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The Study, Bonsall

In mid 1882 Jacob Raynes of Bonsall changed his residence and left The Study[1]. The following year an advertisement offered the property to let, providing a good description of the house and its former owners.

"To be let
At a moderate Rent, and may be entered upon immediately, A mansion HOUSE called the STUDY, formerly the residence of Adam and John Simpson, Esquires, situate in the Parish, and near the Village of Bonsall, in the County of Derby, on the Turnpike Road from Cromford by Newhaven to Buxton, about two miles from Matlock Bath and three from Wirksworth. The house contains, on the ground floor, a good sitting and drawing room, large kitchen, back kitchen, pantry and sellars, four lodging rooms over the front, and four ditto over the back part of the house.- There are large gardens and orchard well stocked with fruit trees, with every requisite for the reception of a large and genteel family. The situation, on a pleasant and commanding eminence, is remarkable for its salubrity and for the beauty of its scenery. The tenant may, if required be accommodated with all the meadow and pasture Land (about 25 acres) adjoining and surrounding the house and gardens, but which is at present let to yearly tenants.
Apply Mr Abraham Frost, Bonsall School, or to Mr John Prince, the Holywell Company, Manchester"[2]

The Study became a boy's school, run by Mr. John Allen. A tribute to him in "The Reliquary" said he had humble beginnings and was self-taught. By 1818 he kept a small day school in Wirksworth, but was later elected as a Master of Bonsall Grammar School[3]. An advertisement in 1827 showed the range of subjects covered in his Bonsall educational establishment: "At this Seminary young Gentlemen are boarded and instructed ... in the English, Latin, and Greek Languages, Writing, Accounts, the Mathematics, Land Surveying, Geography, and the use of Globes., &c." They could also study "French Drawing, and Dancing on the terms of the respective Masters"[4].

Terms per annum:
Board and Education ... 21 guineas
Ditto, the Pupil spending Sunday at home ... 18 ditto.
Washing ... 2 ditto
Entrance £1 _ No extra charges[4].

Two years later another advertisement stated that "The situation is remarkably healthy, very airy, and free from danger. The pupils are treated with great kindness ; no corporal punishments are employed ; and their improvement, both moral and intellectual, is anxiously cultivated. The system is peculiar, and founded on rational principles"[5]. In 1841 there were 24 boys boarding at the school[6]. However, in the mid 1840s John Allen and his wife Lydia moved to Matlock Bath where they had built a house, though trade directory entries in the late 1840s (see below) show he still ran an Academy. He had retired by 1851. John Allen died at Matlock Bath on 15 Dec 1867, aged 73[7].

In 1851 The Study had become the home of the Prince family, headed by Samuel Prince (a landed & house proprietor) and his son Samuel, junior, who was the Curate of Bonsall[8].

Mathematical problem solved in 1841 in a school book belonging to John Else (1827-69),
who was a pupil at The Study. John Else was later the owner of Warney Mill at Darley Dale.
Note the copperplate handwriting, which was taught in several Derbyshire schools.

Further information about John Allen in Matlock or Bonsall census returns, trade directories, etc., is available elsewhere on this web site:

  The Study has been demolished.
It is suggested elsewhere that the building on the left is/was The Study but it is, in fact, the Upper Towers on the Heights of Abraham

Davies' book Also see:
Davies, David Peter (1811) "History of Derbyshire" pub. S. Mason, Belper which has a small piece about Bonsall. Read the transcript: (Derbyshire's Parishes, 1811) elsewhere on this web site.
Documents relating to Bonsall are included in the Wolley Manuscripts.
See both the Derbyshire section and the more detailed Matlock section elsewhere on this web site. Look under Places in both sections.

1. "The Study, Bonsall", nineteenth century print in the collection of and © Judy Cooper.
2. John Else's schoolwork in the collection of, provided by and © Judy Cooper.
Researched, written by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.


[1] "Derby Mercury", 28 August 1822. Sale notice of furniture, hay, etc.
The advertisement mentions the Simpson family. Adam Simpson the elder was buried at Bonsall on 16 Oct 1782 and was survived by his four sons, Adam (baptised Bonsall 31 Jan 1744), Peter (bap there 2 Feb 1757), John (bap there 28 Sep 1758) and Samuel (bap there 19 Nov 1761). His daughter Mary (bap 3 Sep 1755 at Wirksworth) married Richard, son of Sir Richard Arkwright (see Arkwright pedigree in the Matlock section of this web site).

[2] "Derby Mercury", 25 June 1823.

[3] "The Reliquary, Quarterly Journal and Review Vol. XI". (1870-1) Ed. Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A. Published London: Bemrose & Sons, 21 Paternoster Row; and John Russell Smith, 36 Soho Square. Derby : Bemrose & Sons, Irongate. Three Neglected Derbyshire Worthies ... John Allen.

[4] "Derby Mercury", 21 March 1827. Education. Study House, Bonsall.

[5] "Derby Mercury", 7 January 1829.

[6] 1841 Census of Bonsall, available on FindMyPast HO107/197/7 f25 p12 and p13.

[7] "Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald", 21 December 1867. Notice of Death. "Derby Mercury", 25 December 1867.

[8] 1851 Census of Bonsall, available on FindMyPast HO107/2146 f699 p16 s56.

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John Else lived at Warney Mill, Darley Dale

Nether Green, Bonsall

John Allen's home in Matlock Bath