Victorian Villagers

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    Some Aspects of Wingerworth in the Nineteenth Century


    David G. Edwards

    Revised 1996


    This series of articles, originally published in Wingerworth Bulletin and now revised, aims to give pen-portraits - so far as is possible from the limited sources available  - of some of the families who lived in Wingerworth in Victorian times. Wingerworth had then only a few hundred population, and its houses were scattered individually or in small groups over a parish dominated by the Hunloke family of Wingerworth Hall, with Stubbing Court forming the centre of a small independent estate.

    1. Froggatt

    William Froggatt and his family lived in the isolated cottage tucked away at the foot of Hanging Banks, reached by a path off Hockley Lane at the top end of the brick-walled gardens. He was gardener to the Hunloke family, and these south-facing gardens supplied kitchen produce to the Hall. He was not a native of the parish but was born (in 1812) at Barlborough, a village having close links with Wingerworth, as the Hunlokes were on good terms with the de Rodes family of Barlborough Hall. It may be noted that a John Froggatt was a gardener at Barlborough in 1846 . William came to Wingerworth about 1849 from Market Weighton in the East Riding of Yorkshire, where five of the six children that he brought with him were born and where he had possibly been an under-gardener; the eldest child, George, had been born at Hotham, a few miles south of Market Weighton, in 1836 or 1837. The other children and their ages at the 1851 census were Mary Therese (11), Anne (9), Elizabeth (7), Hannah (5) and John Bromley (3) . The Hanging Banks cottage was doubtless erected specially by Sir Henry Hunloke to house him, as it did not exist when the parish was mapped in 1843.

    William's wife Teresa (or Therese) Mary was born in Staffordshire. After they came to Wingerworth she bore him two more daughters, Caroline in 1849 or 1850 and Fanny in 1853, making for a few years a household of up to ten in that small cottage of three rooms up and two down . However, between 1851 and 1861 the elder son George and the second and third daughters Anne and Elizabeth left home. George, who in 1851 was working under his father at the age of 14, no doubt obtained a better gardening post elsewhere, and the daughters probably went into domestic service. Both Anne and Elizabeth were married at Wingerworth parish church in their late twenties: Anne in 1870 to James Barker, a sicklesmith of Ridgeway in Eckington parish, and Elizabeth in 1871 to William Hodgson, the Barlborough schoolmaster. By 1871 all the other children except Fanny had also left home. Hannah married, at Wingerworth church in late 1875, Norman MacLean, an engineer of Sheffield. Hannah and her two young children Norman and Teresa Fanny, but not her husband, were recorded in William's household at the 1881 census, but presumably they were only temporary members of it, although they were not stated to be visitors. William's wife had died in 1878, aged 66, but his second-youngest daughter Caroline, still unmarried, had returned to him by 1881. The household at that time was completed by another of William's grandchildren, Walter Bolsover aged 3, born at Ridgeway; it needs further research to discover whether 'Bolsover' is an error for 'Barker' (or vice versa) or whether Walter was Mary Therese's son. In 1881, too, part of the cottage seems to have been occupied separately from the Froggatts by two under-gardeners, Edward McDougall and Henry Hill.

    Fanny married Frederick Vickers in 1888 and continued to live in Wingerworth until her death at the age of 93 in 1946 (6). Frederick ran a market garden on Hockley Lane; at first he rented the premises from the Hunlokes, but when the estate was put up for sale in 1920, he bought the house and 15 acres of land for £700 . However, apparently depressed through worry over the sale of the estate and poor health, he took his own life by hanging himself in the nearby woods in November the same year.

    To return to William Froggatt: he lived until the last week of 1895, some time before his 84th birthday. His tombstone near the tower of the church records that he was clerk to the church for 45 years, and though this may be something of an exaggeration (James Elliott was recorded as clerk in 1851 – see no 5 of this series) he was obviously a respected member of the community. It is odd that the two children born to him in Wingerworth did not receive infant baptism at the church, whereas the two next-older children were both baptised there on the same day in 1858, when they were 9 and 11 years old. The year of William Froggatt's death, incidentally, saw the election of the first parish council for Wingerworth, marking anew era in local government - though of course William's church duties were unconnected with those of the modern clerk to the parish council.

    2. Clay

    On Pearce lane, below the Lavender stands a copse which hides the remains of a mill where stone from Bole Hill quarry was sawn during Victorian times; it closed down before World War I  . In the 1850s, apparently, a cottage was also built on the site.

