No church is mentioned at Crich in the Domesday Survey. Crich was at that time one of the nineteen Derbyshire manors held by Ralph Fitzhubert, whose principal residence was on this manor.* To him succeeded his son, Ralph Fitzralph, first Baron of Crich, who in the time of Henry I. gave certain lands in Hartshorn to the Knights Hospitallers. ✝ His son, Hubert Fitzralph, was a great benefactor to Darley Abbey, and in the year 1175 confirmed his church of Crich to that establishment. But it seems to have been previously given to the Abbey by Ralph Fitzralph, for the church of Crich is mentioned by Robert de Ferrers as part of his gift to the canons at the time when he removed them from Derby and founded the Abbey of Darley, which was early in the reign of Henry II for Robert de Ferrers died in 1162. There is some contradiction between the different charters as to the actual donor of the church, of Crich, but it is most probable that the Ferrers for a time exercised some nearly nominal control over Crich manor as chief lords, and that the donation required their consent. ✢ Considerable lands and woods pertaining to the manor of Crich were also bestowed upon the abbey by Hubert Fitzralph and his father. In the year 1175 a dispute arose between Albinus, first abbot of Darley, and Hubert, respecting the manor and church of Crich, and lands at Pentrich, Ripley, Okerthorpe, and Chilwell. The dispute chiefly turned on the claim of the abbot to the pannage and agistment of swine throughout the whole of the woods of Crich. The matter was
* He was the eldest son of Hubert de Rya, and was hung in the civil wars, in the year 1140, by a partisan of the Empress Maud. Dugdale's Baronage, vol. i., p. 109; Matt, of Westminster (ed. 1601), p. 243.
✝ Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii., p. 527.
✢ Dugdale's Monasticon, vol. ii., p. 231, and vol. iii., p. 60. See also the important chartularies of Darley Abbey, now in the Brit. Museum (Cotton and Cole MSS.), described in Churches of Derbyshire, vol. i., p. 321.
34 DERBYSHIRE CHURCHES.
referred to the determination of Roger, Bishop of Worcester, and Robert, Prior of Kenilworth, and the decision was chiefly in favour of Hubert. ✻
Hubert Fitzralph, Baron of Crich and Lord of Scarcliffe and Palterton, died about the year 1225. By his first wife, Edelina, he left two daughters, his co-heiresses, the eldest of whom, Juliana, was married to Anker de Frecheville, ✝ but he dying before his father-in-law, Crich passed to his son, Ralph de Frecheville. One of the Darley chartularies contains a deed of this Ralph, confirming the church of Crich to the abbey. ✢ His son, Anker de Frecheville, who married the heiress of Musard, and thus became baron of Staveley as well as of Crich, died in 1268. § His son, Ralph de Frecheville, in the year 1324, alienated the manor of Crich to Roger Beler and his heirs, who died seized of it in the following year, leaving an heir, Roger, aged seven years. ❢ Sir Roger Beler died in 1380, and his fourth wife, who survived him eleven years, held Crich as part of her dowry ; thence it passed to Sir Robert de Swillington, who had married Margaret, daughter and co-heiress of Sir Roger Beler by his second wife. It afterwards passed by inheritance to Ralph, Lord Cromwell, who in the reign of Henry VI. sold the reversion to John Talbot, second Earl of Shrewsbury. On the death of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1616, the manor was divided between his three daughters and co-heiresses, the Countesses of Pembroke, Kent, and Arundel.** The manor has since become much divided, and has been the subject of prolonged and frequent litigation.
During the episcopate of Alexander Stavenby (1224-1240), a vicarage was formally ordained at Crich, and endowed with the tithes of lambs and wool, and the usual oblations. In the year 1278 a composition was entered into between the abbot of Darley and William de Draycote, vicar of Crich, by which the latter undertook to rest content with the former ordination of the vicarage, and certain additions made at the time of his presentation to the
* Cole MSS., vol. xxi., f. 171. On the same page occurs a grant of a portion of the manor of Crich to Darley Abbey by Geoffrey de Constantine. He married the sister of Hubert Fitzralph. This grant is confirmed by Walter, Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield, 1149-61.
✝ Nichols' Collectanea, vol. iv., p. 1; but Nichols is wrong in the date of the death of Hubert.
✢ Cole MSS., vol. xxi., f. 177. See also Harl. MSS. 5809, f. 35 b.
§ Inq. post Mort.. 53 Hen. III., No. 20. See the account of Staveley, Churches of Derbyshire, vol. i., pp. 345-364.
❢ Rot. Fin., S. Mich., 18 Edw. II. ; Inq. post Mort., 19 Edw. II., No. 98.
** See Blore's South Winfield and the accompanying pedigrees ; also Glover's Derbyshire
vicarage, viz. a provision in case of illness the whole tithes of the lands and tenements that used to pertain to Peter de Wakebridge, which Bricius, formerly vicar of Crich, obtained by consent of the abbey of Darley and forty shillings of rent paid annually by the abbey.*
The taxation roll of Pope Nicholas (1291) gives the annual value of this church at £6 13s. 4d., and a rental of the temporalities of Darley Abbey, within the archdeaconry of Derby, taken about the same time, states that the monks held sixty acres of land at Crich, valued at twenty shillings per annum, and also assessed rents to the annual value of twelve shillings.✝
The manor of Wakebridge in this parish belonged at an early period to a family who took their name from the place. Peter, son of Ralph de Wakebridge, married, in the reign of John, Emma, sister of Hubert Fitzralph, lord of Crich.✢ Their great-grandson,
Peter de Wakebridge, was knight of the shire in several parliaments of Edward III., and died in 1349. He had a large family, and left Sir William de Wakebridge his heir. Neither Sir William nor his brothers had any issue, and his sister, Cecilia, the wife of Sir John de la Pole, became his heir. Peter de la Pole,' son of Sir John and Cecilia, was the ancestor of the Poles of Radbourn, but his younger brother, Ralph de la Pole, became lord of Wakebridge. His posterity continued there till the death of John Pole in 1724, when it passed, in default of heirs male, to his great nephew, Garalt Morphy, and Wakebridge was soon afterwards sold to Mr. Nightingale, of Lea.
Sir William de Wakebridge, of Wakebridge, was knight both of this shire and Nottingham in several parliaments between 26 and 86 Edward III. He is said to have been a valiant warrior in the French wars, but is better known as the munificent founder of two chantries in his parish church. Much information respecting these chantries, as well as other particulars relative to the parish church can be gleaned from an interesting chartulary still extant, which affords a far fuller insight into the property and working of these chantries than is the case with any other parochial chantry with whose history we are conversant. It is curious that this MS. has
* Cott. MSS., Titus, C. ix.. f. 47 b.
✝ Ibid., f. 41. The total annual value of the temporalities of the abbey, within the archdeaconry, is given as £72 19s. 3d.
✢ A pedigree of Wakebridge in Glover's Derbyshire makes Emma daughter of Hubert, but this could not be, otherwise she would have been a co-heiress, and conveyed part of the manor of Crich to Wakebridge.
36 DERBYSHIRE CHURCHES.
hitherto altogether escaped the notice of our county historians.*
The volume commences with the writs and inquisitions of Edward III., done into English : –
" Edwarde the thirde Kinge of Englande directed his writte unto th eschetor of Darbyeshere to make inquisition to knowe whether he were any thiuge damnified yf he dyd graunte to Wylliam Wakebrugge lycence to geave unto a chapelayue to singe for the sowle of his predecessors at Chriche fowre messuages, thre cotages, one tofte, seven plowe lande, and sixtene shyllinges of rent -wth th appurtenance in Chriche, Whetecrofte, Holeways, Alvaleye, and the Lees by Cromforde, and fortye shyllinges issueinge out of his landes at Hassoppe, Harston, Wakebrugge, Tannesleye and Tyversall to have and to holde for ever, and to make inquisition wether he has sufficient landes besides this to be swore
Sessions and Assises.
