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The Gentleman's Magazine Library, 1731-1868
English Topography Part III Derbyshire - Dorsetshire
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[Page 31]

Chesterfield.

[1793, Part II., p. 977.]
A few particulars collected by me, relating to the fine old church of All Saints, at Chesterfield, may possibly prove acceptable to such of your readers as have not seen it. It is very large, and, greatly to the credit of the inhabitants, very clean. The shape, that of the cross. From the middle, a massy tower rises, adorned with pinnacles and double windows ; the spire is of timber, and, from a strange fancy of the architect, crooked ; the angular flutings, if I may be allowed the term, wind spirally from the base to the top, and are covered with lead. The height from the ground to the vane, I was told, is 230 feet. A gentleman of Chesterfield, who has made many notes relating to the antiquities of the town, informs me that "the church at Chesterfield was given by Rufus to the cathedral at Lincoln," the dean of which is now patron. Another of this gentleman's notes says, the present building was dedicated 1232. The choir is handsomely pewed, and there are two large galleries, and an excellent organ. In the south aisle there is an arch containing a female figure, with angels supporting the head ; the hands and other parts of it are defaced. I was not successful in my inquiry who it was that is interred there. A slab in the body of the church has a cross with a hammer and pincers engraved on it. Near some large tombs to the Foljambes, etc., stands a pedestal without an inscription, on which lies a cushion richly embroidered ; a figure in complete armour kneels on it in the attitude of prayer ;j his hands are broken off; but it is plain they have been joined ;j but what renders it worthy of remark is that the person's head appears to have been shot off entirely from the mouth upwards, and the helmet replaced lightly on the remaining part. Indeed it has so odd an appearance, that I made a drawing of it, without consulting which the description appears lame. It does not seem to belong to any other monument near, and I could not arrive at any certainty for whom it was intended as a memorial.

There are many other things worthy of notice in this majestic fabric, which I shall leave till I have an opportunity of viewing them again; and in the meantime send you three old epitaphs

1. “CUTHBERT HUTCHINSON, vicar. sepult. quinto die Februarii, 1608."
2. “Hic jacet D’n us Iohes Pypys, Capellanus gilde Sansi Crucis, qui obiit vit° die mcncis Julii, an’o D'ni mill°. ... Cujus anime Omnipotens d. propiciet' Amen,"

On a brass plate in the south wall :

3. "Hic subtus tumulantux ossa d’ni Joh’is Verdun quondam Rectoris de lyndeby in comitatu Nottinghamie Ebor dioc’ Et Capellani cantarie s’c’I Michaelis Archangeli in eccl’ia paroch’ om’ s’cor’ de Chesterfield q’obiit s’c’do die me’s’ maii A d’ni M° d°xiiii° pro cui’ a’I’a sic quess orate p’ut’ p’v’ris a’I abs orari voleur.”

Yours, etc., J. P. MALCOLM.

[Page 32]

[1794, Part I., pp. 15-17.]
I send you my notes taken at Chesterfield, co. Derby, in the summer of 1789, if you deem them worthy of insertion in your useful miscellany.

Yours, etc., R. G.

The nave rests on six pointed arches on clustered columns. centre arches on four clustered columns.

In the north transept is a freestone altar-tomb for-

-Burgensis de Chesterfield, 1599.

His figure, and that of his wife, entire.
In the chancel, a priest cut in white stone, holding chalice.

Hic jacet dominus johespypys capellanus Gilde sce crucis qui obiit viii. die mensis julii a° mill° xi xx [transcriber's note xi above xx] Cujus aie de’ ...

Within the rails is a brass figure of a knight in armour and mail, cropped hair, head in a helmet without crest, collar, sword, and dagger on his gonfannons a bend between six escallops. Quarterly, I, 2 on a bend five crosses patonce ; 3, a chevron between three escallops. On his surcoat the same; the upper quarters hid. He stands on a stag bearded and paned. His lady is in profile, in the veil and low pointed head-dress of the fifteenth or sixteenth century, having a chain and cross and cordon, a belt with three roses on her surcoat faced with broad ermine. On her mantle, a saltire with five amulets which shield, the only remaining one of four on the slab, is impaled by his quartered coat. Under them are seven sons and seven daughters.

In a south chapel is an altar-tomb of the Foljambes. A knight and lady, brassless, on a blue slab without a ledge. On an alabaster tomb with six pairs of knights under double canopies, viz., a lady and two knights, knight and lady, knight and lady, knight and lady, knight and lady. The knights have straight hair, helmet between their feet, oblong shield notched. At feet, on a pedestal, a knight and lady between two angels with shields. The north side hid by wainscot.

At the foot of this, on a pedestal, a figure of a man in plated armour, kneeling on a flowered cushion, the hands broken. On his shoulders fixed a vizored head not belonging to it (see the Plate).

