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 XVIII.



Thomas Morton (who took the name of Thomas Morton Moore), who was a son of George Morton, was a distinguished son of his native place. Although only 44 when he died at Parkhurst Barracks, Isle of Wight, in March, 1860, he had probably seen as much active service as any man of that age. He was a Quartermaster of the 5th Depot. Batt., and served in India with the 31st Regiment throughout the Afghan and Sutlej campaign, and with the 68th Regiment during the whole of the Crimean War, in which he was wounded. In the course of his career he was present in thirty-six engagements, and for his services he received four medals and six clasps. He was honoured by the Turkish Order of the Medjidie being conferred upon him. His widow erected a handsome memorial of him in the Primitive Methodist Chapel.


Charles Castle, J.P., an Indian Mutiny Veteran

Although not a native of Bradwell, he resided here many years, loved the place and its people, took interest in all its affairs, and was for many years chairman of the School Board. He was a fine fellow, a member of the Sheffield Corporation, and a magistrate. In 1856, when only 18, he enlisted in the 7th Hussars, and by the end of November in the following year he was out in India. The Indian Mutiny was going on, and Charles Castle was in the thick of the fighting. He was present at the repulse of the enemy's attack on the Alumbagh, and through the siege and operations against Lucknow. He was with Hodson, the dashing Colonel of “Hodson's Horse”, when he fell. He was continually engaged throughout the years 1858 and 1859, and for his bravery received promotion. When in hot pursuit of the enemy, a shell burst over him and brought the horse down dead, hit in seven places, and the horse fell heavily on him. and crushing him into the land.

Mr. Castle passed through the campaign with only one wound, although of 78 men who belonged to his troop when they rode to Lucknow, only 13 were left at the end of the operations. After the war was over, Mr. Castle who had become Acting Troop Sergeant-Major, and Assistant Instructor in Musketry, accompanied Lord and Lady Canning and Sir Colin Campbell on their tour through the Punjab and North-West Provinces as sergeant in the escort. He had always belonged to the “select side” of his regiment, and had in this country again and again ridden in the escort of Queen Victoria. He purchased his discharge in 1862, and joined his brother- in-law, Mr. Batty Langley (afterwards M.P.) in business in Sheffield. He died in 1904, and his funeral, one of the largest ever seen in Sheffield, was attended by 45 Indian Mutiny veterans.

Wilfred Fiske, South African Hero, killed on Railway

HARRY FISKE (living).

Eldest son of Mr. S. Fiske. Studied for the army under the late Mark H. Wild, of Sheffield. Determined to be a soldier he enlisted in the 2nd Devon Regiment with a view of obtaining a commission through the ranks. He was, as a sergeant, in all the fights on the banks of the Tugela, in the South African War, and assisted in the relief of Ladysmith, when he was invalided home.


Another son of Mr. S. Fiske. He went through the South African campaign with distinction, remained in that country. He was killed when walking over a railway crossing in 1904.


Served in the South African War.

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For 400 years the Barnsley family resided at Nether Water Farm, an old house nestling in a hollow just above Hazlebadge Hall, from whence different branches of the family have gone out and settled at Peak Forest, Aldwark Grange, and other places. One of the Peak Forest family was blessed with six children - four sons and two daughters - all of whom early in life agreed that they would never marry, that they would leave their estate to the survivors, and that they would all find a resting place in the same vault at Peak Forest Church. Five of them were faithful to their vow, and rest in the vault, but the erring one, who tasted matrimonial bliss, to some extent “made up” for his brothers and sisters, for he had no fewer than three wives, and, well, the Peak Forest vault does not contain his ashes.

Miss Mary Barnsley, the last of the five who remained unmarried, and died a few years ago, left £500 to Peak Forest Church and School in augmentation of the stipend of the vicar; £250 to increase the salary of the day schoolmaster connected with the church, and £250 for maintaining and improving the choir; and in order that her bequests might not be lost sight of and that the parishioners might ever be reminded of them, she directed her executors to have such bequests recorded by a suitable inscription on a brass plate affixed against the wall inside the church.

