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The Gentleman's Magazine Library, 1731-1868
English Topography Part III Derbyshire - Dorsetshire
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[Page 65]

Whittington Church.

[1809, Part II., pp. 1201, 1202.]
As you have occasionally given views of several curious churches, it has occurred to me that one of Whittington Church might be

Vol. XIV. 5

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acceptable to many of your readers, who for a long series of years were entertained with the literary communications of your old correspondent, the compiler of the lately published " Anonymiana." I have, therefore, inclosed a drawing of the church where Dr. Pegge officiated above seven and forty years, beloved and respected by all his parishioners. The drawing was made by the late ingenious Mr. Schnebbelie, and published in "The Antiquarian Museum," a work of which the merit was strangely overlooked, till the greater part of the 250 copies which were printed of it perished in the conflagration of February 8, 1808.

The following description of the church was communicated in 1793, by the then worthy rector. The view was taken in 1789.

"Whittington, of whose church the annexed plate contains a drawing by the late Mr. Schnebbelie, is a small parish of about 14 or 15 hundred acres, distant from the church and old market-place of Chesterfield about two miles and a half. It lies in the road from Chesterfield to Sheffield and Rotherham, whose roads divide there at the well-known inn The Cock and Magpye, commonly called The Revolution House.

"The situation is exceedingly pleasant, in a pure and excellent air ; it abounds with all kinds of conveniences for the use of the inhabitants, as coal, stone, timber, etc., besides its proximity to a good market, to take its products.

"The Church is now a little Rectory, in the gift of the Dean of Lincoln. At first it was a Chapel of Ease to Chesterfield, a very large manor and parish; of which I will give the following short but convincing proof: The Dean of Lincoln, as I said, is patron of this rectory, and yet William Rufus gave no other church in this part of Derbyshire to the church of St. Mary at Lincoln, but the church of Chesterfield; and, moreover, Whittington is at this day a parcel of the great and extensive manor of Chesterfield; whence it follows, that Whittington must have been once a part both of the rectory and manor of Chesterfield. But whence comes it, you will say, that it became a rectory, for such it has been many years ? I answer, 1 neither know how nor when; but it is certain that chapels of ease have been frequently converted into rectories, and I suppose by mutual agreement of the curate of the chapel, the rector of the mother church, and the diocesan. Instances of the like emancipation of chapels, and transforming them into independent rectories, there are several in the county of Derby, as Matlock, Bonteshall, Bradley, etc. ; and others may be found in Mr. Nichols's' History of Hinckley,' pp. 34, 91 ; and. in his 'Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica,' No. VI.; p. 53.

" Fig. I is an inscription on the ting-tang, or saints' bell, of Whittington Church, drawn by Mr. Schnebbelie, July 27, 1789, from an impression taken in clay. This bell, which is seen in the annexed

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view, hangs within a stone frame, or tabernacle, at the top of the church, on the outside between the nave and the chancel. It has a remarkable fine shrill tone, and is heard, it is said, three or four miles off, if the wind be right. It is very ancient, as appears both from the form of the letters and the name (of the donor, I suppose), which is that in use before surnames were common. Perhaps it may be as old as the fabric of the church itself, though this is very ancient.

"Fig 2 is a stone head, near the roof on the north side of the church.

"In the east window of the church is a small female saint. In this window, A. a fess vaire G. and O. between three water-bougets sable. [Dethick]. Cheque A. and G. on a bend S. a martlet. [Beckering ] At the bottom of the window an inscription :

Rogero Cric.

"Roger Criche was rector, and died 1413, and probably made the window. He is buried within the rails of the communion table, and his slab is engraved in the second volume of Mr. Gough's 'Sepulchral Monuments of Great Britain,' Plate XIX, p. 37. Nothing remains of the inscription but Amen.

"In the upper part of the south window of the chancel, is a picture in glass of our Saviour with the five wounds; an angel at His left hand sounding a trumpet.* On a pane of the upper tier of the west window is the portrait of St. John; his right hand holding a book with the Holy Lamb upon it : and the forefinger of his left hand pointing to the cross held by the Lamb, as uttering his well-known confession: 'Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.'*

"In the south window of the chancel is, Barry wavy of 6 A. and G. a , chief A. Ermine and Gules. [Burley] Ermine, on a chief indented G. or lozenge.

"In the easternmost south window of the nave is A. on a chevron Sable, three quatrefoils Argent. [Eyre ] This window has been renewed; before which there were other coats and some effigies in it.


[1810, Part II., pp.217]
As a companion to the view you have already given of Whittington Church, in Derbyshire, I send you a drawing, by the late Mr. Jacob Schnebbelie, of the Rectory House (Plate II.), for forty-five years the residence of the Rev. Samuel Pegge, LL.D., who was for more than that long space of time your constant and intelligent correspondent, who thus describes it :

" The Parsonage House at Whittington is a convenient substantial.

[Page footnote]
*Both these are engraved in the " Antiquaries' Museum," from drawings made by Mr. Schnebbbelie.

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stone building, and very sufficient for this small benefice. It was, as I take it, erected by the Rev. Thomas Callice, one of my predecessors ; and when I had been inducted, I enlarged it by pulling down the west end, making a cellar, a kitchen, a brew-house, and a pantry, with chambers over them. There is a glebe of about thirty acres belonging to it, with a garden large enough for a family, and a small orchard. The garden is remarkably pleasant in respect to its fine views to the north, east, and south, with the church to the west. There is a fair prospect of Chesterfield Church, distant about two miles and a half; and of Bolsover Castle to the west; and, on the whole, this rectorial house may be esteemed a very delightful habitation.


Such was the account of this humble parsonage, drawn up, in 1793, by the late learned and venerable rector, who was then resident in it in health and vigour, at the advanced age of eighty-eight, where your present correspondent, with a worthy friend lately deceased, spent many happy hours with him for several successive years, and derived equal information and pleasure from his instructive conversation.

Yours, etc., M. GREEN.

[1810, Part II., p. 609.]
I send you a view, by the late Mr. Jacob Schnebbelie, of a small public house at Whittington, in Derbyshire, which has been handed down to posterity for above a century under the honourable appellation of "The Revolution House" (see Plate II.). It obtained that name from the accidental meeting of two noble personages, Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby, and William Cavendish, Earl of Devonshire, with a third person, Mr. John D' Arcy,* privately one morning, 1688, upon Whittington Moor, as a middle place between Chatsworth, Kniveton, and Aston, their respective residences, to consult about the Revolution, then in agitation, † but a shower of rain happening to fall, they removed to the village for shelter, and finished their conversation at a public house there, the sign of the Cock and Pyvot.‡

The part assigned to the Earl of Danby was to surprise York, at which he succeeded; after which the Earl of Devonshire was to taker measures at Nottingham, where the Declaration for a free Parliament, which he, at the head of a number of gentlemen of Derbyshire, had signed, November 28th, 1688,§ was adopted by the nobility, gentry, and commonalty of the northern counties, assembled there for the defence of the laws, religion, and properties.|| The success of these

[Page footnote]
*It appears, from traditional accounts, that Lord Delamere, an ancestor of the present Earl of Stamford and Warrington, was also at this meeting.

† Kennet. ; ‡ A provincial name for a magpie.
§ Rapin, xv. 199. || Deering's Nottingham, p. 258

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measures is well-known; and to the concurrence of these patriots with the proceedings in favour of the Prince of Orange in the west, is this nation indebted for the establishment of her rights and liberties at the glorious Revolution.

The cottage here represented * stands at the point where the road from Chesterfield divides into two branches, to Sheffield and Rotherham. The room where the noblemen sat is 15 feet by 12 feet 10 inches, and is to this day called "The Plotting Parlour." The old armed chair still remaining in it is shown by the landlord with particular satisfaction as that in which it is said the Earl of Devonshire sat; and he tells with equal pleasure how it was visited by his descendants, and the descendants of his associates, in the year 1788. Some new rooms, for the better accommodation of customers, were added about twenty years ago.

A particular and an animated account of the commemoration of this great event on this spot, November 5th, 1788, will be found in your vol. lviii., pp. 1020-1022. On that day was delivered in the church of Whittington, † to an audience that greatly overflowed its narrow dimensions, with all the energy that the subject demanded, sermon from these striking words: "This is the day which the Lord hath made ; we will be glad, and rejoice in it,"‡ by the late learned and worthy rector, the Rev. Dr. Samuel Pegge, then in his eighty-fifth year.

