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English Topography Part III Derbyshire - Dorsetshire
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[Page 20]


[1794, Part I., pp. 300, 301.]
I shall avail myself of this opportunity, Mr. Urban, with your leave, to transmit some of my church notes, etc., made upon this

[Page 21] spot. In the chancel of Bakewell Church is a beautiful and well preserved table monument of alabaster (covered with a wooden frame, at the instance of Mr. Roe, to protect it), with the following inscription upon its edge in very singular characters, remarkably square, and probably the whim of the sculptor, as I do not remember to have ever seen any which resemble them. They were originally convex, but, being somewhat damaged, have by the Rutland family, which intermarried with the last heir of the Vernons, been traced over with a black cement :


On the east side of a chapel built by the Vernons is a fine table tomb, with three cumbent figures, with this inscription :


The blanks here left are so in the original.
In the same chapel is a fine monument, of the time of Elizabeth, for the last heir of the Vernons, who married into the Rutland family, and another for the Manners', with a vast number of figures of their children whilst living, placed there by some odd caprice of the person who erected the monument, which is finely preserved, and in the winter enclosed by folding doors. In the same chapel is the figure of a Norman knight in mail armour, but not cross-legged.

Upon his helmet is inscribed IHC NAZAREN, a facsimile of which letters was traced off for me upon paper, by means of a roller of black lead, by Mr. Roe.

In the churchyard I copied the following inscription :

Under this tomb lie the two wives of JOHN DALE, of Bakewell, Barber Surgeon, born at Sheldon. His first wife, Elizabeth, was the daughter of Godfrey Foljambe, of Bakewell ; his second wife, Sarah, was the daughter of Bloodworth. ..."

The rest of the inscription only mentions what children he had by them, and is very much defaced, and difficult to read; the inclemency of the weather likewise prevented me from persevering in the attempt to transcribe it. On one side of the tomb are these lines :

"Know, posterity, that, on the 8th of Aprill, in the year of grace 1757, the rambling remains of the above said John Dale were, in the 86th year of his pilgrimage, laid upon his two wives.

This thing in life might raise some jealousie,
Here all three lie together lovingly;
But from embraces here no pleasure flows,
Alike are here all human joys and woes ;

[Page 22]

Here Sarah's chiding John no longer hears,
And old John's rambling Sarah no more fears,
A period's come to all their toylsome lives,
The good man's quiet, still are both his wives."

In the churchyard is a very ancient cross, something like that at Penrith, in Cumberland, but with a crucifix upon the top.


In a late tour in Derbyshire I was much pleased with visiting a seat belonging to the Rutland family, called Haddon Hall, about a mile and a half from Bakewell, in that county. At present it is in a very ruinous condition, no one inhabiting it ; but I think it as well worthy the observation of those who are fond of seeing ancient seats as any I am acquainted with.

Not having sufficient time when I was there to make any particular remarks, I should esteem myself obliged if any of your numerous correspondents would insert a short account of it in your valuable repository, and if the same was accompanied with a view, ever so roughly taken, it would perhaps give additional satisfaction to many of your readers, and to none more than your constant one,

[Page footnote]
Our correspondent will find his curiosity gratified by the accounts of this mansion by Mr. King, in Archæologia, vi., 346-359 ; and by Mr. Bray, in the second edition of his Tour; the substance of both which are incorporated in the new edition of Camden's "Britannia," ii., 314. Vivares engraved a N. W. view of it 1769, after a drawing taken by Smith 1744. The Society of Antiquaries are possessed of a number of drawings of it by the late Mr. Schnebbelie, with a full account of it; which, it is hoped, they will give to the public as a continuation of their "Vetusta Monumenta."


