The History and Antiquities of Eyam

By William Wood (1903)

Transcriptions by Andrew McCann, © Copyright 1999



Caschin was Lord of Eyam before the Norman Conquest, after which Eyam was vested in the crown, until bestowed by the Earl of Montaine, on (it is said) one Roger de Morteyne, known afterwards as the Morteynes of Risley and Eyam (vide Lysons). Not much is known of the Morteynes; that is as to their residence at Eyam.


It is not known that the Staffords of Eyam were connected by blood with the Morteynes, although the former seemed to cling close to the latter. Under the head of “The Church” it is stated that the Staffords had grants of land from the Morteynes for services specified. The Staffords, by judicious marriages, acquired much property during the lapse of many generations. They owned nearly all the property in the townships of Eyam, Foolow and the hamlet of Bretton, comprising many hundreds of acres. They were also lords and sole owners of the two manors of Calver and Rowland.

“John Stafford de Eyham, was one of the Conservators of the Peace for the County of Derby, in the 12 Hen VI.” (1433). The Hall in which dwelled the Staffords for near four centuries had a flat roof covered with lead. One room was said to have been very large, the beams ornamented with carvings of shields of arms, and a fine traceried window looking east. In the room was a shovel-board of massy oak. Few traces now remain of the habitation. Its site, however, is well known; “the orchard, the Hall yard, the site of the fish pan and the Hall hill, like “The Findern Flowers”, still point out the by-gone residence of the once influential and hospitable Staffords”.

Humphrey, the last of the Eyam Staffords, was living in the 33rd. year of the reign of Henry VIII. He had two sons, Roland and Humphrey, both died without issue; and four daughters - Alice, married to John Savage, gentleman, Castleton; Gertrude, married to Rowland Eyre, Esq., Hassop; she died in 1624. A brass plate in Longstone Church commemorates her memory. Ann married Francis Bradshaw of Bradshaw Hall, County of Derby. Katherine married Rowland Morewood, The Oaks, Bradfield, Yorkshire. She was buried at Bradfield, July 16, 1595.

The immediate descendants of the co-heiresses of Humphrey Stafford quartered the arms of Stafford of Eyam, the same as those of Stafford of Botham (Cheshire). Mr. Wolley, of Matlock, had a seal of a Stafford of Eyam, with the following arms:- “Ermine, on a bend, gules, three roundels”. The Morewoods quartered the arms of Stafford of Eyam. “Or a chevron, gules, between three martlets, sable”.

Humphrey Stafford, at his death about 1560, left a widow, Ann, and four daughters; at the death of his widow, his immense property, valued at that time at near £100,000, was equally divided among his four daughters, his co-heiresses. the portion allotted to Katherine, wife of Rowland Morewood, was sold about 85 years since by Henry Case Morewood, who had married the widow of a Morewood of Alfreton, to James Furness, Stoney Middleton, and a few others.

The portion allotted to Gertrude (consisting of the two hamlets, Rowland and Calver), wife of Rowland Eyre, Esq., of Hassop, is still possessed by his representative, Col. Leslie: the moiety allotted to John Savage of Castleton, gent., was sold by Humphrey, his grandson, in 1613, to Thomas Middleton, clerk, Richard Furness, Peter Hawksworth, Peter Pillinge, Hercules Furness, Rodger Wilson, William Chapman, Godfrey Rowland the elder, Ralph Nealer, and John Needham of Castleton. The deed is witnessed by Caleb Deane, Thomas John Jeffries and Martin Hall. The purchase was £1,032 6s. 0d. ; the other portion awarded to Ann, married to Francis Bradshaw, of Bradshaw, is still in the possession of her representatives, the Bradshaw Smiths, of Blackwood House, Ecclesfeccan, N.B.

Next Chapter => BRADSHAW HALL

This information was transcribed by Andrew McCann in May 1999.

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