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 VII.


Petitions for Pensions.
“Can you to the battle march away,
And leave me here complaining;
I'm sure 'twill break my heart to stay,
When you are there campaigning”

Under the Anglo-Saxons all men were required to bear arms as a sort of rent for the land they held. By the Laws of Assize, in the year 1511, every holder of land was bound to produce one or more men fully equipped or capable of fighting in national defence. In 1558 an Act was passed by which all gentlemen having estate of inheritance to the value of £1000 had to keep and maintain at their own cost and charges six horses and requisite weapons, ten light horses and weapons, 40 suits of plate armour, 40 coats of plate corselets, 40 pikes, 30 long bows, 30 sheafs of arrows, 30 steel caps or skulls, 20 blackbills or halberts, 20 acquebuts, a kind of hand gun with a carved stock, and 20 morions or sellets. Those who had land worth less than £1000 had to find fewer, and all in proportion to their income, while those who had goods value £10 to £20 had to find certain weapons.

In the year 1574, Vid. Vernon de Hazelbatch presented one light horse, and the freeholders of the parish of Hope, in which Bradwell was situate, had harness and weapon in readiness for four men - two archers and two bill-men, in addition to four archers and 16 bill-men without harness.

The old Parliamentary pensioners were discarded after the Restoration, and those who had fought on the other side were put in their place. There were very large numbers of such pensioners, and for many years the Royalists had to petition the justices in Quarter Sessions. There was a petition at the Quarter Sessions, held at Bakewell in 1689, from Thomas Heathcote, of Hope, and as there are Bradwell names among the petitioners, it will not be out of place here. It reads:-

“Whereas you said petitioner Haveing formerly beene a Souldier for the late King Charles the First from the year 1642 for the

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Terme of six yeares untill the end of the late Civill Warr under the Command of Sr. William Sevvile for the two years or thereabouts untill Collonell Rowland Eyre late of Hassopp, Esqr. tooke up Arms for his said Late Matie King Charles the First who then was Released from the said Sevvile and went under the Command of the said Collonell Rowland Eyre for about foure yeares longer And whereas your said Petitioner having severall wounds at diverse and severall Battells and Sieges, and beene severall times Imprisoned And now being very Aged poore and Indigent Most Humbly Craves yor Worships favour to Admitt him into p'sent pay as a Maimed Souldier within this County there being a vaccancy upon the death of Francis Rippon late of Pilsley”.

“Wherefore wee his Neighbours duely Consider the truth or the premises doe hereby Certifie in behalf of yor said petition that it is an object of Charity to entertain him into the said pay And in soe doeing you will much oblige your worshipps Servants


“I am crediby informed the contents of this petition is true


“Will: Browne” was the Rev. Wm. Browne, who was Vicar of Hope from 1685 to 1690, and “Sam: Cryer” was the Rev. Samuel Cryer, who was Vicar of Castleton from 1644 to 1697.

Poor old Heathcote's petition was at last granted, for we read that it was “ordered upon a Certificate read in Cort that Thomas Heathcote of Hope bee Admitted a maymed Soldier in this County in Roome of Robert Bramwall and that hee receive his Pention and due this Mich's and soe to bee continued and paid quarterly till further Order”.

In 1703 the constables were, by Act of Parliament, ordered to bring before the Justices all able bodied men within their township who had not any lawful calling or employment, or visible means of livelihood, and who had no vote for a member of Parliament and these were forcibly enlisted in the army. Large numbers of men from all parts of the county were compelled to serve against their will, not only unemployed, but debtors. The latter were liberated from prison when they consented to enlist, but they might obtain a substitute to serve. There is an entry relating to one such debtor from here, - William Wragge, who although he only owed 12li. at the suit of George White, John Wragge was listed in his room with Captain Nicholas Revell in Lord Pasten's Regiment of Foot.

When Militia Service Was Compulsory.

In the year 1638 we have “A List or Rolle of the names of all such persons as are betwixt the age of sixteen and three score yeares within every such all Townshippes of the said Hundred of High Peak as the same were delivered to the hands of Richard Greaves Chiefe Constable of the said Hundred of the Pettie Constables of every of the aforesaid Townshippes as hereafter particularly followeth”.