John Barnsley, the Peak centenarian, was born in 1689, and died in 1787.

William Bocking, 60 years a Sunday School Teacher


who died in 1869, aged 87. Was a Wesleyan Sunday School teacher over 60 years.


One of the pioneers of Methodism, a lead mine manager, known as “the Methodist

Martyr”, owing to the persecutions he suffered in the early ages of Methodism. He was the principal stay of Methodism here from 1760 to 1800, and about 1780 established the first Sunday School; He was buried at Hope Church.


He was son of the above, and was a local preacher and a captain in the Militia, the first company formed in 1803. This remarkable individual was part owner of many lead mines in the district 100 years ago. He built and resided in the house known as the Old Post Office, at the bottom of Smithy Hill.


John Barber, a Famous Local Preacher

Another member of the same family, who died in 1910. He worthily upheld the traditions of his great-grandfather, the Methodist martyr, for he was a talented and hardworking local preacher 51 years, and filled every office, then to a layman. He was one of the first members of the School Board, and held his seat many years.


This gentleman confers honour upon Bradwell, where he lived for several years when a boy. He was the only son of the Rev. John Bonser, B.A., who was stationed as the Wesleyan minister at Bradwell from 1851 to 1854, and resided in the house immediately below, and opposite the chapel. Born in 1847, he was educated at Ashby-de-la-Zouch, Loughborough, and Heath Grammar Schools, Tancred student in Common Law at Lincoln's Inn, 1869; and Senior Classics, 1870. In 1883 he was appointed Attorney-General of the Straits Settlements, and retained that position for ten years, when he was appointed Chief Justice

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of the same, and retired in 1902. In the previous year he had been appointed Privy Counsellor, and in 1902 he was appointed a member of the Judicial Committee of Privy Council.


Walter de Braddewall sat on a jury at the Assizes of the Forest, in the year 1216.

Gregory de Bradwall, bail for the Prior of Lenton, for an offence against the forest laws in 1237.

Galf de Bradwall, an offender against the forest laws in 1272.

Elias de Bradwall, often bail for offenders against the forest laws about 1280.

William Fabre de Bradwall, Gregory de Bradwall, Matthew de Bradwall and Nicholas, son of William de Bradwall, were among the first to enclose land in Bradwall, in the year 1237.

Galf de Bradwall, in 1283, was called to account for having raised three houses in the forest without warrant; and Clement De-la Ford (Ford Hall) became bail for him.

Nicholas, the Clerk of Bradwall, in 1283.

William, son of the Smith of Bradwall, sat on an Inquisition re lead mining at Ashbourne, 1288.

Thomas Bradwall, Chaplain of Hope, in 1529.


Although landlord of the Bull's Head, where his parents lived before him, he was a popular local preacher in the Wesleyan body, and a friend of William Wood, the historian, of Eyam. Here is what a newspaper said about him after his death in 1853:- “The deceased for upwards of forty years had generously officiated as village scribe; as counsellor and confidential adviser to the whole village and its immediate locality. To the counsel and judgment of the deceased were referred all matters of dispute occurring around him, and it is some praise to his deeply revered memory to add that but rarely indeed did he fail to bring matters to a satisfactory and peaceful termination. In the political world he was an ardent and acute observer; as a literary character he was at least locally conspicuous; as a wit and racy humorist he had, in his own locale, few equals; as a general reader his great variety of book knowledge amply testified; and as a kind and open-hearted neighbour and friend his loss will be long experienced and deeply lamented. To the provincial press the deceased was an occasional contributor, while his correspondence with many eminent characters of the present day is all sufficient testimony of the appreciation of high mental qualities. As a husband and parent he was truly exemplary; as an advocate of Liberal principles he was courageous and unflinching; and as a Christian he bore up under a long and severe affliction, and finally passed from this stage of life in a happy state of blissful peace and sweet serenity. His end was peace”.


who died at Bradwell, for the greater part of his life held an important post with the famous firm of Fox, at their Stocksbridge works. During his connection with the business he worked out several ideas he evolved for improving various machines used in the factories. He invented machines with certain labour-saving devices of an entirely new and intricate character, and which, when tested, proved to be of immense value to the industry.