Yours, etc., D.H.

[1789, Part I., pp. 124, 125.]
As I find it is the wish of many of your friends, who think it would a compliment to the good Rector of Whittington to have his letter and narrative of what passed at the Revolution House, with a print of that cottage copied in your entertaining miscellany, I do most willingly consent to it, and have sent you the original plate for at purpose.

I think it necessary to inform you that since the narrative has been published, it appears, from traditional accounts, that Lord Delamere, ancestor of the present Earl of Stamford, was at the meeting at Whittington with the Earls of Devonshire and Danby and Mr. John D'Arcy. This was no wilful omission of Mr. Pegge's ; the only authentic account he could at that. time procure was the Duke of Leeds' narration.

[Page footnote]
Another view of the Revolution-house, from a drawing by the late Major Rooke, will be found in our vol. lix., p. 224 ; together with "A Narrative of what passed at this House, 1688," written by the Rev. Dr. Pegge.
†The Church of Whittington is engraved in vol. lxxix., p. 1021, and the Rectory House, in the second part of our present volume, p. 217.
‡ Psalm cxviii. 24.

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A narrative of what passed at the Revolution House, at Whittington, in the county of Derby, in the year 1688. With a perspective view and plan of that cottage (see Plate II.).

"Being willing to preserve a representation of the Revolution House at Whittington, which probably will not long withstand the ravages of time, I have had it engraved, with a design to present a few impressions to some Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire friends who had signified their intentions of celebrating that great event in that cottage. I am now happy to have it in my power to make it better worth their acceptance by the addition of a letter I received from my worthy and learned friend the Rev. Mr. Pegge, the Rector of Whittington. These my friends will do me the favour to accept as a small token of the regard with which I am their most obedient humble servant,



" United as we are in sentiments, both of us fast friends upon principle, of that great and ever-memorable constitutional event, the Revolution, of which the Jubilee, or Centenary Commemoration, is intended to be celebrated at the Revolution House, in Whittington, the 5th of November next, I beg leave to present you with a short relation, from the best authority, of what passed at that place, an. 1688, and occasioned the house to be called by that name.
"My narrative, Sir, will be a proper companion to that accurate drawing you have made of the house, and mean to distribute among your friends at the time, and also a necessary one, since though many gentlemen may have heard in general terms, of the house's going by that name, yet few of them, perhaps, may be informed of the true cause and occasion of its taking that singular and distinguished appellation.
" I am, Sir, to detain you no longer, your most obedient humble servant,


The Duke of Leeds' own account of his meeting the Earl of Devonshire and Mr. John D'Arcy* at Whittington, co. Derby, A.D. 1688.

The Earl of Danby, afterwards Duke of Leeds, was impeached, A.D. 1678, of high treason, by the House of Commons, on a charge of being in the French interest, and, in particular, of being popishly affected. Many, both Peers and Commoners, were misled, and had

[Page footnote]
* Son and heir of Conyers Earl of Holderness.

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conceived an erroneous opinion concerning him and his political conduct. This he has stated himself, in the Introduction to his "Letters," printed A.D. 1710, where he says: "That the malice of my accusation did so manifestly appear in that article wherein I was charged to be popishly affected, that I dare swear there was not one of my accusers that did then believe that article against me."
His Grace then proceeds, for the further clearing of himself, in these memorable words relative to the meeting at Whittington, the subject of this memoir.

"The Duke of Devonshire also, when we were partners in the secret trust about the Revolution, and who did meet me and Mr. John D'Arcy, for that purpose, at a town called Whittington, in Derbyshire, did, in the presence of the said Mr. De Arcy, make a voluntary acknowledgement of the great mistakes he had been led into about me ; and said, that both he, and most others, were entirely convinced of their error. And he came to Sit Henry Goodrick's house in Yorkshire purposely to meet me there again, in order to concert the times and methods by which he should act at Nottingham (which was to be his post), and I at York (which was to be mine) ; and we agreed, that I should first attempt to surprise York, because there was a small garrison with a Governor there; whereas Nottingham was but an open town, and might give an alarm to York, if he should appear in arms before I had made my attempt upon York ; which was done accordingly ;* but is mistaken in divers relations of it. And I am confident, that Duke (had he been now alive) would have thanked nobody for putting his prosecution of me amongst the glorious actions of his life."