[1814, Part I., pp. 225-227.]
With this you will receive a view of the remains of Beauchief Abbey, in the hundred of Scarsdale, county Derby (see Plate II.). It is situated 10 miles north-north-west from Chesterfield, and 51 south-west by south from Sheffield, county York :

" An Abbey of Premonstratensian, or White, Canons, founded A.D. 1183, by Robert Fitz Ranulph, Lord of Alfreton, one of the executioners of Thomas Becket, Abp. of Canterbury, to whom, canonized, this monastery was dedicated. It was valued 26 Hen. VIII. at £126: 3: 4 per annum, as Dugdale; £134: 0: 0 Leland; £157 : 10 : 2 Speed; and granted 28 Hen. VIII. to Sir Nicholas Strelley."*

"An Historical Account" of this Abbey, by the late Rev. Dr. Samuel Pegge, was published in the year 1801, "wherein the three following material points, in opposition to vulgar prejudices and

[Page footnote]
* Tanner's "Not. Mon."

[Page 23]

opinions, are clearly established: Ist. That this abbey did not take its name from the head of Abp. Becket, though it was dedicated to him. 2nd. That the founder of it had no hand in the murder of that prelate; and, consequently, that the house was not erected in expiation of that crime. 3rd. The dependence of this house on that of Welbeck, co. Nottingham; a matter hitherto unknown." This valuable Monastic History having been rendered remarkably scarce, from an accident, it may be allowable to make a few extracts from it :

(I) " It is the vulgar and common notion that the Abbey was denominated from St. Thomas's Head ; but it is evident to demonstration, from the very words of the grant of foundation, that it had obtained the appellation of Beauchef, before the abbey was founded, and probably before St. Thomas was born. I conceive it took its name from the nature of the place, like Beauchamp, Beaumont, Beaulieu, Beaupré, etc., chef here not signifying the head of a person, but a head, or elevated point of land, like the Italian capo, and the Spanish cabo. In the conery at Beauchef there is an headland, under which the abbey was situated [as shewn in the view], where there is a fine and most extensive prospect, so as deservedly to be called Beauchef" (p. 8).

(2) " Robert Fitz-Ranulph, the munificent founder of Beauchief Abbey, does not appear to have been one of Becket's murderers ; and consequently there is no room for the supposition that he established this convent by way of atoning for his crime; for it is by all authors agreed there were but four persons concerned in Becket's murder, Reginald Fitz-Urse, Wm. de Tracey, Hugh de Morevilla, and Richard Brito. Surely a person of Fitz-Ranulph's rank and consideration, a baron, and of the best note amongst them (for the rest were only knights), would certainly have been mentioned had he been present. He infallibly would have been called to account, and punished for the crime equally, or perhaps more severely, than the others, had he been one of the company. It does not appear that he was ; on the contrary, we behold him a nobleman of great dignity, opulent, and flourishing. The perpetrators of this tragedy were all ordered immediately out of the kingdom, and their estates would of course be seized and confiscated; so that, if Fitz-Ranulph had been one of their party, he never would have had it in his power to found a monastery " (pp. 14-16).

(3) " The number of canons who composed this little body, amounted to an abbat and twelve brothers, which number was thought to constitute a true and proper convent; and deemed to be complete and full. - It will be thought probable, that these canons were at first all brought from one place, and from Welbeck, the nearest house of the same order. The founder's great charter was attested by the whole company, the abbat and convent, of that

[Page 24]

house. - Welbeck was the most opulent and flourishing house of the order in the midland parts of England; and the founder's family appears to have had great connexion with Welbeck. Though Beauchief was not properly a cell to Welbeck, it nevertheless had a great dependence upon that house; and the superintendance of the abbat of Welbeck was grounded, it seems, on some papal bull now lost" (pp. 51-55).

" Beauchief is extra-parochial. 'The place where the abbie stands, and about 800 acres of the grounds adjacent and belonging thereto, are still known and called by that one common name of Beauchieffe, and are situated betwixt the lordship of Eccleshale in Sheafield parish on the North, the hamlet of Dore in Dronfield parish Westward, and the hamlets of Bradway, Greenhill, and Woodseats, upon the South and East, within the parish of Norton.'*

There was a park, of about 200 acres, and water sufficient, both for the use of the house, and for supplying the table with fish, a matter to which the monks of all orders were constantly attentive. The House was founded between the years 1172 and 1176, - though I incline to name 1180 for the opening, or even a year or two before that. The house was not sacred solely to St. Thomas, the Virgin Mary being associated with him, as represented on their first seal. However, as St. Thomas eclipsed St. Mary at Canterbury, so here the donations at last were made to St. Thomas the Martyr, exclusively of the Virgin; and even the convent themselves appear to wish to have it understood, that he was their Saint paramount, since in their last seal no notice is taken of her, but a representation is only given of the martyrdom, as they were pleased to call it, of St. Thomas" (pp. 39-42).