Bradwell Ebenezer (living).- Been a local preacher in the Wesleyan body 51 years, and held various offices in Wesleyanism.


A very old family, who still retain one of their old homesteads at Dale End, and properties in other parts of the village. They have always been a family of education and refinement, and repute. Edward Derneley was a churchwarden of Hope, in 1693, but no other member of the family ever held that office, as they were prominently connected with Nonconformity, but their old burial place is still at Hope Church. John Darnley was a famous schoolmaster nearly a century ago.

Dakin Stephen (living). - Been a Wesleyan local preacher, and a most active Nonconformist 51 years.

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Mrs. Violet Hall, a Pioneer Lady Preacher

Evans William.- In a large way of business as hat manufacturer nearly a century ago. Endowed the Chapel of the Apostle of the Peak, and is buried under the pulpit.

Evans Seth (living).- Author of the “History of Wesleyanism in Bradwell”, “Bradwell Ancient and Modern”, etc.

Furness Isabella.- In 1740 one of the first to open her house for Methodist prayer meetings when the very earliest Methodist pioneer ventured to Bradwell.

Goodwin George, son of George Goodwin and the Hon. Charlotte Radclyffe, born at Bradwell in 1749, died at Sheffield, in poverty, in 1835.

Hall Mary.- Benefactress. Died 1762.

Hall Violet.- Forty years a Primitive Methodist local preacher. Died 1881.

Hallam Absolom (living).- Colour-sergeant 21 years in Sherwood Foresters. Medals: Punjab Frontier (India), 1897-8; long service and good conduct, 1906.

Howe Margaret.- One of the first Methodists who opened her house for prayer meetings about 1740.


Next to the Bradwells, the Marshalls are the oldest family in the locality, and they can beast an unbroken descent of at least 600 years. They were among the first Foresters; they rebelled against the bad old forest laws, cleared the first patches of land, built some of the first houses; for several centuries ranked amongst the principal families of the Peak; and they were often involved in litigation with people of greater power than themselves, who were attempting to take the common lands to which the people were entitled. The principal seat of this distinguished family was at “The Butts”, between the Bagshawe Cavern and Outland Head. Here they had a large hall, not a vestige of which now remains, but there are traces on every hand of the former splendour of the home of the family. The houses close by are known as “Hall Barn”, indeed the lands were in the hands of Elias Marshall when he died in 1768, and left an enclosure, the rent of which was to pay for the education of poor children. The family were very numerous, and had several residences. One of these was at the foot of Smithy Hill. It was in their occupation 200 years ago, but was soon afterwards converted into farm buildings, and about ten years ago these were, demolished and a new house, “North View”, built on the site. To mention the various members of this distinguished family through six hundred years would be impossible, but in the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries, they ranked among the principal families of the Peak, and their daughters married into other famous families of the Peak. Their armoury is amongst that of the High Peak gentry, and their crest was a man in armour proper holding in his hand a truncheon.

Elias Marshall de Butts, in the Forest Pleas for land in 1399.

Elias Marshall and Dennis Marshall, at a great Court Leet of Henry Vernon, Esq., at Hazlebadge, in 1480.

Nicholas Marshall, at a great Court at Hazlebadge, 1488.

Walter Marshall and Hugh Marshall proceeded (with others) against Thomas Eyre for illegal possession of demesne lands in Bradwall, 1594.

Willelmus Marshall and Milo Marshall, among the vills and freeholders of Bradwall in 1633.

Elias Marshall, a large landowner at Derbyshire election of 1734.

Adam, Edward, Godfrey, Humphrey, Lawrence, Martin, Robert, Thomas, and Miles Marshall, all landowners in 1658.

Robert Marshall, churchwarden of Hope, in 1740.

Thomas Marshall, churchwarden of Hope in 1750.


