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English Topography Part III Derbyshire - Dorsetshire
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[1795, Part I., p. 477.]
Fig. 2 is in the chancel of Shirland Church, Derbyshire, near the monument below, but whether it refers to the tomb or not I cannot decide. I fancy it may represent two priests saying masses for soul of the deceased occupier of the monument, for there is repetition of the figures in the blank (see Vol. LXIV. p. 209), which also I refer for an account of the monument at the bottom of the plate. Yours, etc., J. P. MALCOLM.

[1794, Part I., pp. 209, 210.]
The parish church of St. Leonard, Shirland, is a small but handsome building. Whether the present be that of which Reginald de Grey be possessed the advowson in the time of Edward II. I cannot inform you, but it is certainly of considerable antiquity.

Shirland is a rectory, and the late incumbent, who died at a very advanced age, was the Rev. Thomas Fidler.

If you like legendary tales, the vulgar will tell you a good one. There is a field, which I have been in, near the town, called the

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Church Field. They say the church was primarily erected there, but that in one night it was carried away and safely placed in its present situation.

In the chancel are the remains of a shamefully-mutilated figure in armour. The Gothic arch under which it lies is uncommonly elegant, and decorated with pinnacles. Near it, in the wall, is a bas-relief of four figures before an altar, but whether it has any reference to the tomb I cannot decide. This monument is another instance of the abominable license permitted to clowns in country churches. One would almost suppose that this unfortunate knight had been mistaken for the decayed representation of their tutelar saint, they have so carefully picked him to pieces, supposing his fragments to possess supernatural qualities. All that now lies, as a memorial of a person once of consequence, is the trunk. There are no remains of an inscription.

I may add, as a mark of the antiquity of this church, that on a Sunday not long since a large beam fell down over the singing-gallery and had it been ten minutes sooner, might have been the destruction of several sopranos, contra-tenors, and bassos. ...



[1792, Part I., p. 409.]
Smisby is situated at the southern extremity of Derbyshire, on the borders of Leicestershire, two miles from Ashby-de-la-Zouch. It formerly belonged to the ancient family of Kendal, who had a large stone mansion here, some of whose walls are represented in Plate III. This estate some years ago was sold to the Harpurs, and Sir Henry Harpur, Bart., of Calke, near adjoining, is the present owner. The house, being gone to decay, is now only used by a farmer. The living is a donative curacy of small value, but has been augmented by Queen Anne's bounty. The present Curate is the Rev. Mr. Thomas, of Ravenston. In the church are several fine old monuments belonging to the Kendals. For further particulars of this place see "Topographer," vol. ii., p.158.


[1820, Part II., pp. 577-580.]
Staveley is a neat village, very pleasantly situated, about four miles midway between Chesterfield and Bolsover, co. Derby. It contains within its parish the chapelry of Barlow, the hamlets of Netherthorp and Woodthorp, with three of the name of Hundley, containing altogether about 408 houses.

In Domesday Book, among the lands of Ascuit Musard, it is said that in the manor of "Stavelie, Hacon had four carucates of land to be taxed; land to four ploughs. Ascuit has now there, in the

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demesne, three ploughs, and twenty-one villanes ; and seven bordars have four ploughs. There is a Priest and a Church; and one mill of five shillings and four pence. There are sixty acres of meadow ; wood pasture one mile and a half long, and as much broad. Value in King Edward's time, and now, six pounds." *

In the reign of Edward I. the manor of Staveley belonged to John Musard.† Issue male failing in his successor, N. Musard, the eldest sister of the latter conveyed it by marriage to T. Freschville, a branch of that family who were Barons of Crich in the reign of Henry III, and came Over with the Conqueror from a place of that name in Normandy.

Staveley Hall was built by Sir Peter Freschville, who died, according to his monument, in 1634. His son, John Freschville, during the troubles of Charles I. garrisoned his house at Staveley for the king. John Vickars, in his "Parliamentary Chronicle," page 437, says : "Immediately after this (the surrender of Bolsover Castle), they all marched to Staley House, which was strongly fortified; but upon our armies' advance to it, it was soon surrendered, upon articles of agreement; and in it we had twelve pieces of ordnance, two hundred and thirty muskets, and a hundred and fifty pikes: and Mr. John Fretchwell (who had long held the house fortified with strong works for the service of the King), being then convinced, of the goodness of our cause, did very freely and voluntarily render to the Major-general all the arms aforesaid, with much other ammunition. Thus the historian. John Freschville, Esq., however, who was also a Governor of York during the civil wars, for his attachment to Charles I. was advanced by Charles II. to the dignity of a baron of the realm, by the title of Lord Freschville, of Staveley. He dying in 1682, the manor of Staveley passed (by marriage, I believe) into the Cavendish family, who, having other seats, resolved, about seventy years ago, to pull down the hall ; but its total dilapidation was prevented, and the present mansion a wing of a large quadrangle, suffered to remain, at the instance of the Rev. James Gisborne, then Rector of Staveley, who thus unconsciously preserved a residence for two of his daughters who were afterwards married, one to Mr. Foxlow, the other to the Rev. F. Dixon, LL.D., all deceased. It is at present the residence of the Rev. F. Foxlow, son of the preceding.