    It was sublet under the Hunlokes by William Rutherford of Bole Hill farm, who operated the quarry and the mill . To this cottage came George Alexander Clay, stonecutter, with his wife Sophia and three children (George jr, Lucy and Mary Ann, aged 9, 8 and 7 respectively at the 1861 census), who had been born at Heage, where George must previously have worked. Early in 1858 a fourth child Sarah was born. Lucy and Mary Ann had left home by 1871 and the rest of the family had moved into another house (demolished before 1920)   just below Bole Hill Farm. This house had formerly been occupied by a cooper, Joseph Gratton, who died in 1866 aged 82; his widow Ann continued to live there as a boarder with the Clays, until her death in 1874. George was getting on for middle age when he came to work at the sawmill, and he died in 1873 aged 63, as recorded on his tombstone in the churchyard. This stone and an adjacent one also commemorate his wife, son and daughter Lucy, who died in 1891, 1903 and 1909 respectively. It seems from the 1871 census return that George junior worked first as a labourer at an ironworks (probably that of Wingerworth Iron Co. on Storforth Lane), but by 1881 he had advanced to become a stone cutter and engraver. He was then still living in the Bole Hill cottage, with his wife Susan Elizabeth and their 3 months-old daughter Jessie Ellen, but his widowed mother was head of the household. She had taken to the trade of grocer and flour dealer, with her daughter Sarah, then 23, as shopwoman, though it is not clear whether the shop was actually on the premises or elsewhere; to the modern Wingerworth resident, the idea of a shop on Bole Hill may seem rather strange! Sophia’s daughter Mary Ann married George Smith of Darley, a gardener, at Wingerworth church in 1876.

    When George Clay senior came to Wingerworth in the 1850s, he was in fact a returning native, one with an interesting early history as revealed by the book of accounts which was kept by Richard Watson of Pear Tree Farm, the standing overseer of the poor during the early part of the century. In 1810 a Sarah Clay was the subject of an affiliation enquiry: she had borne an illegitimate child, whose baptism as George Alexander in May that year can be identified in the parish register. Both she and the child were certain to become a charge on the poor rate if the father could not be found and made to assume responsibility for them. The account book does not tell us the identity of the father, but it seems that Richard Watson was temporarily successful. Sarah however gave him further trouble in the summer of 1813; she had returned to Wingerworth and was hauled before the nearest magistrate, William Lord at Tupton Hall. She was ordered to be removed to Chesterfield, where Richard Watson took her on 19 August, but within two days she was back again and a second summons was served. In the end, the overseers were obliged to pay Sarah a weekly dole of 2s. 10p) from April 1814 until some time in 1818. The parish authorities then decided to put George out as an apprentice , and during the next few months they took responsibility for clothing him and for getting him indentured to Jesse Rutherford of Bole Hill Farm, William's father, who was then a young man of 26; he became a substantial stone merchant . The overseers paid Jesse a premium of £7 in 1819 to take George until the age of 21, and it was undoubtedly during the following years that George learnt his craft of stonecutting. All told, Sarah and her illegitimate son had cost the Wingerworth ratepayers more than £36 during the nine years of the affair, representing perhaps a tenth of the annual product of the poor rate in the parish. We last come across Sarah in 1844, in a list of paupers relieved by Wingerworth and nearby parishes; then aged 55 and partly disabled, she was living in Sheffield, though not in the work- house.

    3. Goodlad

    The Goodlad family were at Belfit Hill Farm for 80 years or more, from about 1840. A Joseph Goodlad was renting land on the Stubbing Court estate somewhat earlier than that , but his relation to the Belfit Hill family is not at present clear. At the 1841 census, that family was headed by Jane Goodlad, a widow, who was a native of Ashover. In the nineteenth century the farm was referred to as Park Nook, and was rented from the Hunlokes. It comprised 55 acres or so, extending along both banks of Tricket Brook, and made up of 34 acres of arable land, 16 of pasture and 5 of meadow according to the tithe survey made in 1843.