Gilbert Charlesworth, Will. Charlsworth, Thomas Garlick, Edward Newton, Thos. Hallam, Myles Marshall, Robert Walker, Adam Marshall, George Burrowes, Robert Overton, Thos. Chippingdale, Will. Wilson, Gy. Hallam, Robert Eyre, Mark Woodrowe, Roger Howe, Thomas Braie, John Dudden, George Dudden, Thomas Dudden, Richard Brailsford, Robert Morton, Humphrey Marshall, Martin Marshall, Will Cocke, Richard Cocke, Robert Hall, Ffrancis Heyward, Thos. Howe, Robt. Morton, John Overton, Roger Smithe, Jervis Hallam, Robt. Bradwall, Ellis Bradwall, Will Bradwall, Ffrancis Eyre, Robt. Eyre, George Bradwall, Job Swinscowe, John Cave, Robt. Eyre, George Hunter, Stephen Marshall, Martin Marshall, Ellis Morton, Matthew Thornhill, Deonise Bradwall, Thomas Lowe, George Bradwall, Thomas Bradwall, Will Derneyley, Matthew Broomhead, James Broomhead, Matthew Johnson, Richard Tymme, Thomas Spencer, Richard Philips, Thomas Philips, Adam Balgie, John Heathe, Anthony Walker, James Ogden, John Ogden, John Chapman, John Bradwall, Richard Ragge, Robt. Leech, Thos. Hall, Will Hall, Thos. Eyre. Thos. Ragge, John Hallam, Nicholas Howe, Thomas Hallam, Thos. Rogers, Richard Kirkman, Richard Hallam, Thos. Dove, Robt. Dove, John Bradwall, Will Hall, Will Braye, George Mellor, Richard Morten, Adam Hallam, Leonard Tayller, Thomas Bradwall, John Hadfield, Adam Marshall, Hugh Hill, Nicholas Sykes, George Morten, Godfrey Morten, Anthony Woode, Roger Overton, John Marshall, Godfrey Marshall, Robert Barber, Thomas Barber, John Ffurness, Will Bramhall, Tryamer Arnfield, Thos. Marshall, Walter Marshal, Humphrey Hallam, John Ashmore, Robert Midleton, Will Middleton, Thomas Jackson.

Drawing Lots in Church.

Parish Churches have been put to strange uses, and it is interesting to know that in some of the churches lots were drawn for those supplying the military contingent demanded from the township for the local forces.

On the second of February, 1782, the lots for the Militia were drawn in Hope Church “at a table in the ile in front of the screen”. The identical copy of the Bradwell list affixed on the door of Hope Church 130 years ago, is the property of the author. It is of interest as showing various

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occupations followed by the inhabitants of that time. Here is the copy with the exception of the number of names.

“A true List of all the Men now dwelling or usually residing in the Hamlet of Bradwell in the Township of Hope, Between the Age of 18 and 45. Taken June 8th. 1782”.

First Class Men Liable to Serve:

Thos. Hall, ffarmer.
Thos. Andrew, miner.
Geo. Andrew, jun., miner.
Robt. Morton, miner.
Robert Middleton, miner.
Samuel Duding, labourer.
Geo Andrew, sen., miner.
Thos. Bradwell, miner.
Geo. Bradwell, miner.
Robt. Middleton, sen., miner.
Isaac Bradwell, miner.
John Jackson, miner.
Christopher Jackson, miner.
Christopher Broadbent, mason.
*John Broadbent, mason.
John Hall, mason.
Robt. Middleton, weaver.
Elias Burrows, miner.
Geo. Marshall, labourer.
Geo. Ibbotson, labourer.
Wm. Ashmore, ffarmer.
John Birley, cooper.
Josiah Birley. cooper.
John Andrew, labourer.
Jacob Eyre, baker.
Robert Bradbury, skinner.
Dennis Bradwell, miner.
Joseph Hibbs, miner.
Richard Bennett, miner.
Thurston Jackson, miner.
Thomas Howe, miner.
Hugh Pearson, miner.
Joseph Barber, miner.
John Elliott, miner.
Robt. Middleton, miner.
Wm. Wragg, miner.
Saml. Barber, miner.
Richard Wragg, miner.
Thomas Wragg, miner.
Robt. Bocking, miner.
Wm. Hamilton, carpenter.
Wm. Bocking, miner.
Robt. Bocking, miner.
Josiah Cheetham, miner.
George Barnsley, ffarmer.
Robt. Elliott, miner.
Thos. Cheetham, miner.
George Hall, miner.
Mark Ashton, miner.
Thos. Walker, miner.
Solomon Barber, miner.
Wm. Ibbotson, miner.
Robt. Marshall, cordwainer.
Andrew Barber, miner.
John Hatfield, blacksmith.
Francis Fox, baker.
Thos. Marshall, miner.
Thos. Bocking, cordwainer.
Robert Whitle, miner.
Rowland Middleton, wheelwright.
Wm. Hobson, weaver.
Abram Dakin, grocer.
Thos. Marshall, miner.
Adam Hallam, miner.
*Robt. Hallam, miner.
Thos. Morton, miner.
Henry Hill, miner.
Robt. Hill, grocer.
Anthony Wright, miner.
Geo. Palfreyman, miner.
Martin Middleton, miner.
George Maltby, miner.
Thos. Hallam, miner.
John Hallam, miner.
*Robt. Hall, miner.
Robt. Hawksworth, miner.
Geo. Middleton, miner.
Abram Walker, miner,
Thos. Ward, taylor.
Thos. Hallam, miner.
Robt. Burrows, miner.
Charles Middleton, miner.
Robt. Bocking, miner.
Wm. Cheetham, miner
*Robt. Barber, miner.

