CLOWN, in the hundred of Scarsdale, and deanery of Chesterfield, lies
about nine miles from Chesterfield. The manor of Clown was given by
Wulfric Spott to Burton Abbey. (fn. 1) It is not now known as a separate manor;
being partly situated in the Duke of Portland's manor of Bolsover, and
partly in that of Barlborough, belonging to Mr. Rodes.
Romely-hall in this parish, belonged, in the reign of Queen Elizabeth,
to the family of Wood, afterwards to that of Routh, of whom it was pur
chased by Mr. Wright, of Sheffield. The nephew of the latter bequeathed
it, in 1788, to Daniel Thomas Hill, Esq. It is now the property and re
sidence of the Reverend Thomas Hill. The estate belonging to this hall
is partly in Clown, and partly in Barlborough and Bolsover. Romelyhall was some time in the occupation of the late Dr. Thomas Gisborne,
physician in ordinary to His Majesty, and president, of the college of phy
sicians, who died there in 1806.
Bassano's volume of Church Notes describes the tomb of William Inskip,
at Clown, who died in 1582 having been rector there 54 years. The King
is patron of the rectory. In the year 1727, Mr. John Slater gave 40s. per
annum to a schoolmaster, whenever a school should be founded at Clown.
Mr. Charles Basseldine, who died in 1734, gave a house and land, now let
at 26l. per annum, for that purpose.
CRICH lies about five miles east from Wirksworth, which is the posttown, and twelve from Derby. The. parish is chiefly in the hundred of
Morleston and Litchurch, but extends into that of Scarsdale, and into the
wapentake of Wirksworth. The parish comprises the township of Crich,
and the villages of Dark-lane, Frithley, and Wheatcroft, with part of Upper
and Nether-Holloway, in the hundred of Morleston and Litchurch; the
township of Wessington, in the hundred of Scarsdale; and the township of
Tansley, in the wapentake of Wirksworth.
There was formerly a market at Crich,. which, although we have not
been able to find any record of its grant, appears to have been of considerable antiquity. It was attempted to be revived about the middle of the last
century, at which period it had been long discontinued. In 1810, it was
again opened, and continues to be held for corn, provisions, &c. on
Thursdays. There are two fairs, April 6, and Oct. 11, for horses, cows,
sheep, pigs, woollen clothes, cotton goods, and pedlars' wares.
The manor or barony of Crich belonged, when the survey of Domesday
was taken, to Ralph Fitz-Hubert. The heiress of his descendant, Hubert
Fitz-Ralph, brought it to Anker de Frecheville, whose son Ralph was pos
sessed of it in 1218. Roger Belers, who purchased this manor of Ralph
de Frecheville (a descendant of the former), died seised of it in 1325. Sir
Roger Belers, who died in 1380, left two daughters, who possessed this
manor in moieties; but the whole devolved eventually to the descendants
of Sir Robert de Swillington, who married the elder. From the Swillingtons,
the manor of Crich passed, by inheritance, to Ralph Lord Cromwell, who
in the reign of Henry VI. sold the reversion to John Talbot, the second
Earl of Shrewsbury. Upon the death of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, in
1616, it was divided between his daughters and coheiresses, the Countesses
of Pembroke, Kent, and Arundel. The Countess of Pembroke's share
passed through the Savilles, to an ancestor of the Earl of Thanet, who is
the present proprietor. The Countess of Kent conveyed her share to her
uncle, Edward Earl of Shrewsbury. The Duke of Shrewsbury, in 1710,
sold the lands, which were soon afterwards divided into parcels; and in
1711, conveyed his third of the manor or barony to William Sudbury, and
four other persons. The remaining third was sold, in 1660, for 3270l., by
the Honourable Henry Howard, to Anthony Bennet and Ralph Smith, by
whom it was disposed of in severalties.
In the parish church, which is in the deanery of Derby, are some monu
ments of the family of Clay (fn. 2) , with quaint epitaphs, in which there is a per
petual play upon the name. There are the tombs also of Godfrey Beresford,
Esq. (1513), son and heir of Adam Beresford, of Bentley, and servant of
George Earl of Shrewsbury; " Robert Marshall, Esq., and Margaret, his
wyfe, who in this town lyved quietly above fyfty yeres, without debate or
stryfe" (no date); and a tablet for John Kirkeland, yeoman (1652), whose
family are said (in his epitaph) to have lived above 500 years in Wheatcroft.
Bassano's volume of Church Notes describes an aneient monument, supposed
to be that of Sir William de Wakebridge, who died in the reign of Edward III., and that of German Pole, Esq. of Wakebridge, who died in 1588.
The church of Crich was given to the abbot and convent of Darley, by
Robert de Ferrars, Earl of Derby, in the reign of King Stephen. Sir Robert Wilmot, Bart., of Chaddesden, is the present impropriator; Sir Wolston
Willoughby Dixie, Bart., patron of the vicarage.
There was a chantry in the church of Crich, " for God's service, and
maintaining of poor folk," founded in 1350, by Sir William de Wakebridge,
in honour of St. Nicholas and St. Catherine; and another, founded in 1361,
by Sir William de Wakebridge, Ric. de Chesterfield, and Ri. de Tissington,
in honour of the Virgin Mary. The income of the former was valued, in
1547, at 12l. 4s. 41/2d. per annum; the other at 6l. 3s. 4d. (fn. 3)
The manor of Tansley, which belonged to the Knights-Templars, and
afterwards to the Hospitallers, is supposed to have been granted to George
or Francis, Earl of Shrewsbury. William. Earl of Pembroke, who married
one of the coheiresses of Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury, sold it to William
Earl of Newcastle, from whom it has passed, with Bolsover and other estates,
to his Grace the Duke of Portland, who is the present proprietor.
The manor of Wakebridge belonged, at an early period, to a family
whose ancestor took his name from the place. Peter, son of Ralph
de Wakebrugge, married a daughter of Hubert Fitz-Ralph, Lord of
Crich, in the reign of King John. Sir William de Wakebridge, who
distinguished himself in the wars with France, and is spoken of by Wyrley (fn. 4) , as a valiant knight, though he bore colour upon colour in his arms,
died without issue, in the reign of Edward III.: his sister brought this
estate to the Poles, of Staffordshire, and afterwards of Radborne in this
county; a younger branch of which family became possessed of this manor,
and settled at Wakebridge. On the death of John Pole, Esq. of Wake
bridge, in 1724, it passed to his great nephew, Garalt Morphy, whose brother and heir, Edward, sold it, in 1771, to Peter Nightingale, Esq., of Lea.
By his bequest, the manor of Wakebridge passed to his great nephew,
William Edward Shore, Esq., who has taken the name of Nightingale, and
is the present proprietor. The old mansion was taken down about the year
1771, but there are still some remains of a chapel.
The manor of Wistanton, now called Wessington, or Wassington, was
held, at the time of the Domesday Survey, by Levinc, under Ralph Fitz
hubert It appears to have been given to the monks of Darley, by Ralph
Fitz-Odo, and Geffrey de Constantin. (fn. 5) The monks held it under John de
Heriz, in the reign of Edward I. King Henry VIII. granted it, in 1544,
to Thomas Babington, Esq., whose son, Henry, died seised of it in 1570.
Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, was lord of this manor in 1611. In 1657, it
was sold by the Earl of Arundel, grandson of one of his coheiresses, to Ri
chard Taylor and William Hill, yeomen, whose grandsons were possessed of
it in 1760. It is now the joint property of Sir Robert Wilmot, Bart. of
Chaddesden (who purchased of John Hill, about the year 1800), and Mr.
Daniel Hopkinson, of South-Winfield.
CROXALL, in the hundred of Repton and Gresley, and in the deanery of
Repington, lies at the southern extremity of the county, about seven miles
from Burton on Trent and about the same distance from Tamworth and
Lichfield. The last-mentioned is the post-town. The parish contains
the townships of Croxall and Catton, and part of Edingale.
The manor of Croxall (Crocheshalle) was held under Henry de Ferrars
at the time of taking the Domesday Survey, by one Roger, ancestor
probably of the Curzons. It was one of the knight's-fees. held by Richard
de Curcun, in the reign of Henry I. Croxall continued to be the
property and seat of this ancient family till the reign of Charles I.,
when Mary, only daughter and heiress of Sir George Curzon (fn. 6) , brought
it to Sir Edward Sackville, K. B., afterwards the fourth Earl of Dorset.
