Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire
(Magna Britannia Vol. 5)

Bakewell - by Daniel and Samuel Lysons, 1817

Transcription by Barbarann Ayars © 2001
[Lyson's Magna Britannia Vol 5: Derbyshire, page 23-41: BAKEWELL]
The extensive parish of Bakewell comprises the township of that name; the townships of Blackwall, Brushfield, Calver, Curbar, Flagg, Froggatt, Over- and Nether-Haddon, Harthill, Hassop, Little-Longstone (or Longsdon), Rowland, Great Rowsley, and part of Wardlow; besides the parochial chapelries of Ashford, Baslow, Beeley, Buxton, Chelmorton, Great Longstone, Monyash, Sheldon and Taddington.

Bakewell is a small market town situated twenty-six miles from Derby, fifteen from Chesterfield, and one hundred and fifty-two from London. The first mention we find of this town is in the reign of Edward the Elder, who, as we are told in the Saxon Chronicle, marched with his army in the year 924 from Nottingham to Badecanwillan, and then commanded a castle to be built in its neighbourhood, and garrisoned. This place evidently derives its name from a mineral spring and an ancient bath, which probably, as well as that of Buxton, was known to the Romans: the name is written Badequelle in the Domesday survey, and was soon afterwards further corrupted to Bauquelle.

It appears by the quo warranto roll, that in the year 1330, John Gernon claimed a market on Monday, at Bakewell; a fair for three days at the festival of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, and another for fifteen days beginning on the vigil of St. Philip and St. James. The last-mentioned fair had been granted in 1251, to William Gernon. A small market for butchers' meat etc is now held on Friday; there are now six fairs; Easter Monday, Whit-Monday, August 26th, Monday after October 11th, and Monday after old Martinmas day, for horses, cattle etc. There are also three fairs or great markets, annually, but not at fixed periods, for the sale of fat cattle only.

The township of Bakewell contained in 1801, 280 inhabited houses, and 1412 inhabitants; in 1811, 286 houses, and 1485 inhabitants, according to the returns made to the parliament of those periods.

There is an extensive cotton manufactory at Bakewell, belonging to Mr. Robert Arkwright.

The manor of Bakewell (the Badequelle of Domesday) was parcel of the ancient demesnes of the crown. William the Conqueror gave it to his natural son William Peverell, whose son, having forfeited all his possessions in the reign of Henry II this manor was given by King John to Ralph Gernon. In 1199, the fee of Bakewell was granted by King John to William Briewere, and was one of those assigned by King Edward I. in 1282, to Katherine, mother of Queen Eleanor. In 1286 William Gernon Lord of Bakewell, granted certain privileges to the burgesses of that town: the co-heiresses of Sir John Gernon, who died siesed of the manor of Bakewell, in 1383, married Botetourt and Peyton. Sir Richard Swinburne who married the heiress of Botetourt, died in 1391. Alice, one of the sisters and co-heirs of his son Sir Thomas, brought the manor of Bakewell to John Helion. Isabel, one of the co-heiresses of John Helion, the son, brought it to Humphrey Tyrell; whose daughter and heir having married Sir Roger Wentworth, joined in the sale of this manor to Sir Henry Vernon, in the year 1502. It has since passed with the Haddon estate, and is now the property of the Duke of Rutland.

Moor-Hall, said to have been an ancient seat of the Gernons, stood about a mile west of Bakewell, on the edge of the moors.

In the parish church, which is an ancient and spacious structure, exhibiting the architecture of various periods, are the monuments of Sir Thomas Wendesley or Wensley, mortally wounded, whilst fighting on the side of the House of Lancaster, at the battle of Shrewsbury; Sir John Vernon, Knt. (son and heir of Henry) 1477; Sir George Vernon, of Haddon, who died in 1561, and his two wives, Margaret daughter of Sir Gilbert Talbois, and Maud, daughter of Sir Ralph Longford; Sir John Manners (second son of Thomas Earl of Rutland) who died in 1611, and his wife (Dorothy, daughter and co-heir of Sir George Vernon) who died in 1584; John Manners, (third son of Sir John) who died in 1590 and Sir George Manners, who died 1623. He married Grace, daughter of Sir Henry Pierrepont. There are memorials also for Basset Copwood, maternally descended from the Bassets of Blore, who died at Bubnell Hall, in 1628, and the Walthalls descended from the family of that name at Wistaston, in Cheshire, 1744 &c.

