Hayfield in the olden times, 700 years of Hayfield history.
Based on a series of articles that appeared in the High Peak Reporter between June and December 1909, a few articles are missing, but I hope to be able to fill the gaps soon.
With grateful thanks to .....
Distinguished Pew Holders of the Past. Famous Families.
Dealing with the occupants of Ollersett Hall Pew in last week’s issues, allusion was made to the distinguished family of Bradbury, who were there so many centuries. Further reference must now be made to the same famous people. In the twelfth year of the reign of Henry VI.  “the Commons in Parliament complained that the land then swarmed with the pelours, robbers, oppressors of the people, man stealers, felons, outlaws, ravishers of women, unlawful haunters of forests and parks etc: The country was evidently in a terrible contradiction in those days. “Whereupon it was ordered, for the representation of present and preventing of future mischief’s, that certain Commissioners should be empowered in the county to summon all persons of quality of quality before them, and tender them on oath for the better keeping of the place, and observing the King’s Laws, both in themselves and retainers” It is supposed that this enactment was intended principally to detect and suppress those who honoured Title of York, which then began to be set on foot, and afterwards openly claimed, and at last obtained the Crown. To show what “persons of quality” the Bradbury’s were at the same time it may be mentioned that amongst the names of the gentry of the county of Derby returned by the Commissioners was “Ralph Bradbury de Oldersett,” who is mentioned by Fuller in his “Worthies of England. It may be asked, “Where are the representatives of the families now?” In 1685 a tablet was fixed in Youlgreave Church to the memory of Raphael Bradbury, but somehow the stone has been removed, and may now be seen on the north wall beneath the tower. Close to the door of the ancient chancel of Chapel-en-le-Frith Church there is the grave of a daughter of that branch of the Bradbury’s which settled at Bankhead, and the old tombstone, with letters cut as deep as if meant to last till the Judgment Day, has recently been restored by the Rev. Norman Bennett. It is well worth a visit. This is an exact copy of the inscription: -
“Here lyeth the body of Ellin, the Wyfe of Robert Bennett, of Hough, daughter of Robert Bradbury, of Bankhead, gentleman, who departed this life the Eighth Day of October, Anno Dom. 1669; and Robert set this stone upon her grave. This is the stone of Ellins grave unto this day.”
Long Lee Pew and the Hyde’s.
The Long Lee pew must come in for more than passing mention, for here were the sitting not only of distinguished men but of those who were benefactors to the church and the village intended to last for ever. Among the names of the gentry returned by the Commissions of 1433 with Ralph Bradbury was “John Hide de Longlee” The Hyde’s were big folk for several hundred years and lived at their hall at Long Lee, and attended Hayfield Church. From first to last they seemed to have had the Christian name John, and one of these was closely connected with the history of the Church. John Hyde was a member of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Tailors, London and on the 8th of September, 1604, he made his will, and devised certain property to the company for the yearly payment if £10 pounds the chapelry of Hayfield for the purposes of education. It was to be paid to the minister of the Gospel at Hayfield for keeping a grammar school within the chapel, and it is still paid, although the education is given in the School adjoining.
The Hyde’s have been resident in the neighbourhood of Hayfield for 600 years, and many of their sons and daughters lie in the old crypt and round about the church. In their days of prosperity they intermarried with the Shallcrosses, of Shallcrosse [Whaley Bridge], and other old families the grandson of the Gentleman who left the £10 to education rebuilt the old hall of his ancestors [Long Lee] in the year 1661. The hall, now a farmhouse, has been hideously modernised, but over the door in the farm yard there is an inscribed stone bearing, the initials “I.H,” and the date 1661.
In the courtyard, now the farmyard, he built in 1679 a handsome chapel at his own cost, and permitted those to worship therein who were unable to walk the long distance to Hayfield Church. The fine old building remains to this day and one fine Saturday afternoon we went to see it. It is but little externally, the splendid mullioned windows remaining, but the gallery, approached by a flight of steps outside as of yore, has long ago been converted into a hay loft, while the ground floor is fitted up as a stable for five horses. Over the gallery door there is a head stone with characters, “I. H -M.H., 1679.” But the strangest part of the story is yet of come. The gentleman who owned the estate and built the chapel was by his express desire buried in the barn, and in one corner of the building there is a tombstone with the following deeply cut thereon: “Here lyeth interred ye body of John Hyde, late of Long Lee, in Boden Middlecale, gentleman, who departed this lyfe August ye 20, Anno Domi 1703, being in ye 63 yeare of his age, and left issue one son and one daughter.” It is, indeed, a strange situation for the grave of a wealthy gentleman.
It is always said that his apparition haunts Long Lee Hall. Anyway, the bedstead on which he died, somewhat elaborately carved, and of the time of Queen Elizabeth, has never been allowed to be removed and is there in perpetuity. The chamber is traditionally said to be haunted and is known to this hour, as “the boggart room.” Not many years ago a gentleman visited the house and asked the then mistress of the place whether anything had ever been seen. He was assured that marvellous noises had been heard, and said the lady, “ one night when I and my children had just retired, we all heard the long clock on the top of the landing go smashing down the stairs, but when we rushed out to see, it was ticking in it’s proper place.”
The coat of the arms of Hyde of Long Lee was: Azure, a saltier or, between four bazants, a chief ermine, and their crest was a nag’s head, couped argent. For those of our readers nor versed in heraldry it may be explained that azure is a blue colour, and saltaire is one of the greater ordinaries in the from of an X, the word or meaning gold, denoted by dots in engravings. A bazant was an ancient coin of value £15 sterling. Ermine is represented by a white field or fur with black spots. Argent is the white colour in the coat of arms, intended to represent silver, or purity, justice, humility, innocence, beauty, or gentleness.
Some ancient Parsons and their troubles.
At the risk of leaving for a time the beaten track, we may mention that one of the oldest families in the ancient chapelry of Hayfield was that of Needham, who lived at the magnificent Thornsett Hall. There are but few now, even among those who live on the very spot, who know anything about Thornsett Hall. Well, when the [river] Sett was a clear trout stream the Needhams lived at Thornsett Hall, a mansion within it’s own grounds, extending from the summit of the hill at High Wells down to the Sett in the valley below. There is still remaining a very substantial wing of the old hall with its massive buttresses, known today as “Barn End.” “The Printer Arms” was another portion, modernised for a publichouse, the open space in front was a courtyard through which the public road was constructed.
The Needhams appear on the Hundred Rolls of the Forest 1274, long before the original chapel of Hayfield was built, and they remained there for hundreds of years. They bore arms, argent, a bend engrailed azure, between two bucks heads cabassed stable, and they had as their crest: Out of a pallisado coronet, or a buck’s head sable, attired of the first. Another, on a mount vert a stag lodged sable attired, or. Another, a phoenix in flames proper. The Needhams were famous foresters of the King, and Otwell Needham, the senior member of the Needham family, and ninth in decent of the founder, in the reign of Elisabeth married the heiress of the Cadmans, and brought to him the Manor of Cowley. They had twelve sons and a host of daughters. John the youngest son of Thomas Needham, of Thornsett, in the time of Edward the III., was a famous lawyer and was made a Knight and Judge of Common Pleas by Henry VI, and history says that the family are now represented by Francis Charles Needham, Earl of Kilmorey. But the family had had its share of vicissitudes, and some of the direct descendents of the Needhams of Thornsett are to be found amongst the trades people and the working classes.
Parsons of the Past.
A few items concerning Hayfield’s parsons of the past may not be altogether void of interest. There is no record, as far as we know, prior to the Reformation. There is of course the pugilistic priest of the time of Richard II., who excommunicated Edward Bradbury of Bank Head, and Tomline Kinder, of Kinder, but even his name is not given. It is very unlikely that William de Bradshaw, a parson, who was charged with killing a doe in Kinder in 1280 was the priest of Hayfield. Rather it may have been one of the numerous interlopers who poached on the preserve of the Peak Forest, and of whom parsons were no better than other folks. In the sixteenth century to be licensed, as a preacher was a considerable distinction. The Pulpit, in the days before newspapers were known, was a far more important national engine, than it had been for several generations, and the preacher very often aimed at political as at religious instruction. Henry the VIII, in 1538, thought four sermons a year sufficient. Edward the VI compelled eight sermons a year to be preached in every parish church, four of these to be against Papacy and four on behalf of the Royal supremacy.
Mary granted free speech to all preachers loyal to the Papacy, but when Elisabeth came to the throne, recognising the full power of the pulpit, the number of licensed preachers was very small. In 1602 there were only 30 out of 138 clergy in Derbyshire licensed to preach. Forty three of the Derbyshire clergy were graduates, “but the preachers licence often rested more on political fitness rather than high attainment or an upright life.” Walter Normanton was the preacher at Hayfield and he had “no degree.” George Yeaveley was the Vicar of Glossop, but had no degree, the value of the living is put down as £7 18s 9d. Robert Hide was the curate of Mellor Chapelry, and he is given as “no degree, no preacher” but his living was valued at £5 6s 10d.
Clerical Basket Maker.
There used to be, in the valley leading to Kinder, an ancient house called Rock Hall, where one of the priests of Hayfield Chappell lived. A stone quarry is all that remains of what was once Rock Hall, but in the title deeds mention is made of the “Old Parsonage”. Tradition says that about 1590 the living was so small that the parson had to eke out his scanty subsistence by making baskets. It was his practice to make an even number daily, but somehow he got confused in his reckoning, and not knowing it was the Sabbath Day he was busily employed in completing his usual number for the week when he should have been at church conducting a service. One of the officials went in search of him, and found him making his baskets, but he quickly laid aside his work, joined his expected congregation, and amply made amends for his mistake. It is a pity we have not more records of the basket-making parson.
From 1602 to 1649- 47 years- is a long stretch, and if Parson Normanton was at Hayfield all that time he must have stood the storms exceedingly well. Anyway, in 1649, the next name on the list is that of Edmund Barkinshaw. It a fact however, that Parson Barkinshaw had been at Hayfield a long time before 1649.While the great Civil War was raging the Quarter Sessions were busy levying special parochial rates to provide pensions for the relief of maimed soldiers and mariners. Indeed, when the War closed in 1649, the wants and petitions of the maimed soldiers seemed to have been the chief occupation of the sessions. The applicant was expected to produce a certificate from the officer under whom he had served. The usual rate of pension granted to the Derbyshire applicants as 12d. per week.
Some of these petitions given interesting details of the local conflicts that raged in the Midlands. The following is a transcript of a document of this class that was presented to the Derbyshire Sessions in 1649. The names, including that of Parson Barkinshaw, are very interesting:-
“To the right Worr’spll Justices of Peace and Quor, for the Countie of Darbie.
The humble petition of James Cawverd, maymed souldior sheweth.that about 5 years agoo: yor peticioner beinge a souldier under the comand of Colonel Randel Ashenhurst, in the P’liament’s services, being one of a p’rtie by order apointed to keepe the hall at Shallecrosse [Whaley Bridge].
Mr. Shallecrosse himself entering the home and a stronge p’tie with him cutt and wounded most of the soliders found in the house: Amongest whom your peticioner receaved such cutts and wounds: that ever since hee hath lost the use of his Arme and hand: to his utter undoeinge: without some speedie releife he beinge by p’fession a blacksmith and always before maintayned himself and his weife and children that they were not chargable unto any.
In comisierason whereof, and in observance of the statues of lawes p’vided for those cases : may it please your wor’pps to think what a pore estate and miserable condition your peticioner is brought untoo unles it please you in to your serious considerations and in your grave wisdome by your order to appoint that your petitioner is bought untoe untless it please yor grave wisdome by your order to appoint that yor petitioner may receave such a yerelye stipend and pension from the Treasurer of the countie as yor shall think fit towards the releife of himself, his weife and children who did not offer to petition whilest hee of his (unreadable line) theire apparell whilest they had any was sould to keepe them alive). And yor peticioner shall as dutie bindeth daylie pray.
Wee whose names are under are under subscribed doe verilie beleeve the petition to be true; and that there is greate need for reliefe to be graunted hereunto.
William Garlicke (capt.), Ralph Hyde, John Hyde, Ralph Ferneley, Thomas Ferneley, James Ridgeway, Thomas Waterhouse, Raphe Waterhouse, Robin Ridgeway, the elder, Thos Rollinson, Geo, Milner, Robert Ridgeway, Robert Hadfield, Edward Bradbury, John Thorneley, Robert Hadfield, Thomas Hinchcliffe, Edmund Barkinshaw, minister at Heyfield.”
Here we get at the big pots of Hayfield and the vicinity 260 years ago who interested themselves in getting a pension for the poor Jim Cawverd, who was wounded when on military duty at Shallcross Hall, concerning which a great deed might be said.
These old Hayfield names often crop up on ancient records. The Rollinsons were big folk in their day, and lived at Highgate Hall. It is said that a “Mr Rawlinson,” who lived at Highgate Hall. It is said that a “Mr Rawlinson,” who lived at Highgate Hall, was a Justice of the Peace, but his names dose not appear on the roll of Derbyshire County justices since 1594. By the way, there is a well at Highgate Hall, which has been closed for many years. A flight of stone steps leads down to it, and it is, or was, covered with a stone flag. It used to be said that a Scotch peddler was murdered here, and that his bones were afterwards found in a garden nearby, later removed to Hayfield Churchyard in the year 1770. The ghost of the murdered man, however refused to leave the neighbourhood of his tragic end, hence the reason why the public near would no have the well opened, fearing lest he be disturbed.
Edmund Barkinshaw was the parson of Hayfield in stirring times. Popish recusants were penalised, and the constable of every parish had to present recusants to the Quarter Sessions. In 1634, when Edmund Barkinshaw was the Hayfield minister., Francis Eyre, constable of Bowden Middlecale presented “three Popish recusants for absence from the church and divine service for these two months last past: viz Nicholas Wilkinson, of Heafield, cutler; Thomas Mellor, of the same, taylor [sic]: Thomas Beard of Jowhole, husbandman, and his wife Margarett, Kathryn Ridge [probably Ridgeway], wife of Robert Ridge, late of Highgate, yeoman; Thomas Bowdon, of Heafield, yeoman and Grace, his wife; Margaret Beignton, of the same, and Hellen, the wife of Edmund Bradbury, of the same, labourer.”
Our Chapel-en-le-Frith readers will be interested to know that at the same Quarter Sessions “George Thornehill, constable of Bowden Chappell, doth present these popish recusants within his townshippe for absence from the church for one month last past, viz, Henry Mellor, of Tunstyde, yeoman, and Jane, his wife; George Swindell the elder, of Chappell, husbandman, and his wife; George Swindell, the elder, of the Chappell, husbandman, and his wife,: Francis Taylor, of Marsh Green, carpenter, and Mary, his wife; George Clarke of Ridge, labour: Robert Bagshaw, of Hollin Knowle, yeoman, and Arnold Kirk, of Martin Syde, yeoman.”
At the Easter Sessions, 1648, William Greaves was discharged from his office of High Constable of the High Peak, and he returned an account of the money he had gathered for the use of the maimed soldiers of the county, to “The Rt. Worrall Rand. Ashenhurst, Esq., one of the Justices of the Peace within the said Hundred” At the same time 13s, was returned upon “John Rowbothom then Constable of Bowden Middlecale.” The account was submitted to Rand. Ashenhurst, Esq of Beard Hall, at Chapel-en-le-Frith, on January 9th, 1649, and signed by that gentleman.
Religious troubles of the days long ago. The Baptists and Quakers.