This Lady, who had been appointed by the King, governess to some
of his children, conducted herself in that situation with so much pru
dence, notwithstanding the Earl was a zealous royalist, that a public funeral
was voted for her by both houses of parliament; and she was buried with
great pomp in Westminster-Abbey, on the 3d of September, 1645. (fn. 7) The
Dorset family resided occasionally at Croxall; and tradition speaks of
Dryden's having been a visitor there. The manor was purchased of John
Frederick Duke of Dorset, by Thomas Prinsep, Esq. well known as an agri
culturalist, particularly for his fine breed of cattle. After the death of his
son, the late Thomas Prinsep, Esq., it devolved under his will to his nephew,
Thomas Prinsep, the son of Theophilus Levett, Esq., of Whichnor, in
Staffordshire, who is a minor.
In the parish church are monuments of several persons of the families of
Curzon (fn. 8) and Horton. (fn. 9) The church of Croxall was given, in 1241, by
Robert de Curzon to the priory of Repton (fn. 10) , to which the great tithes
were appropriated. The impropriation is now held with the manor: the
vicarage is in the gift of the crown.
A school-house has lately been erected in this parish; and a school is
supported on the Madras system, but it has no endowment.
The manor of Catton (Chetun) was held, at the time of taking the
Domesday Survey, by Roger, under Henry de Ferrars. The paramount
Lordship passed in marriage with Amicia, daughter of Henry de Ferrars,
to Nigel de Albini; and it continued in that family in the reign of Henry III.
Aylmer, Baron St. Amand, descended from one of the coheiresses, died
seised of it in 1403. We are not certain whether Roger Horton, Esq., Lord
of the manor of Catton, who died in 1421, first settled here in consequence
of a purchase from the representatives of Lord St. Amand, or whether
his ancestors had previously held the estate under this baronial family, as
paramount Lords. Catton is now the property, and the hall the seat,
of Eusebius Horton, Esq., lineal descendant of Roger Horton abovementioned.
Part of Edingale or Edinghall is in the parish of Croxall, the county of
Derby and the hundred of Repton and Gresley. The Survey of Domesday
describes two manors in Edingale (Ednunghalle) as in the county of Derby,
one as belonging to the King's Thanes, the other to Henry de Ferrars.
The Ridwares were sometime Lords of Edingale, and afterwards the
Vernons: of late years it has been esteemed parcel of the manor of
Alrewas, belonging to the Anson family. (fn. 11) . The benefice is a perpetual curacy,
in. the gift of the prebendary of Alrewas, to whom the tithes were appro
priated. Lands were given in lieu of tithes, by the inclosure act of 1791.
CUBLEY, in the hundred of Appletree and deanery of Castillar, lies about
seven miles from Ashborne and thirteen from Derby. This place had
formerly a market on Mondays, granted, in 1251, to William Montgomery,
together with a fair for three days at the festival of St. Andrew. (fn. 12)
The fair is still held, on the 30th of November: it was, some years ago,
much noted for the sale of fat hogs; but is on the decline.
The manor of Cubley (Cobelei) was held at the time of taking the Domes
day Survey, under Henry de Ferrars, by Ralph, most probably an ancestor
of the Montgomery family, who are known to have possessed it as early as
the year 1160. John Montgomery, Esq., the last heir male, died in 1513,
leaving three daughters coheirs, one of whom brought Cubley and other
estates to Sir Thomas Giffard, with whose heiress they passed to Sir John.
Port, of Etwall. Sir John had three daughters, coheiresses, the younger of
whom brought Cubley to the Stanhopes. The Earl of Chesterfield is Lord
of the manor and patron of the rectory. Cubley was the chief seat of the
Montgomery family, who had a park there; and it was for a time one of
the seats of the Stanhopes; but the mansion has long ago been pulled down.
On the tower of the parish church are the arms of the Montgomery
family and its alliances; and there are some ancient monuments belonging
to them in the church, but the inscriptions have been destroyed.
Marston-Montgomery, a chapel of ease to Cubley, from which it is about
two miles distant, was so called, to distinguish it from Marston-on-Dove.
The manor was part of the ancient property, and here was a seat of the
Montgomery family: the manor, we are informed, is now vested in the free
holders. Parochial rites are performed at this chapel.