    In 1841 Jane Goodlad was assisted mainly by her adult son Joseph in running the farm. By 1851 she had retired and was living in a separate part of the farmhouse; she died in 1859 aged 74. In the 1840s there was in fact a great change in the composition of the household. Joseph died in 1844 aged 29, his younger brothers George and Rhodes both died in 1848, aged 24 and 28 respectively, and their sister Elizabeth married Richard Barker, another farmer, in 1843. In 1851 the head of the main household was William Goodlad, another son of Jane , who was 39 years old and was described as a timber dealer as well as a farmer. He seems to have been living at Holmgate for a few years before returning to Wingerworth about 1849 . The main household in 1851 contained twelve persons: William, his wife Ellen (a native of Brackenfield), their sons Joseph, John, William and George, their daughters Hannah and Elizabeth, William's youngest sister Jane, her husband Thomas Revell (perhaps a son of Joseph Revell, landlord of the Barley Mow) and their two young children Elizabeth and Joseph. William and Ellen had two more children: Mary in 1852 and Herbert in 1854, but in the following years early death struck the family again. William senior died in 1860 aged 48, his son Joseph in 1863 aged 24, his son John (killed at Bolehill quarry)  in 1870 aged 29, and his brother-in-law Thomas in 1859 aged about 33. Ellen Goodlad continued to run the farm, assisted by her remaining sons William, George and Herbert, until at least 1895 ; indeed, she lived to the age of 85 in 1899. In 1920 at the sale of the Hunloke estate, Goodlad Bros were recorded as farmers at Belfit Hill, and it was George Goodlad who bought the farm then . He died in 1926, his brothers William and Herbert in 1921 and 1925 respectively, and his unmarried sisters Hannah and Mary in 1919 and 1927 respectively; all were in their seventies.

    Jane junior bore Thomas Revell five children altogether, of whom the last died a few months before his father. Very soon after Thomas's death, she married Joseph Bower, who took over the Barley Mow after Joseph Revell, and had another five children by him . He too died early, at the age of 40, but she did not give up: she married William Hodgkinson, an Ashover farmer and a widower, at Wingerworth church on 4 September 1872, and relinquished the Barley Mow tenancy. The 1881 census return for Ashover shows that William was over 20 years Jane's senior and that he had only a small farm: 10 acres at Kelstedge. Her death at Ashover aged 67 in 1898 is recorded on her second husband's tombstone in Wingerworth churchyard.

    4. Dronfield

    Up to about 1860 the cottage built against the rock outcrop at Stone Edge, opposite the Red Lion, was only half its present frontage, i.e. essentially one room up and one down. At that time, apparently as part of a programme of improvements on the Hunloke estate, the extension was made, doubling the accommodation available to the Dronfield family who lived there (and no doubt increasing their annual rent too) . The cottage is only just within the parish of Wingerworth - the Red Lion stands in Ashover - and the tongue of land which includes the old quarry and the plantation to the rear of the cottage was originally part of the common land of the parish, converted to farmland etc. in the mid-eighteenth century. The cottage was first built some time between 1779 and 1819 (the dates of two surveys of the parish) , and between 1819 and 1843 five small fields at the western tip of the parish were brought into cultivation, extending the Dronfield’s smallholding from 8 to 14 acres .

    The tenant of this cottage in 1819 was Francis Dronfield, who was a labourer as well as a small farmer. The 1851 census return in fact describes him as a road labourer, so maybe he had the job of keeping the turnpike roads to Darley Dale and Matlock in good repair at Stone Edge. At that date he was 68. He died just over four years later, and was buried in the churchyard at Old Brampton, his birthplace . With him in 1851 were his wife Benedicta (some 12 years his junior, and a native of Ashover) and two sons, Joseph (a cordwainer, i.e. shoemaker, born about 1827) and Cornelius (also a road labourer, born about 1832); a younger daughter Betty was apparently a servant at Nethermoor Farm in 1851. Although Cornelius was a younger son, it was he who took the tenancy of the cottage and smallholding on his father’s death. He married Ann Wragg of Ashover in the mid- 185Os, and they had two sons (mentioned below) and four daughters at least (Sarah, Mary, Ellen -a dressmaker in 1881- and Benedicta; another may have been the Annie Dronfield who was buried in 1869, aged 2). They also provided a home for Ann's widowed mother . From 1861 onwards, Cornelius was described as a farmer, and by 1881 had increased his holding to 30 acres. Although he rented the house and land which he occupied from the Hunlokes, Cornelius owned some houses at Spitewinter, from which he would draw a small income, and it was this status as a freeholder which entitled him to vote at elections as from 1867 . He seems to have died some time between 1881 and 1895 as his elder son Charles (who was a stone getter in 1881) was listed as a farmer in Wingerworth in the latter year . In 1920 it was C.J. Dronfield (Charles's grandson?) who occupied the cottage and land, which he apparently purchased by private agreement from Philip Hunloke in advance of the auction of the estate.

