Historical Records> Lists Through the Centuries> This page
Matlock & Matlock Bath : Lists Through the Centuries
Gifts & Aid to the King, Fines, Licences, Taxes, Land Owners, Hardship, School Charity, Police, Magistrates
 
The Eighteenth Century:
Game Duty Lists, Gentlemen's and Gamekeepers' Certificates, 1785 - 1799
Lists Through the Centuries
Next page
Previous page


The Game Acts of 1784 and 1785 made it compulsory for individuals wanting to kill game to take out a certificate from the Clerk of the Peace, which cost 2 guineas per annum. After 1st October 1784 the fine for "qualified persons" killing game without a certificate was £50[1]. Refusal to show the certificate or disclose the name and abode incurred the same fine[1]. The 1785 Act came into force at the end of July 1785 and, after then, if someone was caught killing game without a certificate they had to pay a penalty of £20. Gamekeepers could also register for a certificate, through the deputation of the Lord or Lady of the Manor. A gamekeeper's certificate was 10s 6d, but they were also liable to a £20 fine if they were caught killing game outside the Manor where they were employed[2]. If a new gamekeeper was appointed, the original certificate was void[1]. People returning from "over the seas" after 1 July 1784 could purchase certificates, but had to pay double the amount. The Clerks of the Peace were required to forward the list of names and abodes to the Stamp Office once a year[1].

People who did not obey the law were prosecuted, including for keeping "Engines" to kill game; the "engines" were snares and tunnels[3]. Landowners also posted notices in the papers if they found snares. The press of the time had a bit of a field day. For example, they queried whether a cat that first took home two hares and later on a partridge be fined, or could the owner be fined for keeping a cat to kill game?[4]

In 1796 the shooting season was shortened from 1st September to the 1st March because sportsmen were trampling the corn. The new season was to be 14th September to 14th February the following year[5].

Names were to be published in county newspapers and for many years "The Derby Mercury" printed lists of Derbyshire people who had applied for a certificate, either for themselves or for their gamekeeper.
The lists continued into the Nineteenth Century»

  • All the Matlock & District extracts below (1785 - 1799) have been taken from "The Derby Mercury".

  • There is more information elsewhere on this web site to explain who some of these men were. Follow the hyperlink (e.g. [6]) against the first time a name is mentioned. This takes you down to the bottom of the page and you can then navigate to other parts of the site.