" Ihon Walleis th eschetor dyd retorne his inquisition taken bye the veredicte of twelve men wyche dyd present that hit was not prejudiciall unto the Kinge nor unto anye other that the sayde Wakebrugge sholde geave unto the chapelaynes owre messuages, thre cotages, one tofte, and seven plowe lande, and syxtene shillinges of rent wth th appurtenances in Chriche, Whetcrofte, Holeways, Alvaleye and the Lee by Cromforde, wythe lycence for to geave the same chapelayene at Haslop, Harston, Wakebrugge, Tausleye and Tyversaill and theye save that the sayde fowre messuages, thre cotages, seven plowe land, and sixtene shyllinges rent are holden of Rauffe Lee, that is to saye everye messuage by the service of toe shillinges, everye cotage and tofte by the service of six pence, and everye plow land by the service of ijs six pence by the yere, the whe Rauffe dothe holde the same of Roger Beler by the service of the fowerthe part of a knight fee and farther theye present that he hath sufficyent of freholde to be sworen in sessions and assises videlicet x11 of lande by the yere in Criche, &c.
"Whereupon the Kinge confirmed his graunt savinge unto the chiffe lordes theyre right &c.
" An other writte unto the schetor.
" The same Kinge directed a wryt unto theschetor to enquire by the othe of twelve good and laufull men of the same counteye of Darbye what damage hit were to him or unto other yf he dyd graunt to Wylliam de Wake that he maye geave fowre messuages thre cotages fyve toftes thre plowe lande, fowre and xxu shyllinges of rent wth th appurtenances in Chriche, Whetcrofte, Plastowe, Furcheleye, Alveleye, Holewayes, Tannesleye, Dethecke, and the Lee by Dethecke to a certayne chappelayne to praye for the sowles of dyvers his predecessors, &c.
" Bye vertwe of wch writte th eschetor made his inquisition in the wch he dothe retorne that hit is no losse or prejudice unto the Kinge or to anye other yf he do geave the same land and farther makethe in his retorne that toe messuages, thre cotages, toe plowe land, and twelve shillinges of rent are holden of Roger Beler payenge one payre of gloves for all services, the wch Roger doth holde hit of the Kinge by homage and fealtee. Lyckewise they do saye that to messuages, fyve toftes, and one plow land, and twelve shyllinges of rent are holden of Roger of Wynfeld, the wyche Roger dothe hold them of Roger Beler by homage and fealtee and the fowertenthe parte of a Knightes fee. Wche Roger dothe holde hit of the King in capite as parcell of the Manere of Chryche. Lykewise they saye that the sayd Wylliam hath land in Chriche to the valewe of xti over all chardges, &c.
* Harl. MSS. 3669. It is a thin volume of 101 folios ff. 2*-4* copies of writ of Edw. III., done into English in a later hand ff 1-6, calendar of saints' days, etc. ff. 7-92, the chartulary proper ff. 93-98, a second calendar, with obituary and other notices ff. 99-101, rentals. A tolerable full abstract of its contents will he found at the beginning of vol. 6669 of the Add. MSS
“ Whereupon the Kinge confirmed his grauiit saviuge unto the chiffe lordes his right, &c.
“ Hit is to be knowen that all the tenements in the afforesayde dedes, contayned or retorned by the inquisition are not holden of the fforesayde lordes ueyther by so muche rent as by the inquisition is supposed and this was done by the counsell or the founder that the tenements shold seeine to be of lesse value then they were and therefore the Kinges fine was lesse, but these wch here after euswe are the rentes of the Chauntrye graunted bye the founder. “Imprimis one halpeuye was reserved to the Heyeres of Hugh Gurneye for the mansion in Chriche as hit dothe appeare by the dede. Item one halfepenye was reserved to the heyres of Heugh de Loudeforth for the same as hit doth appere bye the deede, wch rent is not nowe to be payed for that, neyther of the grauntours hathe anye Heyres. Lykewyse fyve shyllinges are to be payed to the prior of Felley for the tenement wch was Thomas Eyres of Chriche, and thre shyllinges and fowre pence are dewe to the same prior for the tenement wch the sayde Thomas dyd hold in furtesleye and six pence are dewe to the chyrch of Chriche for the tenements in Chriche bye the grauut of Adam Eyre. Lykewise one penye is dewe to the Heyres of Wylliam Keuerdsaye lord of the Lee for one tenement wche is in the handes of Simon Whetcrofte. Lykewyse one halfepenye is dew to the light in the Churche of Chriche for all other tenements in Whetcrofte wch were Alexander Lees. Lykewyse a payre of gylden spores or six pence in moneye are dew to the lord of Chriche for to plow lande at Stricthorne, wyche were Henrye Codinton. Lykewyse one aple is dewe to Richard Clarcke for one mesuage and toe acres of lande the wch Ihon of Chestershire dyd purchase of Alexander de Lee. Lykewise one halfepeuye is dewe to Wm of Kenardsaye for three acres of laud the w he the sayde Ihon of Chestershire dyd purchase of Thomas de Ferarius. And one halfepenye is to be payed to the light of Saiiict John of Dethecke for one plot of land in the Lee wh is called Hannefelde. Lykewise one pounde of cumine is dew to the lord of Chriche and the grindiuge of a eleven busshelles of come is dew to the chapellaynes in the Lee for that halfe part of the milne wch were Thomas Ferrars. Lykewyse to shyllinges are dewe to the heyres of Alexander Lee except a releas may be had, and that is to be sought of lohn of Dethecke and the grinding of an eleven bushell is dew to the chappelaynes of the Lee for that halfe of the milues wch were Alexander Lees, and one penye halfepeuye is dew to the lord of Tutburye, for the enlarginge of the damme of the lower Mylne of the Lee. Lykewyse six shillinges are to be payed to the prior of Felleye for one plowe land in Clattercotes. Lykewyse one halfepeuye is dew to Richard Clarke for all the tenementes the wych Peter of Wakebrugge the father of the founder dyd purchase of Godfraye Holewayes chapelayne in Alveleye, and the w h the same Godfraye dyd purchase of Alexander Lee.”
The first of these chantries was founded in 1350, and dedicated conjointly to SS. Nicholas, Katharine, Margaret, and Mary Magdalen, though it was more usually known by the names of the first two of these saints. The founder paid a fine of ten marks to the king for licence to alienate the lands before specified.* It was ordered that mass should be daily celebrated for the souls of the founder and his two wives Joan and Elizabeth, his grandfather Nicholas de Wakebridge, and his wife Juliana, their son Nicholas, and their daughters Sarah, Joan, and Amicia (uncle and aunts of the founder),
* Rot. Orig. 24 Edw. III. rot. 41.
his father and mother, Peter and Joan de Wakebridge, their children, Robert, Nicholas, Peter, John (chaplain), and Matilda (brothers and sisters of the founder), William Cosyne, his wife Eleanor, and their children, John, Cecilia, and Alice, John de la Pole, and Cecilia his wife (sister of the founder), Henry de Codyngton, Margaret his wife, and their parents, Roger de Chesterfield, clerk, Henry Nicholas, Geoffrey de Chaddesden, Nicholas de Tyssyngton, and William de Balidon (vicar of Crich), Roger Beler, Margaret his wife, and Alice Beler (daughter of Thomas Beler, and niece of Roger), Cecilia Wyn, and Ralph Frescheville and his heirs. The chaplain was to assist the vicar of Crich on double festivals, on Sundays, and on the feasts of SS. Katharine and Margaret, si cum nota ubi legitur 'jubut que singuli quod residebunit.' Further instructions provided that the chaplain was to hold no other cure ; that he was to provide a wax taper for use in the chancel ; that on the feast of S. Katharine full service of the dead was to be said, and on the morrow 5d. was to be offered; also on the same day the chaplain was to distribute 10s. or its value to the poor of Crich ; that the right of presentation to this chantry was to be vested in the founder for his life, and then, in default of heirs male, in his sister Cecilia ; that after a month's vacancy, the presentation should rest with the abbot of Darley, and after a further lapse of fifteen days, in the bishop of the diocese ; that within fifteen days of his presentation, the chaplain, in the presence of the lord of the manor of Wakebridge, of the vicar of Crich, and of two other honest parishioners, should make an inventory of the goods of the chantry, which are to be left in as good or better condition ; that 40s. in money was to be handed to each successive chaplain on his entering upon the duties of the chantry ; that on the anniversary of the death of the founder, two wax tapers should burn at his sepulchre in the chapel of SS. Nicholas and Katharine, tam in vigilia ad placebo et dirige quam in crastino ad missam ; and that the chaplain should daily say the full service of the dead and the commendation of souls, double festivals being excepted. It was not until 1357 that the episcopal license for the appointment of this chantry was obtained, when Richard Davy, described as a chaplain of Stony Stanton, was instituted as the first chantry priest. The founder's ordinance is recited at length in the Act Book of Roger de Norbury, and some additional particulars can be gleaned therefrom which are not given in the chartulary.* We find that
* Lichfield Episcopal Registers, vol. iii., ff. 48a to 51b.