    Francis and Benedicta Dronfield had other children besides Cornelius, Joseph and Betty. One of these was Francis, at home in 1841 but married by 1851 and then living at Spitewinter Quarry House . There were also two daughters, Sally and Hannah. The latter was not at home in 1841 or 1851, but was married at Wingerworth parish church in 1853 to John Roberts of Flintshire. This Welsh connection may explain why Cornelius named one of his sons Emlyn (also a stone getter in 1881). Hannah had at least one son who died young, and she herself did not live long after his burial, dying in September 1858 at the age of only 37. It is in this connection that her mother returns to our story. Benedicta evidently became a highly regarded member of the local non-conformists, as is testified by the foundation stone to her memory in Mount Zion chapel, Spitewinter. In 1861 she and her daughter Betty (then a dressmaker) were living at Salem Place. It is undoubtedly Benedicta and Hannah who are referred to, as the widow and her daughter occupying a cottage adjoining Salem chapel, by Joseph Fletcher, the chapel's founder in his account of 'the rise and progress of Independency at Wingerworth', published in the year after Hannah's death . He graphically describes the dying Hannah's efforts, under his guidance, to resolve the question of the salvation of her sou1 eventually she succeeded in doing so. Joseph Fletcher, colliery official and evangelist preacher, had founded the chapel and congregation in the late 1840s, against much opposition from the Roman Catholic Sir Henry Hunloke and the Anglican curate Samuel Revel. Benedicta herself died in 1866 aged 72, and in 1871 the chapel cottage was occupied by a different family.

    5. Elliott

    James Elliott, who died in July 1871 aged 74, was Wingerworth parish clerk for forty years - or so his tombstone records. A surviving book of the church accounts suggests that he took over that office in 1822, and if so, this means that either his tombstone or that of William Froggatt his successor errs on the generous side (see no.1 of this series). At any rate, the 1851 census return recorded him as holding the position, as well as being a labourer; the 1841 and 1861 returns described him as an agricultural labourer and as a gardener, respectively. In 1842 or 1843 he, his wife Hannah and their two daughters moved from a little cottage behind Nethermoor Farm to an adjacent cottage which was known as Forge House (from its proximity to the ironworks of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries beside Tricket Brook); the cottage that they left was probably decrepit, as it seems to have been pulled down immediately afterwards.

    In 1844 James's elder daughter Ann married John Fidler of North Wingfield, a sawyer, and the newly-weds set up home in Forge House also. Thus by 1851 the household had increased from four to eight: besides the two married couples, there were Ann's 17 year old sister Harriett and three Fidler children, James, Hannah and Harriett; all three with Elliott as a middle name. Here we have two fairly unusual features for a Victorian rural household: a young married couple setting up home in the same accommodation as parents while both father and mother were still alive; and the provision of a second forename for children. What, however, was normal for that period was the interval between the births of Ann Fidler's children: judged from the baptismal register, it was between 2 years and 2 years 9 months. Her fourth, fifth and sixth children (John Elliott, Ann Elliott and John Thomas respectively) were all baptised at Wingerworth, even though the young family had moved by 1852 to Chesterfield, John Fidler exchanging his work as a sawyer for the doubtless more profitable position of landlord of the Crown Inn in Lordsmill Street.

    Hannah Elliott was buried in 1855, and about the same time her other daughter Harriett must have married; her bridegroom was another Fidler of North Wingfield: Samuel, who may have been a younger brother of John. He was a miner. They too set up home in Forge House, but of course James Elliott did then need a housekeeper. By the time of the 1861 census two children had arrived, once more being given the middle name Elliott; evidently the grandfather, having no son apparently, was nevertheless determined to perpetuate his surname. At Lady Day (25 March) 1865, James gave up the tenancy of the house . It is likely that Samuel Fidler had found employment elsewhere and that the young family took the old man with them at any rate none of them was living in Wingerworth when the 1871 census was taken (which was a few months before James's death).