In the south aisle is an ancient monument for Sir Godfrey Foljambe, who died in 1376, and Aven his wife, who died in 1383. The inscription on the tablet was written by Mr. Blore, and put up in the year 1803.

In Bassano's volume of church notes are recorded the memorials of Latham Woodroffe, Esq, 1648. Wo;;oa, Savo;le, Esq., 1658, both stewards to John Earl of Rutland; and Bernard Wells, Gentlemn, for Holme-Hall, 1653.

The parish of Bakewell is stated in the Domesday Survey to have had two priests. King John, in the first year of his reign, granted the church of Bakewell, then collegiate, with its prebends and other appurtenances, to the canons of Lichfield, to whom it was afterwards appropriated. At the time of King John's grant, there were three officiating priests in this church, for whom a competent maintenance was stipulated, and one of the pregendaries of Lichfield was, in consequence of the above-mentioned grant, to say mass for the souls of the King and his ancestors, in Lichfield cathedral. The prebends of Bakewell were three in number: Matthew, a canon of Lichfield, being the incumbent of one of these, was allowed by the dean and chapter to retain it during his life.

In consequence of a complaint, which came before John Peckham, Archbishop of Canterbury, at his visitation of the diocese of Lichfield, that the deacon and sub-deacon of the rich church of Bakewell were so ill provided for, that they were obliged to beg their bread; it was ordained by the Archbishop in 1280, that they should eat at the vicar's table, and that for the extraordinary expence, ten marks per annum should be allowed him out of the rectory, in addition to twenty marks which he had before received; and it is observed, that he had already two priests and the clerk to maintain. A mark was allowed to the deacon, and ten shillings to the sub-deacon, for clothes. The dean and chapter of Lichfield are still patrons of the vicarage of Bakewell, which is in their peculiar jurisdiction.

Before the reformation there were two chantries in Bakewell church, one at the altar of the Holy Cross, founded in 1365. by Sir Godfrey Foljambe, and Avena his wife, valued at 6 pounds 6 shillings, 2, I Edward VI; the other at the altar of the Virgin Mary, valued at four pounds.

The hospital of St. John at Bakewell was founded by Sir John Manners and his brother Roger Manners, Esq., of Uffington in Lincolnshire, for six poor men who were made a body corporate, and endowed in 1602, at the expence of 600 pounds with anuities or rent-charges to the amout of 40 pounds per annnum. The poor men have pensions of 6 pounds per annum each, the remaining four pounds are appropriated to a laundress: Sir John Manners left by will (1611) the sum of 30 pounds to purchase pewter, brass, and linen, for the use of the hospital.

Grace Lady Manners (widow of Sir George Manners, who died in 1623) in the year 1636, founded a free-school for instructing the poor children of Bakewell and Great-Rowsley in reading, writing, etc., and endowed it with a rent-charge of 15 pounds per annum, issuing out of lands at Elton.

Over-Haddon is within the King's manor of the High-Peak, but there is within it a subordinate manor, which with Over-Haddon-hall, in the reign of Henry VI, became the property and seat of a younger branch of the Suttons, of Sutton in Cheshire, who continued there for five generations. The Suttons were succeeded in this estate by the Cokes of Trusley, and it passed with the heiress of the Melbourne branch of that family, to the father of Lord Melbourne, who is the present proprietor. Allotments were made to Lord Melbourne, in lieu of manerial rights at the time of the inclosure in in 1806.

Over-Haddon was the birthplace and residence of Martha Taylor, the celebrated fasting damsel, relating to whom there are as many as four pamphlets extant. It is said that she began to abstain from food on the 22nd of December 1667, being then in her eighteenth year, in consequence of the effects of a blow received some years before, but her illness is said not to have commenced till the end of August, or the beginning of September preceding. The last pamphlet was published March 30, 1669, when it appears that she was living and continuing to fast; her face is described as plump and ruddy; her pulse as even and lively; it is said that after she had left off eating, she once swallowed part of a fig, which had nearly proved fatal to her; that she had none of the usual secretions after the beginning of 1668; nor was there any moisture in her mouth or nose; that the vertebrae of her back might be felt through the abdomen; that she had very little sleep, and was once wholly without sleep for five weeks. It appears that she underwent two watches, having been attended by from forty to sixty women, who watched her strictly night and day. One of these watches was appointed by the neighboring townships; the other by the Earl of Devonshire. If the entry copied in the note, records the burial of this young woman, she survived the publication of the last pamphlet fifteen years. We have no account of the sequel, whether she was detected as an impostor, or whether she was a real sufferer, and, having recovered, returned to her usual habits.