Edmund Barkinshaw finished his career as the pastor of 1650, and in the following year his successor was John Sale. But these were trouble some times, and twelve months appear to have give John Sale enough of Hayfield. Under the Commonwealth the Presbyterian organisation in Derbyshire was very thorough and complete. A classical assembly or classis was mapped out and definitely established in each of the six hundreds into which the County is divided. The classis for the High Peak met sometimes at Bakewell and sometimes at Glossop. Not a single parish or parochial chapelry throughout the county was permitted to be unrepresented and every benefice for a time was in the hands of those who accepted the government of the classis. In less than a century, most of the old Presbyterian congregations had lapsed into Unitarianism.
The duly appointed Presbyterian Minister at Hayfield in 1653 was Christopher Fisher whose place was anything but a bed of roses, for there were sufficient opponents to make matters very unpleasant for him. The whole place was of turmoil, and Christopher Fisher had to apply for the protection of the law. This is a copy of his petition, now in the County records: -
“To the right Wor’ll Justices of the Peace for the Countie of Darbie”.
The humble petition of Christopher Fisher, minister of Heyfiled”
“Her in your humble petitioner sheweth that he was frely with unanimous consent chosen and elected the minister of Heyfield, and hath there remained as minister, and soe confirmed by the committee of plundered ministers, and an augmentation of fiftie pounds per annum and tenn punds form Marchant Tailor’s Hall in London, and confermed under and by the hand of the worshipfull Collonell Ashenhurst and rest of inhabittantes generally.
But so it is: That your petitioner being lawfully minister is therefore unjustly persecuted and oath taken against most unjustly, falsely, and desperately, without either fear of God or reverence to man by a companie of Annabaptists, and. . . in a
conspiracie to undoe, discharge, and bannish your petitioner, whose malignancie appeareth at large.
“Wherefore your worships petitioner prayeth warrant against George Hatfield, Edward Hide, John Bennett, George Bennett, Thomas Waterhouse, of Heyfield, to be bound over to the good behaviour until they might prove the accusation against your petitioner, and he will duly pray for your health and happinesse”
Whether Parson Fisher was successful in his application against his persecutors is doubtful: anyway he was only at Hayfield one year, so that it almost appears that they made the place to hot for him. They were no mere men of straw, on the contrary, they were Hatfields, Hydes, Bennetts and Waterhouses all big folk in those days, their descendents are still with us. The Waterhouses were formerly big landowners at Hayfield, and their seat was the ancient Fox Hall or Old Manor House, which today is there with the date 1625, and the initials and armorial bearings of the old family. Although now split up into cottages the old mansion is there with it’s quaint oak carvings – a valuable monument of former days where Thomas Waterhouse held sway when he assisted to make things hot for Parson Fisher.
Diverting for a moment from the clergymen, it may be mentioned that it was about 1649 or 1651 that the Ashes Estate, in Kinder, first came into the hands of the Gee family by the purchase from Chapmans, of Row Lee, Woodlands. Whether the Gees were there before, as tenants of the Chapmans, we do not know. One of the Gees, the Rev. Robt. Gee, was vicar of Chapel-en-le-Frith in 1644 and another, the Rev. John Gee, was rector of Taxal about 110 years ago, and left charities to the poor of that district. The Ashes Estate has just been sold by Mr J. T. Gee to the Stockport Corporation, after being in his family for 260 years.
The Apostle of The Peak
In 1654 Anthony Buxton was the minister, but his stay was brief. As we have said before, these were troublesome times and in 1662 we find that a Mr. Higginbotham held the living of Hayfield. The Act of Uniformity came into force on August 24th, 1662, when 32 Derbyshire clergymen were ejected from there livings, among them being the Rev William Bagshaw, of Ford Hall, of whom so much, but not half enough, has been written. This good man so generally known as “The Apostle of the Peak” a title given him even in the parochial register of his burial at Chapel-en-le-Frith, was the eldest surviving son of William Bagshawe of Hucklow Hall, and Abney, and also of Ford Hall, which he purchased from the Cresswells. He was born at Litton on January 17th, 1627-8, and was a student at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, where he took a BA degree in 1646. Notwithstanding the opposition of his family he was able to carry out a long cherished desire of becoming a Presbyterian minister, and on January 1st 1651, he was ordained at Chesterfield by the laying of hands of the Presbytery, Immanuel Bourne, the Rector of Ashover, acting as moderator. Early in 1652, he accepted to vicarage of Glossop, in which parish the chapelry of Hayfield was situate, which he retained, not withstanding the offers of higher preferment, until St. Bartholmew’s Day, 1662. He then retired to his father’s house at Ford which was placed entirely at his disposal, and continued to be his residence until his death, nearly 40 years later. During the whole of this period, both in the times of adversity under Charles II, during the brief indulgence of James II, and throughout the toleration of William III, William Bagshawe was most zealous as a preacher. The Presbyterian congregations at Malcoffe, Great Hucklow, Bradwell, Charlesworth, Buxton, Ashford, Middleton, Bank End, Chelmorton, and other places throughout the Peak district were all founded and matured by his energy, discretion and devotion. He preached his last sermon at Ford Hall on March 22nd 1702, on the occasion of the death of his“ dear sovereign William of blessed memory” and died on the first of the ensuing April. He is buried in the chancel of Chapel-en-le-Frith Church.
This worthy man often preached in Hayfield Church: in fact, he was vicar of the parish, Hayfield being only a chapelry, and continued to visit as a Presbyterian after he had left the Church of England. One entry in his diary, under date January 5th, 1697, reads: “I went to Hayfield to J.W’s. A sudden death was spoken of.” His life was written by the Rev. John Ashe, of Ashford and published in 1704, and there are also notices of him in Hunters “History of Hallamshire” in Calamy’s “Ejected Ministers” in Urwick’s “Non-conformity of Cheshire,.”and in various biographical dictionaries and magazines. But the best and fullest account of the life and writings of the Apostle of the Peak is to be found in that fine work. “The Bagshawes of Ford” privately printed in 1886, and written by his descendant W. H. Greaves Bagshawe, Esq., J.P., of Ford Hall.
How the Quakers were penalised.
The Quakers were closely connected with Derbyshire at the time of their origin about, 1650, it was at Derby they got their name, and at Hayfield these well meaning but imperfectly understood folk gave a great deal of trouble to the authorities. Some of the leading people were Quakers, and they had their conventicles at their own houses. They were horribly treated, and one of them Jane Stones, was thrown into the water, shamefully abused, stripped to the waist, and whipped at the cart tail in Wirksworth Market. (Unreadable Line) separate those in Hayfield from others in New Mills and Chapel-en-le-Frith, as they worshipped in each other’s conventicles, and were hunted like partridges.
In the year 1659 “John Lingard, John Kirk, and many others, going to a meeting in the Peak Forest, were assaulted by Richard Briggs (a priest) and a company of rude people with him. John Kirk was sorely beaten by the priest himself, and the people following his example, beat and abused the rest, violently driving and pushing some, stoning others, pulling the hair from their heads, and lamentably bruising the bodies of James Harrison, Ralph Wild, Edward Lingard, John Goddard, Thomas Bowers, Ralph Ridgeway, John Lingard, sen. John Lingard, jun., Mary Lingard and John Ridgeway, so that they lost so much blood and were in great danger of their lives. All which un-Christian usage they bore with an innocent patience, not lifting a hand against their Persecutors”. Some of these were Hayfield people – the Ridgeways.
The Bower’s who were big folk, lived in the old Manor House at Torr Top, New Mills, pulled down when Union Road was made, and this pink of a priest was the parson of Peak Forest. The Quakers were liable to a penalty of £5 if they assembled for worship, with transportation for the third offence. Under this cruel statute men were exported to the Barbadoes and women to Jamaica, where they were practically sold to the colonists as slaves for the term of their punishment. In 1683 when the constables were ordered to present all Quakers in their respective townships, the constable of Bowden Chapel returns John Lingard, Mary Lingard, Elizabeth Lingard, three Quakers.
The Conventicle Acts declared all meetings of more than five individuals besides those of the family for any religious purpose not according to the Book of Common Prayer, seditious and unlawful conventicles. By the first of these acts the attendance at such a meeting was punished by a fine of £5, or imprisonment for three months or six months. For a third offence, by a fine of £100 or transportation for 7 years. The amended Act exacted fines, not only from those attending the house or field conventicles but also the owners of occupiers of such houses or fields and from magistrates or other responsible officials neglecting to enforce the provisions of the law. The fine for mere attendance was lessened, 5 shillings for a first offence, the fine upon the preacher was £20 which could be levied against upon the audience if the preacher fled or was a stranger or had no goods on which to distrain. The fine on the occupier of the house or the field was also £20. One third of the fine was paid to the King, one third to the poor and one third to the informer. There were always plenty of informers; if there was no one else, the clergyman himself managed the job.
Suffering of the Quakers - Their horrible treatment
Last week we mentioned the sufferings of the Quakers and others in the 17th century, with particular mention of those Nonconformists in the Hayfield district against whom the severe penal enactments of that day were enforced. This week we must continue the subject, mentioning, by the way once more, that the constable had to present to the Quarter Sessions a list of those in his parish who had not attended the parish church for a certain period. Some constables evidently obtained the assistance by a legal or educated pen in drawing up the presentments, and others made quaint efforts after correct phraseology. “But the most amusing are the illiterates, or those who for the sake of brevity bring the most divers subject into the closest juxta-position.” In the year 1683, the Derbyshire Quarter Sessions were held at Chesterfield and at that time William Newsome was constable of the parish of Glossop. His “presentment” is a choice bit, well worth preserving, for he reports: “I have no popeish recustantes nor grayhounnes, nor Quakers, nor guns to ye best of my knowledge with my liberty.” Fancy, mixing up guns and greyhounds with Romanists and Quakers.
At this time Nonconformity was most rife in the north of the County, and there were many convictions recorded under the Conventicle Acts. Sometimes the justices fined the same man for preaching and for being present at his own preaching, and this was done at the March Sessions,1689, in the instance of a Quaker Conventicle. The following is an exact copy of the conviction of these Quaker martyrs of Hayfield, New Mills and Chinley.
“Memorand that at the gen’all Quarter Sessions of the Peace, held at Bakewell, in and for the said County, the fifteenth day of July. In the sixe and thirtiethe yeare of His Matie’s Reigne that now is Robert Eyre, Esq., one of His Maties’ justices of the peace for this country, returned then into Court a certaine trespasse and contempt committed contrary to the forme of the Statute Entituled an Act to prevent and Suppresse Seditious Conventicles. The names of which persons together with their fines severally imposed upon them according to the tenour of the said record are hereafter mentioned.
Att Slackhall in the p’she of Chapple-in-the Fryth. Fines imposed:
Upon Jonathan Boden for teaching and preaching in and to the said Conventicle in pte: £20, his fine…. £3.6s 8d
Upon Anthony Boden by reason of the poverty of the said Jonathan as pte of the said £20 fine…. £3 6s.8d
Upon Ralphe Ridgeway by reason of Jonathan Boden.s poverty the same…. £3.6s.8d
Upon John Lingard by reason of the said Jonathan Boden’s poverty as pte of the said fine…. £3 6s.8d
Upon William Beard by reason of the poverty of the said Jonathan Boden’s as pte of his said fine…. £3 6s 8d.
Upon Jonathan Fisher by reason of the poverty of the said Jonathan Boden poverty as pte, of his said fine…. £3 6s 8d.
Upon the said Jonathan Boden of being present at the said Conventicle, the sum of 5s
Upon Anthony Boden for the like….5s
Upon Ralph Ridgway for the like….5s
Upon John Lingard for the like….5s
Upon Jonathan Fisher for the like….5s
Upon William Beard for the like….5s
Upon William Beard for Margarett his wife….5s
Upon Edward Lingard for the like….5s
Upon Mary Lingard, widdowe for the like….5s
Upon Mary Lingard, spinster, for the like….5s
Noe money paid into court upon this conviction by the justices - J. Adderley, Cl Pac.”
An odious Act..
These people had their goods sold or were sent to prison for attending service at the Slack Hall Conventicle, and as previously stated, were one was to poor to pay his fine it could be recovered from the others. It was a most odious Act. At the Epiphany Sessions, 1684, the constable who had to distrain in the Slack Hall case was called to account for the undue detention of goods seized, for there is in the County records a document, of which the following is a copy:-
“Ordered that the present Constable of Boden Chappell release from the hands of Thomas Moult, late constable of the same place, a curtaine p’ell of Stockins, by him destreyned of one , William Berd, of Slack Hall, for a fine imposed upon him by a conviction of a Conventicle before Robert----, Esq., one of his Matie’s justices of the peace of this County, and also what money the said Thomas Moult hath received for Stockins sould, allowing to him out of the same his reasonable charges, and that the present constable give an account thereby to this court at the next Quarter Sessions, and in the meantime comitt the sale of the remainder of the said Stockins, and answere the money at the said Sessions. And that Thomas Moult, late Constable, be discharged.”
Thomas Moult was not “discharged” before it was time. The Moults was not “discharged” before it was time. The Moults were a family of substance and position at Chinley, and their old burial place is at Chinley Chapel. Thomas Malt bequeathed 10s.to be paid from his estate, called “Wicken” in Chinley, to a schoolmaster or mistress teaching at Chinley School. A later generation of the Moults got to Mellor Hall. To get across to the Peakland village of Eyam is rather far afield, but it cannot be said to wander outside the scope of these articles when the Quakers of Hayfield and district are concerned. “An abstract of the sufferings of the people called Quakers etc, 1660 to 1666,” published in 1738, says: “For meeting together to worship God: On the 23rd of the 4th month, 1661, was a meeting at Eyam in the High Peak, whither came the Constable of the town with soldiers, and plucked down Elizabeth Deane, then praying, dragged her out of doors, and shamefully tearing her cloths, not suffering her to get on her feet. With like violence they pulled out the rest, some by the hair of the head, others by the legs with their heads on the ground. Being asked for their warrant they refused to show any, but carried the two friends before the justice of the peace, who required of them sureties for their good behaviour, which they refused to give, he made them mittimus to Derby Gaol: after which they were kept all that night in a barn, and next day carried to Crich, were they were kept another night in a room, many of them lying on the floor, not having so much as a little straw allowed them. Thus fatigued, they were the day after carried to Derby, being thirty-one men and ten women , namely: Here follows all the names, including many from this district, amongst whom are John Lingard, Anthony Waterhouse, George Shaw William Charlesworth, John Ridgeway, Wm. Brough, George Brough, Thomas Lingard, Godfrey Beard, Martha Shaw, Margaret Waterhouse, and Ellen Beard. “They were kept prisoners till the 18th of the 5th month when Ralph Sharples, William Yardley and Elizabeth Deane were sent before a bench of justices, who put the two men on a House of Correction. Ralph Sharples and William Yardley being inhumanly used by the cruel keeper, who put them into a close hole where they could not stand upright, nor could they have liberty to come out to ease their bodies, but must do it in the place. Their books and letters were taken away and not returned again, and when in that strait confinement they were praying to the Lord their keeper in a rage would come and strike them in the face, and attempt to stop there mouths, nor were their friends permitted to visit or relive them.
The “Toleration Act” marked a great step in the advance towards religious liberty. It exempted Dissenters from the operation of Elizabethan religious statutes, compelling attendance at church, on condition of them taking an oath, or in the case of Quakers, making a declaration against papal rule and supremacy. Dissenting congregations were allowed to meet for worship provided that there places of worship had been certified before the Bishop of the Diocese or before the justices in session. Registered meeting houses were to be protected against disturbances, the same as churches, all Dissenting preachers were required to take the oaths and subscribe all the articles of religion[excepting the 34th,35th and 36th] before the Quarter Sessions, or otherwise be liable to the Conventicle and Uniformity Acts of Charles II ; but all Papists and Unitarians were excluded from the benefits of the measure. At the Transfer Sessions, 1689, eighteen Protestant Dissenting preachers took the oaths, and were licensed in accordance with the new Act. Sixteen of the number were Presbyterians, amongst whom were William Bagshawe The Apostle of the Peak] and John Bennett.
