|Canon Kewley & His
|People who lived in the Matlocks : Photographs,
Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
The first two photographs below are of Reverend Canon
James William Kewley who was the Rector of Matlock for 36 years and
one of the friends of Mrs. Robert
Wildgoose, whose photograph album these pictures are from.
The remaining three pictures are of two of Canon Kewley's sisters.
Marian Wildgoose, the photographer, lived at The Gables on Chesterfield
Road and then at Stoneycroft, the house she had built on Cavendish
The album now belongs to the Ash family and was in the possession
of Ray Ash's step-grandmother Ash (Dora May Wheeldon before her
marriage), who was for many years companion and housekeeper to
Mrs. Wildgoose at Stoneycroft. Unfortunately Mrs. Wildgoose was
not very good at putting dates in her album, so some of the dates
are only approximations. The five photographs from the album are
published here with kind permission of Ray
James William Kewley
Photographed in the grounds of The Gables, which
later became part of Lilybank Hydro.
Canon Kewley was one of twelve children born to James and Elinor
Kewley at Castletown, on the Isle of Man. His father worked in
the Rolls Office there and the family lived in a house within
the castle walls that was originally built for Lord Derby. James
William was their second son; he was born on 2 February 1846 and
baptised 13 days later. He was the elder of two sons who survived
their childhood and he had five older sisters. Several sisters
came to Matlock to live with James at various times.
James had been a pupil at King William's College on the Isle of
Man and then studied
at Lichfield Theological College.
In 1881 he was the Curate of St Werburgh's Church, Derby and was
living in Friar Gate; he was also the Principal of Derby Diocesan
Theological College for
six years. By 1887 he'd moved to a house at 73 Uttoxeter Road in
which was close to where one of his sisters lived and worked. It
was in the same year he transferred to Matlock and became the Rector.
In 1915 he was appointed an honorary Canon of Southwell Cathedral,
in succession the late Canon Atkinson.
The above photograph was taken in the garden of The Gables, probably
between 1900 and 1905.
Benjamin Bryan, writing in 1903, said that "the
present rector having provided the means, the basement of the
[church] tower has been opened into the nave by the erection of
a four-centre arch of old oak under the front edge of the ringing
Canon Kewley was to record a Roll of Honour for Matlock during
the First World War. He also listed the names of 810 Matlock men
who were in uniform in late 1917 and prepared a souvenir for the
relatives of both those who were serving and those who had died
in the conflict up to that point. It was given to people who attended
a Memorial Service in the Church on 18th Nov 1917.
In 1920 it was reported that "Canon Kewley, rector of Matlock,
is unable to retire because he cannot get a house to live in".
When he finally retired on 21st December 1922 James
Kewley did not leave Matlock; he moved to Cronk Beg on Church Street,
not far from the Rectory. He died, aged 88, on 25 January 1935 and
is buried in St. Giles' churchyard together with three of his sisters.
Another sister, Fanny Dodd, is also buried in the churchyard and
his brother in law Thomas is mentioned on the headstone.
Amongst the bequests in James Kewley's Will were gifts of £100
each to St. Giles Church, St. Andrew's Home - for giving any boys
a start in life (something he took a keen interest in), the Derby
Diocesan College for Training Schoolmistresses and Ernest Bailey's
Secondary School. This last sum was to be applied in prizes for
Canon Kewley photographed a few years later.
Mrs. Wildgoose has labelled this picture "Miss Kewley" but
it is a photograph of Eleanor Christian Kewley. It was the convention
of the time to call the elder of two spinster sisters "Miss" followed
by her surname; to distinguish between them, the younger sister would
have had her Christian name, or her initials, inserted into her title.
The photograph was taken in the Rectory Gardens.
Eleanor (16 Feb 1837 - 6 Sep 1916) was the School Mistress of East
Street (or East Road) Girls School in Rushen, Isle of Man in 1881
but was living with her brother at the Rectory in Matlock by the
time of the 1901 census.
She continued her work with children and was the superintendent of
the Sunday School.
Matlock & Matlock
Bath Newspaper Cuttings, Jul 1914 - Nov 1918 has a brief report
of her death in 1916.
Eleanor Kewley's Memorial in St. Giles' Church.
She is buried in the churchyard.
Both sisters spent part of their lives in Matlock. Margaret (11
Mar 1840 - 30 Jan 1922), who was also a School Mistress, was
in Matlock with her brother in 1891.
There was a strong resemblance to her brother.
In 1881 she was visiting Canon Kewley's eldest sister, Mrs. Catherine
Hurst, in Wigan. However, in 1887 she was living in Derby and by
then employed as the lady superintendent of Lichfield (later Lichfield & Southwell)
Diocesan School or Training College for training schoolmistresses.
She was living at 65 Uttoxeter Road, Derby, and was there in both
1895 and 1901.
She is buried in St. Giles' churchyard, in the same grave as her
brother and sister, named above, and a third sister Harriet Elizabeth
(1852 - 1934) who also eventually lived with her brother in Matlock.
Kewley's Will details
Photographed in the Conservatory at The Gables.
Presumably also of Miss M. Kewley,
View even more about the church by clicking on the images below:
You may like to read more onsite information:
of St Giles from 1300
1886 - 1895: see Church Bazaar at Matlock, 1895
Giles Church Hatches, Matches & Dispatches
Image scans © Ray Ash. Research
provided by and © Ann Andrews
Intended for personal use only.
Pamela Ward, a descendant of one of the Canon's sisters, has also
provided additional information, including amending some dates given
in earlier versions of this page. Please note that at the time of
updating this web page the dates given in the IGI for the family
are given as birth dates, but it is assumed they are actually dates
If you have any further information about the identity of anyone
in the photographs we would like to know. Please contact both the web
and Ray Ash
links are to transcripts or more information elsewhere on this web
 From obituaries in the Matlock Visitor
and the Derbyshire Times, with thanks to Pamela Ward.
 Canon Kewley was living in Matlock
with one or more of his sisters in both the
1891 Census and the 1901
Census. By 1911 three sisters - Eleanor Christian, Margaret
Jane and Harriet Elizabeth - were living with their brother at
The Rectory. He is also listed in the following on site trade directory
Directory, 1908 (officials) | Kelly's
Directory, 1916 | Kelly's
Directory, 1916 (officials).
 King William's College register of
former pupils, with thanks to Pamela Ward.
 Clergy List, 1896.
 1881 census, Derby, RG11/3399 f32
 "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire,
 "The Times", 25 July,
1935. Notices of Wills and Bequests.
 "Derbyshire Courier," ,
27 March 1915. Announcement of appointment. He
continued in this position until 1925.
 Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History
of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" London by Bemrose & Sons,
 Beresford, Charles (2007) "The
Bath at War, A Derbyshire Community and the Great War",
Country Books/Ashridge Press. ISBN 978 1 901214 91 8
Also see Matlock & Matlock Bath War Memorials
 "The Times", 29 Jan
1935. Death announcement, stating that he was Rector at Matlock
1887 - 1922. He had died at Matlock on 25 Jan, aged 88, and his
funeral was the 29th.
Inscriptions, a Surnames Index. Also see: Matlock
St Giles, MIs in the Church.
 1901 census.
 "Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire,