Parwich & District Local History Society

Newsletter number 4 (January 2001)

Free to members (£1 to non-members)

Production of this Newsletter Sponsored by Tarmac (Central) Ltd

 

Parwich trackways; roots to the past.

Copyright © 2001 Rob Francis

‘Some of our roads and tracks in the landscape may well be older than we think and there is probably more prehistory in most landscapes than was formerly imagined.’

Mike Aston (of Time Team fame) in ‘Interpreting the Landscape’.

In looking to understand the past historians tend to study buildings, artefacts, ruins or documents forgetting that the landscape itself is a prime source of evidence. The landscape has been moulded by people making journeys and travelling through it. Roads, tracks and footpaths, usually ignored by the modern traveller, carry hints that tie us closely to past times. Parwich is criss-crossed by numerous roads and trackways that give clues to past patterns of travel and forgotten ways of life. This article sets out to highlight some of these. I have based it on research carried out by The South Peak Archaeological Survey as well as observations made by people living locally. It aims to suggest the origins of these footpaths, tracks and roads reminding us that journeys, made either for pleasure or work, are merely continuations of journeys made by others in more distant times.

The Ringway, an ancient route going north from Townhead

One of the most important roads (and perhaps the oldest) is the one that traces the boundary of the parish for almost 3 miles to the east. It starts as Highway Lane (Map ref: 195542) a name possibly derived from Hay Way Lane. It becomes Backhill Lane and then Parwich Lane. Linking the lowland of Parwich to Pikehall it rises over 100 meters to the White Peak Dome. The road begins to level out past Two Dale Barn and passes by Roystone Rocks (Map ref:194561). Richard Hodges, when investigating Roystone Grange, noted that there seemed to be a Mesolithic hunting platform built to view animals passing down the valley. Perhaps the road has its origins in prehistoric hunters stalking their prey! The route terminates at Pike Hall and a clue to the road’s age is the fact it acts as the parish boundary for this length and would have provided a convenient natural marker when the boundary was set almost a 1000 years ago. If there is no primary road passing through Parwich then this one could act as an important link with other important routes and may be part of the route named in a 13th century charter as The Peakway . Pike Hall was always an important junction. The Roman road – Kings Street – passes through it and this trackway is likely to be older still, possibly connecting Minning Low and Arbor Low 5000 years ago, at the end of Neolithic times. Other important roads have passed through Pike Hall and therefore it is possible to speculate that this parish boundary road provided Parwich with an essential link with the rest of the country as far back as the Roman occupation and before.

The northern part of the parish also has Cardlemere Lane and Cobblersnook cutting through it. These two lanes are in fact part of one trackway which becomes Gallowlow Lane to the south of Minning Low. This was an important packhorse trade route, possibly medieval, linking land in Staffordshire and Cheshire with the sea ports in the east of England. Salt, lead, lime, coal and numerous other items would have been transported by packhorses back and forth across the country, no doubt stopping off at The Pikeham Inne (now Pike Hall Farm) which would have been a busy hostellry for travellers.

Another important route heading north is the Ringweye. This starts just above Townhead (Map ref:185549) and passes a number of fields with the name Ring (Ring Knowle and Rings Top, for example). There appears to be a holloway (a sunken track worn down over time with slightly raised sides) for the first part of the way. It has been suggested that the trackway passes through two linear banks which may have bordered the older field enclosures. The Ringweye passes the back of Middlemoor Farm and then joins Green Lane in the north of the parish. Perhaps this was a main route linking Parwich with Hartington where, from the 13th Century, there was an important weekly market.

The footpath to Tissington in medieval times was known as Tiscintonsty and provided the western way out of the village. Today it is a popular walk and if you stand overlooking the Bletches it is possible to trace signs of old trackways, down across the valley and up the other side past Shaws Farm. A distinct holloway can be seen here on a clear day. Another route running north west out of Parwich has the name The Weatherway. Running parallel with the Bletches it follows the valley past Parwich Lees and on to Alsop-en-le-Dale. The name hints that this might have been a droveway for sheep and a route to another weekly medieval market at Alstonefield.

To the south of the village The Redway is noted in a medieval document. This runs out parallel with Pitts Lane but goes up past Blanche Meadows onto the ridge (at Map ref:189538) making its way towards Lea Hall, a deserted village above Tissington ford. There is often a duplication of routes and it should be remembered that in winter travellers would have kept to higher ground which would have been less muddy, whilst in the warmer months they would have taken dry lower routes. The traveller going south would have chosen one or the other depending on weather conditions. (Compare them, as I write today, in early January, and you’ll see what I mean!)