This affair of the Earl of Devonshire's concerting measures with the Earl of Dan by is also just hinted at by Bishop Kennet, † but the tradition of the place is more full and express than either the Bishop or the Earl of Danby, "That the three noble personages above-mentioned met privately one morning, A.D. 1688, upon Whittington Moor, as a middle place between Chatsworth, Kniveton, and Aston, to consult about the Revolution then in agitation ; and that a shower of rain happening to fall, they removed to the village for shelter, and finished their conversation at a public house there, the sign of the Cock and Pyvot."‡ This house is a cottage, and stands at the point where the road coming from Chesterfield divides (that on the left hand going to Sheffield, and that on the right to Rotherham), and has ever since been called the Revolution House. The room marked (d) in the plan of the house is 15 feet by 12 feet 10 inches, and

[Page footnote]
*For the Earl of Devonshire's proceedings at Derby and Whittington, see Mr. Deering's "History of Nottingham;" p. 260. - Mr. Drake, p. 177 of his" Eboracum," just mentions the Earl of Danby's appearance at York.
† Kennet, "Mem. of Faro. of Cavendish," p. 148.
‡ The provincial name of a magpie.

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denotes the particular place where the noblemen sat, and is to this day called by the opprobrious name of the Plotting Parlour. The other rooms marked in the plan are as follows: (a) the kitchen, (b) a room called the house, (c) little parlour, (d) as above mentioned, (e) brew-house, (f) stables.
Bishop Kennet mentions the Lord Delamere, Sir Scroop How, and some few others of the greatest quality and interest in those parts, as concerned with the Earls of Devonshire and Danby in this important business; and these two great patriots were indeed with the Earl of Devonshire at Nottingham, the 10th or 12th of November, and might be privy to the confederacy; but we have no reason to think they were either of them amongst those that met on Whitting ton Moor, or at the Revolution House, as the Duke of Leeds' Narration, our most authentic account, is entirely silent as to them.

[1788, Part II.; pp. 1020, 1021.]
On Tuesday, the 4th instant, the committee appointed to conduct the Jubilee had a previous meeting, and dined together at the Revolution House in Whittington. His Grace the Duke of Devonshire, Lord Stamford, Lord George and Lord John Cavendish, with several neighbouring gentlemen, were present. After dinner a subscription was opened for the erecting of a monumental column, in commemoration of the Glorious Revolution, on that spot where the Earls of Devonshire and Danby, Lord Delamere, and Mr. John Darcy, met to concert measures which were eminently instrumental in rescuing the liberties of their country from perdition. As this monument is intended to be not less a mark of public Gratitude than the memorial of an important event, it was requested that the present representatives of the above-mentioned families would excuse their not being permitted to join in the expense.

On the 5th, at eleven in the morning, the commemoration commenced with Divine service at Whittington Church. The Rev. Mr. Pegge, the rector of the parish, delivered an excellent sermon from the words, "This is the day," etc. Though of a great age, having that very morning entered his eighty-fifth year, he spoke with a spirit which seemed to be derived from the occasion; his sentiments were pertinent, well arranged, and his expression animated (see our "Poetry," p. 1010).

The descendants of the illustrious houses of Cavendish, Osbome, Boothe, and Darcy (for the venerable Duke of Leeds, whose age would not allow him to attend, had sent his two grandsons, in whom the blood of Osborne and Darcy is united) ; a numerous and powerful gentry ; a wealthy and respectable yeomanry ; a hardy, yet decent and attentive peasantry - whose intelligent countenances showed that they understood, and would be firm to preserve that blessing, for which they were assembled to return thanks to Almighty

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God-presented a truly solemn spectacle, and, to the eye of a philo sopher, the most interesting that can be imagined.

