The earliest baptism in the Sheldon parish register is 29 Aug 1737, of Cornelius and Richard, sons of Cornelius & Elizabeth WHITE, followed by the first baptism proper, in 1746. In addition to a transcription on CD, available from Ancestral Archives, there is a printed transcription of Sheldon registers available, covering the periods 1672-75 and 1745-1810 for baptisms, and 1745-1812 for marriages, which has the following note:
"The Register Commenced in the year 1745 when the Queen's Bounty & Mrs Archer's Augmentation made Sheldon a private Curacy when John SWIFT B.A. was first Curate there."
I recorded the above note from a transcription which I saw some years ago in the Society of Genealogist's Library, obtaining the reference [Ref: DB/R 29 pub. 1939] and covering dates from SoG's website more recently. It is not clear to me now where the baptisms recorded as taking place 1672-75 came from. Added 12 Mar 2008.
Check the registers at Bakewell for earlier entries.
The church was in the rural deanery of Bakewell.
The Primitive Methodists build a small chapel here in 1848.
"SHELDON, a chapelry in the parish of Bakewell, hundred of High Peak, county Derby, 3 miles W. of Bakewell, its post town. The village, which is of small extent, is situated near the river Wye, and is chiefly agricultural. A portion of the inhabitants are engaged in the lead mines. The impropriate tithes belong to the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, and to the Duke of Devonshire."
The Sheldon Duck - in 1610, so legend has it, a group of Sheldon villagers watched a duck fly into an ash tree. They were baffled however, as they never saw the duck come out again. Thereafter, the tree became known as 'The Duck Tree'. Nearly 3 centuries later, when the tree was felled and split up into planks in a timber yard in Ashford, the image of a 'duck-sized' pattern was found in the grain of the two middle planks, with markings where the brain and lungs would have been. Thus was born the legend of 'The Sheldon Duck'. The two boards were on display in Ashford Post Office for a while, and postcards showing an image of the duck used to be sold. However, this was not to last, as the timber merchant who felled the tree liked the pieces of wood so much that he used them for making a mantlepiece at his home. [Reference: Bunting, Julie - Branching Out into Fact & Fiction. Article published in The Peak Advertiser 5th April 2004, p1.& p9]