The holloway going up from Dam Lane (the Alsop road) to the Weatherway is an evocative example of a medieval track way.

Another way out of Parwich would have been the route through Eaton Dale that would have joined up with Cold Eaton, a way that could have been used for travelling to and from either Hartington or Alstonefield markets. (See the Eaton Dale Walk in the last society newsletter).

This is not an exhaustive list of trackways and a look at the ordinance survey map will show numerous other footpaths. Some of these are known as ‘occupation routes’ which were paths leading to cultivated land. Many of these would have been made by the villagers reaching their fields strips in medieval times. A good example of one of these occupation routes is the recently renovated holloway from Dam Lane (map ref:184544). This lane does link with other paths (including the Weatherway) but it primary function was probably to be to provide a way to the fields on the ridge between Parwich and Bletch Brook. It is quite possible that Monsdale Lane was also an occupation route giving access to the fields past Littlewood Farm. Numerous other footpaths in the parish may also have had their origins as occupation routes.

Parwich in the past was a busy community, with tracks, paths and roads running north, south, east and west. It benefited then (as it does today) from being close to main thoroughfares without having a disruptive highway running through. The position of Parwich in Roman times, when there was probably a farming community living in the area, is not so different to that of today. These roads, tracks and pathways link us intimately with the past lives of villagers who set out at different times but on similar journeys. Pause for a moment today, at an isolated point on any of these routes, and the distant sound of footsteps, the chatter of voices or catching for breath of a traveller are hinted at in the breeze, weaving now and then in a rich texture that transcends the present moment. A journey well worth taking!

Bibliography:

Peakland Roads and Trackways A.E.Dodd & E.M Dodd

Wall to Wall History Richard Hodges

Interpreting the Landscape Mike Aston

The South Peak Archaeological Survey (Copy in Local Studies Library)

 

 

KEEP THE BANNER FLYING BOYS

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE PARWICH ODDFELLOWS

Copyright © 2001 Brian Foden

At the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th century life in a Village like Parwich would have been to say the least very precarious, and for the labouring classes the line between survival and reliance on parish relief and consequently a paupers grave was a very narrow one. Most of the common land and common grazing had been enclosed in 1788 and therefore most families relied on labouring work on the new farms and lived in cottages tied to their employer. It only needed the death of the breadwinner of the family, illness or unemployment to force the family into relying on Parish relief from the Overseer of the Poor. It was against this background that self help groups sprang into being in the form of burial clubs, friendly societies and co-operatives and it was only after the repeal of the Combination Act in 1824 that Friendly Societies and Trade Unions became legal.

The Oddfellows probably originated from the earlier Trade Guilds, and got its name from the fact that in the smaller towns and villages there were insufficient numbers of Fellows to form a dedicated guild. In these circumstances fellow workers from all trades joined together and called themselves Oddfellows as they were fellow craftsmen from an odd assortment of trades.

The Loyal Laurel and Crown Lodge in Parwich was formed in 1836 and was part of the Manchester Unity, a breakaway from the Grand United Order of Oddfellows that was based in London. The new lodge was held at the house of Brother Thomas Kirkham at the Crown Inn, Parwich.

The Lodge was a very formal gathering and had very strict rules and regulations. It was headed by the Most Noble Grand Master (chairman) and the Worthy Vice Grand Master (vice chairman) together with the Tyler or Guardian of The Lodge (the doorkeeper who kept a guard on the door at all Lodge meetings.) Passwords and coded messages were used to enter the Lodge some, of which still survive in the old Lodge records. Members were summoned to meetings and were fined 6d if they did not attend. Many other fines were imposed at meetings, for example:

        Alfred Bainbridge, - fine 6d for neglect of duty.

        William Bunting, - fined 1s for not sending apology.

        Richard Wain - fined 1s for not cleaning up.

        G H Brownson - fined 6d for not being upstanding when speak

        William Webster, - fined 2s. 6d for disorderly conduct.

        James Prince - fined 2s. 6d for disorderly conduct.

        Joseph Greatorex,- fined 1s for working when on sick fund.

