, Ollerenshaw, Poynton, Palfreyman, Paramore, Raworth, Short, Stephenson, Thornhill, Tym, Trickett, Thorpe, Unwin, Wain, Wilson, Wragg.

Only a few entries occur, down to 1750, in which there is a statement of rank. A few are designated gent or genr. (generosus), a few ‘yeoman’, and still fewer bear the suffix ‘armiger’. One entry only occurs of a higher rank: “Woodroufe fil: Elizabethie Harris per. ut dicitur, Tho: Gascoigne Baronette de Hope.” This entry is dated Feb. 20th 1700-1; and on Feb. 16th 1702-3 there

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is another entry which reads: “Tho: fil: Elizabethie Harris et Tho: Gascoigne, ut dicitur, de Hope”.[1]

In the earlier Registers illegitimacy is very rife, the issue being usually distinguished by the term ‘spurious’. The father's name is usually given, with sometimes the qualification ‘ut dicitur’. The following vague entry occurs on April 22nd 1693: “Spurius natus in Bradwall hujus nomen erat Abraham”. There is also an entry amongst the burials in 1624: “mulier de Sheefelde”; and there are several of “pauper ignotus”. Want of accuracy as to date is curiously shown in “Rich: fil: Rich: et Joanae Middleton de Smalldale circitur hoc temp”. An entry of marriage, half Latin half English, runs: “Aprill 1677 James Wallker de Tidswall et Mary Furniss de Hucklowe had matrymony ye day & yeare above sd. xx”.

The following terms appear in entries of burial: “Dorothea Ward affinis (relative) Johan Hall genr. et Dorothea uxoris ejus de Hope”; “Jana Balguy de Hope innuba” (unmarried); “Ant: Outfield privignus (stepson) Rob: Wright junr de Bradwall”; and, so far as my experience goes, a unique instance of the entry of a nickname in Parish Registers is afforded by: “Hugo Bradwell, distinctione Shock Hugh, de Bradwall”, buried Dec. 30th 1721.

The entries in the earlier Registers, with few exceptions, omit to state the occupation. In the Sheffield Registers of the same period the reverse is the case, as it is very exceptional to find the occupation not given. In the entries of burial at Hope the following occur: “Johannes Holme fistulator” (1623), and “Radulphus Greene fistulator” (1635). The dictionary meaning

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of fistulator is a “player on the shepherd's pipe, a piper”. Willimus Weanewright molendinarius (1623). Molendinarius is strictly “pertaining to a mill or milling”. Molendarus is correct Latin for a miller. “Godfridus Morten piscator” (1628), a fisherman, and also the occurrence of the appelation “viator”, a traveller, recall the pages of Isaac Walton's ‘Compleat Angler’. “Thomas Elcocke advena (1627); Francisca Cooke peregrina” (1630). The dictionary definition of both Latin words is the same, viz: “a foreigner or stranger”. The term “foreigner” is still in use in the district to indicate anyone who is not of local origin, not necessarily an importation from a foreign land.

“Johannes Ealiott Dominus de Astonne” (1623). The word 'Dominus', or shortened to 'Dom', occurs several times in the Hope Registers, apparently indicating a curate in charge of some outlying chapelry. Though its strict meaning is that of master, proprietor, owner, or lord, it was often applied to the clergy. The form 'Domine' was formerly used of a schoolmaster or pedagogue, as in Domine Sampson in Guy Mannering. Amongst the burials at Hope is the following: “Dom: Phili Hutton curatus de Derwent, paroch Hathersage”.

The first of the Woodroofe family to hold the office of Parish Clerk is described as “Nicholanus Wodrove clericus de Hope” in the entry of his burial March 11th 1628-9. The entry “Georgius Marshall clericus” (1638) may indicate his successor in that office, though Thomas Woodroofe was the Parish Clerk at the time of his burial May 19th 1667. There is no reason to suppose that George Marshall was Vicar of Hope in succession to William Leadbetter, though clericus, or clerk in holy orders, is a term applied to the clergy. William Leadbetter was certainly vicar in 1634, and probably until 1639, and the vicars of Hope were always given the style of 'vicar' in the Registers.

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“Johannes Stephenson sacrista de Hope”, buried Nov. 6th 1698, was evidently the sexton.

In the third volume of the Hope Registers an unexplained mutilation exists. Several pages are missing, from the Marriage Registers only, covering the period from the end of September 1745 to the beginning of August 1748. Public attention was drawn to this some years ago by the claim of a gentleman residing in Sheffield to the title of Earl of Newburgh; the claim resting mainly on the proof of a marriage alleged to have been solemnized in Hope Church on April 25th 1747.

Charles Radcliffe, brother to the unfortunate Earl of Derwentwater executed in 1745, married Charlotte Maria Livingstone who succeeded her father as Countess of Newburgh in her own right. Their issue failing in the male line the Earldom descended through a daughter Mary, who married Francis Eyre, to the Eyre family of Hassop. Several members of the latter family bore the title in succession without issue, and the line terminated in Dorothy Countess of Newburgh, who, though married, also died without issue; the estates passing by will to her husband's family the Leslies.

The story of the Sheffield claimant, supported by some affidavits which rested mainly on tradition, was that he was descended through his mother from a certain George Goodwin of Bradwell, who had contracted a secret marriage in Scotland on April 2nd 1747 and was married in Hope Church, three weeks later, on April 25th. The lady whom Goodwin married, it was alleged, was Charlotte Radcliffe, the sister of Mary the ancestress of the Eyres. On searching the Hope Registers for evidence of this marriage the mutilation before referred to was discovered; and a subsequent search in the duplicate Registers at Lichfield revealed the fact that a similar mutilation had been perpetrated there. Affidavits to this effect were procured, but in the face of this

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difficulty the claim was ultimately abandoned. A collection of documents referring to this case are amongst the Swift papers in the 'Jackson Collection' at the Sheffield Public Reference Library.

I have seen the mutilated Register at Lichfield, which, as at Hope, contained the marriages only; the Baptismal and Burial Registers for the same period being intact in both cases. The mutilation was evidently done with a sharp instrument and hurriedly, the parchment roll being cut across somewhat irregularly and leaving the top of a letter, apparently I, from the missing line below. The period missing at Lichfield is from Feb. 26th to June 25th 1747. There the Register was in the was in the form of a parchment roll, the end of which had been cut off. At Hope complete pages are missing from a book, covering a much longer period, viz: Sept. 1745 to August 1748. It was in 1865 that an official enquiry was instituted both at Lichfield and Hope, and an affidavit of that date states that the mutilation had first been discovered in 1861. It was a mysterious affair, and it has never been cleared up.

Notes on Chapter V
[1] Land was the Archbishop and possibly puritanical tenets on the part of the above may have influenced him.
[2] Sir Thomas Gascoigne, Bart, of Barnbow (?Barnbro') was the son of George Gascoigne by Anne, his wife, the daughter and co-heiress of Ellis Woodroofe of Hope: the other co-heiress Jane married Peter Foljambe as before stated. Sir Thomas succeeded his uncle as fourth baronet in 1698. and died between 1712 and 1718: his will being proved in the latter year. He inherited land at Hope, through his mother (Anne Woodroofe), as a conveyance of land adjoining the School House at Hope, from George Stephenson of Hope to the School Trustees dated 24th Dec. 1695, states that the property abutted “on the lands of Thomas Gascoigne esqre.” This was just before he succeeded to the Baronetcy.

OCR/Transcription by Rosemary Lockie in October 1999.

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