Among those so licensed and registered in this district from 1689 to the end of the regain of George II were the following: In 1689, John Lingard, Quaker, Chinley; Reginald Bradbury, Quaker, Hayfield; William Beard, Quaker, Low Leighton; William Walklate, Presbyterian, Ludworth, John Lingard, Quaker, Slackhall; Edward Bower, Quaker, Torr Top; and Jonathan Boden, Quaker, Weathercotes. In 1690 Henry Kirke and John Robinson at Glossop; in 1692 John Hollingwood, Ludworh; Thomas Swindell, his barn at Mellor and Schoole House in possession of Mr. Cheetham at Mellor; in 1693 Benjamin Lingard, Slackhouses; in 1710, A Meeting House for Protestant Dissenting subjects in Glossopdale, called Charlesworth Chapell and the house of Elizabeth Hinch, widow, Ludworth, in 1713, “A public meeting house in Chinley.” For many years afterwards there was trouble with the Quakers who conscientiously refused to pay tithes and church rates. In the Hayfield churchwarden’s accounts for 1782 there is an entry, ‘Warrants and charges belonging the Quakers for not paying the Church rate.’ In the following year’s accounts there is an entry concerning the Quakers for 14s 3d.
It’s military movements in former days.
For the moment, we will turn aside from religious and ecclesiastical troubles in the Hayfield district, and endeavour to ascertain something about the past it may have taken in military movements in the days long ago. We confess that there is not much to be said, though doubtless the place took its full share in the defence of the country as parcel of the County of Derby. Under the Anglo-Saxons all men were required to bear arms as a sort of body rent for the land they held. By the Assize of Arms in 1131 every holder of land was bound to produce one or more men fully equipped or capable of fighting in the national defence. “Every knight was forced to arm himself with a coat of mail and a shield and lance; every freeholder with a lance and haubert; every burgess and poorer freemen with lance and iron helmet.” In 1558 an Act was passed were by every inhabitant having estate of value of £1000 and above had to find and maintain six horses able for demi-lances, with sufficient harness and weapons requisite for them, and ten light horses with harness and weapons, coats of armour, pikes, bows arrows, steel caps, black bills and guns etc. Those who had lands of less value had to find horses and weapons in due proportion to their income, and even those who had goods and chattels to the value of £10 or above and under £20 should find one long bow, one sheaf of arrows, with one steel cap or skull, and one black blackbill or halberd. Another section, declares that those inhabitants, other than those who are before charged, shall find and maintain at their common charges such harness and weapons as the Commissioners shall order, etc.
Te name by which the local forces was usually styled in the sixteenth century was ‘General Musters’ and when Elizabeth came to the crown she called out the county forces in a large number of shires and made a general order for the returns or equipment of such contingents throughout the country. The return showing the Musters for Derbyshire in the year 1558 is most interesting. The local items are: -
Bowden- Henry Bagshaw, gent, hath one cote of plate, two long bowes, too sheffe of arrowes, too steelle cappe and blacke bill. The seid towneship of Bowden hath harness and weapons for two archers and one bille man. Able men without harness in the same constablere. Archers vij-Bille men xxiiij.
Wormehyll- Anthony Schalcrosse, gent, hath one cote of plate furnysshed, one blacke bille, one longe bowe, one sheffe of arrowes and one steelle cappe. The constableerye of Wormehyll hath harness in redynes for one archer and bille man. Able men without harness in the same constablerye. Archers v-Bille men.
Glossope .The township of Glossope hath horses and weapons in redynes for one archer and one bille man. Able men without harness in the constablerye Archers xxii- Bille men xxii.
In 1574, a general return was demanded of the demi-lances, light horsemen and their equipment, when amongst those in the Hundred of High Peak, Leonard Shawcrosse, Lawrence Stafford presented one.
Last use of the bow.
On July 28th 1588, the very day that the Spanish Armada was being scattered by the English fire-ships, the Earl of Shrewsbury wrote from Sheffield to his energetic deputy-lieutenant, John Manners, earnestly requesting him, during this troublesome time, to cause a general watch to be kept day and night through out the country near Chapel-el-le-Frith, Glossop, Glossopdale and the Woodlands and to apprehend all vagrants as rouuges. He adds “I wish also the gentlemen to have their homes and armour in readiness to withstand the attempt against this realm by the enemies of God’s true religion, now daily expected. If they prevail on the sea we and ours stand in danger unless we stretch forth our whole power. All those we who have the custody of recusants must detain them close prisoners. ”
It has generally been said that the last serious use of bows in Great Britain was in the guerrilla warfare, carried on against Cromwell in certain remote parts of the Scottish Highlands, but the Derbyshire records afford proof of one, James Wintone, being “wounded in ye righte eye hande by an arrowe ” in a skirmish at Hathersage in 1647,
as alleged in his claim for a pension. This was clearly a bow used by the Royalists, for Wintone appeals to the Parliamentarians for a pension; and it is scarcely reasonable to suppose that this wounding by an arrow in the Peak was a solitary instance of the use of the bow. Many of the country gentlemen’s houses would be defended by these weapons.
In the time of the Pretender, 1745, a subscription list was raised for the support of a movement to raise-600 men in two companies in Derbyshire, but there were no subscribers from Hayfield, the nearest being William Bagshawe Esq, from Ford Hall, £50 and William Bagshawe, Esq, of Castleton, £20. But £6,169 7s was raised for this purpose.
In consequence of the threatened invasion by France, the Derbyshire Volunteers were formed in 1803. The North High Peak Corps wore a scarlet coat with a blue collar and cuffs, and white trousers. It will be interesting to Hayfield people to know that a company was raised was raised in Great Hamlet known as the ‘ Great Hamlet Volunteers ’ with 60 officers rank and file. Thomas Kinder was Captain, James Carrington and Thomas Lingard lieutenants, and James Marriott ensign. But Thomas Kinder soon had enough and resigned, James Carrington was promoted to the post of captain. Bowden Chapel raised two companies, with 120 effective rank and file, the officers names being Samuel Firth and Thomas Goodman, captains, Henry Kirk and Stephen Bellott, lieutenants, Thomas Gaskell and James H Pickford, ensigns. Glossop, Hadfield, and Padfield also raised two companies, the officers being George Hadfield, captain commandant, John Thornley and John Wood, captains; Joseph Hadfield and John Kershaw, lieutenants; and Moses Hadfield, ensign.
Equally interesting to Hayfield people will be the names of the officers of the High Peak Battalion, all of whom received their commission on April 19th, 1805: Samuel Frith, of Bank Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith [Squire Frith of Bank Hall], lieutenant-colonel; Samuel Oldknow, the cotton pioneer, of Mellor Mills, major; the captains were Thomas Goodman, ancestor of the present Captain Thomas Goodman, of Chapel-en-le-Frith; Stephen Bellott, of Combs, an ancestor of Mrs. J. C. Hyde, of Chapel-en-le-Frith; Ralph Fearn and James Radcliffe, of Mellor; and James Carrington, of Bugsworth, Hall. The lieutenants were James Harker Pickford, one of the Pickfords, big carriers at Chapel-en-le-Frith; Immanel Wilde, Henry Downes, Robert Slack, the founder of Slack’s paper mills at Hayfield, and Jonathan Bridge.
The Luddite Riots
It was about this time that the Luddite riots began in Derbyshire, and there was a branch of that seditious organisation in Hayfield, Several Hayfield people were enrolled in the secret society, and their delegates met in the most unfrequented places, one being the top of Kinder Scout, Park Hall and Spray House. On the general day of rising, all the better houses and estates were to be taken possession by them, but the Government spies were among them. Entwistle Hague, nephew of Joseph Hague, the philanthropist, lived at Park Hall at this time, and he proposed to build a dungeon where they might confine in safe keeping the captured outlaws, and to further the movement he laid down a good subscription in guineas. The freeholders followed in the same course, and the dungeon was built where it now is, the constable holding the key. Mr. Hague, for his own safety, re-solved to leave Park Hall and go to his house in Manchester. John Rangeley, the joiner, a powerfully built fellow, was taken into the carriage with him as his guard, but going through Stalybridge there was a riot. The rioters attacked the carriage and threatened to kill him. He had with him five hundred guineas in a purse, which he threw through the carriage window to the mob, and in the scramble made his escape and got to Manchester, but so great was the shock to his nervous system that he never came out of his house alive again. Time rolled on, and the Luddite conspiracy became more and more rife, but the Government had their eyes upon it, and had their spies among the rioters, having the names of all the delegates, leaders, and notables. At length a proclamation was issued allowing so many days of grace, and towns fixed upon, in which, and to where the conspirators might flee and be pardoned, but those who refused to embrace this privilege were to be hanged. The Hayfield conspirators lost know time but stole away up the Blindman’s Lane, by Highgate, Phoside, and away to Chesterfield, where they received pardon, and returned more sensible men.
In 1820 owning to a riot in those parts of Derbyshire and Lancashire that border on Derbyshire, a North High Peak troop. Commanded by Captain John White, of Park Hall, was added to the Yeomanry. This troop did important service in 1826, saving mills in Glossop and Hayfield from destruction by the mob.
Joseph Hague the Benefactor
Before making allusion to one of Hayfield’s most distinguished persons, we cannot but notice Joseph Hague, who may well be denominated Hayfields benefactor. But so much has been said, and so often, concerning this worthy that anything said here might savour of repetition, hence brevity. Born at Chunal in 1695, he was one of the men who began life with the traditional two and six pence, and attained to the opulence of Croseus
Joseph Hague’s first transactions were done over trudging the hills as a pedlar with a few small items in a basket. Then he bought a donkey, at 21 he settled in London and became a wealthy merchant. Indeed he became fabulously rich, and in the years of his retirement came to reside in Park Hall were he died in 1786, aged 90. Strange to say, all his 12 children ten sons and two daughters all died in their minority, and he adopted and left fortunes to a big family named Doxon, of Padfield. Eight years before he died he built and endowed the Charity School at Whitfield. He left interest on £1000 to be laid out in clothing for twelve poor men and twelve poor women out of the eight poor townships of Glossop Dale forever. He endowed the Whitfield School with a house and land at Low Leighton, in Bowden Middledale, left a guinea a year to the vicar of Glossop for preaching a sermon annually on the 26th of August, 5s for the clerk, and 15s 6d, towards repairing and keeping clean his vault at Glossop, Interest of £105, to the trustees of the school at Hayfield, this interest to be applied towards the education of ten poor children for ever. These sums accounting to £1,627 were laid out in the purchase of in 3% Consols, which in 1846 stood in the name of Thomas Wagstaff, of Highgate. The dividends amounted to £48 15s. 2d, of which, £37 5s 4d was paid to Glossop Dale School, £3 414s 6d to Whitfield School, £3 18s 2d to Hayfield School, £1 1s to the vicar of Glossop, 5s to the clerk, and £2 12s. 2d. per annum formed a fund for the repair of the testator’s vault whenever it should be required. Joseph Hague’s charities are still being strictly administered.
In Hayfield Church there is a sonorous mural monument in marble to Joseph Hague’s memory. It appears that the beautiful monument was first erected in Glossop Church, where the good man it commemorates is buried. The chancel of this edifice was to be rebuilt, and the churchwardens were sorely exercised as to the removal of the Hague memorial to a place of safety. Fearful lest it should be stolen [it cost £420, and was the work of the famous sculptor, Bacon], these sagacious Dogberrys placed it in the lock-up. When thus ‘in durance vile’ the occupancy of the cell was shared by a violent “drunk and disorderly,” who, in a state of liquid lunacy, commenced a violent attack on the white and silent bust. The monument to this day bears marks of the disfigurement. So discreditable a transaction excited the indignation of Captain White, of Park Hall, who had succeeded to the Hague estate, and he caused the monument to be at one taken out of custody, and erected in Hayfield Church, where it has received better treatment then it met with at Glossop. That is 80 years ago.
There is a strange sequel to this strange story, which is not without a tender touch of pathos. Many years afterwards an elderly stranger sought the parish clerk of Hayfield, and desired admission into the church to see the Hague monument. After gazing at the memorial with reverent earnestness for some time he expressed his satisfaction at seeing it so well cared for. The verger, concluding that the visitor was connected with the family, told him of the inglorious incident of the lock up. With tears in his eyes, the stranger stopped the recital of the story. ” Nobody knows that better than me,” he said, “I was the drunken man who knocked the monument about in the Glossop lockup. I have since been abroad for many years, and have only just returned to England. The damage I did to the monument often troubled my conscience and I have determined that as soon as I set foot in England again I would at once journey to Derbyshire to see what had become of it, and now I am satisfied.” It is an interesting story, and quite true.
Wesley Sermons Convert the Parson.
Mention has often been made of the Rev. John Badiley, and notwithstanding the risk of repetition, articles of this character would be incomplete were not some allusion made to this worthy, who played an important part in the history of Hayfield. To John Wesley’s Journals we are indebted for much information of him. He was a particular friend of the founder of Methodism, and was, in fact, converted through reading Wesley’s sermons. When John Bennett, of Chinley, one of Mr. Wesley’s earliest coadjutors, made a report in 1743, he said: “The minister at Hayfield, a church town within two miles form my fathers, is lately converted, and preaches the pure gospel of Jesus Christ. The town is up in arms against him, breathing out slaughter, not withstanding he is as bold as a lion, and not ashamed of the truth. Let thanks be given in the private society. I am to meet him next Tuesday, and take him most of your books. The first volumes of sermons he has read and this is the letter he sent to me: -
“Sir, - Having perused the sermons and weighed their orthodoxy, so far as my slender judgment may served by the standard of Primitive Christianity, I do ingeniously acknowledge myself inapprehensive of anything therein advanced either opposite to my own opinion, contrary to sound doctrine, or repugnant to that faith which was first delivered to the saints, and therefore deem the author [in my sentiment] highly worthy of double honour for his labour of love and work’s sake. John Badiley. .”
It was in this very year – 1748 – when Mr. Wesley recorded, “On Saturday, the 23rd of July last, there fell for about three hours in and about Hayfield, in Derbyshire, a very heavy rain, which caused such a flood as had not been seen by anybody living in these parts. The rocks were loosened from the mountains; one field was covered with huge stones from side to side. Several water mills were clean swept away without any remains. The trees were torn up by the roots and whirled away like stubble. Two women of a loose character were swept away from there own door and drowned. One of them found near the place; the other was carried seven or eight miles. Hayfield churchyard was all torn up, and dead bodies were swept up out of their graves. When the flood abated they were found in many places, some were hanging on trees, others left in the meadows or grounds, some partly eaten by dogs, wanting one or more of their members.” This was indeed a horrible spectacle. Most of the information concerning John Badiley, the parson of Hayfield, is in Wesley’s journals. There does not appear to be any record as to when he was appointed to the incumbency of Hayfield, and for this we have to look at the dates of Wesley’s visits to Hayfield, and the date of Mr. Badiley’s death in 1704 as shown on his tablet in the church. But an entry in the Hayfield Church registers; never before reproduced in print, is of interest, not only showing Mr Badiley’s local connections, but as fixing to some extent the date of his appointment to Hayfield. It reads thus:- “ Mr John Badiley curate of Hayfield, in the parish of Glossop and County of Derby, was married at Hayfield to Elizabeth Beard, his present wife, on the 10th of February in the year of our lord, 1740, by John Hadfield, curate of Mellor.” It will thus be seen that John Badiley was the parson of Hayfield when he was married to Elizabeth Beard in 1746. And Elizabeth Beard must have been his second wife, for the registers contain the entry: “1743, July 3rd, Mary, daughter to john Badley was baptised.”