The aims of the Oddfellows were to provide for members who were unable to work due to sickness or age, to provide for widows and orphans and pay the costs of funerals for members and their dependants. It was the solemn pledge that not one of their members should suffer the indignity of a pauper’s funeral. Each year twelve good men and true would be elected from amongst the members to act as official mourners and accompany every member on their last journey to the churchyard. The mourners would wear black sashes and white gloves and carry the white wands that we still see today on the annual parade. An entry in the Lodge ledgers for the 3rd of June 1855 shows “ Liquor at George Austin’s funeral 6 shillings”, that would be about six gallons of ale.

The Lodge would retain and employ a local doctor to provide free treatment to all its members and their families, and also have arrangements with the hospital at Derby to provide beds and treatment. Our records show that in 1852 Mr. Twigge surgeon was paid £4. 5s. 6d half yearly for 57 members at 1s. 6d each.

Financial provision and travel costs together with a letter of introduction to the local lodge would be provided for any member who was unemployed and had to travel to another town or village to seek work. The local Lodge would then be obliged to provide board and lodgings and assistance which could be claimed back from the members own Lodge.

Once a year it was the custom for each lodge to hold an annual dinner, known as the Anniversary or Feast. The Loyal Laurel and Crown Lodge at Parwich was no exception and they held their celebration on the Monday nearest to the 29th of June, this being the feast of St Peter the patron Saint of the Parish Church.

In the early days the Feast itself was held at the Crown Inn and all members were expected to attend or pay a fine equal to the cost of the dinner. An entry in the minutes for the year 1854 show that 97 dinners at 1/8d each cost £8 1s 8d and £3 17s 3d was spent on 38 gallons and 5 pints of ale. The format for the day has changed little over the years as can be seen from the rules set out by the Anniversary Committee in 1876, and shown below:

    Each member shall pay 2/6d each. 2/0d for dinner and 6d for 1 quart of ale.

    Each member attends the Lodge room at half past nine.

    Each member proceed to Church in an orderly manner at 11 o’clock, or be fined 1 shilling.

    After the service the members to walk round the town and there be no procession after the dinner.

    The band be allowed 1 gallon of ale at each house.

    That any member leaving the church during the service with the exception of the two waiters shall be fined one shilling.

    Any member smoking during the procession or leaving the same shall be fined one shilling.

    That the Sheen band be engaged to play at the Anniversary for the sum of £3-10s and they play during the pleasure of the members.

    That Brothers Samuel Fern and George Swift be appointed banner bearers and the band shall play for the members until 6 o’clock.

    That no member shall leave the table without permission until thanks be returned or be fined one shilling.

    That Brother Swindell to carry the Dispensation.

    That the Rev L Buckwell be invited to preach a sermon and dine with the members and that the organist and clerk be invited to dine also.

    That Brothers William Webster and Samuel Allsop be conductors of the procession and in neglect of duty be fines 2s 6d.

    That the members follow the band to the top of the town, and then return.

    That Brother James Etherington and John Boden be appointed liquor wardens for the members and that William Twigge be liquor warden for the band.

    That each member be provided with a pair of white gloves or be fined one shilling.

    That the band be provided with refreshments on their arrival.

The first mention of a banner at Parwich is in the accounts for January 1847 when 1s. 6d was paid for the carriage of the banner. It also seems that the Parwich banner was hired by other local Lodges who had no banner of their own. The Wands that are carried by members at the Anniversary seem to be unique to Parwich and the first record of them being used is in 1854 when George Ellis was paid £1.13s 0d for supplying new wands and the painting of the old. New members of the Lodge on their first Anniversary walk were required to carry a golden axe at the rear of the procession (I can remember doing this myself 30 years ago). The Dispensation in its guided frame carried at the front of the procession is the original hand-written document that gave permission to establish the Lodge in 1836. The Anniversary and Feast were held on a Monday at the Crown Inn where the lodge had built its own Lodge room at the rear. It probably moved its meetings and feast to the Sycamore when the Crown ceased to be an inn and the feast moved after the Village Hall was built.

Odd Fellows walk early 1900s leaving the square by shop

The Introduction of the state National Insurance scheme and the National Heath Service brought with it the decline of the friendly societies and membership of the Oddfellows fell from over 1 million in 1948 to about 100,000 at the present time. This has not happened in Parwich where the membership is still about the same as it was in the 1800s, and the old traditions continue. The credit for this is due to the dedication enthusiasm and hard work put in by our long serving secretary Mr Tom Lees.

Bibliography

Parwich Oddfellows Records. Matlock Public Records Office.