1785 - 1789 | 1790 - 1794 | 1795 - 1799

DM = Derby Mercury

1785 - 1789
Year of Issue Game Duty, County of Derby.
List of Persons who have obtained Certificates, with abode
Published
in the DM
Yearly rate
1785 Certificates, for the killing of Game:
- Errington George, Matlock
- Hassell George, Matlock Bath
- Hodgkinson Edmund, Matlock Mill
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock[6]
- Nightingale Peter, Lea[7]
8 Dec 1785 Two Guineas
1786 Certificates, for the killing of Game:
- Errington George, Matlock
- Hodgkinson Edmund, Matlock
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
- Nightingale Peter, Lea
21 Dec 1786 [Two Guineas]
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Alsop John, Abode Lea, Manor of Cromford, Wakebridge and Lea
[10s. 6d]
1787 Gentlemen's Certificates for the killing of Game, issued between 5 Jul & 6 Oct 1787
- Errington George, Matlock
- Hodgkinson Edmund, Matlock
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
- Nightingale Peter, Lea
11 Oct 1787 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Alsop John, Abode Lea, Manor of Cromford, Wakebridge and Lea
- James Wright, Abode Matlock, Manor of Matlock
1788 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Errington George, Matlock Bath
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
- Nightingale Peter, Lea
25 Sep 1788 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Hudson William, Abode Lea, Manor Cromford, Wakebridge,and Lea
17 Nov 1788 -
1789 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Holcombe Rev. Geo, Matlock
- Nightingale Peter, Lea
1 Oct 1789
-
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Samuel, Abode Wirksworth, Manor Cromford, Wakebridge & Lea
- Wright James, Abode Matlock, Manor Matlock
1790 - 1794
1790 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Holcombe Rev. Geo, Matlock
- Wolley, Adam junr., Matlock
21 Oct 1790 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Samuel, Abode Wirksworth, Manor Cromford, Wakebridge & Lea
- Wright James, Abode Matlock, Manor Matlock
1791 Certificates issued by the Clerk of the Peace for the County of Derby, with respect to the Killing of Game. From the First Day of July 1791, to the Eighth Day of September following.
Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Clifton Robert, Matlock
- Holcombe Rev. Geo, Matlock
- Nightingale Peter, Lea
- Wood Vincent, Matlock Bath
- Wolley, Adam junior, Matlock[8]
15 Sept 1791 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith, Samuel, Abode Lea, Manor of Lea and Wakebridge
1792 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Holcombe Rev. Geo, Matlock
- Wolley, A. the younger, Matlock
27 Sept 1792 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Samuel, Abode Lea, Manor Lea & Wakebridge
- Staggalls James, Abode Cromford, Manor Cromford and Willersley
1793 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
- Wolley, Adam junr., Matlock
3 Oct 1793 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Staggalls James, Cromford, Cowley, and Willersley, and appointed by Richard Arkwright, Esq
- Wright James, Matlock, appointed by Brook Boothby, Bache Thornhill and William Milnes, Esqrs
1794 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Hodgkinson H Hayward, Matlock
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
9 Oct 1794 -
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Samuel, Lea and Wakebridge, appointed by Peter Nightingale Esq.
- Wright James, Matlock, appointed by B. Boothby, B. Thornhill and W. Milnes, Esqrs.
1795 - 1799
1795 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
15 Oct 1798  
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Wright James, Matlock, appointed by Brook Boothby, Bache Thornhill and W. Milnes, Esqrs.
1796 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Arkwright Richard, Willersley Castle[9]
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
27 Oct 1796  
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Samuel, Lea and Wakebridge, appointed by Peter Nightingale Esq.
- Wright James, Matlock, appointed by Brook Boothby, Bache Thornhill and William Milnes, Esqrs.
1797 Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Sam., Lea and Wakebridge, appointed by Peter Nightingale Esq.
11 May 1797  
Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Arkwright Richard, Willersley Castle
- Hodgkinson Wigley, Matlock
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
2 Nov 1797
1798 Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Sam., Lea and Wakebridge, appointed by Peter Nightingale Esq.
10 May 1798  
Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Arkwright Richard, Willersley Castle
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
11 Oct 1798
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Hodgkinson Sam., Matlock, appointed by Bache Thornhill, Francis Hurt, Phillip Gell, John Toplis & John Holland, Esqs.
- Hopkinson Robt, Willersley and Cromford, appointed by Richard Arkwright, Esq
1799 Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Leacroft Captain Thomas, Matlock[10]
24 January 1799  
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Sam, Lea and Wakebridge, appointed by P. Nightingale Esq.
Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Arkwright Richard, Willersley Castle
- Arkwright Richard jun, Willersley Castle
- Leacroft Captain Thomas, Cliff House
26 Sept 1799
Gentlemen's Certificates:
- Holcombe Rev. George, Matlock
7 Nov 1799
Gamekeepers' Certificates:
- Smith Samuel, Lea and Wakebridge, appointed by Peter Nightingale Esq.

The lists continued into the Nineteenth Century»


References (coloured hyperlinks are to transcripts elsewhere on this web site):

[1] "The Derby Mercury", 26 Aug, 1784. Heads of the Game Act, which takes place from October 1874
[2] "The Times", 21 Jul, 1785. Game Act.
[3] "The Derby Mercury", 29 Jan, 1789.
[4] "The Derby Mercury", 12 Jan, 1786.
[5] "The Derby Mercury", 10 Mar, 1786.
[6] Rev Holcombe was the Rector of Matlock. See Rectors
[7] Peter Nightingale was a landowner. See Biographies and Pedigree of Nightingale
[8] See Pedigree of Wolley
[9] See Pedigree of Arkwright | Arkwright's Cotton Mill (these will lead you to much more information)
[10] See Pedigree of Leacroft


Information above researched, provided by and © Ann Andrews. Intended for personal use only.