this chantry was situated in the north aisle of the church, which was entirely rebuilt by Sir William de Wakebridge, and that the altar in that aisle had previously been simply dedicated in honour of S. Nicholas. The order for the observance of S. Katharine's day is given in greater detail; Henry de Codyugtou, and his wife, together with the brothers, sisters, and friends of the founder, were enjoined to attend mass on that day, and on the vigil of the feast to offer two wax tapers at his tomb in the chantry, and five pence in honour of the five wounds of Jesus Christ, and the five joys of the Blessed Virgin. With respect to the distribution of 10s. to the poor on S. Katharine's day, there is the following curious entry, on a later page of the chartulary :–
" Neghbors I let you understand yt as yis day as you know of old custom ye chantre prest of Sanct Nycholas and Sanct Kathrine ye bond to dystribute xs in penys or penys-wurthe so yt any persons ..... coming have jd in sylver of sylver wherfor I desyre (you) when masse ys done to tary and receive yor dole and to pray for ye founder "Wyliam Wake(bridge). I desyre your young folkes and al other to tary wtin ye churche and you shal all be fynde gyff you do not. I desyre you to hold me excusyd for (? or) forsothe you shall go wtout any dole."
In the year 1368, William de Wakebridge also obtained the episcopal licence of Bishop Robert Stretton, to found a chantry at the altar of the Blessed Virgin, within the parish church of Crich, in honore Domini nostri Jhesu Christi et beatissime Virginis Marie matris sue et omnium Sanctorum. The Mary altar is described as having been formerly dedicated to S. Stephen. The composition deed of this chantry, after reciting the permission of the Abbot of Darley, of William de Weston, vicar of Crich, of the parishioners, and of all others interested therein, appoints Richard Whiteman as perpetual chaplain. The endowment was to consist of £6 of rents to be paid annually by the Prior of Thurgarton, together with other lands and tenements specified in a deed held by Richard Whiteman. It was ordained that the chaplain should be a secular priest that he was in his daily mass to make mention of the founder and Elizabeth, his wife ; of Roger de Chesterfield, clerk ; and of John de la Pole and Cecilia, his wife, whilst they lived, and afterwards to pray for their souls, and also for the souls of Nicholas de Wakebridge and Juliana, his wife; of Peter de Wakebridge and Joan, his wife; of Robert, Nicholas, and Peter, their sons ; of Joan, wife of William de Wakebridge ; and of Joan and Margaret, daughters of Peter that the vicar of Crich, or the parochial chaplain, was to assist
the chaplain, both wearing surplices, at matins, mass, and vespers, on double festivals, on Sundays, and on the feasts of SS. Nicholas, Katharine, Margaret, and Mary Magdalen that he should daily, both on festivals and ordinary days, say his service and the office of the dead, in conjunction with the chaplain of S. Katharine, either in the church or churchyard that he should daily, the greater and double feasts being excepted, say the full service of the dead and the commendation of souls that on Wednesdays and Fridays he should say the seven penitential psalms with litany, except in the week of Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost that he should continuously reside at the chantry-house, in the same way as if he were a vicar, wearing the canonical dress and tonsure that whenever he said or sung mass (sine nota vel cum nota), in the Introit, before the commencement of mass, a Pater Noster and Ave Maria should be recited by those present that he should daily, after matins and the “hours,” say the psalm De profundis, with the usual versicles, in the hearing of the bystanders that on the conclusion of the versicles, he should say “Anima Willelmi et ainme omnium fidelium defunctorum per Dei miserecordiam in pace requiescant” and the same words after mass and compline, and after his daily grace at table that mass should be said at a convenient hour, so that the parishioners and others should be able to hear it that a bell should be rung to give warning of the service that the chaplain should not hold any other benefice or undertake any other permanent duty that on the death or resignation of the chaplain, the chantry should be served by the chaplain of the altar of SS. Nicholas and Katharine, who should receive the income and discharge the expenses of the vacant chantry, and return full accounts thereof to the future chaplain immediately on his appointment that no woman, de qua suspicio aliqua possit oriri, should live in the chantry house that on the anniversary of the founder’s death mass should be said for his soul, and for the souls of those mentioned above that every chaplain, within five days of his obtaining possession of this chantry, shall draw up, in the presence of the chaplain of SS. Nicholas and Katharine, and the vicar, an inventory of the number, condition, and value of the books, chalices, jewels, vestments, ornaments, utensils, and all other goods pertaining to the chantry, which he shall keep in as good or better condition as he found them that there should be three copies of such inventory, one to be kept by the chaplain of S. Mary, one for the chaplain of SS. Nicholas and Katharine, and one for the
vicar that no chaplain should use for his own purpose, or will away, any of the books, etc., or other goods pertaining to the chantry that the chaplain, immediately on his institution, shall swear on the Gospels to look diligently after the best interests of the chantry that he shall be instituted and inducted personally, and not by proxy that on the vigil of the Annunciation he should, in conjunction with the chaplain of SS. Nicholas and Katharine, sing placebo et dirige for the souls of Roger Beler, senior, and Alice, his wife ; for Roger Beler, junior, and Margaret and Elizabeth, his wives ; for Reginald de Grey, of Shirland, and Matilda, his wife ; and for the souls of all their ancestors and heirs that on the next day, mass was to be sung at the high altar for the souls of the aforesaid that, in conjunction with the chaplain of SS. Nicholas and Katharine, placebo et dirige should be sung on the Saturday before the Nativity of S. John Baptist, and on the next day mass (with intention for the Queen) to be sung for the souls of Roger de Chesterfield ; of Richard, his brother ;* of Henry, Nicholas, and Geoffrey de Chaddesden ;✝ of Richard de Tissyngton ; of Robert de Derby ; and John Mykbrother, of Eyam ; my most special and confidential friends that the same service should be sung at the high altar, by the two chaplains on the vigil and feast of S. Michael, for the souls of William de Weston, vicar of Crich ; of William de Balliden, formerly vicar;, of Richard Davy and Richard Whitman, chaplains ; and for the souls of all the parishioners of Crich, who were then dead, or who should here afterwards die that all the aforesaid services and prayers, should be also for the souls of John de Annesley and Anna, his wife ; of Robert de Annesley, rector of Rotyngtone ; of John Belewe and Isabella, his wife ; of John Belewe, his son, and Alice, his wife ; and of Cecilia Wyn and Robert Attehall, servants of W. de W., the founder that these names, with those mentioned before, should be inscribed on a tablet, which should be placed on the super-altar, there for ever to face the celebrant that on a vacancy in the chantry through death or other natural causes, William, the founder, during his life should present, and after his death his legitimate heirs in default of heirs, the advowson should pass to his sister Cecilia, and her heirs male,and in default, to the Abbot and Convent of Dale that if the
* Roger and Richard de Chesterfield, chaplains, were the joint founders of the chautry of S. Michael, in the parish church of Chesterfield. See Churches of Derbyshire, vol. i., pp. 161, 162, 168.