The Middleton family ranks among the very oldest in the district. For 600 years they have been located here, and are here still, in various branches. To give anything like a history of this family is an impossible task. John Myddleton and Robert Myddleton were farming lands in Bradwell, as shown in the Forest Pleas, in the year 1399, and they have been on the soil ever since, taking active part in the affairs of their native place. There is not a single Court Leet record right through all these centuries without the names of some of this yeoman stock. Two Martin Middletons, two Richard Middletons, and a Thomas Middleton were freeholders in 1734. Thomas Middleton, benefactor, died 1729.

Robert Middleton, Town Gate, died 1854, aged 94.

Martin Middleton, native of Bradwell, was a member of the Manchester Corporation 1849 to 1851.

John Middleton, member of Manchester Corporation 1848 to 1851.

Job Middleton, the last of the hat manufacturers, died 1899, aged 84


A famous family whose sons have gone out into all parts of the world, many of whom have distinguished themselves, especially in the Army, and the Non-conformist ministry. They were for centuries connected with lead-mining, and they were prominent people here in the year 1472, and have taken active part in the life of their native place through all these centuries, and their names are frequently met with throughout this work. They have been freeholders for centuries.

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Chief Inspector Oliver Morton

George Morton was the first to open his building for the reception of the Primitive Methodists, in 1821. He died in 1852.

Morton, Rev. Jacob.- Famous Wosleyan minister. Died 1870

Morton, Rev. John.- Primitive Methodist minister. Died 1862.

Morton Oliver, who died in 1910, a miner, joined the Liverpool police force when a young man, volunteered for service abroad, and for the long period of 18 years occupied the position of Chief Inspector of the Penang and Singapore (Straits Settlements) Police, retiring to his native place in 1901. He lies in the family grave in the Wesleyan Cemetery, where there is a handsome monument to his memory.

Morton Thomas.- A famous soldier. Died at Parkhurst Harracks.


A family of repute and substance who were among the leading Wesleyans more than a century ago. They were in business as joiners, wheelwrights, fellmongers, and general shopkeepers, and while some of their sons have gone out and become distinguished divines, others have remained prominent laymen at home, and the present generation of the family are prominently connected with Wesleyanism.

Somerset Benjamin.- He was a Wesleyan local preacher forty years, and a prominent layman all that time.

Somerset Jabez Birley.- A prominent Wesleyan leader and official. Died in 1864.

Somerset Robert.- He was a Wesleyan local preacher, class leader, and trustee more than forty years, and died in 1897.

Somerset Thomas.- 20 years guardian of the poor for Bradwell.

Robert Somerset, well-known Local Preacher
Thomas Somerset, 20 years Poor Law Guardian

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As assembled in the old School, now the Liberal Club, in 1861.

A Group of Wesleyan Class Leaders
Adam Hill, John Middleton, Thomas Middleton, Benjamin Somerset, Rev. Richard Smailes, William Bennett, Jabez Birley Somerset

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Somerset. Rev. Ralph Benjamin.- Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge. Died 1891.

Stafford Obadiah. - Wesleyan Sunday School teacher over 60 years. Died 1884.

Strelley Robert.- Hazlebadge, M.P. for Derbyshire in 1407.

Strelley John.- Hazlebadge, M.P. for Derbyshire 1420.

Obadiah Stafford, 60 years Sunday School Teacher
Dr. Joseph Henry Taylor, “The Old Doctor”

Taylor, Dr. Joseph Henry.- One of the best-known medical practitioners in the Peak. Practised in the district more than half a century. Died in 1897.

Taylor, Dr. Thomas (living).- Born at Bradwell. Son of Dr. Joseph Henry Taylor. Resides at Bournemouth.

Tanfield Robert (living). - One of the best-known Primitive Methodists in the Connexion. Been a local preacher and active official 60 years. An overseer of the poor for 40 years.

Vernon. Sir Richard.- Resided at Hazlebadge Hall in the fifteenth century.

Walker, Zachariah (living).- Been assistant overseer for Bradwell, and secretary of the Welcome Traveller of the Peak Lodge of Oddfellows nearly 40 years. The family have for centuries been interested in lead mining.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2013.

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