    The new tenant of Forge House in 1865 was in fact another Elliott: John, perhaps James's younger brother. In the early 1840s he had been living alone in the lodge (demolished in recent times) at the foot of what is now Lodge Drive and was then an entrance to the grounds of Wingerworth Hall . At that time he was a groom to the Hunloke family, an occupation which he still followed in 1871, plus that of 'farmer' (a plot of 6 acres went with Forge House) . Before 1851, however, he had moved elsewhere and married; a son Samuel was born at North Wingfield about 1852. In 1871, besides this son (a coal miner), he had living with him his wife Harriett and a 10 year old nephew; he himself was then aged 61. At the time of the 1881 census, a few months before his death, he appears to have been living in the same house, with his wife (who died in 1889 aged 77), two other sons John (?; the name is not very legible in the return) and William, who were a good deal older than Samuel, and a grandson.

    6. Twelves

    One cottage which was among those demolished during the programme of improvements to the Hunloke estate around 1860 (mentioned in no.4) stood in a field on Swathwick Lane opposite the entrance to Ivy Farm. It was divided into two, and in one half lived one of the most pathetic families recorded in the Wingerworth census return of 1851. It consisted of 78-year-old John Twelves, his wife Mary aged 75 and their widowed son Samuel aged 50, unmarried daughter Mary aged 34 and granddaughter Hannah aged 14. John was described as an agricultural labourer, but both he and his wife were paupers maintained by the parish . It seems that they had been receiving relief out of the rates, on and off if not continuously, for many years. In fact, up to at least 1843 the cottage was one of a number that were rented from the Hunlokes by the overseers ; there is evidence from 1821, too, that it had a thatched roof , which in a district of mainly flagged roofs suggests an inferior standard of accommodation.

    The son Samuel was also an agricultural labourer, while the daughter Mary, now evidently looking after her parents, had apparently previously been a servant at Mill Farm . Hannah was deaf and dumb. Her exact parentage is not revealed by the census return, but the Wingerworth baptismal register shows that she was the younger Mary's illegitimate child . Both her grandparents were buried at Wingerworth within a few months of the 1851 census, no doubt in a pauper grave: no tombstone to them has been found. The rest of the family must have left the parish not more than a few years later, as there is no trace of them in the 1861 census return for Wingerworth.

    7. Paramore

    Another cottage demolished around the same time as that of the Twelves family was one that stood on the bank just beyond the 'Forty Steps'. Its household had the dubious distinction of being entered twice over in the 1841 census return. The cottage was then occupied by an agricultural labourer, Thomas Paramore, and the much older Martha Paramore, probably his mother, who died the following year, aged 68. There had been Paramores in Wingerworth since the seventeenth century, if not earlier, but Thomas was apparently born at Baslow. If the description of him in the 1851 census is to be believed, he had gone up in the world, to the status of cattle dealer, but probably he was merely engaged in fattening animals for the market. In 1851 he had an unmarried servant Mary Fretwell aged 30 living with him, and Mary's 6 year old son George Fretwell who, however, was also entered in the return as Thomas's son . On 15 June 1856 Mary had three other illegitimate children baptised at the church, with surname Fretwell and Christian names Thomas Paramore, Jemima and Martha Paramore (whether triplets or not, the register doesn't reveal). No evidence has been found to confirm that Thomas was indeed the father of all these, but it seems highly likely. Maybe his surname was not inappropriate. Like the Twelves family, this household had left the parish before 1861; no doubt those responsible for demolishing both cottages felt that not only disagreeable and unprofitable property but also an undesirable element of the population was being swept away.

    8. Wyatt

    An essential craftsman in any village was the carpenter or joiner, preferably skilled as a wheelwright also. Notable in this respect in Wingerworth was the Wyatt (or Whyatt) family at Nethermoor. Their house and workshop stood on Nethermoor Road at its junction with the old road to Woodthorpe (now marked by the gate into the yard of Nethermoor Farm). It was pulled down some time around the end of the Victorian period. The family was living there in 1805  and possibly some decades previously, but the first of whom we have evidence as a carpenter was Joseph, the tenant in 1819 . He retired in 1837, the first year of Victoria's reign, and passed on the business to his eldest son William . His retirement must have been due to ill-health or injury, because he died two years later, aged only 54.