✝ With respect to the three Chaddesdens, see Churches of Derbyshire, vol. iii. , p. 304, etc.
founder and his heirs should neglect to appoint, and the Abbot of Dale also after five days' notice, then the patronage should go for that turn to the Bishop of Coventry and Lichfield that this ordination of the chantry, lest the foundation thereof might be forgotten, should be read distinctly in the vulgar tongue to the parishioners of Crich, in the church or churchyard, on the Sunday next before the feast of the Assumption, before the commencement of high mass and that one copy of this ordination should be kept by the chaplain, another by the lord of the manor of Wakebridge, and a third by the Abbot of Dale. The calendar bound up with this chartulary specifies the following obits :
Jan. ix kal. John de Wakebridge (uncle of the founder), 1344.
March iiij kal. William de Wakebridge (the founder), 1369.
April x kal. Juliana de Wakebridge (grandmother of the founder), 1318.
May xv kal. Nicholas de Wakebridge (brother of the founder), 1349.
June v kal. " Elizabet de Aslaccon sororis uxoris Willelmi de Wakebridge," 1349.
July xvij kal. Robert de Wakebridge, vicar of Crich (brother of the founder), 1349. x kal. William de Sybthorpe, 1349.
August nones. Peter de Wakebridge, and Joan, his daughter (father and sister of the founder), 1349. iij ides. Joan, the wife of "William de Wakebridge (the founder), and Margaret, his sister, 1349. xviij kal. John de Wakebridge, chaplain (brother of the founder), 1349.
Sept. vij ides. Nicholas, son of Nicholas de Wakebridge (uncle of the founder), 1300. xij kal. Peter, son of Peter de Wakebridge (brother of the founder), 1347.
Oct. xvi kal. Matilda de Wakebridge (sister of the founder), 1343. xiij kal. Nicholas de Wakebridge (grandfather of the founder), 1315.
Nov. ij nones. Eoger de Chesterfield, 1367. v ides. Cecilia Wyn, 1368.
A glance at this obituary is sufficient to draw the attention of the reader to the remarkable number of deaths in the year 1349, and those who have read the introduction to this volume will recollect that it was the time of that fearful visitation of the plague, usually termed the Black Death. Of its terrible character we can form some idea, when we consider the extent of its ravages in a single household a household the most wealthy of the neighbourhood, and situated in as healthy and uncrowded a spot as any that could be found on all the fair hill sides of Derbyshire. Within three months Sir William de Wakebridge lost his father, his wife, three brothers, two sisters, and a sister-in-law. Sir William, on succeeding to the Wakebridge estate, through this sad list of fatalities, appears to have abandoned the profession of arms, and to have devoted a very large share of his wealth to the service of
God in his own neighbourhood. The Great Plague had the effect of thoroughly unstringing the consciences of many of the survivors, and a lamentable outbreak of profligacy was the result. But the dire judgments of God had a contrary effect on many others, who were led by His grace to a newness of life ; and hence as a practical outcome of their change of habit, we find about this period a marked revival in the works of His Church, such as the rebuilding of fabrics and the ordination of chantries. An unworthy and superstitious fear may have actuated some minds in this abandonment of private wealth, but a genuine change of heart was wrought in others, and it seems reasonable to class Sir William de Wakebridge in the latter category. There is a great difference between the foundation charters of the chantries of Sir William and many others of this date that we have perused, viz., that these are not of the selfish class (so to speak) that merely provided masses for the souls of the founder and his relatives, but the whole tone of the charters (of which we have only been able to find space for meagre abstracts) bespeaks a real interest in the souls of the neighbourhood, and an earnest desire that the Holy Sacrifice and other services should be attended by the people at large. Nor was the generosity of Sir William in church work merely aroused into momentary action by the shock of the deadly visitor to Wakebridge manor house in 1319; for we find that he was engaged in a further alienation of his property in 1368, only the year before his death, and he also at some intermediate date built a private chapel at his manor house, which he adorned in a most costly manner, and furnished it with a chaplain. He was also the joint founder of a Nottinghamshire chantry in 1363, and gave to the parish church of Crich some most costly vestments. Moreover, if a man is to be judged by his friends, Sir William must have been a pious Catholic, for we find him on terms of the closest and most confidential friendship with such old Derbyshire worthies as the Chesterfields and the Chaddesdens.
Nor have we yet finished with this most interesting chartulary, which seems to us to be unique in the side-lights that it throws upon our ecclesiastical and local history. The candid student of fourteenth century life is forced to admit much as he may admire the deep piety and self-abasement of no inconsiderable portion of the nation, and much as he may appreciate the exuberant skill of the artificers in wood and glass and stone, who were content to lay the glories of their art at the threshold of the Church that
this enviable catholicity of tone was sadly intermingled with much that savoured of baseness and superstition. Here, on the same pages of the Calendar that record the deaths of the Wakebridge family, and of the munificent founder of the chantries, with a touching brevity, the hand of some chantry priest has inserted numerous entries that not only breathe a most mundane desire after bodily health, but are persistent in their warnings of the luck, good or bad, attaching to particular days and seasons. If he had contented himself with entering a receipt for the cure of the "stone, strangury, and colyke," * we should not have quarrelled with him except as to his bad taste in the selection of a commonplace book ; but it is really too bad when we find month after month of the Calendar interspersed with general directions for dietary and blood-letting, regulated by a superstitious regard for certain seasons. Thus we are informed that if anyone lets blood on April 11th in the left arm, he will not lose his eyesight for that year, but if he lets blood on the 3rd he will be saved for that year from headache and extasim Anglice Swymes – that four days of May are very dangerous, viz., the 7th, 15th, 16th, and 20th that if blood is let on the 7th of the Kalends of August, the patient will die on the third day after that no one who is bled on September 17th need fear having paralysis, dropsy, or epilepsy for that year that if anyone strike either man or beast on March 26th, July 25th, or December 8th, he will assuredly die on the third day after, et hoc probatum est, etc., etc. Sir William de Wakebridge does not appear to have been able to alienate much of his own manor of Wakebridge to religious use ; and the lands wherewith he endowed the chantries situated at Crich, Wheatcroft, Holloway, Tansley, Fritchley, Dethick, Lea, Ashover, etc., were purchased by him of their owners for that purpose. We therefore find that a considerable portion of this chartulary consists of the licenses of Sir Roger Beler and his son Roger, of Geoffrey Dethick and his son John, of William de Kynardsley, of Richard de Clerk, and of Roger de Wynfeld, to alienate their lands for this object.
There are also various rentals of the chantry of SS. Nicholas
* " For ye stone, strangury and colyke. Take malues, violet, mercury, make of yche j handfull, percele, maydon here, tho thistyll, of yche half a handfulle, of lyquerice j quartron, seth all yis in iiij quartes of ale tyl ye half be consumet, yen streyn it thro a clothe and gyf hym vj sponfulle of yt licor to drynck in ye morowe cold and at nyght lew warme wt half a sponfull of ye powdr yt folows Take careaway, fenelsede, spyknard, anneys, cinamon, galyngale, of yche di unce, grounselsede j unce, lycorys j unce . . . ye wyeght of alle."
and Katharine, giving the value of some of the lands, and names of the tenants, during the respective chaplaincies of Richard Davy and William Woderowe, and a list of debts owing to the chantry on the death of Henry Coke. It appears that there was an annual payment of the chaplain of 14s. 4d. to the Prior of Felley, in recognition of lands held of that priory at Fritchley and Clattercotes, which had been granted to those monks by Ivo de Heriz. Much of the endowment of the small priory of Felley, in Nottinghamshire, came from the Derbyshire parishes of Crich, Ashover, Morton, and Tibshelf.* The neighbouring church of Annesley was given to Felley priory, at an early date, by Ralph de Annesley, and in the Crich Chartulary is a long document recording the consent of John, Archbishop of York, to the foundation by Sir William de Wakebridge and Robert de Annesley, rector of Rotyntone, of a chantry at the altar of the Blessed Virgin within the church of Annesley.✝ It is dated January 7th, 1363.
