History of the Village of Stoney Middleton

By Thomas E. Cowen (1910)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2003

History of the Village of Stoney MiddletonTHE HALL


MIDDLETON HALL, on the right of the road from Bakewell at the entrance to the village, is an ancient stone mansion with pointed gables, delightfully situated in the meadows a little to the east of the Church. In former times this residence, then much smaller, was a farmhouse, occupied by Squire Radford.

The Denman family came originally from Bevercoats, Nottingham, and Thomas Denman, Esq., of Bakewell, dying in 1752, left two sons, Joseph and Thomas, who afterwards became distinguished doctors.

In 1761 (March 22) Dr. Joseph Denman (great-uncle of the first Lord Denman) married Elizabeth, the heiress of Richard Finney, Esq., at St. Giles', Great Longsdon, and so possessed the estates that belonged to that family. He was a very eminent doctor, who wrote a “Treatise on Buxton Water”. On one of the tablets in the Church we find that Elizabeth Denman died on the 5th March, 1803, at the age of 63.

His brother, Dr. Thomas Denman, of Mount Street, Grosvenor Square, London, was a well-known physician attached to the Court. Upon the death of Dr. Joseph Denman, in 1812, at the age of 82, the estates were bequeathed to his nephew, Thomas Denman, the eminent King's Counsel. He was created Baron Denman of Dovedale, and became Lord Chief Justice of England in 1832, a position he

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held for 18 years. He was ennobled in 1834, and shared with Brougham the defence of Queen Caroline against the charge of George IV. His speech and cross-examination on behalf of the Queen gained for him enormous popularity at a time when hostility to the Court was the passport to favour with the people. He was the ablest of the lawyer politicians of the time of the Reform Bill, and took a leading part in suppressing the slave trade and capital punishment for forgery and minor offences. His poetical taste is shown in his translation of the famous song of “Harmodious and Aristogiton.”

The first Baron Denman died in 1854 at the age of 75, and was succeeded by his son, Thomas Denman, the amiable and accomplished, though eccentric, peer, whose special hobby was the raising of a certain breed of black pigs. He died on the 9th August, 1894, at the age of 89. Thomas Denman became the third baron, by succession from his great-uncle. He served in the South African campaign in 1900, and married Gertrude Mary, only daughter of Sir Weetman Pearson, the great contractor, on November 26th, 1903. There is a son and daughter of this marriage. Lord Denman is now Liberal Whip in the House of Lords.


OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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