"As to the chapel, or church, in the case above cited, it is said, ' Here at Beauchife, together with the abbie, was likewise built up a very spacious church, having a faire chancel, where was an altar; a large steeple, where are five bells; and likewise a cœmeterium, or church-yard, where (as also in the church) corps were interred whilst I it was an abbie, and since.' "

" In 28 Hen. VIII., 1537, the king granted the site of the abbey, with the estate belonging to it, to Sir Nicholas Strelley, of Strelley, co. Nottingham, for the sum of 223l; and the description of the parcels then granted is 'The house and site of the abbey or monastery De Bello Capite. ..and all the church, belfrey, and church-

[Page footnote]
* From a MS. case at Beauchief, written by Edward Pegge.
† " Though this is an history of the abbey, and not an account of the family, I beg leave to add a word or two of myself as the compiler; for I am more than nominally authorized to undertake the work. Gertrude, whom I have purposely specified as one of the children of Edward Pegge, the first proprietor of the abbey, was my maternal grandmother; add to this, that I have had access to all the family documents at Beauchief from time to time, and especially by the indulgence of my late kinsman, the first Strelley Pegge, my grandmother's nephew."

[Page 25]

yard of the same. .. also all messuages, houses, edifices, barns, stables, dovecotes, gardens, orchards, ponds, parks, land, and soil, within the scite, circuit, and precincts of the late abbey. Also 121 acres of arable land, 65 acres and a half of meadow; and 73 acres of pasture, with the appurtenances in Beauchief aforesaid. ... Also all our grange called Strawbereley, with the appurtenances in Beauchief aforesaid; ...and all houses, edifices, lands, meadows, pastures, and commons" (pp. 203, 204).

..Sir Nicholas Strelley was of a very ancient family. The king calls him his serviens. In the reign of Edward VI. he was captain of the castle and town of Berwick ; had three wives, and died 1560 or 1561. Gertrude Strelley, the great-great-granddaughter, and at length heiress of Sir Nicholas, married in 1648, Edward Pegge, esq., in whose lineal descendants Beauchief still remains " (pp. 204, 205).

"The chapel of the convent was actually restored and fitted up by Edward Pegge,* esq. (the first proprietor of that name), converted into a church and used as such. It is a donative. The church is now very decently pewed, and well covered" (p. 207).

"As the abbey could never have become an habitable mansion (like many other religious houses), the above Edward Pegge, about 1671, began to build a spacious and handsome house on a different site (at some distance from the abbey) upon a gentle descent on the brow at the top of the hanging wood, the bellum caput (fine head) or Beau Chef; whence the abbey received its name" (p. 211).

By the return to the Population Act in 1811, Beauchief Abbey contained 15 houses and as many families, 9 of whom were employed in agriculture and 6 in trade, consisting of 46 males and 52 females, total 98. The money raised by the poor rate in 1803 was £46 6s. 6d., at threepence in the pound.

Yours, etc., B. N.


[1786, Part I., p. 298.]
If you think fragments of ancient sculpture worthy of a place in your valuable repository, the enclosed drawing of one is at your service. About fourscore years ago a stone was taken up, which served as a step to the north door of Bolsover Church, co. Derby. On the lower side was discovered ancient rude sculpture in very high relief representing the Nativity (see Plate II., Fig. 2). The Virgin Mary appears to be sitting in a stable with a mutilated figure of our Saviour in her lap, who seems to have had one hand on a dove; the other figure, standing on the side, was probably intended for Joseph. In the background an old man is seen coming into the stable. The two camels' heads are looking into the manger; the great projection of these heads from the background is very singular. The stone is

[Page footnote]
* See Note † on p.24.

[Page 26]

five feet by three. I think it appears from the drapery and other parts of the sculpture to be the work of the thirteenth century, if not anterior to that period. It was then probably held in high estimation, and from the situation in which it was found, I should imagine it was put there as a place of safety during the frequent attacks that were made on Bolsover Castle, * or to secure it in later times from the fanatic fury of the Parliament's forces when they took possession of the castle. †The stone now stands against the wall in the chancel.

Yours, etc., H. R.

[1786, Part I., p. 469.]
The gentleman, under the signature of H. R., who favoured you with a drawing of a piece of sculpture in stone representing the Nativity, which formerly served as a step to the north door of Bolsover Church, is of opinion that it was laid there with a design of preserving it during the frequent attacks made on the neighbouring castle, or of securing it from the fanatic fury of the Parliament forces in the Civil Wars of the last century. To me it seems more likely to have been removed from its original place in consequence of the statute of 3rd and 7th of Edw. VI., cap. 10, which "enjoined all images in churches of stone, timber, or earth, graven, carved, or painted, to be defaced and destroyed ;" and considering the subject delineated, and that Bolsover Church was dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it may have occurred to your correspondent that the stone might be originally fixed in the chancel, in order to commemorate her being the tutelary saint.

From the drapery and other parts, H. R. conceives it to be the work of the thirteenth century, if not of an earlier period. Supposing the surmise above offered to be well founded, if the year of the building of the church could be discovered, that might nearly ascertain the date of this ornamental stone. For it was directed by several ecclesiastical ordinances that at the time of the consecration of a church, the diocesan should take care that the image of the saint, to whom the church was dedicated, should be pictured on some wall or pillar of it, or that there should be an inscription specifying the name of the saint and the time of the ceremony's being performed. It appears also from the decree of Archbishop Winchelsey, confirmed by Reynolds, his immediate successor, that the chancel was judged to be the most proper place for this purpose (Kennet's " Parochial Antiquities," p. 609).

Yours, etc., W. and D.


[1792, Part II., pp. 884, 885.]
The following particulars relating to the parish of Boylston are

[Page footnote]
* "Bibl. Top. Brit.," No. XXXII., p. 7. †Ibid., p. 17.

[Page 27]

at Mr. Urban's service. The parish is situated on the western side of the county, nine miles from Ashbourne, three from Sedbury, is in the deanery of Castillar and hundred of Appletree. The living is a rectory. The church, which is situated on a rising ground, seems to be an ancient structure, built of stone. There are few monuments of any note. In the chancel, within the rails, on a flat stone, is the following inscription :

"Depositum GRATIÆ; ALLSOP, quæ fuit uxor Thomæ Allsop, rectoris per 49 annos. Mortem obivit anno retatis 76; anno salutis 1714. Uxor prudens a Deo venit, ad Deum redit."

On another:

" Depositum THOMAÆ ALLSOP, qui fuit rector hujus ecclesiæ per 31 annos. Mortem obivit anno ætatis75 ; anno salutis 1715."

On two other flat stones :

"SARAH ALLSOP, ob. 14 July, 1691."

On the north side of the church are two mural monuments, of modern date : one to the memory of a Mr. Crofts; the other, to several of the name of Chawner, who have had their residence for some time back at a place called Lees Hall. I forgot to mention that there is a flat stone in the south side of the church, with a very ancient inscription round it ; but, through the alteration of some seats, is broken, and otherwise much defaced through time. On a future opportunity, if these be worth your acceptance, I may probably send you some notes respecting this village.