During the chaplaincy of Henry Coke, the chantry house pertaining to SS. Nicholas and Katharine was repaired, the stone for the purpose being carried there from Winfield at a cost of 3d.❢
In the year of the founding of the second chantry (1368), an indenture was made between Sir William de Wakebridge and Richard Davy, the chaplain of the first chantry, by which Richard and his successors became possessed of the -following altar furniture, vestments, etc. : one super-altar, one "haire," § one altar-cloth, and two antependia, one antependium with frontal for the superaltar, another worn antependium with frontal, and one new one, two corporals with cases, one missal, one chalice, one vestment for double festivals, one for Sundays, and one old and worn for ordinary use, one antependium of "Syndone," one portifer, two old towels for ablutions, one painting over the altar, two pax-breads, two cruets, one chantry register, one vestment entirely of blue Samite, with two tunicles and a cope of the same. The property at the same time handed over to Richard Whiteman, of the second chantry, included : one super altar, one "haire," three altar-cloths, and two frontals, four towels, three tapestry antependia, one corporal, one new case for the corporal, one good missal, one chalice, one new
* Stevens' Addition to the Monasticon, vol. ii., pp. 131-3.
✝ Harl. MSS., 3669, ff. 83-5.
❢ As these details are of some interest, we have reproduced them verbatim. See Appendix No. IV.
§ This is probably for "ara," which was the name used not only for a portable altar stone, but also for the super-altar, or ledge for the crucifix, candlesticks, &c.
"Cruche. The Chauntrye of SS. Nycholas & Kateryns founded by Wm "Wakebrygge somtym lord there, mayntanynge of God's service and socoure of pore folks A xxiiij Edward III. xijli. iiijs. iiijd., clere xiili. iijs., besyds xvjs. vjd. rents resoluts, xls. receyoyd of the late monastery of Thurgarton. Jo. Maryott Chauntry prest, the residen letten by him to Fraunceys Pole Esq. & German Pole Esq.* for the terme of xxj yeres payenge to him yerely xli. xvjs. jd. by indenture xviij Oct. A xxxvj Regis. It hath a mancyon prised att iiijs. iiijd. by yere. Stocke lixs. iiij.
" The Chauntrye of our Ladye founded by the same, to the same entente & that a priste everye Sundaye & dubble feste shoulde assiste the Vycar there at masse, mattyns, and evensong, & to pray for his soul, etc. by foundaceyon A xlij Edw. III., vjli. iijs. iiijd. with vj payd out of the late monastre of Thurgartou & iijs. iiijd for his mancyon house. Bob. Swinstoo Chauntry priste. Stocke Iviijs.'
* There is an original memorandum (Add. MSS., 6,668, f. 717), from John Marriott, to Francis Pole, of the Dale, and to German Pole, of Wakebridge, dated 23rd Jan. 33 Henry VIII., promising that if he release the goodwill of the chautry to any man, it shall be to them.
✝ A maser, or mazer, was a broad standing cup or drinking bowl of maple or walnut wood.
❢ Rookes of cooles =reeks of coals. Reek=rick or pile.
§ I.e., a portesse, or breviary.
✦ In Add. MSS., 6,668, f. 719, there is an original copy of this inventory on a slip of parchment 7 inches by 4.
CHANTRY OF SS. NICHOLAS AND KATHARINE.
1357. Richard Davy ; patron, William de Wakebridge. According to the Chartulary, Davy was inducted June 18th, 1356.
1370. William le Blount; patron, John de la Pole. On the death of R. D.
. Henry Coke.
1429, June 28th. Adam Webster, vicar of Hartington, exchanged his benefice for this chantry with H. C.
, Nov. 4th. This exchange reversed ! Henry Coke coming back to the chantry, and A. W. returning to Hartington.
. James Hyton.
1441. John Duffeld; patron; Peter de la Pole. On the resignation of J. H.
1459. William Woderowe ; patron, Justice Ralph Pole. On the death of J. D.
1490. Edmund Pole, sub-deacon ; patron, Ralph Pole. On the death of W. W.
1535. John Marriott. Valor Ecclesiasticus.
CHANTRY OF OUR LADY.
1368. Richard Whiteman ; patron, William de Wakebridge.
1370. John de Duffield: patron William de Wakebridge.
1376. John Loscowe; patron, John de la Pole.
. John Ilkesdon.
1390. John Heth ; patron, Cecilia de la Pole. On the resignation of J. I.
1403. Richard Yvenot; patron, Cecilia, relict of John Pole.
1436. John Assheley ; patron, Edward de la Pole. On the death of B. T.
. Thomas Cowper.
1491. John Fox; patron, Ralph Pole. On the death of T. C.
1515. Robert Swynscowe ; patron, John Pole. On the death of J. F.
The Crich Chartulary also contains records of several matters
that affect the parish rather than the chantries, and some of them, being of earlier date than their foundation, must have been copied from documents previously in possession of the vicar. During the metropolitan visitation of that strict disciplinarian, Archbishop Peckham, in 1280, he was called upon to settle a dispute between the parishioners of Crich and the abbot of Darley, as rector. The archbishop appears to have visited Crich personally, and then he appointed Simon de Baliden* and E. de Suham, canons of Lichfield, as his commissioners in the dispute. Their decision was that the abbot should find some one whose duty it should be to ring the parish bells of the church of Crich, and to bring water and fire there as often as required that he should provide ropes for the bells that he should relieve the necessitous and indigent hi the parish and that he should also provide at his own expense for the serving of the chantry within the chapel of S. Thomas the Martyr, situated in the churchyard at Crich, on three days of the week. In the same year it was also agreed, on
* Simon de Baliden was Vicar-General of the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield in 1274. Howard's Lichfield, p. 184.
appeal to the archbishop, that the abbot should in perpetuity hold himself bound to provide an image of the Blessed Virgin to stand in the chancel, and all other things necessary for the chancel, except the chalice and missal, which the parish were to find. The parishioners claimed that the monks of Darley ought also to do all that was necessary for the sustentation and repair of the nave, seeing how much property they held in the parish.* But the decision on this point was that the abbey was only to be responsible for that portion of the general burdens of the nave and of providing the Holy Bread ✝ that corresponded with the extent of their lands, mansions, and other possessions within the limits of the parish.
The parishioners of Crich set apart 5 acres 3½ roods of arable land, out of the common fields of Tansley, ❢ to provide for a lamp to be always burning before the image of the Virgin in the chancel. There were also several other small individual endowments for the same purpose.
An indenture made in 1368 between Roger Beler, William de Wakebridge, Henry de Codyntone, Roger Kybbulle, jun., Henry de Merlache, Adam del Hulle, Thomas de Biggynges, Henry Clerke, Robert Burgulone, Henry de Plastowe, Simon de Whetcrofte, Adam Couper, Peter Couper, John Hayward and Richard Bateman de Wyssintone, John, son of Robert de Tannesley, Adam Haselbache, and many other parishioners of Crich, of the one part, and William de Weston, vicar of Crich, of the other part, provides that all the ornaments and vestments that have been furnished individually or collectively for the use of the clergy, chaplains, and others ministering in the church of Crich, between the years 1349 and 1868, shall be placed in the custody of William de Weston, the vicar, and his successors, to be held by them for the use of the parish, and not to be privately appropriated or sold by them or by the abbots of Darley. The articles are thus specified : One vestment de viridi Camacæ with two tunicles and one cope of the
* In addition to the lands and tithes already mentioned, Darley Abbey also held the whole of the manor of Wistauton (now called Wessington), in this parish, which was granted to them by Ralph Fitz Odo and Geoffrey de Constantine. The monks had a chapel attached to their grange of Wistanton, but we have not been able to glean anything respecting its site or history.
✝ The Holy, or Blessed Bread must not be confounded with the Host of the Mass. In the early Church, at the end of Mass, the loaves offered by the faithful, which had not been consecrated, were blessed by the celebrant, and distributed as a sign of brotherly communion. Hence arose the custom, still continued in both the Roman and Greek branches of the Church Catholic, of distributing blessed bread to the general body of the congregation on the great festivals.