A short history of the Oddfellows Friendly Society in the Hope Valley

 

 

Error in Surname List

 

In the previous issue (Newsletter number 3) there was an error in the list of surnames found in the 1841 Census given on page 3.  Surnames from ‘Smith’ onwards (alphabetically) were accidentally deleted and this was not noticed prior to going to press.  My apologies, especially as this list was meant to be a more complete version of the one given in issue 1, which was based unwittingly on an incomplete version of the Census.  Only one person pointed out that the list in the previous issue was obviously incomplete.  Thank you, but I hope this doesn’t mean only one person read the article.  A hopefully now complete list is shown below.                                          

Copyright © 2001 Peter Trewhitt

Adams (1)

Evans (17)

Needham (1)

Aiden (3)

Fernihough (4)

Norton (1)

Allen (2)

Flint (1)

Parker (1)

Alsop (18)

Frith (12)

Plesey (1)

Austin (2)

Frost (1)

Poiser (1)

Ayre (2)

Gibbon (5)

Prince (7)

Battesly (5)

Gould (10)

Richard (25)

Beardsley (1)

Greatorex (8)

Riley (4)

Benett (1)

Greaves (4)

Roe (12)

Beresford (2)

Hadfield (10)

Saint (6)

Blackwell (1)

Hall (7)

Shaw (6)

Bonsall (1)

Hambleton (1)

Sin (2)

Bottom (6)

Hanch (1)

Slackburn (1)

Brindley (5)

Harris (1)

Slater (1)

Brownson (10)

Hill (4)

Smedley (1)

Bullock (1)

Hitchcock (1)

Smith (9)

Burton (1)

Hopkins (2)

Steeple (4)

Caldwell (1)

Ironmonger (2)

Stone (2)

Carding (1)

Jackson (1)

Sutton (4)

Chadwick (7)

Jerome (3)

Swindell (35)

Cordon (1)

Johnson (21)

Taylor (2)

Cotton (5)

Keeling (26)

Twigge (24)

Crichlow (3)

Kirkham (30)

Wain (7)

Dab? (1)

Lees (18)

Watson (6)

Dakin (4)

Longden (1)

Webster (25)

Daniel (1)

Madkin (1)

Wheeldon (1)

Dutton (1)

Marsh (1)

Wood (1)

Edge (6)

Mather (4)

Wright (9)

Ellis (16)

Mellor (2)

Yates (4)

Ensor (1)

Mycock (3)

 

Etherington (7)

Naiding (1)

 

 

 

The Roystone Grange Walk (14th Oct 2000)

Led by Rob Francis

Copyright © 2001 Peter Trewhitt

 Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.

Visit to Local Studies Library, Matlock, County Hall

Copyright © 2001 Peter Trewhitt

 Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.

“The Living, the Dead and the Ancestors”

a talk on Wigber Low by Mark Edmunds & John Moreland

Copyright © 2001 Peter Trewhitt

Permission has not been granted by the copyright holder to publish this report on the website.  A hardcopy of this report may be obtained by emailing the website editor.

 

Did you know?

There are hundred or so ring banks on Parwich Moor, built between 2,500 and 3,500 years ago.  Why they were built is a mystery.

Carsington was the administrative centre for Roman lead mining in this part of Derbyshire.  The Roman buildings are probably now under the reservoir.

At the time of the Domesday Book (1085) Parwich was probably a net exporter of honey and silver.

In Medieval times there was a village called Lea above the Tissington ford (by the road, north of Lea Hall).

In 1563 there were only 30 households in Parwich.

In the 1650s the Vicar of Bradbourne’s income was raised to £80 a year, while Parwich’s Perpetual Curate only got £6 13s. 4d.

In 1709 Catherine of Braganza, widow of King Charles II and Regent of Portugal owned land in the parish of Parwich.

 

50 years of Horticulture in Parwich

 

This year the Parwich & District Horticulture Society celebrates its fiftieth anniversary.  As part of the celebration there is planned a joint publication by the Horticulture Society and the Local History Society exploring the history of Parwich gardens, gardeners and the Horticulture Society. 

Parwich Quiz

Copyright © 2001 Peter Trewhitt and Rob Francis

Section 1

In which of the local villages (within 4 miles of Parwich) would you find the following churches?