John Badiley would, therefore, be the parson of Hayfield in 1745, when Dr. James Clegg, the minister of Chinley Chapel, wrote the following letter to the Rev. Ebenezer Latham, who presided over the celebrated dissenting academy at Findern: - “ I know you are very pleased with anything curious and uncommon by nature, and if what follows shall appear such I can assure you from eye witnesses of the truth of every particular. In a church about three miles distance from us the indecent custom still prevails of burying the dead in the place set apart for the devotions of the “wife” yet the parish not being very populous we can scarce imagine that the inhabitants of the county could be straightened for want of room.; It should seem so far on as the last of August several hundred bodies rose out of their graves in the open day of that church to the great astonishment and terror of several spectators they deserted the coffin and rising out of the grave, immediately ascended towards heaven singing in concert all along as they mounted towards heaven, ; they had no winding sheets about them; yet did not appear quite naked, their vesture appeared to be streaked with gold, interlaced with sable, skirted with white. The Church is in Hayfield, three miles from Chappell Frith, 1745. ”
If this be true, Hayfield folks must have had a resurrection on their own account, and those who lived in the days of John Badiley must have been delighted to have seen ‘several hundreds’ of the spirits of their ancestors all winding their way skywards.
In the Registers, we have the following entry abundance of people “ 1756, January
21st Anne Badiley, Intra” This is no doubt the favourite child that John Wesley buried when he preached in the Church to an abundance of people adding in his journal, “Who would have looked for such a congregation as this in the Peak of Derbyshire?” He was at Hayfield a good deal at this time. On May 4th, 1757; he “rode over to Hayfield and preached in the church.” And with the entry in the Church registers of Mr. Badiley’s interment, we conclude our notice of that good man. It is as follows: - 1764, September 29th, the Rev. John Badiley. Intra”
The parishioners built what is now the Royal Hotel as the parsonage for Mr Badiley, but it was conveyed to him personally, and at his death became the property of his wife. It was bought by the owner of the Park Hall estate, who, getting cross with the parson turned him out, and converted it into a public-house, known as “The Shoulder of Mutton.” Once more, it became the vicarage, and still again, it lost its “spiritual” character for spirits of another kind, and became the Royal Hotel when the present vicarage was built.
Godfrey Bradshawe’s Matrimonial Troubles.
After the thrilling account of the enclosure riots of 1868, as given in the last chapter, it is somewhat disappointing that we are not in possession of more information about Godfrey Bradshawe, who appeared to be the cause of all the trouble. It may be stated, however, that he was one of the powerful and famous family of Bradshawe, of Bradshawe, whose pedigree would fill a volume, and whose ancient seat is Bradshawe Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith. The notable Godfrey was the eldest son of William Bradshawe, of Bradshawe, a family whose lands in Bradshawe Edge were given them by the King of England for services rendered at the conquest. Godfrey’s mother was Margaret, daughter of Christopher Clayton, of Strine’s Hall, Cheshire, the old hall, now converted into cottages near Strine’s Print works.
Godfrey Bradshawe, who was born at Bradshawe Hall, on the 29th of September 1531, we are told, began his experiences of the troubles of life very early. At what date he married Margaret, daughter of Roger Howe, of Ashop, is not recorded, but as early as 1550, when only 19, he and his wife were quarrelling like children- they were, only children after all – and after ineffectual attempts “to cause them to continue lovingly together as man and wife,” their respective parents took the necessary legal proceedings to separate them, so that each might be enabled to marry again. We are told that the partition of the household goods was arranged for, and even the return to Margaret’s parents at Strine’s Hall of the clothes provided for a possible nursery. But the nursery never came, for the parties were quickly divorced, and afterwards Godfrey did not go far afield for a second wife. He married Emma the daughter of Anthony Shallcross, of Shallcross, quite a near neighbour, and it was during their married life that the serious troubles arose in consequence of his having enclosed a portion of his land at Chinley, when little short of murder was committed. The disturbances were eventually quelled, and we are told that the rioters, themselves all people of position in Hayfield, Chinley, and the district, were tried in the court of the Star Chamber; though what was the punishment they had to undergo we have not been able to learn.
In less than two years after the riots – on the 10th April 1570, Godfrey executed a deed of entail of Bradshawe on himself for life, with remainder to Francis, his eldest son and then to Leonard, Godfrey, Peter and Henry his other four sons, in tail male, in default to his three brothers, Henry of Marple, Francis and Anthony. In a list of the principal landowners in the High Peak for 1570 appears the names of Godfrey Bradshawe of Bradshawe, and of his wife’s brother Leonard Shallcross, of Shallcross.
When sometime about 1587, George, Earl of Shrewsbury, so celebrated in history as the custodian of Mary Queen of Scots, purchased a portion of Logdendale district of the Peak Forest, which was formally disafforested, for the purpose, a large quaint map of the whole of the divisions of the forest was prepared, on which are marked large parallelograms, painted vermilion, where there were pasturage rights. The section on the northwest of this plan, termed Longdendale, has “Great Waste” marked in various places over by far the greater portion of the area. There is, however, a small vermilion parallelogram between the towns of Glossop and Hayfield the herbage of which pertained to the Earl of Shrewsbury. A larger space of this section of the forest is marked
“ The Herbage of Chynley, otherwise called Mainstonefield, Godfrey Bradshawe, and other farms thereof.”
Godfrey Bradshaw lived to be 75. He died in the year 1607, and was succeeded by his oldest son Francis. He, too, was married when quite a child to Anne, one, of the four daughters and heiresses of Humphrey Stafford, of Eyam. Indeed, he was not much more than nine years old, according to the register of his birth, for the 4th of May 1565, appears to have been the day on which he was married. The highly interesting feature of the Elizabethan plan above referred to is a series of little outline pictures, illustrative of the buildings of the chief places within the forest district. It is most interesting as showing the antiquity of Hayfield, although the sketch of Hayfield is somewhat mutilated. The old church of Hayfield is shown on this plan of 320 years ago as a barn-like structure with a porch at the east end, where the path now crosses to the mill, a tower and spire near the centre, but slightly to the west, five semi circular windows on the south side, and three at the west end. The hamlet consisted of a few detached houses, dotted here and there at irregular distances all round the church. A portion of the hamlet at one side is torn off, but of the crude drawings to be seen, and by far the largest, appears to be Fox Hall, the ancient seat of the Waterhouses, and, judging from the distances and the situations, others appear to be Highgate Hall, Smithfold, Shudehill, Ridgetop, and other houses, some of which have long ago been swept away.
How the Poor Fared With the Land - A Famous Hayfield Sportsman
Deeply grateful for anything in the shape of sympathy with public rights as against private greed, the welcome reference in last week’s “Reporter” to our article on the riots in Hayfield and Chinley as the result of wholesale land grabbing between three and four hundred years ago, this must be the apology for once more reverting to the subject. If Hayfield folk are desirous of knowing how they have been deprived of their common lands they have only to see the enclosure awards, for the possession of which the Parish Council did much fighting during the time of Vicar Ricketts. They are in the council’s safe at the school, and any parishioner – or anybody else – can claim inspection.
To Him That Hath Shall Be Given
It is well known that one of Joseph Hague’s benefactions to Hayfield consisted of a plot of land at Leygate Moor. It was forty acres in extent and was left by Hayfield benefactor as a turfery to the poor of Hayfield for ever, at a time when poor folk never touched “1881”and were only glad to burn turf. It was known as “Poor Man’s Piece” and “Poor Man’s Wood,” and now as “Old Pitts,” but it appears to be utterly lost to the poor. When Mr. William Walker lived at Farlatrus in 1830 he xxxx out xx guide to Hayfield and Kinder, entirely at his own risk. Three years before that a little guide was issued under the sanction of the Hayfield and Kinder Scout ancient Footpaths association, which, though it did good service, resulted in a pecuniary loss to the association. One of Mr Walker’s motives was to assist in keeping open “such scraps of footpaths and bridle paths as the public can yet indisputably claim,” and on the 22nd of March 1880, Mr Walker read a highly interesting paper to the Manchester Literary Club with reference to these land transactions, in which he said, “A great part of Kinder Scout and the adjoining moors were, until lately, known as “King’s Land,” over which the public might ramble at their pleasure: but about the year 18 0 the whole of these lands were surveyed and allocated to various owners of contiguous lands according to the size of their holdings. No allotment, however, so far as we know, was made to the poor, or for their benefit, and it seems that since this time more than forty acre’s of what was known as “Poor Man’s Piece” and “Poor Man’s Wood” have disappeared from many modern maps. The award of acres may be thus tabulated: -
To the rich according to their riches …….2000 acres
To the poor, according to their poverty. …….0 acres
Moreover, minus upwards of ………………40 acres
It was a wicked act, a wilfully ignorant act, which gave thousands of acre’s of moorland, which could not possibly be brought under agriculture, to rich owners, for absolutely nothing. When a large part of King’s land on the Scout was surveyed no one had the courage to ask even for their rights. Farmers seemed willing, on getting their share of the allotment, to hold their piece, and the majority of the villagers were tenants of the larger landowners. It seems now that even the road to this turfery (“ Poor Man’s Piece”) is disputed and walled up. There are three causes for the present indifference of the people – first, village selfishness; second fear of landlords; third, want of means in those willing to try to save public rights. Surely it is as important that human beings should sometimes sniff the mountain air as sheep and moor birds.
The Old Corn Mill – The First Woollen Mills
We are going for a short time to leave the beaten track – the old houses and those that have lived therein, the ancient institutions of Hayfield, and the disturbances of our forefathers of centuries ago and lift the veil for a peep at the ancient industries of the tiny village at the foot of Kinder.
Rather should we have said such industries as were extant in former days, when there were only a few homes studded here and there, and nearly all the people had to exist by tilling the land or attending to the estate.
Next to agriculture and forestry – for, as we have said before, Hayfield was a portion of the ancient Peak Forest – there would appear to be little doubt that the oldest industry in the village was that carried on at the old corn mill, which stood for many hundreds of years by the river side, where all the folks for miles around brought their corn to be ground. So often has the explanation been made as to how New Mills got it’s name that it seems hardly necessary to repeat it on this occasion, but here it is. Bowden Middle Cale formerly comprised ten hamlets, Beard. Ollersett, Whittle, and Thornsett; Great Hamlet, Phoside, Kinder; Chinley, Bugsworth, and Brownside. About 160 years ago it was subdivided, three of the hamlets remaining attached to Hayfield, and the other four forming a township. But this is what we want to point out. We are told that previous to this division the inhabitants all ground their corn at a common mill in Hayfield, but that upon the division a new mill was erected upon the Kinder, in the hamlet of Ollersett, and the name New Mills was in consequence conferred upon the four hamlets.
There is something wrong somewhere. This generally accepted statement would seem to imply that up to the period mentioned there was no corn mill at New Mills or Chinley, but research proves that as a matter of fact there were corn mills at those places at quite as early as that at Hayfield. True, there may have been a new mill built at Beard, but on the site of the old mill.
Royal Corn Mills.
Now for proof. The corn mills belonged to the King, and everybody took their corn there to be ground. The minister’s accounts of the Duchy of Lancaster, from the reign of Richard the 11, on-wards, supply, various interesting particulars as to the receipts and expenditure in administering the affairs of the forest and bailiwick of the High Peak. The accounts for 1391, when Thomas de Wendesley was receiver and bailiff, supply the following as chief receipts; £132 5s 101/4d in rents from the towns of Litton Wardlow and from the wastes of Bradwell, Ollersett, Chapel-en-le-Frith. Etc.; £6 10s 8d for winter herbage at Edale, Castleton, Thornhill, Hope, etc.; £64 17s 4d, for summer herbage at Fairfield, Wormhill, Maynstonfield. (Chinley), Tideswell, Wheston. Edale, Coombs, etc.; £10 13s from the mills at Castleton, Maynstonfield (meaning Chinley), Tunstead, Hayfield, Chisworth, and Beard, with their fisheries; £30 13s 4d, for leadore; £6 17s 4d for passage and stallage and toll for cows at Chapel-en-le-frith; 25s for passage of pigs and 37s 6d for agistment.
Again. The expenses and the salaries of the Duchy of the year 1404 amounted to £319 5s 10,1/2
Which left a balance of £66 12s 11,3/4. A heavy item in the expenses, was the building of a new mill at Maynstonfield, £12 4s 1d. There were also repairs of the mills at Hayfield and Castleton, whilst a pair of mill stones for Beard cost 10s. A small item of interest is 2d. For a key to the toll book at Chapel-en-le-Frith. It should be remembered in dealing with figures that they should be multiplied by ten to represent the present day value of money. The mill at Chinley or Maynstonfield, by which it was then known, is beneath the railway viaduct at Chapel Milton.
Nicholas Bradbury, of Ollersett Hall, was holding, “the Queen’s Mill, Berde Mill or New Mill,” in the seventh year of Queen Elizabeth (1565). All of which go to prove that not only Hayfield but Maynstonfield (Chinley) and Beard (New Mills) had their own mills five hundred years ago.
A Hayfield Yeoman of 200 Years Ago - John Hyde of Allott Hey.
However desirable it may be to be given these articles on Hayfield’s ancient history in something like chronological order, with the mass of information that comes to hand from time to time it is next to impossible to do so. We have already mentioned the one time notable family of Hyde of Longlea and other places in the ancient chapelry of Hayfield, and we now turn to the copy of the will of John Hyde, of Allott Hey, near Hayfield, which was lent some time ago by a member of another old Hayfield family, since gone the way of all flesh. Coupled with the will is an inventory of John Hyde’s goods and chattels. The document is most interesting reading as showing the feeling of a Hayfield notable of 200 years ago, when he was about to render an account of the deeds done in the body, and additional interest is centred in the fact that his body was buried in the chancel. Here it is: -
“ In the name of God Amen. The fifth day of Ffebruary, Anno Domini, 1708. I, John Hyde of Allott Hey in the Parish of Glossopp and County of Derby, Yeoman, being weak and infirm of body, but of good and perfect mind and memory, thanks be to Almighty God, and calling to Remembrance ye uncertain estate of this transitory Life, and that all flesh must yield unto death when it shall please God to call, Doo make and declare this my last will and testament in manner and form following.
“First being, penitent and sorry for all my sins, I commend my soule unto Almighty God my Saviour and Redeemer, in whome and by whose merits I trust and believe. Assuredly to be saved, and to bow full Remission and forgiveness of all my sins, and to Inherit ye Kingdom of Heaven, and my body I commit to ye earth to be decently buried within the Chancell of Heafield in a Christian and decent manner, at the discretion of my executrix hereafter named, and for the settling of my temporal estate and such Goods, Chattels and debts as it hath pleased God to bestow on me.
I do order, give, and dispose of the same as followeth in form and manner ffolling, that is to say;
Imprimis, it is my will and mind that all my just depts and ffunerall expenses shall be first paid and discharged forth of my Goods and Chattels.
“Item. I give, Devise, and Bequeath all that my messuage house, out-housing, Lands, tenements, and premises with all and every other Apurtenances lying and being at Allothey, in the Parish of Glossopp and county of Derby afore-said, unto Ralph Hyde, my son, his heirs, and Assignees forever upon this Condition. Nevertheless and upon special trust and Confidence Reposed in him, that is to say, that he, the said Ralph Hyde, Doe forth of the said Lands and Tenements, heriditaments and premises, Devised as aforesaid well and faithfully discharge, and pay unto Gamaliel Hyde, my son, the sume of Tenn Pounds of lawful money of England within the space of one whole yeare next after my dissease, and that my son, Ralph Hyde Doe likewise well and ffaithfully discharge and pay unto John Booth, my son-in-law, the sume of Tenn Pounds of Lawful money of England within the space of one whole yeare next after my dissease, and likewise that my son Ralph Hyde Doe well and ffaithfully pay and discharge unto Hannah Hyde, my daughter, the sume of Twenty Pounds of Lawful money of England within the space of one whole yeare next after my dissease, and likewise that my son, Ralph Hyde, do well and ffaithfully pay and discharge unto my daughter, Elizabeth Hyde, the sume of Twenty Pounds of Lawful money of England within the space of one whole yeare next after my dissease.
“And it is my will and mind, also the true intent and meaning of these presents, that in case my said son Ralph Hyde shall att any time neglect and Refuse to pay such sume or sumes of money as is above bequeathed, that then and in such case itt shall and may be lawful to and for the same Gamaliell Hyde, John Booth, Hannah Hyde, and Elizabeth Hyde, my sons, and daughters and all or any of them to whome such sume or sumes of money shall be owing and unpaid to them, or their assignees, the same being due and payable as aforesaid to enter into the above devised messuage, Lands, tenement, Heriditamentt and premises with theire and every of theire appurtenances lying at
All they aforesaid, or into any part thereof, receive and take to his and her use until such payments and all charges about the same be fully paid and discharged.
“Item. I give and bequeathe unto my son, Ralph Hyde, One Bedstead standing in the Parler, and also one Table and Two fforms, One press, one Couch Cheare, one dishboard standing in the firehouse, and likewise all boards and shelfs in the said house together with all my husbandry ware.
“Item. I will that my Executrix hereinafter named Doe pay unto Martha Booth. My daughter, the sume of ffour pounds of Lawful money fforth of my Goods and Chattels within the space of one whole yeare after my dissease.
“Item. It is my will that my Executrix Doe pay unto John Booth and William Booth, my two grand children, other Tenn shillings out of my Goods and Chattels within the space of one yeare after my dissease.
“Item. It is my will that my Executrix hereinafter names Doe pay unto Martha Booth, my daughter, the some of ffour pounds of Lawfull money fforth of my Goods and Chattels within the space of one whole yeare after my dissease.
“Item. I give and bequeath unto Elizabeth, my daughter, one plaine pair of Bed-stocks standing in ye chamber over the buttray and one paire of Blankets, one paire of sheets, one boulster, one bedfilling, and one feather bed which I use to lye uppon, and one long cofer in the chamber.
“Item. I give and bequeath unto Ralph and Gamaliel, my two sons, all my wearing apparel, to be divided equally between them.
“And lastly, all the Rest and Residue of my personall Estate, Goods, Chattels,and Cattel whatsoever not already bequeathed and disposed of, I Doe give and bequeath the same unto Hannah Hyde, my daughter, and I do make her my full and sole Executrix of this my last will and testament, hoping that she will ffaithfully perform the trust herein Reposed on her, hereby Revokating and disannulling and making void all former wills and Requests by me att any time heirtoford made, declaring this only to be my last will and Testament, in witness wheiroof I, the said John Hyde, have heireunto putt my hand and seal the day and yeare above first written.”
“Signed, Sealed, Published, and declared to be the testators Last will and Testament in the presence of.
Thomas Goddard, John Buckley, John Bennett, and John Hyde.
John Hyde did not live long after he made his will. He was an old man and died the year following, and here is the inventory of the goods in his house at the time of his death:-
“A true and perfect Inventory Indented, of all and singular the goods, Cattel, and Chattells moveable and immoveable of John Hyde, Allot hey, in the Parish of Glossop, County of Derby, yeoman, lately deceased. Preised and valued this 29th day of August, Anno, Dom. 1708.
John Hyde left a total of £44 worth of goods, but this must not be judged from the value nowadays. He was a well to do yeoman, and the inventory gives us an insight as to the contents of a Hayfield yeomen’s house in days of old. That the old man died in the “parler” is evident, as his bed is there. And in the “parler chamber” was the Pillion and the Cloth that the ladies of the house had doubtless ridden on behind a man on horseback for generations when going to distant markets. And there were also the “coffers,” that held the money and treasure of the house, and the old oak chests, that may not be far away today. The brass and pewter were also there, and even the books, which one would like to see.
Mills that vanished long ago
We are going to make brief allusion to the ancient woollen and cotton cord mills of the seventeenth century, which we broke off rather abruptly a fortnight ago. Who would think that there had ever been a smelting works near Kinder Scout? Tradition tells us there has been, and it also informs us that once upon a time there was a Fullers Mill near the Ashes. And it is quite true, but centuries have passed since Hayfield folk plied their handicraft on the mountain sides of Kinder.
In a former chapter we have alluded to the fact that the old mill at Phoside – long ago clean swept away- was the first to be run by steam power. There were, in fact, two woollen mills in the Phoside Valley, the biggest of which was worked by Aaron Rangeley more than a hundred years ago. The Rangeley’s have been a famous family in Hayfield. Aaron Rangeley was a well known radical, and he died in 1868, soon after recording his vote for Sir William Jackson, the Liberal candidate for North Derbyshire.
“Old Phoside, too, we’ll not forget,
For it in former days
Had factories two, and those were what
Old Rangeley’s had, some says.
“Then down to old Phoside Mill he went,
As fast as he could run,
But stopped to view two old mills o’er
Where cotton once was spun.
“And who can tell his curious thoughts,
As he gazed upon the scene,
Where once machinery did hum,
Now clad with mosses green.
Most of Hayfield old industries were clustered about the church, the principal of which was the old Walk Mill, worked by old Kinder, who had a good many Parish apprentices bound with him to learn weaving woollen cloth. He always went by the name of “Old Kinder,” for he was a curious character, and a blustering, noisy fellow, who had most folks under his finger and thumb. For fifty years after old Kinder was laid in the church crypt the cloth spun at Walk Mill was still known in London as “Kinder’s Cloth.” The mill was afterwards worked by Eyre and Crowther, afterwards by George Eyre and Company, but half a century ago it was completely demolished. George Eyre married in 18 59 the widow of Joseph Bennett, who built Birch Vale Works,
The Old Corn Mill
The ancient corn mill of Hayfield was situated on the river side about 50yards below the bridge. It was a most picturesque object, and there are those still in Hayfield who can well remember the interesting relic, though the mill wheel had then ceased to go round. But it was in active operation 80 years ago when James Bennett was the miller. Perhaps the end of the old mill was on the 18th of June, 1858, when “some exceedingly heavy rain clouds, said to have been accompanied by a water-spout, burst over the county and in a very short time the black torrent tore up the mill weir, and washed away the back part of four houses abutting on the stream. The quarrying of millstones was another ancient industry that flourished here centuries ago. In these days of railways and motor traction it seems almost like a fairy tale to be told that millstones were got and made on the Scout, but it is quite true. All the millstones for this part of Derbyshire, and the contiguous parts of Cheshire and Lancashire, were got on the Scout, not far from “Mill Hill.” There are yet some of the old stones lying here or there on the moors near the old quarries, and there are the ruins of the old smithy, rendered famous in “David Grieve.” But with the introduction of steam power and the advent of the railways, the millstone quarries of the Scout were soon deserted.
When cutlery was made on Kinder.
Dealing with Hayfields old industries, one must be pardoned for diverting to mention that of cutlery making. What warranty there may be for the statement that cutlery was made here before it was known in Sheffield is a mystery. Any statement must be taken with a very big pinch of salt, but undoubtedly the cutlery trade was carried out in Hayfield 270 years ago, for we have in a previous chapter mentioned that one of the popish recusants presented to the Quarter Sessions in 1634 for absence from church was “Nicholas Wilkinson, of Hayfield, cutler.” It is a fact too, that a piece of flat land at the bottom of the Kinder valley, formally common land. Was known as “Cutler’s Wheel,” or “Cutler’s Green,” and probably it was here where Nicholas Wilkinson plied his handcraft centuries ago. The land was enclosed in 1830, and in later years the Kinder print works were built upon it.
Hayfield’s “Clothiers” of old.
In many old books and documents we find a few of Hayfield’s former inhabitants designated as “clothiers.” To some extent this may appear to be somewhat misleading, but the explanation would appear to be that those engaged in the small woollen mills of the district were then so described.
We are told that “hunting, bull and bear baiting were the favourite sports of the ancient inhabitants of Hayfield, but on the introduction of commerce they earned high wages, and, indulging in luxury, became effeminate, and their rude sports began to decline.”
This is rather rough on our ancestors. But what is more to the point just now. The same esteemed writer tells us that: The manufacture of wool and cotton was introduced here at a very early period.” Speaking nearly half a century ago, he said “Ninety-five or a hundred years ago cotton was spun in a building now known as the “The Barracks” and woollen cloth was woven in nearly all the third stories of the houses. In the carding of cotton the engines were about twelve inches wide, and were turned by hand. A child of six or eight years old was placed on a stage or a stool, and turned the engine. Wool was carded by the hand between two cards stitched on two braids, which were worked backwards and forwards until the staple was ready for spinning. Spinners at that time earned good wages, but were much given to drinking, and they showed dogged opposition to the introduction of improved machinery.”
The Grotto Mill, and Hayfield’s Mayor
What about the old Grotto Mill, which many of us remember standing where “Grotto House” now stands on the riverside? Ah, these, old mills of former days have their histories, and perhaps the Grotto Mill has one of the most interesting. Who built the Grotto or Ned Mill, as it was sometime called, we don’t know, but certain it is that the old water wheel was put down in 1787, and remained there over a hundred years, until in 1890 the late Mr. Ollerenshaw, wheelwright, replaced it on the sight of the old corn mill wheel-race. Nearly a hundred years ago the Grotto was worked by Joseph Bowden and later by John and Benjamin Bowden, Joseph Bowden was the Hayfield big pot; indeed it was in 1844 that he was elected Mayor of Hayfield, when a grand dinner was given in his honour of his accession to the office. The Bowden’s worked the old mill until it closed.
“What a strange place! How is the case?
The Grotto comes behind.”
“Oh what a tale he might tell of
This little ancient mill;
How many years it has been turned
By Kinder’s limped rill.”
“How many masters it has seen;
O’er it how many fights;
For though it’s waters stand between
It has no water rights.”
“Those who had gold, who worked this mill,
Soon made that gold away;
While others who began with none
Made the froth pay.”
“Among the honours of this place
It comes in for a share,
For whomsoever it did debase,
It raised Hayfield’s Lord Mayor”
Grotto Mill and Hayfield’s Mayor
In a previous chapter Mention was made of the old corn mill, and the last miller,
James Bennett, 80 years ago. When the mill was stopped he removed to Hope. And long after, when the famous mill was in ruins, a local poet composed a poem on the mill. One verse of which ran: -
“The old corn mill is at a stand;
It used to grind corn at the farmers hand,
But with old age it’s tumbled down.
And it’s a disgrace in Hayfield town.”
But long before James Bennett’s time Daniel Barber was the miller. He was a brother of the Rev. John Barber, twice president of the Wesleyan Conference. A fine old Hayfield family were the Barbers, and Wesleyans from John Wesley’s time.
The Barbers of Phoside are buried in the crypt, and their old home at Phoside known no more.
“ Up this serene but lovely vale
Live farmers young and old;
George Barber (some say) loves strong ale,
And life at Newhouse Fold.”
“John Barber and his brother Joe.
Who many know so well,
Cart goods from Stockport, we all know,
And Joe old tales can tell.”
“Then down to the Newhouse he sped,
Crossing the brook below,
Where George Barber, whom we know well,
Lives with their John and Joe.”
“Up there he takes another view,
Up that sweet, lovely vale’
While Joe, to raise his fancy high,
Tells him some good tale.”
The Old Corn Mill
The Garlicks and the Kellets were notable people in Hayfield a hundred years ago. The Garlicks were big cotton folks, as big folk went in those days, and had one of the oldest mills. James Garlick, “dealer in cotton,” was one of the first trustees of the Wesleyan Chapel in 1780, and John Garlick, “a great reader,” could recite “Paradise Lost” almost from beginning to end. The Kellets were a big family, and one of them, Jesse, was very fond of taking snuff, married Martha Garlick, and Edward Kellet was killed in Holland. Eighty years ago Aaron Shepley was a cotton spinner at “Little Clough,” and forty years ago John Lees and Co. made buckram, a of coarse linen cloth stiffened with gum, at the Buckram Mill in Bank Vale:
“The Bank, and Clough, and Paper Mill,
The Buckram and Scotch Row,
The Toll Bar, Throstle, and Brown Hill,
And Bowden’s just below.”
More than eighty years ago George Redfern made his cotton banding in Hayfield;
Thomas Bennett and Co., Joseph Bowden, Aaron Rangeley, and Samuel Ridgeway and Co., at Clough Mills, were cotton spinners; George Eyre and Co. made woollen goods at Walk Mill; and Thomas Steel and Co., were silk manufacturers and spinners at Bank Vale. How many are there today in Hayfield who know that there was once a silk factory at Bank Vale?
The Wood Printworks
In the forth decade of the last century, the Wood Printworks, then known as “Wood Mill,” was worked by Messrs. Taylor and Lucas, calico printers, and Edward Lucas, brother of Charles Lucas, one of the proprietors, was then book-keeper. Edward Lucas married a Miss Wass, of Darley Dale, one of the family of well-known lead proprietors there, and a relative of the Rev. Samuel Wass, who was then vicar of Hayfield. He was a big, fine looking fellow’ a Tory of the Tories, who was always in the forefront of the political battles in North Derbyshire, one of the strongest adherents of the Church of England, and a churchwarden at Hayfield.
Hayfield itself is not rich in ancient crosses, but it is highly interesting to know where in this locality there are to be found these pre- Norman crosses that marked the setting out of ecclesiastical bounds soon after the conversion of England had become an established fact, and when Christianity was becoming definitely organised, and ceasing to be more scattered groups and missionary stations.
In 1640 it was proposed to divide 356 acres of the wastes and commons of Mellor equally between the King and the tenant. This part was marked with several crosses. At the extreme north of the tenants, portion is a curiously designed landmark, called “Arnfield’s Pouls.” This outline drawing has the appearance of a pole, or slender shaft, affixed to the top of a somewhat elaborate cross base. One of the six roads, which meet at this point, is still called “Pole-Lane.” It runs along from Shaw Marsh by the Castle at New Mills to Jordan Wall Nook, and there is no doubt that it took it’s name from a Robert Arnfield, whose house and land are figured on another survey. Jordan was the name of another tenant in adjoining lands, hence the name “Jordan Wall Nook.” This pole or cross is described in a survey of 1695 as parting the hamlets of Whitle, Thornsett, and Mellor, and there is today at this spot, at the junction of two of the roads just past Jordan Wall Nook, a large piece of roughly hewn boulder stone, and over the stone wall is another considerable fragment, which authorities consider probably the remains of the base of Arnfield pole or cross when it was broken up. Other crosses marked on the Mellor section of the 1640 map are respectively designated “the Bingwood Crosse,” the “Mellor Crosse,” and “The Stafforde Crosse,” all of them on boundaries.
“Robin Hood’s Picking Rods,” restored by a number of “antiquarians” in Hayfield and the district a few years ago, are so well known that little need be said. But the 1640 map contains at the extreme north-west angle of the Mellor division an outline drawing, lettered “the two standing stones” which are elsewhere called “The Maiden Stones”. The pair of stones stand at an important boundary point where the township of Ludworth, Chisworth, Mellor, and Thornsett meet. For more than a century they have been known as “Robin Hood’s Picking Rods,” but such a name was obviously in the seventeenth century.
What is known as “the Abbot’s Chair,” on the Monks road, is really an old socket, presumably for a large cross. It was in this division that the Abbot of Basingworke had considerable rights and a large grange, and possibly this stone may have obtained in pre-Reformation days. It is significant, too, that it also stands on the exact spot where the boundary is defined,
But perhaps one of the best-known crosses in the district is that at Edale Head, near Hayfield, known as Edale Head Cross, for it stands by the old British track way from Hayfield over Kinder, into Edale Valley. It stands at the highest point (1,750 feet) of this much-used pack-horse route. The cross has now no base, and seems to have been moved more than once. The head is a Latin Cross, and incised within it, on the side towards the track, are lines forming another cross, and within this; “I.G., 1810.” Authorities declare that this particular cross can claim to be a forest, as well as a parochial boundary, for near this spot the forest wards of Ashop and Edale, and of the Campana met. About a 120 years ago the old cross at Edale Head was thrown down by some drunken men, and broken. It lay imbedded in the peat moss for many years, until Mr. John Gee, of the Ashes Kinder, grandfather of Mr. J. T. Gee, re-erected it in the year 1810, and with the sharp point of a pick cut his initials and the year upon it. Formerly it was of considerable altitude, but a large portion of the shaft has been broken off, probably when thrown down. It still stands in its original position, and its standing behind the wall is explained by the fact that the wall was not built until about the year 1838.
Old Captain White’s Adventures
We repeat, the Hayfield enclosure awards are exceedingly interesting, but no more so than those of any other parish. When the law of the land gave such big pieces of country to the landowners, Captain White was the big pot, not only of Hayfield, but all the countryside. He was the magistrate for the district, and a terror to evil-doers and everybody else. And since it is only 43 years since he went the way of all flesh there are plenty of middle-aged people who well remember him, and can relate some good stories concerning him. But it was as a sports man that Captain White was most famous; indeed, he was one of the best-known sporting celebrities in England during the first half of the last century. He was the son of a Manchester doctor who had made his fortune, and Jack White know no profession but that of sport from his birth in 1791 to his death in 1866 at the age of 75.
As a chatty writer said quite recently, “His success as a gentleman rider was extraordinary. In 1823, when riding for Mr Larabton, he rode nine out of ten winners at Stapleford Park. The Croxton Park and Hinton Park meetings also witnessed his many triumphs, and even when he was 43 years of age he trained down ten pounds between a Wednesday night and the following Friday morning. But his greatest feat was one of endurance. He began a certain winter day with two good runs with the hounds of 40 minutes and 70 respectively, the second kill taking place 34 miles from Melton.
White returned, changed, had a chop and a cup of tea, and then rode home from Melton to Hayfield, a distance of 75 miles. Crossing the Derbyshire moors in a blinding snowstorm. He arrived at Park Hall at seven o’clock at night, having ridden 160 miles since breakfast. Captain White left Melton in 1842, and was Master of the Cheshire Hunt for twelve years. His falls were innumerable, but nothing broke his nerve, not even when his horse fell on him in a drain, crushed his chest and three ribs, and smashed his collar-bone and his ankle. His last bad accident was to alight in a green pond and have another horse and rider jump in on the top of him. Captain White was also an enthusiastic cock fighter. He always fought a main every year with the Earl of Sefton and the Earl of Derby, and in the great match at Melton between Smith Barry and Johnnie Blunt for fifteen hundred guineas the latter was cocked by White, who won by a single battle. Such a man was naturally the hero of the countryside-at least, of the unregenerate countryside.
This is what “Nimrod” once wrote of the famous old Captain: “Captain White may safely be placed amongst the hardest and best riders of England, and taken in the double capacity of a rider of races and a rider of hounds is decidedly the very best. I consider him, indeed, the exemplar of horsemen, for he has every attribute. In addition to an elegant seat he has fine hands, a quick eye. Good temper, and undoubted nerve, despite the awful falls he has had. With hounds it has been said that he has never been out in his life, whether he liked his horse or not, that he did not try to get to them.
And it will be remembered that he once played a duet with Mr. Assheton Smith when every other man was beaten. Viz., on that memorable, when hounds ran nineteen mile point blank, as the song said; “White or the right, sir, midst the first flight, sir; is quite out of sight of those in the rear”
With this extract we must for the present dismiss the old sportsman, a true old English gentleman, who “bossed the show” at Hayfield, dispersed justice or rather law at Hayfield, Glossop, and Chapel-en-le-Frith, captained the militia, chucked the parson out of his house when he offended him, and turned the vicarage into a public house, and when he had got another parson of his own way of thinking pulled down the sign and again turned the inn into the vicarage, repeating the same thing later, until in 1869 a new vicarage was built, and the old renamed as the “Royal Hotel.” He also “Sat on” his inferiors at the workhouse, for he was chairman of the board of guardians for a good many years.
It took a magistrate to tackle the big Captain White, of Park Hall, but Edward Lucas did it, and won. The appointment of the vicar of Hayfield was then, as now, in the hands of the free.
18th Century Prosperity
Hayfield’s old mills were clustered on the banks of the stream close to the church, and that the wheels were going merrily round in the middle of the 18th century is well authenticated by the entry in John Wesley’s journal, where he says; “On Saturday, the 27th of July last (1748) there fell for
about three hours in and about Hayfield, in Derbyshire, a very heavy rain, which caused such a flood as had not been seen by anybody living in these parts. The rocks were loosened from the mountains; one field was covered with huge stones from side to side. Several water mills were swept clean away without any remains. The trees were torn up by the roots, and whirled away like stubble. Two women of loose character were swept away from their own door and drowned. One of them was found near the place, the other was carried seven or eight miles,”
Such is the crude account of an interesting event in Hayfield’s history, only preserved to us by Mr Wesley, the founder of Methodism. It would be still more interesting to have known who were the owners occupiers of those mills that were swept away by the floods 160 years ago, but we learn something from the original trust deed of the Hayfield Wesleyan Chapel. The work done in the primitive mills laid the fortunes of many of Hayfield’s leading families. The pioneers of Hayfield Methodism were engaged in the trade carried on thereto, for of the dozen trustees who secured land and built the Wesleyan Chapel in 1780, Thomas Marriott the younger; Shudehill, and Joshua Marriott were “clothiers” George Mellor was a “Flax Dresser,” while William Lane, John Lyne, James Garlick, and James Trevitt were all “dealers in cotton.”
The Chapel at Walk Mill
They were exciting times when, in “the thirties,” the splits occurred in the Wesleyan body.
The Chapel Walk Mill has a history peculiarly it’s own, which, though known to many of those who have borne the heat and burden of the day, is quite unknown to others. The story will well bear repetition. In the olden days children were sent to work at six or seven years of age, from early morning till late at night, and the only smattering of elementary education they got was in the Sunday school, where writing was taught. The Wesleyan Sunday School at Stones Head was long the only institution of the kind in Hayfield, and the Walk Mill Society had its origin in the action of the superintendent minister of the New Mills Wesleyan Circuit, and a majority of the teachers and members of the Hayfield Methodist Society prohibited writing being taught on a Sunday. This was about 1836. What sort of a “rumpus” there was may be gathered from the terms of an agreement which some of the leading people had to sign, and, of course leave the school. Here it is: -
“We, whose names are here undersigned, do agree to all the proposals made by the Rev. Mr.Bunting to us this evening, and are desirous that no further steps be taken against us.
1st. We agree to go out of the trust of the school, and to sign any deed or instrument to that affect, and to secure the incoming trustees from any trouble on our account.
2nd. We, agree to pay all arrears up to the time specified, which is November 15th, 1836, and to give up to the opposite party, namely, John Ridgway, John Walker, and Samuel Waterhouse, all the books and internal fixtures of the school as they stood when we took it in hand. We further agree to pay twelve pounds ten shillings as one-half of the expense of the proceedings made against us, and transfer of the property to be made. As witness our hand this first day of October, 1836, John Waterhouse, David Taylor, William Cook, Noah Lyne. Joseph Bowden, John Pritchard, Joel Mason, John Walker, jun., witness.”
The expelled secured the upper room at the bottom of Cote-Lane, over the late Edmund Turner’s house. It was entered from the gable end, up a flight of stone steps, and here it was they had their religious services and Sunday school. They did not allow grass to grow under their feet, for on December 31st, 1836, they formed a committee for the government of the school as follows: Joseph Bowden. John Pritchard, Joel Mason, Noel Lyne Aaron Hyde, Thomas Lee. John Turner, Joseph Brocklehurst, David Hurst, John Bowden, William Gee, James Walker, Edward Lyne and William Stafford.
The Wesleyan Methodist Association (now the United Methodist Churches) being formed about this time, Dr. Samuel Warren (hence the name “Warrenites”) visited Hayfield, and the newly formed society threw in their lot with the association, and in 1837 erected a chapel on the share-holding principle as was done at New Mills. It was a small building. The foundation stone was laid in May, by the Rev. Anthony Gilbert, and the same gentleman preached the opening services on September the 29th. These were the first trustees of the chapel: Joseph Bradbury, overseer of the poor for the township of Hayfield; John Beard cordwainer, New Mills; John Michael Mosley, surgeon; Thornsett; Joseph Bowden, Walk Mill, Hayfield; John Brocklehurst, innkeeper; Joseph Turner, cordwainer, Hayfield; John Thornton, the elder, and John Ridgway, cotton manufacturers. How interesting it is to see these names of the old stalwarts crop up from time to time. Of course, all the shareholders soon transferred their shares to the trustees.
There was soon trouble in the camp, and some of the seceders again seceded. In fact Dr. Warren himself, the first president of the new denomination, who was superintendent of the Manchester First Circuit, soon proved himself out of harmony with his surroundings, and entered the Church of England. His friends soon built for him the Church of All Souls, Every-street, Manchester, only a year or two after his visit to Hayfield, and he was the parson there for the remainder of his life. It will be seen from the names that some of the Hayfield seceders returned to the parent body, where their descendents still remain. Even those in the newly formed society got in the law courts, for they were troublous times. The teachers and the society paid a rent of £8 per year to the trustees, and a majority of the latter demanded £2 a year more. This the teachers refused to pay, and when the arrears had piled up to a good sum Mr. Henry Howard and Mr. James Walker were sued in the County Court, and had to pay them in full. After this things got still warmer, and on May the 29th 1849 there were lively scenes when the teachers were ejected from the premises. But they took refuge in an upper room over some cottages belonging to Isaac Rangeley, at the top of Hayfield, the very same place that had been used by the Wesleyans, who occupied it when one of the beams gave way, and one of the audience cried out, “Give me my hat and our Mat.”
In this humble spot a grand work was carried on for some years. Here a building fund was formed for a new chapel, and about 1851 and 1852 ground was actually staked out, first at the bottom of Cote-Lane and next to the site of the Board Schools, but both were abandoned, for by a curious stroke of fortune the old premises at Walk Mill were sold by public auction at the George Inn, by order of Mr.Thornton and others, and were knocked down to Mr. Thomas Cannavan, the foreman printer at the Wood Printworks, who bought them for the teachers and society for £225.
Having got back to their old place, a new trust was formed on a more satisfactory basis, the trustees being James Walker, James Bowden, Abraham Massey, Wm. Howard, Samuel Howard, Robert Turner, Thomas Brocklehurst, James Wild, George Pureglove, Ishmael Pureglove, John Garside, Joseph Howard, Charles Hurst and James Mason. The opening services were held in March, 1855, and at a meeting held April 30th it was resolved that the name of the chapel be “Redemption Chapel.” And “Redemption Chapel” it was for something like a dozen years, but in1865 the old place was taken down, and the present chapel and school built at a cost of £800, the old material being used up in the new building. The foundation stone was laid by Miss Waller of Mellor, and Mr Waterhouse, of Chinley, was the contractor. Mr, Joseph Bowden, of Walk Mill, had dealt very liberally with the trustees, for he had sold them for a nominal sum. Curiously enough the church had been previously been served by the rev. James Wilson the Independent, of Charlesworth, and he preached the opening sermons of the school in October, 1866. The chapel was opened in 1867 and on the last Sunday of August, 1871, the organ, which had cost £220, was opened, the sermons were preached by a Wesleyan minister, the Rev, John Archer, of Bradwell. Recent extensions and improvements are well within the recollection of our readers.
A Cold douche at a watery Hey.
Of jottings concerning former parsons at Walk Mill a book could be written. It was during the ministry in 1838 of the Rev.William Ince (who was here again from 1856 to 1858) that John Clayton after his conversion, wished to be immersed in baptism, as in New Testament time, and Mr Ince performed the ceremony at Watery Hey. In those days there was no Kinder Printworks, and at Watery Hey there was a large volume of water and a very deep pool. One can imagine the crowd that assembled on the banks to see John Clayton “douched” in the water. His successor was the Rev. Joseph Townsend, who was the first missionary of the denomination to Australia, and who preached his farewell sermons a week before his departure at the school anniversary in the upper room near the Junction Inn.
Quaint Samuel Massey.
The Rev. John Gutteridge, a well-known man, was Mr. Townsend’s colleague for a short time, and he delighted to tell the following choice anecdote of Rev. Samuel Massey (1840) who was father of Abraham and Nathan Massey, well- known schoolmasters, the former at Hayfield, and the latter at Little Hayfield and Chelmorton. Mr. Gutteridge says that among the members of the church at Hayfield there was a leader very zealous for the cause of religion, but of exceedingly quaint manners. It so happened that a local preacher having to supply a distant appointment, had, in consequence thereof to neglect his class, which met on the Sunday afternoon. The leader requested Mr. Gutteridge to undertake it, but he declined, and asked him to get Brother Massey, assigning as his reason for doing so his desire to hear him, having heard so much of his singularity of manner. “And” continued Mr. Gutteridge, “I will be one of his flock.” The appointed hour came, and the little group sat in their accustomed places. The meeting was composed of Mr. Gutteridge and a few aged sisters, and when singing and prayer were over the leader said to one of the sisters “Well, and how are you getting on?”
Among other things she said she wanted to be more useful. “Well” added Mr. Massey. “ I tell thee, when thi’ house is swept, and beds made, the washing done, and the stockings darned; sit thee down and bethink thee. Then gown and pray wi’ yon sick woman, and help the other poor sister, and if tha wants to be useful tha’ll find plenty to do; and Lord help thee.” He then came to Mr. Gutteridge, who was always very particular in his dress, and said to hime: “Well” and howe are thee getting on?” “ I expected some thing queer,” said Mr. Gutteridge, when telling this incident to some friends afterwards, “and so I thought I would make a remark to which he could take no exception. I said ever since I was converted I have had a desire to become more holy, more humble, and more useful. Old Mr. Massey, casting his searching eye over Mr. Gutteridge’s dress, exclaimed; “More humble! Want to be more humble, dooes’t thee! Ah! I have known a lot of young preachers, and a prouder lot of young scamps I never met with. Get thi down thi knee; I’ll pray for thi!” And he placed his hand on Mr. Gutteridge’s shoulder and nearly pressed him down. I could not help,” Said Mr. Gutteridge, “turning up and glancing to see what a grotesque figure the old man looked as stood over me with his hands placed on my shoulders, and uttering in his prayer; Lord, I believe thou’lt make this chap useful; but keep him low. Lord; keep him low; jam him down in the ash hoil.”