The church (see the Plate), which is built in form of a parallelogram, contains an ichnographical site of about 45 yards by 12. It consists of a nave, chancel, and one side-aisle. The tower, which appears to have been built in 1681, contains eight exceedingly musical bells. The tenor, weighing 18 cwt. 3 qrs. 22 lbs., was given by the present rector, and the peal were opened when the present Duke of Devonshire attained the age of twenty-one. His Grace is patron of

[Page footnote]
* Orig. Dom. Boc. 277. b. 2.-"Bawdwen's Trans.," p. 322.
† A name which implies, according to Camden, doubters and delayers.

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the church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist. The body has lately been newly paved, a gallery built, and the whole interior beautified, containing at present as neat and comfortable accommodation for public worship as any village church in the kingdom.

The following monuments and inscriptions are to be seen :-

In a niche in the north wall of the chancel, on a brass, with two large figures and seven boys and as many girls in a praying attitude, are these words :

"Sancta Maria, ora pro nobis; O mater Dei, memento mei."

The inscription :

Here under fote lieth the bodys of Peyrs Freychwell, and Maude his wyf, and sume time squire unto the noble and excellent prince King Henry the vi. and Lorde and Patrone of this chirche, which Peyrs deceasyd the xxv day of Marche, the yere of our Lorde, M. D. DE. On whose souls Jh'u, have mercy. Amen.

On a large decaying marble tomb, close by the above, containing the arms of Freschville with various quarterings and a brass plate on the top, representing an armed warrior, standing with his hands clasped in a praying posture, with the words :

" * * * Trinitas un' deus miserere nobis. Deus mittere esto * * peccatum."

On a brass border there only remained the following :

" * * * Amabus Petri Frechwell, d'ni. * * * Derb. Armig'i qui obiit [a space never filled] die mensi [ditto] anno Domini Mill'mo CCCC. [ditto] et Matilde uxoris ejus. Quorum animabus propicietur Deus. Amen."

On a massy marble monument the following :

"Here lieth the mortal parte of the Right Honourable John Lord ffrescheville, Baron of Staveley, Governor of York, and descended from the antient and noble ffamilies of the ffreschevilles, Barons of Crich, and of the Musards, Barons of Staveley, who departed this life, Mar. 31, anno D'ni 1682, aged 76 years. Anne Charlotte, Lady ffrescheville, in memory of her deerest lord and husband, caused 's monument to be erected."

On a gilded board there is a memorial of a former wife of this John, who was a daughter of Francis Nicolls, Esq., of Ampthill, co. Bedford. She died April l0th, 1629, aged only eighteen years. There are various other memorials of the Freschvilles.

A beautiful altar-tomb, with a recumbent figure of a lady and infant, thus inscribed :

"Here lyes the mortal part of Christian Lady St. John, late wife of Charles Lord St. John, Baron of Bazinge, and daughter of John Freschvi1le, Esq., who in memory of his dearest childe, caused these stones to be laid together. She died in childbed, the 22d of July, 1653. Her infant, John Pawlet, surviving his mother seven dayes, lyes here interred with her."

A marble slab on the north wall records the death, virtues, and marriages of his wives, and his own death, of the Rev. James Gisbourne, M.A., Prebendary of Durham, and forty-three years rector of his church; he died September 7th, 1759, aged 70.

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On a mural tablet over the communion table :

"Within these rails is interred the body of James Gisborne, the oldest surviving son of the late Rev. James Gisborne, a member of the Irish House of Common Lieutenant-general and Governor of Charlmont in Ireland. He married Mary Anne Boyd, daughter and co-heiress of Charles Boyd, Esq. of the kingdom Ireland. He left issue one son and three daughters, &c. &c. , "

Adjacent there is a marble tablet to the "memory of Catherine, wife of the Rev. Fletcher Dixon, of Staveley Hall, and vicar of Duffield, in this county." She was daughter of the above James Gisborne. The Rev. F. Dixon, LL.D., died at Staveley Hall January 5th, 1819, aged 75. He was a man beloved and esteemed by all who knew him, and his death has left a blank in the charitable distributions of the village which its inhabitants will long regret. ... [Some epitaphs are given here which we omit.]