❢ As the names of these fields at Tansley, and their tenants, are of some interest, we have given them in full in Appendix No. V.
same, value 10* one good cope, value 10 marks, which Eoger de Chesterfield, clerk, gave to William de Wakebridge and the other parishioners of Crich, to serve as a remembrance of him one chalice, value 8 marks one missal, value 100 shillings one antiphonar, ✝ value 60 shillings and one great psalter, which William de Balidene, formerly vicar, gave to William de Wakebridge and the parishioners as a remembrance, and who did many other good works for the church of Crich as well as other chalices, books, vestments, tunicles, copes, surplices, and other ornaments.
The Crich Chartulary also contains (and this shall be our last reference to it) a copy of an encyclical letter of Simon Islip,❢ Archbishop of Canterbury, of the year 1362, relative to the observance of Holy-days, which was probably ordered to be read in all parish churches. It is of considerable interest as affording an insight into the habits of the time, but as it is not in any way specially local, we must abstain from giving more than a brief abstract. The archbishop complains that not only was the custom prevalent of transacting ordinary business on Saints’ days, but also of indulging in abominable and blasphemous practices, so that what was intended to serve as a storing up of devotion, had become the occasion of an outbreak of dissoluteness that the festivals were kept rather by the crowding of revellers to the taverns than of communicants to the churches that the ear was greeted more with the sounds of drunken jestings than of penitent prayers and that, in fine, the whole purport of God in hallowing the Sabbath, and of the Church in setting apart other days for pious observances, had by the multitude been completely perverted. He therefore enjoins, throughout the whole of his province of Canterbury, that every Sunday shall be observed, beginning with the vesper hour of the previous Saturday, and not sooner, lest they should seem to be participators in Jewish professions that they should also observe the feasts of SS. Stephen, John, Innocents, Thomas the Martyr, Circumcision, Epiphany, Purification, Easter with three days following, Mark, Philip and James, Invention of the Cross, Ascension,
* If we reflect that the then value of money must be multiplied by at least 20 to get the present value, we can form some idea of the exceptional costliness and splendour of the vestments that were used to God’s honour in the parish church of Crich in mediaeval days. “ Camaca “ was the name of a cloth, made of silk and interwoven with other precious stuff.
✝ The antiphonar contained the music for the hours, anthems, hymns, and psalms, noted in plain chant.
❢ Simon Islip was connected with this county. He held the prebendary of Sandiacre from 1347 to 1350.
Pentecost with three days following, Corpus Christi, Nativity of S. John Baptist, Peter and Paul, Translation of S. Thomas the Martyr, Mary Magdalen, James, Assumption, Bartholomew, Lawrence, Nativity of B. V. M., Exaltation of the Cross, Matthew, Michael, Luke, Simon, Jude, All Saints, Andrew, Nicholas, Conception, Thomas the Apostle, and the dedication of parish churches, and of saints in whose honour they are dedicated that on all these days the parishioners shall he admonished and induced not only to attend Mass, but also the full complement of the services that the relics of the saints should he carried ad opera ruralia according to custom and that any foremen of operatives or labourers who suffer the usual work to be carried out on these days, shall be visited with the censures of the Church.
The inventory of church goods, taken in the reign of Edward VI., has the following, relative to this church :
"Cryche. Oct. 6. Rich. Banks clerke.
"iiij bells in the steple j chalys of sylver with paten ij cruetts of pewter
iij vestments whereof j of blew sylke and the other of blewe chamblet j of redde wostyd ij tables clothe ij hangings before the table j coope of old sylke j corperas with two cases ij crosses j of tynne j of brasse j hand bell ij candlestycks of pewter j byble with the paraphracs j coffer with iij lockes and iij keyes. There was ij chalyces belongyng to the chauntrez there wch Jo Beamonte Esq., hadde."
The Valor Ecclesiasticus gives the clear value of the vicarage at £6 10s. lOd. It was then endowed with Easter offerings, oblations, tithes of hay, lambs, wool, pigs, geese, flax, and hemp, and with the annual pension from Wakebridge in lieu of tithes.
The following is the statement made by the Parliamentary Commissioners of 1650 :
" Crich is a vicarige really worth tenne pounds per annum noe Chappell appirteyning. Tansley is a hamblitt appirteyning and thre myles distant and fitt to be united to Matlocke in the hundred of Wirksworth it lying nearer to Matlocke the profitts are about ffortye shillings per annum."
Wessington grange, Leas, and Lindwaye lane are Members butt remote and fitt to be united to Trinitye Chappell in the hundred of Scarsdale."
" 200 raised by the parish of Crich and several gentlemen in that neighbourhood, and 200 more advanced by the Trustees of Queen Anne's bounty, were laid out in lands at Plaistow Green, within the parish of Crich aforesaid, for augmenting the church living there, towards the latter end of 1746. By mistake the lands, &c., are said to be in Wheatcroft."*
The vicars of Crich were, of course, appointed by the Abbots of
* Add. MSS. 6705, f. 12.
Darley up to the time of the dissolution of the monasteries, but after that date there was much confusion with respect to the patronage of the advowson, in connection with which there were several lawsuits of interminable length. The claims were so conflicting that the successive Bishops of Lichfield declined to exercise their right to collate, and the presentation consequently lapsed to the Crown. There is not a single presentation to Crich entered in the episcopal registers of the seventeenth century, nor is there one of the eighteenth century, until 1793. At the end of last century the right of presentation was claimed by Sir Wolstan Dixie, and also by Sir Edward Wilmot, both claiming through the heiresses of John Claye, who is alleged to have obtained it in the time of Elizabeth, from Anthony Babington, who certainly held the great tithes of Crich through grant from the Crown.* Eventually the Dixie family made good their claim to the advowson, but after two presentations sold it to trustees.
The pre-reformation part of the following list of vicars is taken from the Episcopal registers, and the remainder chiefly from the returns of the First Fruits Office, and the parish register :
1278. William de Draycote.
1298. John de Whalleye.
1313. William de Baliden. On the resignation of J. de W,
1340. Richard de Radecliff, rector of Nuthall, exchanged benefices with W. de B., vicar of Crich.
1348. Robert de Wakebridge, vicar of S. Mary's, Nottingham, exchanged benefices with E. de R., vicar of Crich.
1349. William de Baliden. On the death of R. de W.
. Radus de Findern. On the resignation of W. de B.
1345. Roger de Walton, rector of Whittington, exchanged benefices with R. de F., vicar of Crich.
1356. William de Weston. On the death of R. de W.
1393. John Whitlessey. Collated of the Bishop.
. John Bagworth. On the resignation of J. W.
1397. William Bacon. On the resignation of J. B.
. Thomas Hoppeley.
1402. John Osmond. On the death of T. H.
. William Garton, rector of Bulwell, exchanged benefices with J. O., vicar of Crich.
. Peter Trusbut.
1418. Hugo Penyale. On the resignation of P. T.
1441. James Hyton, late chantry priest. On the resignation of H. P.
1451. John Fesand. On the resignation of J. H.
. James Romsore.
1505. Richard Repyngdon. On the death of J. R.
(1535.) William Richardson. Valor Ecclesiasticus.
* See an elaborate statement of this claim by Mr. Reynolds, the local antiquary, given in full in Glover's Derbyshire, vol. 2, p. 321-3.
1542. Richard Bankys ; patrons, Robert and Thomas Bradshaw, for this turn, by virtue of an agreement with the Abbot of the lately dissolved monastery of Darley. On the death of W. R.
1629. Thomas Shelmardine ; patron, John Eley, gen.
. Joseph Topham. Parish Registers. Probably he followed T. S. on his ejection in 1662.
. Thomas England, died Feb. 7th, 1730.
1731. John Walker; patron, the King, through lapse of time.
1775. John Mason ; patron, the King.
1793. Samuel Davenport ; patron, the King, by reason of lunacy. On the death of J. M.
1801. Thomas Cornthwaite ; patron, the King. On the death of S. D.
1838. Thomas Carson ; patron, Sir W. W. Dixie. On the resignation of T. C.
1849. G. W. Lewis; patron, Sir W. W. Dixie. On the resignation of T. C.
1855. William Chawner ; patrons, Edward Radford, Henry Anne Norman, Rev. M. Holmes, John Garton, and William Wathey. On the resignation of G. W. L.
