Derbyshire> Miscellany> This page
Derbyshire, South Wingfield Association, 1796
A Genealogy and Local History Resource on The Andrews Pages web site
[for the prosecution of felons].
Miscellany Index
Previous | Next

Whilst it is not clear when the group was formed, the earliest of their meetings found to date was held on Wednesday 25th November 1789. Individuals residing in the parishes or townships of Southwingfield, Oakerthorpe, Alfreton (including Shirland and Higham), Pentrich, Crich, Heage, Ripley, Codnor and Codnor Park were invited to join. In 1796 Hucknall under Huthwaite, Lea, Ford and Washington (Wessington) had been added. There were a number of similar groups elsewhere in the county, all designed to encourage witnesses to come forward as a means of catching petty thieves or more hardened criminals. Their announcements and appeals for information were published in the "Derby Mercury".

The announcement below is from the "Derby Mercury", 7 January, 1796

AT the annual meeting held at the Peacock Inn, on the 25th November last, it was resolved by the members then present, as follows:

1st. That all new members shall pay 10s. a sum equal to the stock in hand.

2d. That all members being in arrear for the space of one month after the anual meeting (being the last Wednesday in November.) shall lose the benefit of their names appearing in the annual list of subscribers to be inserted in the Derby Mercury.

3d. That Mr. Richard Peach of Alfreton, Mr. Thomas Hunt of Southwingfield, Mr. James Fidler of the parish of Shirland, Mr. John Hill of Washington, Mr. James Turton of Crich, Mr. John Lister of Pentrich, and Mr. Henry Moor of Ripley, or any three of them shall be a committee to manage the business of the said association for the present year, or till others are appointed in their stead.

Names of Subscribers.

Alfreton.  Hucknall under Huthwaite.
Rev. H. C. Morewood ClerkMr. Richard Mellors
Hugh Wood Esq.Lea.
Mr. Wm. WilsonPeter Nightingale Esq.
   Joseph WilsonPentrich.
   Benj Smith SurgeonMr. Robert Marsden
   Tho Green, Mercer   Joseph Sutton
   W. Riley   Jonathan Fletcher
   John Gregory   John Booth
   Samuel Stainrod   Anthony Storer
   Samuel Gregory   George Godber
   S. R. Hermitage   John Marriott, Wire Mill
   Benj. Smith, Watchmaker   John Lister
   J. C. Hall, Attorney   George Waters
   Thomas SaxtonRipley.
   John BaconMr. Henry Moore
   Richard Peach, Jun.   John Stirland
   John BeardmoreSouth Wingfield Parish.
   Thomas RadfordWingfield Halton, Esq.
   John Maples, GreenhalaneMr. Thomas Person
   Miss Martha Clark   Joseph Hepworth
   Mr. Tho. Fletcher   Peter Kendall
   Edd. Waters, Puy? Bridge   Henry Bestwick
Butterly & Butterly Park   John Bastall
Mr. Joseph Hunt   Thomas Hunt
   Benj. OutramMrs. Grace Strelley, Oakerthorpe
Mr. David WoodhouseJonathan Burnham, Esq.
   James TurtonMr. William Hopkinson, Tanner
   Mrs. Saxton   John Bryan, Shirland Lodge.
   J. Bowmer, Fritchley   James Fidler
   Thomas Travis   Isaac S. Page
   John Gibbins   Wm. Clayton, Higham
   Matthew Hopkinson   John Birks
   Abraham WheatcroftWashington
   Daniel CooperMr. John Wheatcroft
Codnor Park.   John Hill
Mr. John Wallis   George Lowe
   Wm. Hickson   Charles Lowe
Wm. Hickinbotham   John Hopkinson
   John Holland Esq. 
   Mr. Joseph Gratton 

   Rewards allowed by the association to be paid by the treasurer to any informer, not being a member, on whose information any person shall be convicted of the offence hereunto written.

  L. S. D.
For every burglary or highway robbery, 5 5 0
For stealing any horse, mare, gelding, bull, ox, cow, heifer, calf, sheep, lamb, pig, or for any capital offence, - - - - 3 3 0
For stealing poultry, cutting, breaking down or destroying any tree, hedge, gate, stile, wall, post, rail, or any other kind of fence, or for destroying or stealing any utensils or implements in husbandry, or for destroying any peas, beans, turnips, potatoes, cabbage, grass, hay, clover, corn, apples, pears, or any other kind of garden stuff, or for any other kind of petite larceny not particularly mentioned, - - - - 0 10 6

      W. WILSON, Agent & Treasurer.
Alfreton, January 4th, 1796.

It was often food that was taken. For example, the Association placed a notice the following week (14 January) asking for information because a barn on Pentrich Common, the property of George Godber who was a member of the group, had been broken into and a quantity of fowls were stolen. He had lost hens the previous year and four more were taken in 1800. On 20 October 1796 three geese were reported taken from John Wheatcroft's premises at Washington (Wessington), and Winfield Halton lost eight ducks in 1808. Samuel Stainrod lost a lamb in 1798 which was more serious, as the above rewards show.

Sometimes the offences were greater. For example, in 1892 a Plow-Swingletree and Plow-Paddle belonging to Jonathan Burnham were damaged in a field belonging to John Bryon of Shirland (4x great grandfather of the web mistress). In 1800 the Duke of Devonshire's Corn Mill at Pentrich, occupied by Jonathan Fletcher, was "wilfully" set on fire. Large quantities of corn and sacks filled with corn were burned or damaged whilst the Mill itself was described as "greatly damaged". Sometimes a hovel was pulled down, or ricks were burnt.

Names of those in the Ashover, Bonsall, Darley, and Matlock - including adjacent settlements - in 1799 are elsewhere on this website.

Newspaper extract transcribed by Ann Andrews.
Page researched by and © Ann Andrews.