[1792, Part II., p. 1184, 1185.]
Mr. Getholl wishes to know if any family of the name of Boylston ever lived at a village of the same appellation, situated in the western part of Derbyshire. Be pleased to communicate to him the following memoranda regarding the above place, which I lately extracted from an ancient book of records, viz., "that one Thomas was formerly Lord of Boylestone, and held the same by the half of a knight's fee. And the said Thomas was Lord of Draycot under Needwood, a member of the aforesaid village of Boylestone, and held the town of Draycot of the Earl of Ferrers, by service of hunting, viz., that he should find one hunter with a horse, and if the horse should die in the service of his lord the earl, then his lord the earl should find another horse for him to ride upon."
From the above-mentioned Thomas descended Hawise, a daughter and heir, and from her descended a Reginald de Boylestone. This, I presume, is sufficient to answer in some degree your correspondent's query. The name of Boylston I soon after find changed into that of Pecche, as heir to the above places. But, as my MS. is quite imperfect and confused, being entirely without dates, I shall trouble

[Page 28]

you no further upon this subject, particularly as Mr. Getholl has promised you some future account of the village at Boylston. Now as Draycot is said above to be then a member of that place, the one being in Derbyshire, and the other near four miles distant from it, and on the opposite side of the river Dove, in the parish of Hanbury, I should wish to receive some farther evidence respecting the truth of the above, and whether any such connection does at present exist. ...

Yours, etc., S. S.


[1802, Part I. ,p. 297.]
I send you a rough draft of a curious monumental stone, accidentally discovered in Brampton Church * by the pavement being taken up for the purpose of making a vault. It is about a foot below the floor of the church. The inscription upon it I read thus:

" Hic jacet Matilda le Cave; orate pro anima ejus : pater nobilis."

From the veil over the face it is conjectured that the person interred was a nun.† There is no date upon the stone. I cannot vouch for the correctness of the representation I have sent you, as it is only a copy from one in Mr. Field's possession. The inscription. I believe, is pretty accurate.



[1794. Part II., p. 1073.]
To the amusing account you have given of Buxton and its neighbourhood [see 1793, ii., 1084-1085] the following letter to the Lord Cromwell in the reign of Henry VIII. may be an amusing appendage. It is taken from the British Museum, "Cotton MSS.," Cleopatra E. : IV., p.238:

"Right honourable my inespecial good Lord, according to my bounden duty and the tenor of your Lordship's letters lately to me directed, I have sent unto your good Lordship by this bearer, my brother Francis Bassett, the images of St. Ann of Buxton, and St. Andrew of Burton upon Trent, which images I did take from the places where they did stand, and brought them to my own house, within 48 hours after the contemplation of your said Lordship's letters, in as sober manner as my little and rude wits would serve me. And for that there should no more idolatry and superstition be there used, I did not only deface the tabernacles and places where

[Page footnote]
* About three miles west from Chesterfield in Derbyshire.
† There seems no reason for supposing this lady was a religious ; the veil and wimple being the female habit of the time, about the thirteenth or fourteenth century. The cross at the left comer is only the usual affix to these kind of epitaphs; and the concluding words are Pater Noster. Were the Caves an ancient or considerable family in Derbyshire ?

[Page 29] they did stand, but also did take away crutches, shirts, and sheets, with wax offered, being things that did alure and intice the ignorant people to the said offerings; also giving the keepers of both places admonition and charge that no more offerings should be made in those places till the King's pleasure and your Lordship's be further known in that behalf. My Lord, I have also locked up and sealed the baths and wells at Buxton, that none shall enter to wash them till your Lordship's pleasure be further known. Whereof I beseech your good Lordship that I may be ascertained again at your pleasure, and I shall not fail to execute your Lordship's commandment to the uttermost of my little witt and power. And, my Lord, as touching the opinion of the people, and the fond trust that they did put in those images, and the vanity of the things; this bearer, my brother, can tell your Lordship better at large than I can write; for he was with me at the doing of all and in all places, as knoweth good Jesus, whom ever have your good Lordship in his blessed keeping. Written at Langley, with the rude and simple hand of your assured and faithful orator, and as one ever at your commandment, next unto the King, to the uttermost of my little power,


[1824, Part II., pp. 586, 587.]
In "the Benefit of the auncient Bathes of Buckstones, which cureth most greeuous Sicknesses, neuer before published; compiled by John Jones, Phisition, at the Kings Mede nigh Darby, anno salutis 1572," is the following description of exercises and amusements adapted to the invalid. The latter do not appear to be noticed by either Brand or Strutt.