1875. William Acraman; patrons, Rev. Melville Holmes, clerk, Henry Anne Norman, gentleman, and Thomas Bellamy Dale, manufacturer. On the resignation of W. C.
The church of Crich, which is dedicated to S. Mary,* consists of nave, side aisles, and south porch, chancel, with north vestry, and tower and spire at the west end. The nave and aisles are each 50ft. long, and their united width is 46ft. The chancel is 39 ft. by 18 ft. Of the church that seems to have been first erected here by Ralph FitzRalph in the reign of Stephen (1135-54), there are considerable remains. The nave is separated from the aisles on each side by three plain and round Norman arches, supported on circular columns having square capitals. The arcade on the south is a few years later in style than that on the north, showing that the body of the church originally consisted only of nave and north aisle. At the west end of the south aisle is the Norman font, which is 37 inches high and 27 inches in diameter. It is circular and of massive appearance, and surrounded with a coarsely executed moulding of the cable pattern. At the restoration of this church in 1861, the font was rather too freely re-chiselled. The church does not appear to have been touched in the Early
* There is no doubt whatever as to the real dedication of this church being to S. Mary, for it is repeatedly mentioned by name both in the Crich chartulary and in different chartularies of Darley Abbey. It is also thus given in Bacon's Liber Regis, and in the county histories of Pilkington, Davies, and Glover. It was not until the issue of that utterly misleading work (so far as ecclesiology is concerned), Kelly's Post Office Directory, in 1855, that an alleged dedication to S. Michael was published, but since that date numerous directories and the yearly edition of the Derbyshire Red Book persist in assigning it to S. Michael. The wakes, it is true, are held at Michaelmas, but, as has been already pointed out several times in these pages, wakes at Lady Day or Michaelmas are no guide. Moreover, the feast-day, on whatever day it may occur, though it can fairly be claimed as corroborative evidence, is no proof in itself of the dedication ; for that day was usually the anniversary of the consecration of the church, and it frequently happened that a church was not consecrated on the day of the Saint to whom it was dedicated.
English period, but at the time of the Decorated style, which extended over the greater part of the fourteenth century, it was thoroughly renovated, and rebuilt. The chancel, vestry, tower, spire, and exterior walls of the aisles are of that epoch, though of slightly differing dates. The windows in the south aisle show that it was rebuilt about 1300-20. The chancel is of good character throughout, especially the east and south windows. It has a priest's door on the south, and opposite to it is a doorway opening into a vestry, the external wall-plate of which shows it to have been of the same date, though much altered subsequently. At the time when the chancel was built, circa 1350, it would seem that the nave was lengthened and the two narrow pointed arches at the east end of the nave arcades inserted. The tower, which has a moulded parapet, with an effective band of wavy lines closely resembling that at Chesterfield, is of much the same date, as well as the spire,* which is octagonal with two tiers of lights. The north aisle was also evidently rebuilt about this date, viz., at the time when Sir William de Wakebridge founded the chantry of SS. Nicholas and Katharine in that aisle, so that probably the example set by him caused the Abbey of Darley and the parish generally to re-model the rest of the fabric. There is a curiously carved stone, of Norman pattern, utilised in the capital of the narrow arch near the east end of the north aisle, which is placed upside down. Below it may also be noticed a portion of the head of an early incised sepulchral cross. In the north wall is a doorway, now blocked up. The weather moulding of the high pitch roof of the Decorated period may be noticed on the west side of the tower.
The present roof of the nave is nearly flat, and was added when the walls over the nave arcades were raised so as to admit of the three-light square-headed clerestory windows. This alteration was of the" Perpendicular period. The porch has a plain Perpendicular doorway, and square-headed windows of two lights. The west window of the south aisle is also of that period. The chancel roof is supported on the old stone corbel-heads, small but good, of the original Decorated design, five on each side. At the east end of the south aisle is a piscina, with a trefoil arch. The piscina drain for the high altar is in the sill of the
* We may here notice, as a useful warning to others, how much the effect of this spire has been recently spoiled by repointing it with white mortar, which has given it a patchy and semi -new appearance that will last for a generation. The simple and costless expedient of mixing a little wood-ash or other colouring ingredient with the lime should always be adopted in repointing old stone work.
south chancel window, but it has no niche over it. Oil the same side are three sedilia of equal elevation, with trefoiled arches. In the north chancel wall is a recess, now closed with an oak door, and used as a cupboard or almery. It is, however, evident that this recess has originally been a sloping aperture or squint, going right through the wall into the vestry, so as to give the sacristan or occupant an opportunity of seeing the high altar. Over this aperture is fixed a large projecting stone, which from the angle at which it is fixed, and the ledge on the lower side, has evidently been intended for a gospel lectern, of which we have already noticed several in Derbyshire churches, though they are of the rarest occurrence elsewhere. The visitor will probably be told, as we have been, that this aperture was used for confessions, and that on the ledge the Father Confessor rested his book of instructions whilst listening to the penitent within the vestry !
The parapets of the aisles are plainly moulded, but those of the nave over the clerestory windows are embattled. In the parapet on the east gable of the nave is a sanctus bell-cote.
On the west wall of the tower is a well-moulded ogee-headed niche of rather large proportions. There is a tradition at Crich that the figure of the Blessed Virgin, which once occupied this niche, was removed to S. Mary's church at Nottingham.* There is generally some basis for every tradition, and it may possibly have some connection with the exchange of benefices between the vicars of Crich and Nottingham in the fourteenth century, that has been already recorded.
In the north wall of the north aisle is a sepulchral recess of ogee form, trefoiled, and with continuous mouldings. There can be no doubt whatever that this recess was constructed for the founder of the chantry in this aisle ; but that does not of itself prove that the effigy now there is the founder, as effigies in course of time were often placed within recesses for which they had not been originally intended. The effigy now there is not a precise fit, but then this was seldom the case, as monuments, except of the roughest type, were usually constructed by skilled workmen at a distance, and afterwards forwarded to be placed in their proper position. This effigy is the figure of a man, dressed in a long gown reaching to the ankles, closely buttoned from the neck to the waist, bare-headed, with long hair and beard, the hands joined over
* This tradition first reached us through a letter in the Derbyshire Times, dated Crich Carr, August 8th, 1871, and signed " W. H."
the breast, and the feet resting on a dog. Two small angels have supported the man's head, hut that on the left is broken off. That on the right holds a Katharine wheel to the ear of the effigy. In all probability the other, when perfect, had an emblem of 8. Nicholas, to whom this chantry was jointly dedicated. This figure has always been supposed, until recent years, to represent Sir William de Wakebridge. It is thus spoken of by Bassano (1710), who adduces as proof the close contiguity of two alabaster slabs bearing the arms of Wakebridge, but which have since disappeared. Lately it has been claimed by the representatives of the Bellairs family as the effigy of Sir Roger Beler, lord of the manor of Crich, and one of the itinerant justices. But the proof that has been adduced in support of this claim is very meagre. It is said that the costume is that of a judge, and not of one who has been specially described as a valiant knight.* But the fact is, that the dress is that of an ordinary civilian of the day, and not that of a judge ; and what is more likely than that Sir William de Wakebridge, who abandoned the pursuit of arms from the time of his entering on his estate up to his death, a period of twenty-three years, and who gave himself up to good works, should be thus depicted. Moreover, it cannot be proved that Sir Roger Beler was ever resident at Crich, whilst Sir William lived on his manor close to the parish church. Certainly Sir Roger Beler would never be buried in the founder's tomb of the Wakebridge chantry, and it is only on the supposition that the effigy has been moved there, that a word can be said in favor of the Beler theory. But then Bassano, and after him, Reynolds, describe this tomb as guarded by iron bars and palisades, which were fixed into the tomb itself and into the walls with lead, and which then seemed in themselves very ancient. It is not credible that such an outrage on the memory of the great benefactor of Crich would have been permitted so long ago, as to place in his tomb the effigy of another.