    William Wyatt continued to live in the same house with his mother Elizabeth (who was 83 or 84 when she died in 1870) and other members of the family, but he remained a bachelor. He had three or four brothers and four sisters, of whom Thomas and Hannah died quite young and Joseph seems to have left the parish in the 1840s. His youngest brother John, who was also a carpenter, was still with him in 1851, as well as his sister Elizabeth, who by then had married the Hunloke riding master or horse breaker Joseph Davis (a native of Surrey) . The household was completed by an apprentice, Thomas Davenport; William also had an apprentice in 1861 and 1871. By 1861 Joseph and Elizabeth had moved to the lodge at the corner of Hockley Lane and Longedge Lane (51), and John Wyatt had married 'the girl next door' and had moved into her house, one of three joined together which were later replaced by the two pairs of semi-detached stone houses now standing on Nethermoor Road.

    John's wife, five or six years his senior, was Mary Ellen Higginbotham, daughter of Daniel, a farm labourer and smallholder who died in January 1861. John and Mary Ellen had no children of their own but seem to have unofficially adopted a nephew James Davenport, who was probably a relative of Thomas, the apprentice mentioned above. James was still with them in 1881, and had no occupation at the age of 24, so he may have been handicapped.

    William Wyatt's two other surviving sisters, both married, were visiting Wingerworth at the time of the 1861 census. The younger, Mary Hardcastle, was staying in his house and the elder, Anne Archer, with the Davis's. By 1871 Anne had apparently come to live permanently with William, keeping house for him after his mother's death. She is described as 'married' (i.e. not a widow), but there is no mention of her husband. In the 1871 census return, John Wyatt is described not only as a joiner but also as a Methodist local preacher, which presumably explains why he and Mary Ellen were not married at the parish church. Joseph and Elizabeth Davis left Wingerworth between 1865 and 1871 , but they were both buried in the churchyard, in 1900 and 1898 respectively, both at the age of 81.

    Contemporary directories describe William Wyatt as a wheelwright, though in the census returns he is always said to be merely a carpenter or joiner. That the directories are not wrong is shown by an entry in the Hunloke account book of 1864-5 which records a payment to him for wheelwright's work. An interesting document details all the work that the Wyatt family did at Wingerworth church between 1832 and 1872, first with Joseph senior and then with William in charge. The payments that they received totalled over £142. This document was drawn up in 1905 by John Wyatt from the family's account books, in response to a request by the then rector, the Revd Joseph Ormesher. Most of the work consisted of fairly minor repairs or modifications, including much that could not properly be called joinery, but some major jobs included re-pewing in 1841, seating alterations and re-flooring in 1844, a new roof for the vestry in 1846, and a new communion table in 1850. As already indicated, John Wyatt was still living at Nethermoor in 1881, but William had retired and was then living on his own at Press (in Ashover parish), where he owned some houses . It was from Press Cottage that John Wyatt wrote to the rector in 1905. William had died in 1887 aged 76, and Mary Ellen in 1891, but John lived on until 1915, aged 83.

    9. Pearce

    Towards the end of 1819, the year in which Queen Victoria was born, John Gratton junior, who rented both Lydgate and Carr House Farms from the Hunlokes , hired 19- or 20-year-old Bathia Fretwell (a Wingerworth native) as a servant for 51 weeks  - not for a full year, which would have given her a 'settlement', i.e. the right to maintenance by the parish if she should fall on hard times. But on 19 June 1820, well before that period was up, she married Henry Stringfellow, the same age as herself. Henry's father (also named Henry) was the tenant of a 58-acre farm based on the house which is now 246 Longedge Lane, next to the surgery at Hill Houses . Henry senior died in 1829 and Henry junior only four years later at the age of 33, leaving Bathia with three children: Ann Jervis and Henry.

    The young widow lost little time in finding a second husband, Joseph Pearce of Pearce Lane Farm , who was a couple of years her junior. By 1843 not only had the 36 acres of that farm been combined with the former Stringfellow holding but another 24 acres had been taken, making the whole, at 118 acres, the third-largest farm in Wingerworth at that time . It continued to be run from Hill Houses, but it was perhaps not an easy farm to manage, as it was by no means compact: of its 37 fields (an abnormally high number, because of the union of two holdings), only one adjoined the farmstead; the rest lay in blocks of various sizes on the west side of Langer Lane, on Pearce Lane and at Stubbing, or were isolated, including one alongside the road to Gorsey Place, well over a mile from the farmhouse. Of the total area, about two-thirds was arable land.