It is probable that some of these pamphlets might have fallen into the hands of the late notorious impostor Ann Moor, and suggested the leading circumstances of her impositions. This woman, who is a native of Derbyshire, resided at Tutbury, where during a pretended fasting of more than four years, she contrived that her case should in almost every particular resemble that of Martha Taylor. Having successfully eluded one watch of seventeen days and nights, she continued her imposture with the greater confidence; till at length, having reluctantly submitted to a second ordeal, it was conducted with so much care and skill, that she found it impossible to elude the vigilance of the watchers: and at length, when nature was almost exhausted with real fasting, she confessed herself an impostor.

The manor at Nether-Haddon belonged at an early period to the family of Avenell, whose co-heiresses married Vernon and Basset. The heiress of Vernon, in the reign of Henry the Third, married Gilbert Le Francis, whose son Richard took the name of Vernon and died at the age of 29 in 1296. This Richard was common ancestor of the Vernons of Haddon, Stokesay, Hodnet, Sudbury, etc.. The Bassets continued to possess a moiety of Nether-Haddon in the reign of Edward III, but in or before the reign of Henry VI. the whole became vested in the Vernons, who had purchased Basset's moiety. Sir Richard Vernon of Haddon was speaker of the Parliament held at Leicester in 1425; his son of the same name was the last person who held for life the high office of Constable of England. Sir Henry Vernon, grandson of the latter, was Governor to Prince Arthur, son of Henry VIII, who is said to have resided with him at Haddon. The Haddon branch of the Vernons became extinct in 1565 by the death of Sir George Vernon, who, by the magnificence of his retinue and his great hospitality, is said to have acquired the name of "King of the Peak". Dorothy, the younger of his co-heiresses, brought Haddon to Sir John Manners, second son of Thomas, the first Earl of Rutland, of that family, and immediate ancestor of His Grace the Duke of Rutland, who is the present proprietor.

The ancient castellated mansion of Haddon-hall, exhibits the architecture of various periods, having been built at several times by the families of Vernon and Manners. The general appearance of this ancient mansion, with its turrets, surrounded by woody scenery, is very picturesque. The gallery in the south front, about 110 feet in length, and only 17 in width, was built in the reign of Elizabeth. The great hall was the ancient dining-room. Most of the other apartments, which are numerous, are of small dimensions. About the year 1760, the house was entirely stripped of its furniture, which was removed to Belvoir Castle, but the building is still kept in good repair. The Rutland family have not resided at Haddon since the reign of Queen Anne, when the first Duke lived there occasionally in great state, and is said to have kept his Christmas with open house, in the true style of old English hospitality. A ball was given in the gallery by the Duke of Rutland on occasion of his coming of age, and another by the inhabitants of Bakewell, on occasion of the peace of 1802.

The manor of Blackwall, a township in this chapelry, was given to the Priory of Lenton in Nottinghamshire by Wiliam Peverell, in the reign of Henry I. It appears by Pope Nicholas's Valor, that this manor consisted of four oxgangs of land, then valued at 1 pound 5 shillings per annum. This manor was granted in 1552 to Sir William Cavendish, and seems to have descended to the Newcastle branch of the fmaily. It is included in the rental of the Earl of Newcastle's estates in 1641, being then valued at 307 pounds per annum. There was another manor in Blackwall, which was the property and residence, for several generations, of the ancient family of Blackwall; the last of whom having become greatly involved in debt, an extent was issued at the suit of the crown, in the reign of Charles II for the enormous sum of 130,632 pounds 7s 10d This manor having been then seized appears to have been granted to the family of Hope; Lady Margaret Hope, widow (dau of the Earl of Haddington) was possessed of it in 1702. Both these manors and the whole of the landed property in Blackwall, are now vested in his Grace the Duke of Devonshire.

[Transcription time: 1 and 1/2 hours]

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[From Lysons Topographical and Historical Account of Derbyshire, 1817.
Transcription kindly donated by Barbarann Ayars, 22nd Aug 2001]

URL of this page: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/DBY/Bakewell/Lysons.html