In a sketch of this kind the list of ministers cannot be given, but mention may be made of the Rev. Benjamin Glazebrook, who was here in 1852. He was a good preacher, an excellent controversialist, a poet, and a writer of no mean order. There are still some in Hayfield who will remember when the Latter Day Saints visited Hayfield and tried to obtain converts by holding open-air meetings on Dungeon Brow, how they invited discussion, and Mr. Glazebrook accepted there invitation, and scattered their arguments in favour of Mormonism to the winds.
The worthies of Walk Mill are legion-James Walker, who lived to be 82; William Howard, a saintly man; Robert Trickett, and many others.
A cobbler to a parson rose,
And went off far away,
To preach the gospel unto those
Who from the lord did stray.
There’s many in the graves do lie
Who here have useful been,
We’ll try to count them very nigh
But miss a few between.
We’d Crowther, Wass, and Brock and Rodd,
I know not which was best;
They were the ministers of God,
But some had gone to rest.
We’ve Wright and Cleminson, and Parr,
And local preachers too;
J. Mortin, he is going far,
I know not whereunto.
Colclough and Bailey we may say,
Are doing all they can;
They sing and preach and often pray,
For sinful dying man.
Primitive Methodism’s Rise and Progress - How The Chapels were built.
Apology is due to our Primitive Methodists friends at Hayfield, as the second oldest body of Nonconformists in the village for placing them just one week out of chronological order. It is always a matter of regret when old records have been destroyed or allowed to go astray, and doubly so in the case of a movement that was destined to become one of the most powerful religious bodies in the country. Yet, we are afraid it is so with Hayfield primitive Methodism. It is well known that the whole of the Peak District was misioned from Bradwell in the early twenties, and by 1823 the Bradwell circuit included Glossop, New Mills, Hayfield, Buxton, Chapel-en-le-Frith, Marple, Disley, Tintwistle, and all the places within a radius of forty miles. But there was not a single chapel anywhere but Bradwell, for although there was something like 50 preaching places, they were in farm houses, buildings, cottages, or rooms hired for the purpose. At any rate, in the year 1824, there was a society at Hayfield, for it sent its “class money” to the quarterly meeting at Bradwell.
Little Hayfield First In The Field
I can scarcely be conceived that the “Ranters” of those days met with very much opposition at Hayfield; at any rate, they had their friends, when they came from Bradwell to hold open - air services at Hayfield, for from the stone steps at Joseph Hadfield’s house, in what is now Church-stone, they held forth. No one seems to know who this friend of the early pioneers was, but we believe we are right in saying that he was Joseph Hadfield, the bootmaker, who was sticking to his last in those days, at Top ‘o’th Town, where his ancestors had long been before him, and where his descendants remained. In 1825 the new society had got a roof over it’s head, and was conducting services at Bullshaw Farm, which remained it’s headquarters a long time. Other doors opened, and for many years the cottage meetings were held.
To Little Hayfield belongs the credit for having built the first chapel, a good many years before it’s bigger neighbour ventured to undertake a similar responsibility, and we venture to suggest that the cause of this was that right away from the beginning the houses where the services held were always somewhere about the Clough.
Of course the little society had its vicissitudes, and we find that in 1846 preaching services were held in the house of Septimus Ferns, but little progress was made until 1848, when a Sunday school was commenced. It was held in a chamber at Clough Mill, and Mr John Alcock supported the little cause financially. The Pott family lived at Bullshaw farm, and for many years a public love feast was held in the barn there on the first Sunday in June, to which people came for many miles, and much good was done. The early workers in the cause and school there were John Pott, scn., John Pott, jnr., J. Charlesworth, Peter Hadfield, and James Garrett. In 1851 a little mite of a chapel was built at a cost of £148 7s 7p., and so successful was the cause in these new premises, the only chapel nearer was New Mills or Glossop, that in five years (in the year 1856) it was found necessary to enlarge the building to double its size at a cost of £80. About this time the cause suffered much from removals and death, and was practically left without anyone to carry it on, when Mr. And Mrs. Bennett, Mr. R Wood, and Mr. J Turner took up the work, and soon the little cause became a busy and prosperous one. It continued to expand its work, and provide suitable accommodation. In 1885 new vestries were built at a cost of £98, and in 1895 very considerable alterations were made, costing £200. James Hurst and Elizabeth Hurst, of Blackshaw farm, brother and sister, were interred on the same day, November 30th, 1895, and Miss Hurst left £20 to Little Hayfield Chapel.
Of the ministers and laymen who have laboured at little Hayfield much might be said. Many will remember Rev. Samuel Brittain, a good example of an Anglo-Saxon. Who at missionary meetings and other gatherings which he attended outside his own denomination, was often designated (“Great Britain.” Of the laymen who have through the last 60years laboured to build up a cause here, there are the Wood’s, Garrett’s, Cooper’s, Shaw’s, Mellor’s, Sandiford’s, Ashton’s, Burbridge’s, Bradley’s, Hill’s, Wardles, and others, and the work still goes on to prosper.
From the lesser came the greater, and so from Little Hayfield the cause spread to Hayfield proper.
Surely there must be some record somewhere of services being held in “Big Hayfield” before 1864, but certain it is that in that year a Sunday school was established, in a room in Cote-Lane. Perhaps the principal factor is this movement was the late Mr. Joseph Bennett Downes, who many can remember. Joseph Downes was a strange character, but he did a deal of good work. He had, indeed, a remarkable career. Although he belonged to an old church family, in his younger days he joined the Methodist Free Church at Walk Mill. He afterwards became a prominent worker among the Primitive Methodists at Little Hayfield, and became the main factor in establishing Primitive Methodism in that upper room in Cote-Lane. He was not long before he got on the soft side of Captain White, the squire, of Park Hall, induced him to lease land for a chapel in Jumble Lane, and himself became one of the first trustees. So prominent was Joseph Downes here that the building was long known as “Downes Chapel”. But he left again, allied himself with the Church, became a churchwarden, afterwards parish clerk, and many have vivid recollections how Christopher Slack, County Councillor and magistrate, poured a jug of cold water Joseph Downes back,
Story of the Highgate Hall Murder
The history of the Highgate murder, of which we have spoken in previous articles, is an interesting one, and will always stand relating when the long winter nights come round. It is related on best authority that old Tom Bradbury, a Hayfield worthy of former days, recovered his bones out of the well in the garden of Highgate Hall. Here is the quaint descriptive way in which a worthy of former days told the story: --
The man was a Scotch pedlar, and when he came hawking this way he always lodged at the Highgate. Mr. Rowlinson took to him a bit, and allowed him to stop there. One November evening, Mr. Rowlinson having gone his Bakewell journey (for he was a magistrate and went there now and then), the pedlar Scotchman reached Hayfield with his heavy pack on his back. The night dark, thick, and foggy; the sound of his heavy footsteps was the only sound heard as he wended his way to the old hall at Highgate. Now and then a streak of light shot up into the damp, black atmosphere from behind the hill, which showed some of the cutlers’ furnaces were yet at work in the Kinder Valley.
A flickering from the old window of the Old Hall now and then shone like a twinkling star through the thick gloom. At length, turning, turning from the rugged old highway, the weary pedlar entered the entrance gate, and a few strides brought him to the door. His plodding footsteps were soon recognised by the old housekeeper, who opened the door and welcomed him in. “You seem tired tonight, John,” she said “ I am tired,” he replied, “and when down in the lane I thought I must ‘lig’ there, but as soon as I ‘ken’ the light of the window, I felt made over again. I knew I should be welcome here and have a comfortable night’s lodging.” So saying he took the pack from his shoulders, and laid it down on an old settle that stood against the wall; the heavy thud it made on the hard boards caused the two servants who sat by the fire to look curiously towards John and his pack.
“I am afraid you have broken something,” said one of them. “It sounded rather awkward , ” he said, “but I’ll look ;” so he lifted his pack on the table that stood in the middle of the floor, and opened it, spreading out his glistening ware in profusion. The display of such rich jewellery seemed to dazzle the eyes of the servants, who gazed on the brass, gold, and silver ornaments spread out before them. The pedlar, finding all right, rolled up his pack, and laid it down again on the old settle. And sat down in his corner.
The old housekeeper had now brought some bread and cheese and a ”horn” of beer, which was customary with her when he called. John ate his supper, thanked his kind hostess, and sat chatting till the clock struck eleven. The pedlar remarked that he felt tired, and as he had a long journey he would retire. The small room on the ground floor was his usual sleeping place, so taking up his pack and bidding them “Good night,” he retired, and was soon in a sound sleep. The conversation of the domestics now turned upon the pedlar and his treasure, till the old housekeeper showed signs of weariness by occasionally nodding. “When will the master return?” asked (rather hastily) one of the servants, a dark complexioned young woman called Jane. “He seldom returns the same day ,” replied the housekeeper, “when he goes his Bakewell journey. I should say it will be to-morrow evening. “He will not go so often,” inquired the dark-looking girl, “when they have built the new justice-room down in the field below yonder which the master speaks about sometimes;” “I suppose not,” said the old woman, with a yawn; and, lighting a candle and bidding them “Good Night,” she retired to her room.
The two servants were now left to themselves, and Jane, in a low voice, said to the other (Deborah), “Did you see those beautiful bracelets?” and as she spoke her dark eyes seemed to glow with an unusual brightness which caused some alarm in the breast of Deborah, and made her heave a long breath. “Yes, I saw them,” she said; “but what by it? They are out of our reach, child; they are too dear for us.” “Did you see those earrings?” further asked Jane, “and those brooches?” “Yes I saw them all,” she replied, rather pettishly;” but I know they are beyond our reach, so I trouble not my head about them. Do you covet them, Jane? You should not covet; you know not what it may lead to,” said Deborah
At that moment a tap was heard at the door. The eyes of the dark looking girl peered towards the door as Deborah rose and opened it, and as the door turned on it’s strong hinges in walked a thin, wiry, young fellow, and without saying a word he sat down on the old settle that stood against the wall. “Take a seat near the fire, Mr. Bookhing,” said Deborah. The young man drew up a chair, and the three formed a circle round the glowing embers. “How is it you work so late tonight.” We wanted to finish some goods,” said the young man. “We are going to remove to Sheffield. Fuel is scarce here, and hard to get; besides, it’s nearer to Birmingham. Smiths who went some time ago, are doing very well, and some of our men have gone, too.”
The clock struck twelve, and Deborah retired to rest, leaving to two alone. What took place after is not known, but the pedlar was never seen anymore in Hayfield or anywhere else. It was thought for a while that he rose early and went on his journey. The young man and Jane shortly afterwards left the country, and were heard of no more. Afterwards a rumour ran that he was murdered at Highgate, which was proved by his bones being found in a closed well, but his murderers were never discovered. Such is the story of the Highgate Hall murder.
For generations afterwards, well within the memory of some still living in Hayfield, those who went Highgate way on a dark night imagined they saw the pedlar’s ghost, and mothers who wished to question their unruly children had only to mention it.
“And there he saw the boggart house,
Where th’ Highgate witch is seen
By moonlight at some midnight hour,
Dancing on Highgate green.”
We shall close this series of articles on Hayfield - a series that have been of exceptional interest to our readers, with an interesting chronology of events extending over 800 years. It is, of course, very imperfect, but such as it is we give.
1280- William de Bradshawe, a parson, prosecuted for killing a doe in Kinder.
1386- Dispute between Hayfield priest, and parishioners and church built on its present site.
1602- Walter Normanton, minister of Hayfield.
1604- September 8th, John Hyde left £10 per year for keeping a Grammar School with Hayfield Chapel.
1634- Popish recusants from Hayfield presented at Quarter Sessions.
1649- Edmund Barkinshaw, minister of Hayfield.
1651- John Sale, minister of Hayfield.
1663- Christopher Fisher, minister of Hayfield.
1654- Anthony Buxton, minister of Hayfield.
1662- Mr. Higginbottom, minister of Hayfield
1711- December, severe storm. William Rollinson’s daughter starved to death on Hayfield Moor,
1745- A resurrection in Hayfield Churchyard.
1749- John Baddiley, the minister at Hayfield, converted by John Wesley,- July 23rd, great floods, Churchyard torn up and woman drowned.
1757- John Wesley preached in Hayfield Church.
1764- George Roe, minister of Hayfield.
1773- Robert Rain, incumbent in Hayfield.
1780- November 30th, land bought in Mare Meadow, Hayfield, for Wesleyan Chapel.
1782- Hayfield Wesleyan Chapel opened.
1783- John Barber, a Hayfield lad, enters Wesleyan minister, and afterwards became president of conference.
1793- Hayfield Church tower rebuilt.
1795- First Sunday School in Hayfield open by Wesleyans in two garrets.
1799- Great floods at Hayfield. Henry Barber known as “Lord North,” a Hayfield politician, was drowned.
1803- Hayfield Shepherds’ Society formed; Gees of, Kinder, Bradburys, of Coldwell Clough, and Greaves, of Row Lee, first members.
1805- John Crowther, incumbent of Hayfield to 1832.
1816- Wesleyans built a Sunday school.
1818- Hayfield Church rebuilt at a cost of £2,458.
1823- Hayfield Old Church clock brought from Marple Church to Hayfield; cost £100. Hayfield first missioned by Bradwell primitive Methodists.
1830- October 20th, death of Wm. Brocklehurst, cotton manufacturer, aged 50.
1832- Rev. Samuel Wass, incumbent of Hayfield to 1856.
1837-death of Joseph Garside (82) formerly churchwarden; assisted to build church tower in 1793; first to be carried to a grave over Hayfield new bridge.
1843- June 6th, formation of court Kinder Scout of the Ancient Order of Foresters.
1849- July, Hayfield Church organ built by Kirkland and Jardine, Manchester total cost £318.
1851- Birch Vale chimney, 216 feet high, built by Clayton, Hazel Grove; cost £1500. The bricks were made on the reservoir bank close by, and were conveyed across a temporary tramway by pony and wagon. The pony driver was Thomas Ashton, of Beardwood New Mills.
1853- May 9th, one of the biggest snows known in Hayfield. Hayfield fair could not be held. A record of this snow was impressed on a beam in Watford Bridge Printworks, New Mills. John Newton killed in a fight behind the Pack Horse Inn. His adversary got 6 months for manslaughter.
1856- Kinder Printworks built. – William John Brock, incumbent of Hayfield to 1863.
1861- Anthony Ollerenshaw Potts, Hayfield, went to the United States, was a soldier in the Federal Army, and was killed in American Civil War.
1863- Fredk. Aruthur Rodd, vicar of Hayfield to 1876.
1864- Primitive Methodists open a Sunday school in Cote Lane.
1862- Hayfield Burial Ground, one acre, bought by rates and consecrated. The Rev. Wm. John Brock, vicar of Hayfield, was the first to be interred there.
1867- Primitive Methodist Chapel built.
1868- Sudden death of Aaron Rangeley, cotton manufacturer, Phoside, a prominent Liberal, soon after recording his vote for Sir William Jackson.
1871- August 27th, organ opening at Bethel Chapel; preacher, Rev. John Archer, Wesleyan Bradwell. Organ built by William Cole, Manchester. Second organ in Hayfield.
1877- Ricketts Raymond Ricketts, vicar of Hayfield to 1906.
1883- Samuel Sandiford, formerly mechanic at Clough Mill. Hung himself in workhouse.
1884- January 29th, Ernest Johnson (12) son of Mrs Sarah Johnson, killed by a cartload of stone falling upon him.
– February 28th, Henry Bowden, native of Hayfield, killed when alighting from an express in motion at Heaton Norris.