Against the east wall, a mural monument for Sir James Foljambe, Knight of the Garter, eldest son of Sir Godfrey F., 1558, erected by his nepos Godfrey. The inscription, in Latin, sets forth that he married Alice, neptis and co-heir of William Fitzwilliams, Earl of Southampton, and daughter of Thomas Fitzwilliams, of ... edwarre; and Alice, daughter of Edward Litleton, of Staffordshire, by whom he had a numerous issue.

[Page 33]

He kneels on armour. Below, to the right, are his wife and five daughters and one son; and to the left, three sons and four daughters, Arms, G. on a bend argent, six crosses [blank] 0. between az., a bend arg. between six escallops, impaling lozenge G. and 0., a mullet of difference.

An alabaster figure of a knight in a double collar, ruff, piked beard, bare head, plated armour, ruffles, sword, dagger, and gauntlets in concord at side, helmet under head, with a leg for a crest; a lion at his feet. A lady in a ruff, mantle, standing cape, piked sleeves, her head on a flowered cushion, her surcot in front buttoned to her chin, a dog at her feet.

On the ledge, on a fess three roundels ; a fess between three leopards' faces; in a dexter canton, a rose; a cross engrailed ; a lion rampant; a saltire engrailed; on a pale, three lions passant gardant ; a spread eagle.

At the head: three mascles in fesse ; a saltire, over all a label of three points; a bend lozenge ; semée of nine cross crosslets fitché, three gerbes.

On the south side : a bend and label of three points; semée of nine cross crosslets, on a shield a cross potent; --- a chief; lozengé ; a chevron between three escallops; on a bend five crosses potent; a bend between six escallops.

At the head, Foljambe with quarterings impaling three heathcocks, quartering. … a chief dancette.

At the sides, in tablets :

FUGIT VEI.VT UMBRA.
VIGILATE ORATE NESCITIS QUANDO VENIT HORA-twice.

Foljambe, with quarterings. Against the east wall, a winding-sheet on a bier, bones, spades, etc. ; and, above, Death between Age and Youth.

In a cenotaph, a man in armour and his hair lying on a mat, a lion at his feet. A lady in a ruff, stiff toupee, on a mat and cushion, a skull at her feet. Above, a table uninscribed between a female with a bird on her right hand, and another holding fruit and flowers. Foljambe with quarterings and crest, and single. A bend with a cross. A chevron between escallops.-Lozengé.

An armed figure, with a sword, helmet, and gauntlets, cut in the stone, and this epitaph :

GEORGIUS FOLJAMBE NOMEN. .. OCCUBUIT PLACIDE, etc.

In the window, a mitred fox in a pulpit preaching to geese and a cock. Pegasus retiring behind :

Pes be here In.

A bear collared quartering three pheons. Arms of the first vicar of Chesterfield.

VOL. XIV. 3

[Page 34] On the screen to the chancel, angels hold the instruments of the passion: a lion and eagle.

On a slab for "Godfrey Heathcote, third son of Ralph, rector of Morton, clerk of the peace for Derbyshire, fourteen years, 1773, 72; and his wife Dorothy, daughter of James Cooke, rector of Barlbro', 1766, 63."

In the south chapel of the chancel, a rich tabernacle resting on a bust, and on each side of the east window; a perk or pedestal for an image.

Against the south end of the south transept is nailed a brass thus inscribed :

Hic subt' humant' offa dni Johis Verdon quo’dam rectoris de lyndeby in comiatu Notyngamie ebor’ doic’ Et Capellani cantarie sc’I michaelis archangeli in ecclesia p’och o’m s’cor de chesterfield qi obiit s’c’do die me’s’ maii A° d’ni m° vc p’cui’ a’I’a sic queso orate p’ut p’v’ris a’I’ab’s orari voleur.’

In the east window, 0. a cross potent, az. G. three lions passant gardant 0. Barry 0. and G., In chief three torteauxes ; G. a cross moline A.

In the south aisle of the nave, between the first and second window from the east and opposite Foljambe's seat, with arms and crest in the south wall, is a stone figure of a priest, and this inscription, as far as could be read* :

No bollbrdys [or bowbrdys] Godfray ffols B.

In the south aisle, a slab with a triple cross on steps between a hammer and pincers.

* * * In the outer wall, next the road of a chapel, just out of Hounslow, on the north, is inserted in a quatrefoil a shield with the following coats quartered: I. a saltire between twelve cross crosslets ; 2. a bend cottised charged with mullets between. ..; 3. a cross moline; 4, 5, 6. effaced. Round the shield an imperfect inscription, in which may just be distinguished :

Moun ... Windsor.