1. St. Michael’s

2. St. Peter’s

3. All Saints

4. St.Edmund’s

5. St. Mary’s

6. Which house in Parwich was a commercial cheese factory?

7. Parwich is said to mean ‘the dairy farm by the river’ what language does the ‘–wick’ part derive from?

8. What is the Memorial Hall in memory of?

9. The current headmaster at Parwich School is Mr. Williams, he was preceded by Linda Hughes. Who preceded Linda Hughes?

10. In what year was the present Parwich School built ?

11. What is the name of the Roman Road from Derby to Buxton that passes through Pike Hall?

12. What building material, unusual for this area, did Sir Richard Levinge use for the building in the Village completed in 1747?

13. Name the three pubs operating in Parwich in 1900?

14. Who bought the Parwich Estate between the First and Second World Wars?

15. What former railway line now makes up the Tissington Trail?

16. What former railway line now makes up the High Peak Trail?

17. What is Saint’s Hill or Fentom’s Hill more commonly known as?

18. What are the Odd Fellows? 

          A. Men of Parwich born in an odd numbered year.

B. A Trades Union

C. A Friendly Society

Section 2

Questions 1 to 8 Where are the following ‘Exits and Entrances’, that is can you identify the buildings shown in the photographs on the following page?

 

Entrance 1

Entrance 2

Entrance 3

Entrance 4

Entrance 5

Entrance 6

Entrance 7

Entrance 8

 

9. What Ken Russell film (much of it filmed in Matlock and Belper) did local actor Alan Bates star in?

10. Who is the writer who created Peak Practice?

11. What Classic Nineteenth Century novel’s television serialisation was partly filmed in Parwich using Brentwood and Hallcliffe particularly?

12. How is the date of Wakes Saturday calculated in Parwich?

13. How many people were registered to vote in Parwich parish in October 1999?

A. 398

B. 414

C. 436

D. 490

14. What did the planting of the avenue of horse chestnut trees by Nether Green and the football pitch commemorate?

15. What, currently undergoing conversion to a private house, was built in 1912 by the Liverpool philanthropist and campaigner Florence Rathbone?

16. In the Domesday Book Parwich was described as having three outliers, which of the following is not an outlier of Parwich? 

        A. Alsop

        B. Ballidon

        C. Cold Eaton

        D. Hanson

17. What was the first Parwich Pantomime performed in 1984?

18. Vanessa Redgrave brought Camelot to Parwich, name her headquarters (the correct name)?

19. For another point, name the Political Party she represented?

20. What is the link between the home of Batman and Parwich?

Tie-Breaker

21. Who was the Portuguese princess who married Charles II, and as the Dowager Queen lived in Somerset House and also paid tax on land she owned in Parwich in the early 1700s?

For the answers, email the editor  letting us have your views on this Newsletter No 4, and we will email back an answer sheet.

 

Using Records and Archives to trace Local

History and Family Histories

A talk by Brian Foden

Copyright © 2001 Peter Trewhitt

A fascinating evening that passed exceptionally quickly.  Brian talked first about the Manorial system and the Manor court, which dealt with the full range of local issues including local finance and criminal offences.  The Lord of the Manor was the central figure.  The Manorial records for Parwich have been lost, though there is still a chance they may turn up with the Levinge papers, perhaps in Ireland (see the last issue for information on the Levinge family who ended up as absentee landlords of Parwich with their main estates in Ireland).  As Parwich was part of the Wirksworth Hundred (the Anglo-Saxon political centre for this area, that retained its importance through the Medieval period), more important issues would have been taken to Wirksworth Manor Court.  So we may find more about the early history of Parwich amongst the Wirksworth Manor Court rolls now held in the National Records Office at Kew.  One document Brian has found was a plea to the Manor Court in 1568 by Anthony Alsop for permission to establish a horse powered mill at Alsop.

With the black death, the dissolution of the monasteries and political/economic changes, the Manor Court played a much smaller role. As the Manor Court declined the parish or vestry increased in importance.  The vestry ran all aspects of the parish; it consisted of twelve members including the minister, the church warden, the constable, the overseer of the poor and the overseer of the highways.  The parish officers were unpaid, could not decline office when appointed and often had to make up any financial short falls out of their own pockets.  The various records of the parish were stored in a chest, initially wooden and later metal with three locks.  It is the contents of these chests that form the main source of local history from the Tudor period up to the establishment of national records and the censuses in the nineteenth century.  In Parwich the parish chest can be seen in the form of the early but very dilapidated wooden chest that is still in St. Peter’s church.  For Parwich al the contents of the chest seem to have under gone a similar decline, and are also much reduced.