Second Class:

Wm. Ryalls, three children.
Wm. Hill. do.
Johnson Evans, do.
Robt. Marshall, do.
Isaac Bradwell, do.
Geo. Barber, do.
Emmanuel Downing, three children.
Thos. Cheetham, do.
Joseph Bradwell, do.
Miles Marshall, do.
John Cheetham, do.
Ellis Cheetham, do.

Third Class:

John Noel, infirm
Wm. Bennett, do.
John Cooper, do.
Thos. Hilton, do.
Wm. Palfreyman. do.
James Morton, do.
Christopher Morton, do.
Miles Marshall, do.

Balloted Before:

Daniel Stafford.
Wm. Howe.
Elias Hall.
Elias Middleton.
George Furnace.
Isaac Furnace.
Robt. Poynton.
John Bradwell.
Thos. Greaves.
Isaac Walker.

Fourth Class.- Exempted by Law.

George Fox, Headborough.
John Jennings, apprentice.
Adam Bunting, apprentice.

“Any man who Finds himself agreevd must Make His apeal on Tuesday the 18th inst at the sighn of the White Horse in Bakewell”.

On the back of the document is written: “This list was wrote by Mr. Edwd. Fox, Schoolmaster”. Those names preceded by a star (*) were evidently those whose fate the next ballot had decided.

When the Miners Rebelled.

The dread of an invasion, in 1796, brought about a more stringent Statute for the raising of extra local forces of Militia. The public rebelled against it, and in the Peak district there were riots. There was a serious riot at Bakewell when the Militia lists such as the one given above were burnt before the faces of the Justices. On the day the magistrates met, the lead miners of Bradwell, Castleton, Eyam, Tideswell, Longstone, and other places, marched into the town armed with clubs, picks, miners' spades, and other weapons. The mob took all the Militia papers from the officers, being lists (such as the above) of men liable to serve in the Militia, went into the room where the magistrates were sitting, seized Dr. Denman, the chairman, and turned out his pockets to see that no papers were left. They then made a bonfire of the whole of their booty in front of the White Horse, and destroyed all the papers. So serious was this riot that the Cavalry attended the next meeting of the magistrates when a large mob again assembled, but were dispersed, and a number of them taken prisoners and conveyed to Chesterfield gaol. There were no Bradwell men taken prisoners.

The first Volunteer Corps in Derbyshire, was founded in 1803. The North High Peak Corps wore scarlet coat with blue collar and cuffs, and white trousers. One company was called the Bradwell, Peak Forest, Great Hucklow and Grindlow Volunteers, but nearly all the men were from Bradwell. There were 66 effective rank and file, and the officers were Benjamin Barber, captain; Robert Needham, lieutenant; and Benjamin Pearson, ensign; all gentlemen of position in Bradwell. Curious enough, Benjamin Barber was a well known Wesleyan local preacher, known as Captain Barber. He

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was a lead mine owner, and Benjamin Pearson (a cotton mill owner) was a churchwarden at Hope. The company formed part of the Chatsworth Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, and Benjamin Barber was one of the captains.

About 1796 there were many Peakland men who were by the Act of Parliament at that time compelled or “impressed” to enter the army, a number of lead miners of Bradwell being among the number. Each parish had to find men, and some of there were married with children. One of these was Hugh Hill who became a sergeant in the 65th Regiment of Foot, who on October 30th, 1800, when his regiment was stationed at Sandown Fort, Isle of Wight, wrote a long letter to his children. It is addressed to “Mr. Henry Hill to be Left at Mr. Thos. Willson's across Smith Field, Sheffield, Yorkshire”, and after mentioning various family affairs he says: “We expect the French to invade England very shortly, there is a camp of the French opposite Deal. It makes duty go very strict with us. When the sky is clear we can see their camp, which is upwards of 4000 men, but they have a good deal to do before they pass our wooden walls of old England. Our batteries and forts and castles which we have three castles and two forts to do duty at. We have at No. 1 and 2 forts 12 thirty-six pounders, four long nine-pounders, besides Howitzers and other implements of war”. In a postcript he says: “Pray God send a speedy peace, for everything keeps rising now as fast as ever”. Hugh Hill returned to his native place, and was always known as “The Sergeant”, down to his death in 1824, at the age of 54.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2013.

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