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 ANCIENT MANOR OF MIDDLETUNE


The Wapentake[2] or Hundred of Hammestan comprised the modern High Peak and Wirksworth. Here there were 5 churches, 6 priests, and 5 lead mines. In the Domesday Book for Derby we read: “In Middletvne Goded had iv bovates[3 of land available. Land for iv oxen, viii Villanes, and 1 bordar (i.e., copy holder), with ii ploughs and iv acres of meadow and little underwood. valued at vi shillings.” (In the time of King Edward the Confessor.)

The adjunct Stoney or Stony is derived from the Anglo-Saxon stœn, Stan, a stone, hence Stoney Middleton implies the stoney or paved middle town. Dr. Wrench thinks that Middleton takes its name from the township being in

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two parishes, with a boundary in the middle. The following is taken from Wood's “History of Eyam”:-

“Thomas, the son of Gerard and Matilda Furnival, mentions at the instance of the Statute Quo Warranto of Edward the First, his being possessed at that time of the Manors of Stoney Middleton and Eyam. Elizabeth, the widow of Thomas de Furnival, who died in 1332, seized of Eyam and Stoney Middleton, had for her dowry, inter alia, Eyam, Stoney Middleton, Bamford, and Hathersage, Derbyshire, and Treeton, Todwick, Ullay, Brampton, Catcliffe, Orgrave, and Whiston, Yorkshire; she died on Tuesday next ensuing the Feast of the Blessed Virgin 28th Edward the Third after enjoying her splendid dowry a great many years. It then reverted to her husband's grandson by his first wife. Thomas, Lord Furnival, called the Hasty (Lord of Hallamshire).”

In the “Journals of the Derbyshire Archæological and Natural History Society” the following occur:-

“At the Great Court of Baslow on Wednesday morrow, St. Andrew A.D. 37. Edward III. 1363, John de Ruyle, John and Richard Mulner of Midleton, Walter Bosan of Midleton, and Walter Wareyn were summoned for fishing in the preserved water. Again in the same Court on Wednesday next before S.S. Simon Jude's Day 42 Edward III. A.D. 1368, the tenants of Midleton and Eyam were ordered to be distrained for pasturing their cattle on the moors.”

The following has been given in the Reliquary, 1860-70 (edited by Llewellynn Jewitt. Esq., F.S.A.): “In the 16th year of the Reign of Richard II., 1393, two messuages of land and 9½ acres in Eyam were transferred from John de Stafford of Eyam and Thomas Amott of Midleton to John Rankell Chaplain. Again in the 19th year of the reign of Richard II., 1395, King John or possibly his eldest son attested his grant of land in Calver and Midleton Cliff from Godfrey de Roland to Thomas and Richard Gomfray. On the 2nd February, 1421, in the reign of Henry V. a piece of land at Eyam called 'Rylye' was transferred to John Martyn and Nicholas Martyn. In connection with this transfer the name of John de Stafford Squyer was followed by that of Henry de Stafford of Mydleton Clyff”.

“In the 12th year of the reign of Elizabeth [Ed: 1570] the Manor of Stoke, with its appurtenances and diverse lands, tenements, and hereditaments in Hope, Great Hucklowe, Little Hucklow, Folowe, Eyme, Tyddeswall, Litton, Abney, Alfreton,

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Teddepole, Baslowe, Howmefield, Middleton, Dronfield, Egginton and Bradwell were acquired by Humphrey Barley, genero[s]us for himself and his heirs. He held in capite 1 May, 12 Eliz. lib., 25 fol. 107”.

“Derbyshire 16 May 1601 the names of those gentlemen with theire severall stores of money, they are to paye towards setting forthe of three horsemen into Ireland vizt : Henry Wigly of Mydleton gent xvs.” [4]

“Franciscus Sharpe of Stoney Middleton” occurs in a list of vills and freeholders of Derbyshire dated 1633, and the sign alloc [Ed: sic] implies he possesses a writ or certificate of excuse.

“Whereas Alathea Countess of Arundell and Surrey was heretofore seized of Certaine Farmes or rents of farmes issuing out of farmes and of Certaine Tythes of Corne, Hay, Wooll, and lamb and other tythes Coming, growing, and renewing forth of the Parish of Glossop, in the county of Derby, etc., for the recusancy of the said Countess are sequestered. These they grant, lease, lett and farm lett unto William Couse, of Stuffnall, in the county of Salop gent. and Robert Ashton of Stony Middleton in the county of Derby gent. two parts in three for one whole yeare from the five and twentyeth day of March 1650 for Three Hundred and Eighty three pounds. All repairing and maintaining of houses and outhouses to be carried out.”

In 1665 Robert Ashton Esqr. of Stoney Middleton High Sheriff[5] of Derbyshire owned land to the extent of 44 acres 1 rood 24 poles.

In 1670 Dennis Ragg of Stoney Middleton Bank had a farm under the Morewood of Alfreton. He issued a trade token for a half penny in 1670, and may have been either Grocer, Tallow Chandler or Miller as the Raggs and Furnesses followed all three businesses

A grant was made by Sir John Benet Knight to Pembroke College, dated Nov. l0th, 1676, and contains the following:- “And also all the annual rent of eighteen pence of like lawful money reserved and issuing out of, or for lands in Stoney Middleton in the said county of Derby now or late paid by Roger Ashton Esquier.”

In 1703 Wm. Capps, wrestler and equestrian, died. It would appear that he was a gentleman of note of that age, for there is Capps Barn, Capps Close, and Capps Big Close even to-day.

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In 1747 the Quakers from Wales introduced cupolas for smelting lead in Derbyshire. Two of these were to be found in Stoney Middleton. One owned by the Duke of Devonshire found work for poor miners, and the other belonged to John Barker, Esq., was situated in Middleton Dale.

The Manor belonged at an early date to the Bernakes, of Upper Padley. Richard de Bernake sold it in the reign of Edward I. to Thomas de Furnival. From the Furnivals it passed by marriage to John, First Earl of Shrewsbury. Gilbert, the seventh Earl, died without issue, and the Manor passed to the Countess of Pembroke, one of his co-heiresses; thence to the Savilles. It again fell to an heiress, the Countess of Burlington, and thus came to the Cavendish family.

The old Manor House is reputed to have been situated at the corner of Vicarage Lane, and there is a gable end still standing. Roger Sellars was the last resident.

[1] Manor was the whole extent of land under a Norman baron, over the inhabitants of which he had jurisdiction in criminal and civil suits.

[2] Wapentake (A.S. wœpan arms, and tac to touch) was equivalent to the Hundred in Anglian districts, so-called because when the overlord appeared for justice, the men touched his spear in token of fealty.

[3] Bovate, ploughland, varying from 8 to 24 acres.

[4] [Ed: ah, but was this really a reference to Stoney Middleton? A surname of 'Wigly' suggests (to me) Middleton by Wirksworth]

[5] Sheriff (Shire-reeve) looked after the affairs of the shire, and girded a sword upon him when elected.


OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2003.

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