The minister, in the case of Parwich a perpetual curate, was responsible for maintaining the parish register which primarily records baptisms (not necessarily births), marriages and burials.  Thomas Cromwell was the first to order these records be kept for all churches, but initially they tended to be kept on loose sheets, which was not satisfactory.  Under Elizabeth I it was further specified that they should be kept in a bound volume with the old loose sheets being copied into that volume. The parish register for Parwich still exists from the mid sixteen hundreds, though there are some gaps.  The Parwich records can be accessed on microfilm in the Local Studies Library in Matlock.  Fortunately the Minister had to make a copy of the register each Easter and send it to the Bishop.  These are known as the Bishop’s Transcripts and are held at Litchfield for Parwich.  Also marriages by special licence may not be recorded in the parish register, but in the diocesan records.  

One thing to bear in mind when interpreting parish registers is the change from the Julian to Gregorian Calendar in 1752.  Under the Julian Calendar the new year started on Lady Day (23rd of March) instead of 31st of December.  So under the old calendar 1751 ended on the 22nd of March and 1752 started on the 23rd March.  The change to the new calendar occurred on the 3rd of September 1752, but it gets more confusing as we were eleven days out

of step with the rest of Europe who were using the new (Gregorian) calendar.  So the 3rd of September was followed by the 13th of September to bring us into line with everyone else. 1752 then ended on the 31st of December and 1753 occurred in a fashion that we would understand.

In 1753 the single parish register was replaced by separate volumes for marriages, baptisms and deaths.  Later still there were printed registers ensuring standard recording and generally fuller records.  In the 1830s national registers of births, deaths and marriages were established, which has led to the more recent decline in the use of the parish register as a fully comprehensive record.

The minister was also responsible for collecting the tithes (literally a tenth of everyone’s produce) which were the source of his income.  Parwich was never a particularly well paid living and up until the early 1700s it was a chapelry of Ashbourne, with a perpetual curate who would receive a salary which was only a small part of the tithes.  Indeed in 1650s the Perpetual Curate received £6 13s. 4d. a year, at a time when £30 a year was considered to be the minimum necessary for a beneficed clergyman.  The tithes were often a source of contention, as the bulk of them tended to go out of the parish.  For example there is a carving on the rood screen at St. Edmund’s in Fenny Bentley of a fox running off with a goose, which represents Lincoln taking the bulk of the parish’s tithes.  In an attempt to clear up the anomalies of the tithe system the Tithe Act was passed and surveyors appointed to chart each parish.  As a result in Parwich we have  a detailed map of the parish in 1843, showing who owned and who tenanted each piece of land and each building.

The church warden was responsible for the up keep of the church, and had the power to raise a rate to pay for this.  Often the church warden’s accounts are a fascinating source of local information.  Unfortunately only the accounts for 1713 survive for Parwich.  They primarily relate to purchase of bread and wine for communions, and to repair and up keep of the church and church yard, though they also contain money for crows and money given to the poor.  The church warden would pay people for the dead bodies of recognised vermin, in this case crows.  One interesting entry was the payment of 6s. 6d. to John Hopwood for a new gate at Lenscliffe.  The village had a number of gates: at Lenscliffe (on the Alsop road), at Whitecliffe (on the Newhaven road), at Twodales Barn (on the lane to Pikehall) and at the Thorns.  These would have been to prevent stock grazing on the common land wandering into the village.

The constable was in effect the local policeman and tax collector.  This unpaid and unpopular position was not a job that people generally sought out.  The constable was responsible for making arrests, the stocks, whipping vagrants, the lock up, and taking prisoners to the assizes.  The stocks were outside the Church gates, but does anyone know where the lock up was?  He was also responsible for weights and measures and collecting taxes (e.g. Window Tax, Ship Tax, Wig Tax), and for raising the local militia.  This office continued up to the establishment of the police force.  We do not have any of the constable's records, though the Quarter Session’s in Derby provide record of those cases that went to court.

Also we lack records for the overseers of the poor and the overseers of the highways, responsibilities that continued in the vestry until the 1800s.  Other information that would have been stored in the parish chest were details of the land owned by the parish church and any local charities, which were usually land or money left to the parish church for a specific purpose.  St. Peter’s owned land in Kniveton and Monyash as well as in Parwich, and a number of the charities still exist.

A further source of information is wills, which from the 1500s to 1858 were held by the church, in our case Litchfield.  For Parwich there are a large number of old wills held in the Litchfield Records Office.  Often the wills have attached an inventory of the deceased’s possessions, which can be very informative.

 

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