A headstone in the churchyard commemorates the name and death of Robert Sampson, the not altogether " mute, inglorious Milton," and laureate of the village, and although, Mr. Urban, his fame may not have reached any of your readers, I can assure them and you that he really was "famous once for verse," as various churchyards can testify, where his works may probably outlive those of many who have figured more splendidly in wire-wove paper and gilt and lettered binding. He was a wandering dealer in earthenware by his trade, well known, and woe to the reputation of the luckless wight who happened to provoke the lampooning propensity of our poet. Some bitter tetrastic was sure to haunt him from the mouths of the rustics wherever he went. I apologize for this trifling. His epitaph is as follows [omitted].

On a blue slate at the east end of the church is inscription :

" To the memory of Mr. Richard Robinson, son of the Rev. James Robinson of Knuttsford in Cheshire, and Schoolmaster at Netherthorpe, in this parish. Endowed with uncommon abilities, he exerted them for fifty years in the duties of his School, with a diligence and assiduity still more to be admired; and although in an humble station, might be regarded as a very bright example of primeval integrity of life. He gave by his last will eighteen pounds a year to the Hospital at Woodthorp ; besides other very considerable legacies ; and died a bachelor, May 21, 1777, in the 70th year of his age."

The present rector is the Rev. Francis. Gisborne, M.A., son of the before-mentioned J. Gisborne, late rector of Staveley, and is, I believe, cousin to the excellent and valuable author, T. Gisborne, of Yoxall Lodge, co. Stafford. His brother was the late Dr. Gisborne, of Romely Hall, in this county, and physician to his Majesty. ...
He was born at Staveley, and received the rudiments of his education at Netherthorp School, under the before-mentioned R. Robinson, who left Mr. Gisborne the bulk of his fortune. From hence he went to Peter House, Cambridge,"' when the collegians, by their mimicry

* He is the person, I believe, who gave the munificent donation of £22,000 as mentioned in a late number of your magazine, to St. Peter's College.

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Gray's effeminate manner, had driven him from his college. The bard readily gave up his rooms to Mr. Gisborne,* who was always a grave man, and even then stood aloof from this indiscretion of his companions.

Few villages have been more fortunate in the charitable dispositions of its opulent inhabitants than Staveley, doles, alms, and eleemosynary gifts being constant and frequent. There are several tables of benefactions in the church, which are a constant memorial and incentive to the families of the benefactors to emulate the charity of their predecessors.

There is a brass plate in the body of the church, of which the following is a copy:

"Memorie Sacrum. anno Dom. 1677. Whereas the right worshipful Sir Peter Freschville, Knt. and others of the parish of Staveley, in the county of Derby, did, by their Deed indented, dated anno 1610, out of their charitable disposic'ons give the sum of forty pounds, the use whereof to be employed for the putting forth of poor children of the poor inhabitants of the said parish to be bound apprentices to honest trades and occupac'ons : Therefore, we whose names are inscribed, out of the like charitable inclination, have given the several sums here under written, as well for an addition to the forementioned pious purpose of binding apprentices to good trades, as for a yearly distribution of monies to be dealt amongst the poor inhitants of the said parish, &c."

Then follows the names of sixty-four donors of various sums, to be applied as the preamble sets forth.
There is an hospital at Woodthorp for four poor aged men and the same number of poor women, and a reader, which was built by Sir Peter Freschville, and endowed by his last will, each of the said nine persons to receive £4 per annum at quarterly payments, chargeable on lands in Netherthorp and Woodthorp. In 1777 Richard Robinson, schoolmaster, gave £18 a year to this foundation, which, with other additions, produces £8 per annum for each person.

There is a free Grammar School at Netherthorp which has been endowed at several times. In 1572 Margaret Freschville gave £8 per annum; in 1599 Francis Sitwell, of Netherthorp, gent., gave £6 per annum; in 1742 Lord James Cavendish gave £6 per annum. T'hese sums, with augmentations, produce a competent salary for a classical master. The abilities of the before-mentioned Mr. Robinson drew him many pupils, for whose benefit he exerted himself with unremitting zeal, and realized a considerable fortune. There is, I believe, at present one scholar on the foundation! ...

J. H.

Stoney Middleton.

[1803, Part II., p. 621.]
If you will permit a little modern octagon chapel to accompany your curious and venerable ancient churches, the enclosed sketch of

[Page footnote]
*For a character of this worthy Divine, see our Poetical Department.

