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Documents Relating to Matlock & Matlock Bath
Documents from the Middle Ages to the Reign of Charles I
14th Century Leases (1376-1377)

An insight into what was happening in Matlock over 630 years ago.
Documents Relating to Matlock & Matlock Bath
Ancient Deeds
14th C leases
Duchy of Lancaster
Between 30 September 1376 and September 29 1377 various leases were made by Henry de Haddon, who was the Reeve of Matlock. At this date Matlock was part of the Honour of Tutbury which was also part of the Duchy of Lancaster. The Lord of the Manor was John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

  • A piece of waste land was let to John SMERT for 6d. It was 14ft [feet] long.

  • For the ninth year a piece of land, formerly abandoned, owned by the Lord of the Manor lying upon Okflat was let to John ASSHOVERE for 8d.

  • Again for the ninth year let to William MAYSON land adjacent to his house 6ft by 21ft it cost him one penny.

  • John DRAPER let, for the same amount, land 10ft by 8 ft.

  • John DRAPER also wanted to enlarge his corn storage and as such for another penny was allowed to let more waste land, 10ft by 8ft.

  • Half a rood of waste land at Henburgh let to John del Haghe (6th year of his lease) - 1d.

  • One piece of waste land, 21 feet in length, letto John Draper so that he could enlerge his grange [a building for the storage of corn] - 1d.

  • The Water Mill, which previously was let for 10 Marks [a mark = 13s 4d in 1984], could not be let because it stood idle for nearly parts of six months while undergoing repairs. (It had yielded 40/- in its issues and profits but this was low on account of the poor price of corn and the repair work.)

  • John de HOKENASTON took on the fishing rights for the five years previously and this was the final year of his lease. He paid the equivalent of a shilling a year to fish the Derwent.

  • The fishing rights of the Kyrkebrok was 6d.
    [Michael comments:
    The Kyrkebrok, most likely Bentley Brook lying at the foot of the Church and crossing today Stoney Way. 1376 was obviously a much better time to go fishing. For the first time this year [2005], in all my years of living in Matlock, I actually saw two large fish in the brook. This brook has been altered over the centuries and the mills up Lumsdale used to pour dye and bleach into it to carry it away to the Derwent.]

  • Twenty five acres of meadow let to the tenants of Matlock, together with grazing on the meadows after haymaking, one sheepfold, for 12 years. Iit cost 50 shillings. This was the third year of the lease. (The tenants were to repair the sheepfold, although the Lord of the Manor would supply the timber).

  • Brokwalleclif Quarry was let to John DENE and Richard BROUN for three years for 10 shillings.
    [Michael comments:
    This quarry may have been near Knowleston Place as this is the only area where a quarry could have been, bearing in mind the name Brookwall. John DENE is interesting in that Dene Fields may have been his or his ancestors' property. The Council in its wisdom have erected public footpath notices calling it Dean Fields. In my lifetime it was always spelled DENE. Thus an association with a person in Matlock's past is slowly being lost through error.]
    See details of 1544 Will of Robert DEANE and arms of DEANE.

  • 3 acres of demense land at Sourgreves, formerly abandoned, let to John SMERT - 2s. 0d.

  • Licence to burn one Bole at Harstenegg [Hearthstone Edge] granted to Thomas BRUNTON - 10d.
    [Michael notes:
    Situated right on the tops above Riber this place was a perfect place for smelting ore, most likely lead.]

  • In 1376-77 Henry of Haddon also leased out other property on behalf of John [of Gaunt]: Lease of Bonshall - 14s. 0d.

[Michael comments:
So in 1376-1377 Matlock is alive and kicking with quarrying, fishing, hay making, grazing, sheepfolds being built, lead being smelted, bigger barns being built and the mill being renovated.]

From Duchy of Lancaster papers at The National Archive ; Duchy of Lancaster Ministers' Accounts.
Duchy of Lancaster documents are catalogued using the abbreviation DL.
Information shared from the Mike Spencer collection.
Intended for personal use only.