    The Pearce household in 1841 was a large one: Joseph and Bathia, her six children (she had had three by Joseph, named John, Elizabeth and Martha, to whom a fourth, Joseph, was later added), two farm workers and two other men: John Stringfellow and William Wilson. The former, probably Bathia's brother-in-law, was a baker - the only person of that trade known to have lived in Wingerworth in the early Victorian period. It is probably no coincidence that a flour dealer, Mary Allison, was living in a nearby cottage. William Wilson was a shopman, so maybe they sold bread on the premises. By 1851 the household had been reduced to seven (Joseph and Bathia, their children John, Martha and Joseph, Bathia's son Henry Stringfellow, and a servant boy), and the baker had disappeared. Some time between 1857 and 1861 the family left Wingerworth altogether, apparently moving to Clay Cross, where Bathia died in 1865, and then to North Wingfield, where Joseph died in 1874 . The farmhouse at Hill Houses became divided up into two cottages, occupied by more lowly members of rural society than farmers, and it continued thus until at least 1920 when the Hunloke estate was sold and this property, including 3/4 acre of land, was bought by F. Bunting for £425. A final word about Joseph Pearce: he was the first guardian of the poor for Wingerworth under the new Poor Law passed in 1834 , and he was the (not too literate) enumerator for the 1841 census in the parish.

    10. Curates and Rectors

    Wingerworth had four successive parish priests during the Victorian period (1837-1901): Samuel Revel up to 1869, Francis Parker Sockett from 1869 to 1877, Frederick Calder from 1878 to 1900, and Joseph Edward Ormesher from 1900.

    We are fortunate in that photographs of all these men have been preserved at the church; moreover, all are commemorated by tombstones in the churchyard. During Samuel Revel's incumbency, ecclesiastical reform changed the old order in the parish in three ways. First, in 1842-3 the ancient system of tithes - payment of a tenth of the annual produce of crops, livestock etc., or of money in lieu, to the priest - was replaced by a rent-charge on the land, as a result of which we have a detailed map and survey of Wingerworth for 1843 . Second, a couple of years later, the patronage of the living was transferred to the Bishop of Lichfield (in whose diocese Wingerworth lay until 1887) and the bulk of the tithe rent-charge and most of the glebe (the freehold land of the benefice) were handed over to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners ; formerly all these had belonged to successive Deans of Lincoln Cathedral since the end of the 11th century, except during the Cromwellian period. Third, in 1867 Wingerworth was finally freed from its ecclesiastical dependence (nominal though it had become in most respects) on Chesterfield as a parochial chapelry, so Samuel Revel was elevated from his subordinate position as 'perpetual curate' to the full status of rector  and became entitled to the whole of the tithe rent-charge, worth nearly £300 p.a.

    Although Samuel Revel M.A. was installed officially as curate in 1834, he seems to have been unofficially in charge for some years previously: the preceding perpetual curate, John Morewood , had died in 1828 and Samuel Revel's signature appears in the registers as early as 1827. He was born in Sheffield in 1801 or 1802 and apparently remained a bachelor until the age of about 35, when he married Dorothy Wragg of Duckmanton at Chesterfield ; she was of a similar age. It seems that they did not-20 -

    come to live in Wingerworth until 1841 or 1842, when they moved into the newly built Harper Hill House , which they rented from the Hunlokes. It was here that their only child Samuel was born in 1842. This house is of course a long way from the church, but the only house belonging to the church in Wingerworth at that time was Parsonage House on Derby Road , which was the property of the Dean of Lincoln and was in use as a farmhouse; moreover, even if Samuel Revel could have afforded to build his own house, he had no land of his own any nearer the church . Samuel Revel's household in 1851 and 1861 included his unmarried sister-in-law Mary Wragg as well as his wife and son. He died in 1869, only two years after being made rector, but his wife lived until 1880, and Samuel junior continued to live at Harper Hill as a small farmer until at least 1881, with his aunt (then aged 87) and a servant girl.

    Before coming to Wingerworth in 1869, Francis P. Sockett had been vicar of St James, West Bromwich, for 25 years , and possibly had been looking for a country living for the close of his career. Born at Frome (Bishop's Frome or Castle Frome?) in Herefordshire, he was a bachelor. In Wingerworth he appears to have lived in Birdholme Cottage at the foot of Longedge Lane (again a house rented from the Hunlokes). His household there in 1871 consisted of a housekeeper and two teenage servants from Chesterfield who may have been brother and sister. He died in 1877 aged 69 and was succeeded by Frederick Calder M.A., who was a native of Nottingham and a graduate of St John's College, Cambridge, and had been headmaster of Chesterfield School for just over 30 years, gaining a high reputation in that post . While headmaster there, he wrote and had published more than one book on arithmetic, and Scripture Stories for the Young (74).