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that at Stoney Middleton, in the county of Derby (Plate II., fig.I) is very much at your service. It was built by subscription in 1758 on the site of the old church, the tower of which still remains. It is dedicated to St. Martin, and is a chapel of ease to Hathersage.

Yours, etc., H. R.


[I865, Part II., p. 266.]
In a late ramble in Derbyshire, I paid a visit to Stydd, near Ashbourne, where are the remains of a chapel, consisting of a part of the south wall, with several pointed windows in the style of the thirteenth century with clustered columns, and their capitals beautifully foliated-the whole in very fine preservation. N ear these ruins and of the same date is a curious font, now used as a flower stand ; there also remains an incised slab with floriated cross and long sword, temp. Henry III. ; the stone is split across the middle, but otherwise is in good condition, and is similar to one engraved in Boutell's "Christian Monuments," p. 24. This building is supposed to have belonged to the hospital of Yeaveley, where there was formerly a hermitage which with the lands, etc., were given in the reign of Richard II. to the Knights Hospitallers, whereupon it became a preceptory of that order. The hospital of Yeaveley or Stydd derived part of its revenues from property in Ashbourne. The steep ascent to the south of the town on the road to the hospital, is termed in ancient deeds, and still called, "The Spital Hill."

Stydd Hall, once a good stone edifice, is now used as a farm house.

As it is probable these interesting remains, and especially the slab (of which I find no mention in any history of the county), will in time disappear, their perpetuation by notice in the pages of the Gentleman's Magazine seems desirable.

I am, etc., T. LINDSEY PEAK.


[1794, Part II., pp. 1101,1102.]
A few days since, the church of Tideswell, near Buxton, in Derbyshire, attracted my particular attention; and I was induced to examine the inside as far as my time would permit, and to make the enclosed sketch of a large tomb of black limestone in the chancel (see Plate II.). It is to be observed that the verse upon the tomb , has hunc verbum instead of hoc verbum.

Near the above-mentioned tomb is another large slab of toadstone, resting upon a railing of wood, enclosing a stone sculpture, much decayed, representing a corpse whose head is supported by cherubs, one on each side; but of this my time would not allow me to make a drawing. The slab has a border of brass, from which the former,

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being like it, and of a much later date, was perhaps copied. From each comer of the border a label extends inwards. On that near the right hand is engraved :

Ego sum Alpha et Omega, primus et novissimus ;

Which inscription is likewise on a large oval brass plate in the middle. On the left hand is :

Quos Deus junxit nemo separet..

On that near the right foot is,

Qui baptisatus fuerit salvus erit.

And at the opposite corner,

Qui p'severavit usque in salvus erit.

Near each corner is inlaid a shield of brass; and, in a fifth they are quartered thus: I and 4. A griffin rampant. 2. A bend between 6 escallop shells. 3. A field without a charge. On a square plate, at the top, is this inscription :

Sagrilege olim sculpturas æreas furati sunt hujus monumenti memoriæ Sampsonis Meverill millitis quæ postea reparatæ sunt impensis Johan'is Statham ac ejusdem familiæ.

The following words are engraved on the border in double lines :

Under this stone lyeth Sampson Meverill which was born in Stone in the feast of Saint Michael the archangel and there was christened by the pryor of the same hous and Sampson Clitton esq. and Margarett the daughter of Philip Stayley in the year of our Lord MCCCXXVIII [note: under the XX are IIII] and so lived and endured under the service of Michael Lord Audley and Dame Elizabeth his wife the space of LVIII years and more and after by the assent of John Meverill his fader he was wedded in Belfor the King's man'or to Isabell the daughter of the worpfull knight Sr. Roger Lech the LVIIth day of Pasch and after that he came to the service of the noble Lord John Montague Earl of Salisbury the which ordered the said Sampson to be a capitaine of divers worshipfull places in France and after the death of the said Earl he came to the service of John Duc of Bedford and soe being in his service he was at LI great battayles in France within the space of two yeares and at St. Luce the said Duc gave him the order of k'thood after that the said Duc made him Kt Constable and by his commandment he kept the Constable Court of this Land till the death of the said Duc and after that he abode under the service of John Stafford Archbishop of Canterbury and soe endureing in the great wor'pp. departed from all wordly service unto the mercy of our Lord Jesu Christ the which d'ed his soul from his body in the feast of St. Marut in the yeare of our Lord MCCCCLXII and soe his word may be proved that grace passed cunning Amen. Devoutly of your charitie saith a Pater Noster with an Ave for all pious souls and especially for the soul whose bones resteth under this stone.

Yours, etc., H

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Shirland Parish Church