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Pedigree of Wolley of Riber
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The pedigree of the Wolley family below
has been scanned from
Bryan, Benjamin (1903) "History of Matlock - Matlock, Manor and Parish" published London by Bemrose & Sons, Limited

To assist those researching the family of Wolley of Matlock there ise some additional information included lower down this page.

Pedigree of Wolley of Riber
Scan  Ann Andrews

Below this pedigree is the following information:

The above-mentioned arms appear on a seal to a deed of Ralph de Woley's dated 43, Ed.3, and the crest appears on a seal to a deed of William de Woley's bearing date 2, E, 2. It is, however, probable that the arms were first assumed by some of the family at a much earlier period than the above mentioned, to show its dependence as tenants on the Ferrerses, Earls of Derby, (whose arms were vaire or and gules) after the marriage of William ..... Ferrers ..... Earl of Derby to Agnes, one of the sisters and co-heirs of Ranulf, Earl of Chester, with whom A° 8, H. 3. he had all the Earl of Chester's land between the Ribble and the Mersey (within which district Wolley is situated) assigned as part of her portion of her brother's inheritance. _ Dugdale's Monasticon, 771.

Additional notes about the pedigree:

  • Six generations of the Wolley family lived at Riber Hall. In some ancient deeds their surname is spelled as OLEY.

  • Generation 9. Both Anthony Wolley and his wife Agnes are mentioned on an altar tomb in Matlock church, but only Anthony's death date is shown. See the MI transcript.
    One of the Wolleys is known to have married the daughter of Anthony Bowne (Agnes?), but there is no clear evidence that it is this couple. See the abstract of the Will of Anthony Bowne of the Lime Tree, 1619/20.

  • Generation 10, includes Adam Wolley and his two wives, Mary and Elizabeth. Only one of Adam Wolley's siblings is given here. See the pedigree of Wolley of Allen Hill for the remainder. His Will, proved in 1619 but written three years before, mentions a "new chamber" in his Riber home (details of this Will are given in the Pre-1858 Wills, Surnames W) and his inventory (dated 1619) mentions a new parlour as well as a new chamber, with at least 10 rooms in the house.

  • Generation 11
    William Wolley added the 1661 wing to Riber Hall. He served as a Colonel in the English Civil War under Thomas Fairfax in the Derbyshire Garrison at Bolsover Castle on the side of the Parliamentarians (Gell Ms 34/10 fold 43, 44,59: foot, Lieutenant-Colonel William Wolley). In his father's Will, mentioned above, he was bequeathed "my armour guns pykes and all such like weapons". Whilst these items were not listed in an inventory of his father's estate taken on 15 Apr 1619 it is likely that he or any of the men who served with him would have used them in the Civil War. Interestingly, he later contributed towards the return of Charles II to the British throne (Free and Voluntary Present, 1661).

    William and his wife Susan had several children but they all died before their him. Susan also pre-deceased him. His brother Anthony, therefore, inherited the estate and returned to Riber from Nottingham, where he was an Attorney-at-Law. He unfortunately died within a year of his brother. His wife, Miss Rocket, was her father's heir.

    William's sister Troth Newton was buried at Matlock in early 1694 (Bryan uses the Old Calendar date here) - see burials 1694. Her husband, William Newton, was also buried at Matlock. She was William's second wife and her marriage settlement was dated 22 Dec 18 Car. 1. She died without issue (from the Wolley Manuscripts).

  • Anthony Wolley who died in 1669 (bottom row, no. 2 on the right hand side - i.e. second son) was the last member of this line of the family to live at Riber Hall. In his Will, that was proved in 1669, he left money for the maintenance of a free school at Matlock. He was buried at St. Giles (see both his burial and Charity Boards in Matlock Church). Details of his Will are also given in the Pre-1858 Wills, Surnames W. His sisters inherited the property but sold it soon afterwards to Thomas Statham.

There seems to be some confusion that has arisen about Anthony as he was not known to have been either a great historian or to have written a ninety volume history of England, supposedly to be in the British Museum. To set the record straight it was another Wolley, William, who wrote a history of the county (see Pedigree of Wolley of Darley Abbey). As for the ninety volumes of English history in the British Museum, they do not exist. There is, however, a large collection of manuscripts in fifty three folio volumes, for a projected county history of Derbyshire, that were collected by Adam Wolley (see About the Wolley Manuscripts, elsewhere on this web site) who was a descendant of the Allen Hill branch of the family (see their pedigree).

Leonard Wheatcroft, parish clerk of Ashover, wrote the following verses in 1672, some three years after Anthony's death:

(v.13) "Then rushing forth down by Darwen [Derwent] side,
My muses presently to Matlock hied,
And finding there the good ould Pastor gone,
I hide to Riber, there to make my mone,
But out, alas! my sorrows to increase,
That name is gone, now buried under hears(e).

(v.14) Wolley, Wolley, Wooley, farewell to thee,
A noble Esquire, thou was both kind and free
To all that came, I say both rich and poore,
There's few went empty that came to his doore.
Walker's fair Hous is almost wore away,
With several more now going to decay".

(Extracts from: Wheatcroft, Leonard (1672), An Elegy. Not published until it appeared in The Reliquary, Vol. VI. 1865-6, ed. Llewellynn Jewitt, F.S.A.)

  • Some of the last male heirs of Riber, i.e. Adam (Generation 10), the brothers William and Anthony (Generation 11), and Anthony who died in 1662 aged 19 (Generation 12), are also included in a Wolley pedigree published n "The Visitation of Derbyshire", taken in 1662, and reviewed in 1663 by Sir William Dugdale (1605-1686), published London 1879.

More on site information about the WOLLEY family of Riber:

Riber Hall, Matlock

Wolley Manuscripts Derbyshire A major collection of pre 1828 documents.

The Wolley Manuscripts, Matlock - more detailed, with a series of documents relating to the WOLLEY family.

Hatches, Matches & Dispatches Find the WOLLEY family in Matlock's parish registers.
Matlock & Matlock Bath's Memorial Inscriptions, Surnames W.
Matlock & Matlock Bath Wills Calendar, includes Wills for the WOLLEY family. See Pre-1858 Wills, Surnames W.
Coat of Arms: Description of WOLLEY arms.
Find the WOLLEY surname in various lists: Duchy of Lancaster Court Rolls | Ayd to His Majesty King Charles I, 1627 |
Free and Voluntary Present, 1661 | Hearth Tax, 1670 | Charles II's Poll Tax, 1678 |
About Riber
Map of Riber

Image produced from a copy of the pedigree in the collection of, provided by and © Ann Andrews.
Image re-scanned April 2007 © Ann Andrews.
Written and researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.