    In 1881 he too was living in Birdholme Cottage, with his wife Selina, daughters Janet and Agnes, and a cook and a groom. The new rectory which he had had built near the foot of Swathwick Lane, though listed in the census return, was evidently not ready for habitation. This was the first house in Wingerworth to be the freehold property of the incumbent; land must have been exchanged with the Hunlokes so that it could be built in that spot . Frederick Calder, who was elected to the very first parish council for Wingerworth in 1895 but stood down in favour of John Crookes of Birdholme Farm , continued as rector until his death at the age of 82 in 1900. It was therefore his successor, Joseph E. Ormesher, formerly curate at North Wingfield, who saw out the Victorian era in the parish the following year; he served as rector until his death in 1917.


    Since the above was written in the 1980s, the enumerator's book for the 1891 census in Wingerworth has become available, and a few references have been spotted in the Derbyshire Times in the course of searching for other information, providing the material for the following additions.


    In 1891 the gardener's cottage below Hanging Banks was unoccupied. Widower William Froggatt had retired and was living with Frederick and Fanny Vickers at Hockley House, together with their 1 year old daughter Mabel and 13 year old nephew Walter Bolsover (which therefore confirms that surname but throws no light on his parentage).


    In April 1891 Sophia Clay was still living with her daughter Sarah in the cottage on Bole Hill and running the grocery business with her. They also had Sophia's granddaughter Sarah E. Smith with them, but her son George, his wife Susan and their daughter Jessie had by then moved to one of the cottages at Pond Head, near Salem chapel. As already stated, Sophia died later that year, aged 73.


    As might be expected from what has already been written about this family, Ellen Goodlad was recorded in the 1891 census at Belfit Hill Farm (though entered merely as" Ashover Road" in the book), with her sons William, George and Herbert and her daughter Mary.

    A further note can be added about Jane, Ellen's sister-in-law: her third husband William Hodgkinson had died by 1891 and, aged 60, she was then living in one of the Lydgate Cottages (now nos 238 and 240 Longedge Lane) as housekeeper to widower John Ward, a road labourer, and his family. However, if the inscription on her tombstone is correct, she later returned to Ashover.


    The occupants of Rock Cottage at Stone Edge in 1891 were only Charles Dronfield and his sister Benedicta, both single and aged 35 and 16 respectively. Their father Cornelius therefore appears to have died before then. Charles was described principally as a farmer in the return.


    Although the location is entered in the return as merely "Nether Moor", it appears that the occupant of Forge House in 1891 was John Elliott, the son presumably of the John Elliott who died there in 1881 as already mentioned. Then aged 50 and described as a farmer, he had living with him only a servant, Ellen Carr; no other members of the family were recorded in Wingerworth at that census.


    In 1891 John Wyatt the joiner was still occupying the same cottage on Nethermoor Road as he had at the previous three census dates, with his wife Mary Ellen and their nephew James Davenport, who was still unmarried but this time had an occupation entered: farm labourer. The occupant of the earlier Wyatt residence at Nethermoor, as in 1881, was wheelwright Walter Brocklehurst and his family.

    Curates and Rectors

    A sale notice early in 1878 reveals that Francis P. Sockett had no mean library: some 600 books. A dispute, the settlement of which remains to be discovered, arose over the terms of his will. He appears to have added a codicil while he was not in his right mind, leaving all his property to his housekeeper. This was challenged by his executor, John Moore Cooper of Birdholme House, who was manager of the Wingerworth Iron Company's works on Storforth Lane.

    In 1891, Frederick Calder was living in the relatively new rectory on Swathwick Lane with his wife Selina, daughter Agnes, boarder Elizabeth Boyes aged 18, and three servants; Agnes was still single at 28 years of age. For some time at least, Selina and her daughters (Janet was evidently still at home in 1888), assisted by her husband, offered tuition at the rectory to a small number of girls, in subjects including French, German, Latin, Music, Drawing, Science, Classics and Mathematics. It is not known how long this kind of dame school continued, or how many pupils were received; possibly the above-mentioned boarder was one of them.


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