The History and Antiquities of Eyam

By William Wood (1903)

Transcriptions by Andrew McCann, © Copyright 1999


The Manor of Eyam (the Aiune of the Norman survey) was, in the reign of Edward the Confessor, held by the Caschin; but at the Survey of the Conqueror, it was vested in the Crown.[1]

This, with other Manors in the Peak, was granted by Henry the first to William Peveril, and Eyam was held under him by the Morteynes, of Risley, in this County, and of Wollaton, in Nottinghamshire; the latter place being now the seat of Willoughby, Lord Middleton, one of whose ancestors married, in the reign of Edward the First, the heiress of the Morteynes.

About the year 1307, Roger de Morteyne sold the Manor and estate to Thomas, Lord de Furnival of Sheffield, and Lord of Hallamshire.[2]

The Manor has continued in the descendants of the Furnivals through heiresses to the present time. Joan de Furnival, only daughter and heiress of William, fourth Lord Furnival, carried this and her other large estates in marriage to her husband, Sir Thomas Nevill (brother of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland), summoned to Parliament as Lord Furnival in right of his wife.[3]

Maud, the only daughter and heiress of Sir Thomas Nevill, Lord furnival, married John Lord Talbot, first Earl of Shrewsbury, the distinguished hero of the wars between England and France during the reigns of Henry the Fifth and Sixth.

On the death of Gilbert, 7th. earl, in 1616, without male issue, it passed under settlements made by Earl George, his father, to Earl Gilbert's sister, the Countess of Pembroke, and on her death without issue, to her great nephew, Sir George Saville, of Thornhill, Yorkshire, and Rufford, Nottinghamshire, afterwards created Marquis of Halifax, and grandson of the Countess of Pembroke's sister, Lady Mary Saville.

On the death of his son, William, second Marquis, in the year 1700, this Manor was allotted, on partition of his estates, between his three daughters and co-heiresses, to his daughter, the Countess of Burlington, in part of her share, from whom it descended to her only daughter and heiress, married to William, 4th. Duke of Devonshire; it is now the property of their great grandson, William, 7th. Duke of Devonshire, 18th in descent from Thomas Lord de Furnival.

This Manor became the property of the Right Honourable Lord George Cavendish in the year 1781, in consequence of a decision in the Court of King's Bench upon the wills of the Countess of Burlington and William, Duke of Devonshire.

In the early part of the present century, William, the sixth Duke of Devonshire, became possessed of it by exchange. On the death of William, second Marquis of Halifax, as before stated, the Manor was vested in his daughter Dorothy, Countess of Burlington; but by virtue of partition deeds (one in the 16th George Second) the mineral rights, with the right of presentation to the living or Rectory, was held and possessed in common, or equally, between the co-heiresses, or their issue.

The joint share, or portion of all mineral rights, with right of presentation to the Rectory, of Anne, the eldest daughter and co-heiress, who married Charles, Lord Bruce, eldest son of Thomas, second Earl of Ailesbury, has descended through their only daughter, married to Henry, Duke of Chandos, to her great grandson, the present Duke of Buckingham and Chandos - that of his second daughter Dorothy, the Countess of Burlington, to her descendant the present Duke of Devonshire; and the share of Mary, the youngest of the three daughters and co-heiresses, who married Sackville Tufton, Earl of Thanet, to her grandson, Henry Tufton, 11th and last Earl of Thanet, by whose death that title became extinct, and is now held under his will by Sir Richard Tufton, Bart., of Hothfield Hall, Kent; - the Duke of Buckingham and Chandos, the Duke of Devonshire, and Sir Richard Tufton, present to the Rectory in succession.[4]

The Manor House is said to have stood in the fields a little north-west of the Church and Hall garden, then called the Green Yard, and having been sold to the Wrights, was pulled down by them in the latter half of the last century but one.

Foundations have been occasionally turned up within the recollection of persons now living.

It was probably seldom inhabited by the Lords or their families, except on occasions of their visiting their estates in this part of the country, when rooms might have been reserved for their use, and which might have been used also for the holding therein of the Manor Courts.

[1] Caschin, who possessed Eyam in the reign of Edward the Confessor, held no other property or Manors in Derbyshire except Elton (Eltune) jointly with Utred. [- Lysons' Mag. Britt., Derbyshire xxxv. and xxxix -] The Doomsday Book contains the following:- “In Eyam, Caschin had two caracutes of land, or two plough hides of land for the plough, and two caracutes of other or not plough land . There are twelve villeins and seven Bordarii (a sort of copy holders). They have five ploughs.Wood and pasture one mile long and broad, now the King's land, worth annually twenty shillings”.
[2] 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, Catliffe, 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.
[3] Thomas Nevill, Lord Furnival, had livery 7th. Richard the Second, of the lands of which his wife's father died seized, amongst others, Eyam, Com. Derb.
[4] Besides the mineral rights and Rectorial presentation, these noblemen have little or no landed interest at Eyam, Sir George Saville having sold the land, &c. two centuries back. A large tract of moorland, however, belongs to the Duke of Devonshire as Lord of the Manor.

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This information was transcribed by Andrew McCann in May 1999.

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