"To the sickly [ says the author] small exercyse will serue, by reason of feeblenesse, not able too suffer pantynge, neyther verily so violent for them shalbee requysite. But if their strength will sustayne it, an exercyse conuenient for theyr callinge shalbee vsed.

" Trol in Madam.-The ladyes, gentlewomen, wyues, and maydes, maye in one of the galleries walke : and if the weather bee not agreeable to theire expectacion, they may haue, in the ende of a bench, eleuen holes made, intoo the which to trowle pummetes or bowles of leade, bigge, little, or meane, or also of copper, tynne, woode, eyther vyolent or softe, after their owne discretion. The pastyme Troule in Madame is termed.

"Lykewyse, men feeble the same may also practise, in another gallery of the newe buyldinges, and this dooth not only strengthen the stomack, and vpper parts aboue the mydryfe, or wast, but also the middle partes beneath the sharp gristle and the extreme partes, as the handes and legges, according to the wayght of the thing trouled, fast, soft or meane.

"Bowling. - In lyke manner bowling in allayes, the weather con-

[Page 30]

uenient, and the bowles fitte to suche game, as eyther in playne or longe allayes, or in such as haue cranckes with halfe bowles, which is the fyner and gentler exercise.

" Shoting the noblest exercyse. - Shootinge at garden buttes, too them whom it agreeeth and pleaseth, in place of noblest exercyse standeth, and that rather wyth longe bowe, than wyth tyller, stone bowe, or crosse bowe. Albeit to them that otherwyse cannot, by reason of greefe, feeblenesse, or lacke of vse, they may be allowed.

" This practise of all other the manlyest, leaueth no part of the body vnexercised, the brest, backe, reynes, wast, and armes, with drawing the thyghes, and legges, with running or going.

" Wind ball, or yarne ball .- The wind baule, or yarne ball, betwene three or foure, shall not be invtile to be vsed, in a place conuenient, eache keeping their limite for tossing, wherein may bee a very profitable exercise, by cause at all tymes they keepe not the lyke force in stryking, so that they shalbee constrayned too vse more violent stretching, with swifter mouinge at one tyme than another, which will make the exercise more nymble and deliuer, both of hand and whole body, therefore encreasing of heat, through swift moouing, in all partes the sooner.

" Plumbes or weightes .- Plumbetes, of Galene termed alteres, one borne in eche hande, vp and downe the stayers, galeries, or chambers, according to your strength, maye bee a goode and profitable exercise; so may you vse wayghtes in lyke maner.

" Bow lyne. - A fyne hallyer, or bowe lyne, a foote or twoo hyer then a man may reache, fastened in length, some way, shall not bee vnprofitable, holden by the handes, thereby to stretche them; very excellent, as well for stretchinge of the mydrife, interne panicles and wast, with all the rest of the partes, as also to preserue and defend them from apostemes, obstructions, and paynes thereto incident.

" These exercyse of your owne power, I thinke, for thys place sufficient. Nowe we will shewe how they may bee profitable vnto you thorow others mouihg; as well by waggon, charriet, horselitter, and ryding, as by cradle and chayor hanged, in sorte as to that vse may be best framed, all very profitable, as they may bee exercised : much, little, or meane, close, or open in the ayre, as to the parties shall bee requisite; taking time likewise in the v sing, swift, slowe, or meane ; long, short, or meane. And so likevyse in rocking by vice or engyne ; or on the figure, which is more shaking, and therefore to them that may suffer it more profitable.

" The other good to weaker persons, as that in frame, conueyed by pendent, from one to another, standing asunder according to the length of the engyne, three or iiij sedome drawen from them to the other, swift, slow, or meane, long, short, or mean, as to the party shalbe conuenient. Omitting other deuices to opportunity," etc.


Elsewhere on this web site:

Bakewell Church - in

Bakewell - Ancient Cross

Beauchief Abbey, 1727