– May 23rd Mrs Robert Leech confined of a daughter. The infant had living father, mother, two grandfathers, two grandmothers, a great grandfather, and two great grandmothers. June 20th, death of Miss Mary Lord, after accident in Kinder Printworks.
– August 9th, great floods and thunderstorm. Lightening struck Nelson’s Place, rendering, Miss Schofield unconscious, and did great damage.
– September 19th Wright Hall fell down stone quarry and killed.
1885- January 19th Robert Davis (47) labourer, died suddenly in Joseph Kinder’s house, Toll Bar.
–July 22nd William Riley (50), weaver Stones Head, formerly drummer in Hayfield Band, found drowned in Birch Vale reservoir. December, death of Henry Redfern (79) a notable antiquarian, author of “The Shipped wrecked Scholar,” and a Guide to Hayfield.
1886- January. Christopher Smith, a native of Hayfield and a member of the Lily of the Valley Lodge of Oddfellows, accidentally shot dead by two friends when out shooting hares in Australia,
- February 11th, death of John Bradbury (76) a member of a very old Hayfield family, son of one of the original trustees of Walk Mill, chapel. He was buried in a vault in the churchyard that had not been opened for more then 20 years, and his coffin embedded in charcoal.
–April 24th, John Bennett killed in Birches Quarry, Birch Vale:
- June 3rd, death of Mrs. Merttens wife of F. T. Merrtens Park Hall, as a result of a carriage accident on Glossop Road, on April 9th:
- June 22nd, death of John Barrowby, B.A. (48). His coffin was made out of oak, grown on the Shudehill estate. – July 31st, Sudden death of Charles Smith (65), of Birch Vale, (46) years a member of the Rose of Sharon Lodge of Oddfellows. He had a fatal seizure during a lodge procession at Thornsett.
– September 1st, Annie Cooper (3) daughter of Edwin Cooper, Little Hayfield, accidentally scalded to death in a pan of boiling water.
– September 27th, Edward Pickford, grocer, Little Hayfield, killed at New Mills Railway Station.
– September 25th, John Boardman (49) watchman at Kinder Printworks, found dead in the river Sett
1887- January 10th death in workhouse of Joseph Bowden (73), driver of the first mail-cart between Hayfield and Stockport.
–June 10th, John Hall (27), found dead in colour shop at Birch Vale Printworks.
–September 4th, death of John Wild, J.P. (67), at Whitefield, a paper maker, a native Hayfield, risen from the ranks.
–October 4th, William Yuile (41), Carr Meadow, a renowned artist, whose painting were hung in Manchester Jubilee Exhibition, fell on the bedroom floor and died.
–November 4th, sudden death of Isaac G Ramwell (34), a noted Hayfield.
–December 10th, death of Dr.S.H.Masters, aged 37.
1888- October 1st, death at gravesend of Mrs. Mary Wass (81), widow of the Rev. Samuel Wass, late vicar of Hayfield.
–December 27th, David Drinkwater, (21 months) son of John Drinkwater, Little Hayfield, accidentally scalded to death.
–November, death of John Barber, prominent Wesleyan.
1889- February 1st, funeral at Hayfield of the Rev. Isaac Rangeley, curate of Darwen, a native of. The bearers were all old Hayfield veterans.
–May 17th, James Shaw (27), killed at Garrison Bleachworks, Birch Vale.
–July 19th, death of Joseph Marshall (71), member of the Lily of the Valley Lodge 45 years, and 1st and 2nd N.G. of Charity Lodge, Chapel-en-le-Frith, on its opening.
–July 21st, death of Robert Bradbury, Cliffe Bank, aged 75.
–July 21st, great thunder storm; Joseph Bands horse, at Hollingworth Head, killed by lightening; two trees at Brook Houses split up.
–July 27th, ex –Police Constable Godber (63), formerly of Hayfield found dead in bed at Marple. He had remarked that he thought he should just live to see his 63rd birthday, and on that morning was found dead in bed.
– August 8th, death at Alderley Edge of George Eyre (72), formerly woollen manufacturer at Walk Mill. He married about 1859 the widow of the late Joseph Bennett, calico printer, Birch Vale.
–September 19th, sudden death of Mrs. Critchlow (45), wife of William Critchlow, Stones Head.
1890- September 7th, death of Mrs. Leech (41) wife of Mr. Thos. Leech, Primrose Vale. Mrs. Leech Mrs.S. Bowden, and Mrs. O. Porritt, three sisters, were all married within ten days of each other.-November 13th, Walter Robinson (24) drowned himself in the Kinder Printworks lodge.
1891- January 1st, death of William Taylor (82), of Swallow Houses, formally of Spray House. He was a guardian of the poor for 30 years, and chairman of the board. He walked 6500 miles, to the Guardians meetings at Lord Leighton.
-February 7th, death at Teneriffe, in the Canary Islands, of Miss Adelaide Ann Hall (37) daughter of the late Elijah Hall, Morlands. Interred at Hayfield, March 7th.
–May 8th, Benjamin Howard (30) deputy at Thornsett coal Pit, killed by a fall of roof in the mine. May 15th, death in the workhouse of John Lister (72) He was at one time colour-mixer at the Wood Printworks, but spent a great deal of money in unsuccessful High Court actions to recover large estates to which he considered he was entitled.
–May 18th, death at Bredbury of John Alcock, (71), of the firm of Ashton Bros.and Allcock, Clough Mills. –
July 22nd, death of Joel Mason (83), for 65 years a Wesleyan worker, 55 years a local preacher and 50 years a trustee. When a little lad he was a piecer at Clough Mill, was apprenticed to Dennis Rangeley, joiner, succeeded to the business, became owner of the property, and died in the same house. His father, Joel Mason, died in 1847 - October 25th, death at Wisconsin, U.S.A., of George Charlesworth (77), late of Hayfield, a Wesleyan local preacher 60 years.
–November 1st, Colonel Henry Turner J.P., of Kinder Printworks, elected Mayor of Stockport. –November 3rd, James Marshall (70) drowned himself in a tub of water at Birch Vale.
–December 20th, death of Mrs. Ellen White (83), widow of Joseph White, Middle Cliff. She was daughter of James Waterhouse, clothier, and her mother lived to the age of 94.
1892- February 1st, death of Samuel Barnes (72), Ridge Top-lane. One of the oldest members of Kinder Scout Court of Foresters, and 30 years attired as Robin Hood in anniversary processions.
–February 7th, death of Mrs. Jane Williamson (71), daughter of the late John Williamson, schoolmaster. She was daughter of Joseph Bowden, cotton cord manufacturer, Walk Mill, who was mayor of Hayfield in 1844. She was the last of 12 children.
–March 6th, death of Joseph Tommins, (62), an accomplished flautist, who played the flute at the Wesleyan Chapel before the organ was introduced. His father, John Tommins, and his grandfather, James Tommins, were connected with George Eyre’s woollen factory at Walk Mill.
–June 8th,James Brelsford, labourer, left home during the night, lay down in the river Sett, and committed suicide.
1893 – February 1st, Ezra Wardle (28), killed in stone quarry.
–March 8th, Mrs. Martha Hadfield (85), relict of Thomas Hadfield, Little Hayfield, fell out of bed with fatal results. –March 31st. Hayfield School Board election: Christopher Slack, Churchman, 409; Fred. T. Woolley, Churchman, 482; Rev. R. R. Ricketts, Churchman, 474; Joseph Knowles, Primitive Methodist, 414; Joseph Turner, Wesleyan, 402. Not elected; John Thomas Gee, Wesleyan, 232.
–April 4th, Mr. Albert Slack, Oaklands, gives new church clock in memory of his father.
–July 26th, fearful thunderstorm; two cattle belonging Mr. Isaac Waterhouse, Lane Head Farm, killed by lightening.
–October 13th, death of Miss. Mary Howard (67), in the house in which she was born,
in Church Street. Left £5 to Free Church missions.
–November 2nd, Joseph Storer (79), Kinder, choked whilst dining in Bull’s Head, Chapel-en-le-Frith.
–November 14th, Edward Wogan (37) died suddenly after jumping of a coal wagon at the station.
–December 14th, death of John Wilder (65), Crimean veteran pensioner. Fought in Crimean War and Indian Mutiny, and wore five medals.
1894 – Death of George Mason, a member of Virtue Lodge of Free Gardeners over 50 years; 30 years on Bethel Chapel orchestra with base fiddle prior to organ.
1895 – April 14th, death of Mr. William Howard (79), the oldest surviving member of Bethel Chapel, an old woollen manufacturer.
–May 15th, John Thomas Dudley (20), Little Hayfield, poisoned himself by drinking carbolic acid. –August, death at Lytham of Mr. Edward Lucas (81) formally a prominent man of Hayfield, Taylor and Lucas, Wood Printworks.
–October 15th,centenary celebrations at Hayfield Wesleyan Sunday School.
–October 19th, death at Hull of Mr. Samuel Hudson (68) well known public man, and ex-councillor of Hull; son of the late Joseph Hudson, butcher, and brother of late Wm. Hudson, Bridge End, Hayfield.
–October 21st, death of Mr. John Trevitt (79), oldest member of Wesleyan body, oldest teacher in Sunday school and second on roll of members of Court Kinder Scout of Foresters. His father, Joseph Trevitt, was one of the first teachers in the Wesleyan Sunday School, and his g grandfather, James Trevitt, was one to buy the land on which the chapel is built in 1780.
– November 5th, Martha Elizabeth Brocklehurst, (5), daughter of John Thomas Brocklehurst, fell when going to school. The point of her pencil penetrated her eye, and caused an abscess on the brain, and she died seven weeks later.
–November 30th, funeral same day of James Hurst (56) and Elizabeth Hurst (59), brother and sister, of Blackshaw Farm. Miss Hurst left £20 to Little Hayfield Primitive Methodist Chapel.
1896 – April 14th, death of Jabez Waterhouse (80), a lifelong Wesleyan, and one of the last surviving members of the ancient Reed Band.
–June 2nd, sudden death of Mrs. Frances Clara Hyde (36), wife of John Hyde, Ellersbank. –June 11th, Amy Smith (15), Fox Hall, drowned herself in Kinder Printworks reservoir.
1897 – April 12th, Hugh Pollard (40), drowned himself in Kinder Reservoir.
–July 1st, George Hall (42), drowned himself in Phoside reservoir.
–October 6th, unveiling new pulpit in Hayfield Church in memory of Mrs. Bennett, Bitch Vale, the gift of her son Charles,
-October 23rd, dedication of Recreation Ground, the gift of Mr. F. J. Sumner.
–November 5th, Charles Frederick Wardle (5), son of William Wardle, Stoneheads, found dead in bed. –December 8th, death of Joseph B Downs (67). He had a remarkable career. Belonging to an old church family in his younger days he joined the Methodist Free Church, and afterwards became prominent Primitive Methodist at Little Hayfield. In 1865 he was the main factor in establishing Primitive Methodism in an upper room in Cote Lane, and got from Captain White the land on which to build the Primitive Methodist Chapel, and became trustee. Later he again allied himself with the Church, became a churchwarden, and later parish clerk
1898 – January 9th, Sudden death of Robert Trevitt (47), organist at Wesleyan Chapel. –February 19th, death of Alexander Leech (79), Little Hayfield, an old native. He was 50 years an Oddfellow, and from a boy worked as a spinner at Clough Mills up to the fire in 1871. His Baptism (at the Wesleyan Chapel), death, and burial were all in the month of February.
–March 3rd, Hayfield County Council election; C. Slack 520, Dr. F. Ashurst 374.
–June 20th, death at Hyde of Joseph Hadfield (72), a native of Hayfield. He worked at the old Garrison Printworks at six years old.
–August 2nd, James Downs (58) quarry owner, killed in his own quarry at Rock Hall.
–October 14th, David Cotterill (18 months) son of Charles Cotterill, Stoneheads, run over and killed by a cart,
-October 18th, death of George Pollard (74), a prominent Wesleyan and Liberal.
1899 – January 29th, Chas. Hadfield killed by falling downstairs.
–February 1st, Fred. Harrison (49), fireman, dropped dead in Kinder Printworks.
–February 19th, death at Southport of Wm. Walker, Esq. (77), formerly of Farlands, Hayfield.
–February 28th, Thos. Rain Walker. Esq., H. M/ Consul at Honolulu. Erected memorial font in Hayfield Church. –March 24th, Hayfield School Board election; A. B. Wimpenny 473, Rev. R. R. Ricketts 379, Joseph Turner 368, Christopher Slack 319, Josiah Walton 293, not elected; O.Porritt 263, S. Bowden 207.
–June 11th, John Wright (34) stricken blind whilst asleep.
–July 23rd, death of Mr Joseph Walton (54), formally of Royal Hotel.
–August 14th, death of Ishmael Pursglove (70), a well known Hayfield man, and a right of way, common lands, and turfery champion. –August 2nd, death of Isaac Redfern (83), son of late George Redfern. The family were formally in business as cord manufacturers in the bottom mill at Grotto.
–October 29th, death of Mrs. Elizabeth Hyde (79), relict of John Hyde, who died in 1861. She lived in one house 58 years. Her husband was nephew of Aaron Hyde, first scholar in the Methodist Sunday school.
–December 15th, death of Mrs. Goodwin (88), relict of the late Thos. Goodwin, who died on the day of the Sheffield flood from scalds at Wood Printworks.
1900 – January 25th death of Thos. Wood (43), for 15 years secretary of the Oddfellows’ Lodge, and choirmaster at Little Hayfield Primitive Methodist Chapel.
–February 24th, presentation to Mr. Wright Brocklehurst, 63 years a teacher in the Church Sunday School.
–April 16th, death of James Walker (89), chemist, Stockport, prominent Wesleyan, son of the late John Walker, chemist, Hayfield.
–June 15th, John Wild (46), formally under-manager at Kinder Printworks, cut his throat at Hadfield.
–October 31st, death of Edwin Cooper (46), prominent Primitive Methodist at Little Hayfield; worked all his life at Clough Mill.
1901 – March 1st, John Wild (45), a Hayfield man, of Radcliffe, killed by a tramcar in Manchester. –March 6th, County Council election, Christopher Slack 282, John Lowe 143.
–May 18th, Robin Hood’s picking rods restored by Hayfield antiquarians.
– August 2nd, death of John Wrigley (61). 40 years a member and many years conductor of Hayfield Brass Band.
–August 21st, death of Joshua Vernon (82), Ridge Top Farm, and old block printer, who lived in the reign of five monarchs.
–August 30th, presentatio to Mr. John Lithgow, who leaves Hayfield after 49 years at Wood Printworks. –October 8th, death of Thomas Brocklehurst (48), an old ringer, from effects of poison.
–December 5th, death of Mrs. Ann Vernon (83), relict of Joseph Vernon, a prominent Hayfield man.
–December 17th, sudden death of Mr. Alfred Lowe (43), master of Hayfield Board School. –December 31st, death of Mr. Alfred Slack (58), of Oaklands.
1902 – January 7th, Samuel Pursglove (56), lurry-man, Hayfield, found drowned in reservoir at Holmfirth.
–February 3rd, death Mr. James Hadfield (74), bootmaker, a member of a very old Hayfield family.
–March 16th, death of Mrs. Elizabeth Simpson (76), 25 years a Wesleyan class leader.
–March 28th, Park Hall opened as a holiday home.
–April 3rd, Hayfield School Board election; Joseph Turner 415, Rev. R. R. Ricketts 352, Geo. W. Eyre 259, Samuel Bowden 259, C. Slack 234, Not elected; J Doyle 208.