After service, the company went in succession to view the old house, and the room called by the Anti-revolutionists, the "Plotting-Parlour," with the old armed-chair in which the Earl of Devonshire is said to have sitten, and everyone was then pleased to partake of a very elegant cold collation, which was prepared in the new rooms annexed to the cottage. Some time being spent in this, the procession began :

Constables with long staves, two and two.

The Eight Clubs, four and four, viz.-

  1. Mr. Deakin's.-Flag, blue, with orange fringe, on it the figure of Liberty; the motto, "The Protestant Religion and the Liberties of England we will maintain."
  2. Mr. Bluett's.-Flag, blue, fringed with orange; motto, "Libertas ; quæ fera, tam en respexit inertem." Underneath the figure of Liberty, crowning Britannia with a wreath of laurels, who is represented sitting on a Lion, at her feet the Cornucopia of Plenty; at the top next the pole, a Castle, emblematical of the house where the club is kept; on the lower side of the flag, Liberty holding a Cap, and resting on the Cavendish arms.
  3. Mr. Ostliff's.-Flag, broad blue and orange stripe, with orange fringe; in the middle, the Cavendish arms; motto, as No. I.
  4. Mrs. Barber's.-Flag, garter blue and orange quartered, with white fringe; mottoes, "Liberty secured" ; "The Glorious Revolution."
  5. Mr. Valentine Wilkinson's.-Flag, blue, with orange fringe; in the middle the figure of Liberty; motto, as No. I.
  6. 6. Mr. Stubbs'.-Flag, blue, with orange fringe, motto, " Liberty, Property, Trade, Manufactures ;" at the top, a head of King William crowned with laurel; in the middle, in a large oval, "Revolution, 1688." On one side the Cap of Liberty, on the other the figure of Britannia; on the opposite side, the flag of the Devonshire arms.
  7. Mrs. Ollerenshaw's.-Flag, blue, with orange fringe; motto, as No. I, on both sides.
  8. Mr. Marsingale's.-Flag, blue, with orange fringe; at the top the motto, "In Memory of the Glorious Assertors of British Freedom, 1688 ;" beneath, the figure of Liberty leaning on a shield, on which is inscribed, "Revolted from Tyranny at WHITTINGTON, 1688," and having in her hand a scroll, with the words, "Bill of Rights" underneath a head of King William VI. ; on the other side the flag, the motto, "The Glorious Revolter from Tyranny, 1688," underneath the Devonshire arms; at the bottom the following inscription, "WILLIELMUS Dux DEVON., Bonorum Principum Fidelus Subditus ; lnimicus & Invisus Tyrannis."

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The members of the clubs were estimated at two thousand persons each having a white wand in his hand, with blue and orange tops and favours, with the "REVOLUTION " stamped upon them.

The Derbyshire Militia's band of music.
The Corporation of Chesterfield in their formalities, who joined the
procession on entering the town.
The Duke of Devonshire in his coach and six.
Attendants on horseback, with four led horses.
The Earl of Stamford, in his post-chaise and four.
Attendants, on horseback.
The Earl of Danby, and Lord Francis Osborne, in their post-chaiseand four.
Attendants, on horseback.
Lord George Cavendish, in his post-chaise and four.
Attendants, on horseback.
Lord John Cavendish, in his post-chaise and four.
Attendants, on horseback.
Sir Francis Molyneux and Sir Henry Hunloke, Barts., in Sir Henry's coach and six.
Attendants, on horseback.
And upwards of forty other carriages of. the neighbouring gentry, leaning with their attendants.
Gentlemen on horseback, three and three.
Servants on horseback, ditto.

The procession in the town of Chesterfield went along Holywell Street, Saltergate, Glumangate; then to the left, along the upper side of the Market Place to Mr. Wilkinson's house, down the street past the Mayor's house, along the lower side of the Market Place to the end of the West Barts, from thence past Dr. Milne's house to the Castle, where the Derbyshire band of music formed in the centre and played "Rule, Britannia!" " God save the King," etc.; the clubs and corporation still proceeding in the same order to the Mayor's, and then dispersed.

The image of "The Revolution House" at Whittington that is mentioned on page 68 was not included in this publication but was later published in Cox's "Memorials".
It is reproduced elsewhere on this website