In addition to what has been said of the church at Chesterfield, and of the monuments in it, I present you a representation of the figure whose head is so unaccountably mutilated. Surely no artist could have erred so egregiously as to have replaced a broken head in a manner so totally out of nature. As some chiselling was necessary to fit on the new one, what could have been his motive for leaving the old chin ? Possibly some modern restorer, imitating his predecessor, may furnish him with a pair of old feet in place of his absent hands. However, I do not mean to treat the subject lightly. What has been said occurred on meeting an observation that it was a mutilated statue, mended in the manner it now stands. If this be


[Page footnote]
* It has since been inclosed by pews, and mutilated. See the next letter, -- EDIT


[Page 35]

really the case, nothing can be more ridiculous, or better calculated to raise a smile. As the whole is detached, and the other monuments perfect, I cannot help thinking its history worthy of investigation. If any of your correspondents should incline to pursue the subject, I must observe that the knight appears to me to have been too well carved to suppose that the original sculptor was to blame (see Plate III., p. I).

Fig. 2 is the monument described in p. 977. It has been covered with undisturbed dust, mats, and pews for many years, except, at distant intervals, the curious traveller, or hardy antiquary thrusts his adventurous face close upon it, in defiance of kneeling cushions, ragged boards, and crooked nails. After all, he will find room for his imagination. One would suppose, from the frequency of pews built round and against monuments, that their preservation was the motive. Unfortunately this is not the case, as many an unlucky tomb evinces. I could have wished the pews in some other situation when sketching the arch.

Figs. 3 and 4 are copied from seals in the possession of the Corporation at Chesterfield. I had not time, or I should have drawn two or three others, which were in excellent preservation and finely executed. Fig. 3 is the seal to William Briwerr the younger's confirmation of his father's grant to Chesterfield. In the reign of King John, the town was incorporated in favour of W. Briwerr. Baldwin Wake, by marrying the daughter of W. B., junior, obtained possession of that borough. Fig. 4 belongs to Wake's grant to the borough of Chesterfield, 22 Edw. I..

Yours, etc., J. P. MALCOLM.

[1819, Part 11., pp. 497, 498.]
The town of Chesterfield, county Derby, is supposed by Dr. Pegge to have originated in a Roman station on the road from Derby to York. It is noticed in Domesday Book as a bailiwick only, belonging to Newbold, now a small hamlet at a short distance from it on the north. After this period it rapidly increased. A church, erected here towards the conclusion of the eleventh century, was given by William Rufus to the Cathedral of Lincoln. In the reign of John the manor was granted to William De Briwere (or Bruere), his particular favourite, through whose influence with the monarch the town was incorporated, and an annual fair, of eight days' continuance, and two weekly markets obtained. From the De Brueres it passed in marriage to the family of Wake, and afterwards to Edward Plantagenet, Earl of Kent (who married a female of that name), whose descendants continued possessors for several generations. In the 26th Edward III. it was held by John, second son of Edmund of Woodstock, and in 1386 by Sir Thomas Holland, from whom it passed to the Nevilles. In the reign of Queen Elizabeth it

3-2

[Page 36]

belonged to George Earl of Shrewsbury, and afterwards became the property of the Cavendishes by purchase, from whom it descended ., to the present Duke of Portland, but has since passed, in exchange; to the Duke of Devonshire. The Stanhopes, Earls of Chesterfield derive their title from this town.

A battle was fought here in 1266 between Henry, nephew of King Henry Ill., and Robert de Ferrers, the last Earl of Derby, who was defeated, and was taken prisoner in the church, where he had concealed himself. During the Civil Wars another battle was fought here, in which the troops of the Parliament were defeated by the Earl of Newcastle.

The church is a spacious and handsome building, but more particularly remarkable for the appearance of its spire, which rises to the height of 230 feet, and is so singularly twisted and distorted that it seems to lean in whatever direction it may be approached. I send a drawing of it (see Plate II. ), taken in a different point of view from one already inserted in your Vol. LXIII., p. 977, by Mr. Malcolm, in which page, and in Vol. LXIV., p. 17, will be found several particulars relative to the church and the monuments within it.

The best account of the Grammar School in this town will be found in Mr. Carlisle's “Endowed Schools," vol. i.
In the market-place is a neat town hall, built a few years ago, under the direction of Mr. Carr, of York; on the ground-floor is a gaol for debtors and a residence for debtors, and on the second-floor a large room for holding the sessions, etc. Several almshouses have been endowed in different parts of the town.

The present Corporation consists of a mayor, six aldermen, six brethren, and twelve capital burgesses, assisted by a town clerk.

At the Castle Inn an elegant assembly-room was built a few years ago.

The town contained in 1801 920 houses and 4,267 inhabitants. The chief employments for the labouring classes are the ironworks in the neighbourhood, the stocking manufacture, the potteries, a carpet manufactory, and the making of shoes.*


Yours, etc., N. R. S.


[Page footnote]
* The above particulars are chiefly abridged from vol. iii. of the “Beauties of England and Wales."