Moreover, the evidence of the Katharine wheel is almost sufficient of itself to connect the effigy with the founder of the chantry. On the whole, we can only conclude by saying that we know of no
* The following is the passage from which this description of Sir William is taken ; it is from Wyrley's True Use of Arms, 1592, and is worth quoting in explanation of the Wakebridge coat : " Another sort there be not much more skilful, who if they see any Armorie straight enter into the comparison of the fairies thereof : and foul and false it is, if metall be upon metall alone, or colour upon colour : And yet I could wish we should never have more dishonorable men nor woorse soldiers than have so borne their Armorie : for to admit that worthy Godfrey, etc., etc of our owne Sir Richard Sandbach of Sandbach in Cheshire, Sir William Wakbirge of Wakbirge in Darbyshire, two valiant knights, yet both bare colour upon colour."
other uninscribed monument in England whose identity can be proved by more weighty cir-cumstantial evidence, than can be adduced with regard to this effigy of Sir William de Wakebridge, and we should have thought it superfluous to have written thus much in its favour, had it not been for the repeated attempts to establish the Beler theory.* A legend, still current in Crich, says that this figure is to the memory of the man who built the church, who fell when he was in the act of putting the top stone to the spire, and in falling crushed his dog that was on the ground below. Hence a monument was erected to him with his dog at his feet ! But it is worth observing that even in this tale the connection between the effigy and the founder of the fabric of the church is retained, and it may very possibly preserve the fact, that Sir William de Wakebridge was a considerable benefactor to other parts of the building besides the north aisle.
On the death of Sir William in 1372, his sister and heiress, Cecilia, brought Wakebridge to Sir John Pole. The second son of that match, Ralph, inherited this estate, the elder settling at Radbourn. Thomas Pole, lord of Wakebridge in the reign of Edward VI., was son and heir of Ralph, and Thomas was succeeded by his son and heir, Ralph Pole, who married for his first wife, Beatrice, the eldest of the six daughters of John Babington, of Dethick,✝ and for his second wife, Anne, daughter of Philip Leche, of Chatsworth. On the floor of the north aisle, near to Sir William's effigy, is an alabaster stone, on which a small part of the marginal inscription still remains, quite sufficient to prove it to be the memorial of Ralph Pole and his wife, or wives : .... Watebrige et Beatrix filia Johis Babyngton uxor ej.'
Thomas, the eldest son of Ralph Pole by his first wife died without issue, and was succeeded by his brother, John Pole, who by his first wife, Agnes, daughter of Thomas Bagshawe, of Ridge, left issue, German Pole, who inherited the Wakebridge estate on the death of his father in 1537. German Pole first married his distant relative, Jane, daughter of German Pole, of Radbourn, by whom he had one daughter, Katharine, who died unmarried ; his second wife, was Margaret, daughter of Edward Ferrers. His widow afterwards married John Claye, of Crich.
An altar tomb to the memory of German Pole and his second wife, used to stand at the east end of the north aisle. The upper
* A recent visitor went so far as to scribble in pencil the name of Sir Roger Beler and the date of his death on the moulding of the arch,
✝ Niohols' Collectanea, vol. viii., p. 325.
slab was dismounted when the church was repewed about the end of last century, and was then laid on the floor in the same position. At the 1861 restoration, it was, with questionable propriety, moved to the chancel, and is now fixed against the north wall close to the east end. Upon it are depicted the figures of a man in civilian costume and a woman, both wearing ruffs. The man’s feet rest on an eagle, those of the woman on a unicorn. The inscription at the base of the figures is in Roman capitals, but is much effaced, and parts are altogether missing. We are, however, able to give a restored copy of the inscription from notes of this church taken by J. Reynolds, of Plaistow, April 25th, 1758, collecting them with the previous ones of Bassano :–*
“ Hic Situs est corpus Germain Poole dominus de Watebirge in comitatu Darbie armigeri qui ab hoc seculo transmigravit xxvi Aprilis Anno a Virginis partu 1588, dux it que uxorem Margaretain filiam Edwardi filii Johannis Ferrers de Tamworth militis. Postea renupta predicta Margareta fait Johanni Claye generoso et utrique steris erat 1392.”
Steris is a contraction for sterilis, and 1392 is an obvious slip for 1592.
On the stone are two shields, Pole quartering Wakebridge and Ferrers. The Poles of Wakebridge did not become extinct owing to German Pole’s failure of issue, for his father, John Pole, had by his second wife, a son, George Pole, of Spinkhill, in right of his wife, heiress of Hazlehurst, of that place. The male lines of Pole, through Francis and George, sons of George Pole, did not become extinct till 1724 and 1750, respectively.
Below this slab, in the north-east corner of the chancel, is a raised or altar tomb of alabaster, on which are incised the figures of a man and his wife. In the middle of the tomb, across the centre of the figures, is a quaint inscription, parts of which are now wholly illegible,✝ but which we are able to give from the previously named sources :
“ Heere lieth John Clay gentleman and Mary whom he first did wive. With her he lived near eight years space in which God gave them children five. Daughter to William Calton Esquir who was unto that kinge of fame Henrie the eight chief cock matcher and servante of his hawkes by name. And as she had a former match, Charnell of Swarkston in Lestershire, So she deceast this Clay did take the widow of German Poole, Esquire.
* Add. MSS , 6,101, is a folio of church notes entirely written by Mr. Reynolds, to which we have several times referred in these pages. His account of Crich was published nearly in extenso in Nichols’ Collectanea, vol. i., pp 42-51. There are alsosome further notes on this church, by Eeynolds, in Add. MSS , 6,666, f. 585
✝ Reynolds says : “ The tomb is so much worn with boys climbing upon it,whilst the churchwardens suffered one Joseph Mather, a lame ignorant person, toteach school in the chancel (which infamous practice was continued till about 1732),that most of the writing is obliterated.”
Daughter of Edward who was son to Sir John Ferrers of Tamworth, Knight.
Shee lies entombed in this Church with him to whom she first was plight.
And now this Claye is closed in Claye, the fairest flesh doth fade like grass.
He had on sister who unto Stuffyn of Shirbrook married was.
For deathe doth give an end to all and now this clay shall reste herein.
All claye to claye shall com at last by deathe the due reward of synne.
Thou deathe, his deathe, thy deathe is he whose soule doth live with Criste for aye.
The stinge of death can no one flee, the greatest monarchs are but claye."
On the south side of the top of the tomb :
" Vivo tibi, moriorque tibi, tibi Christe, resurgam,
Christe, prohendo tuam justitiamque fide.
Hinc abeat mortis terror, tibi vivo, Redemptor,
Hors mihi jam lucrum est ; Tu, pie Christe, salus.
On the south-east corner of the tomb :
"Iste Johannes obiit mortem .... meusis Maii anno 1632 et ista Maria obiit mortem 31 mensis Augusti anno 1583."
Between the legs of the portrait of the man :
" Hoc lutum Deo figulo. Eom. ix."
Nearer the east end, between his feet :
" Condita erat hsec tumba anno 1603."
On the top stone are three escutcheons : (1) Claye (arg., a chevron engrailed between three trefoils slipped, sab ), (2) Claye impaling Calton (sab., a saltire engrailed between four cross crosslets, or) and Ferrers (vaire), and (3) Calton alone. On the south side of the tomb are three panels with the three daughters,
Susanna, Mary, and Penelope, kneeling. Behind Susanna and Mary are drawn impaled shields, the dexter half left blank, showing they were unmarried in 1603, but behind Penelope is a shield of Brailsford (on a bend three cinquefoils pierced)* impaling Claye, and on the cushion on which she kneels :
"Nupta erat Thome Brelsford de Senor, g'n'so."
At the west end of the tomb are portraits in relief of the two sons, William and Theophilus, also kneeliug. By each of them is written :
" Mortuus est,"
and under the cushions :
" Isti filii obierant in juventute sua."✝
The Visitation pedigrees of Claye begin with one John Claye, of Crich and Chapel-en-le-Frith, who married a daughter of Lathbury.
* The proper arms of Brailsford are : or, a cinquefoil, sab.
✝ Theophilus Claye was buried 2 March, 1590 ; Thomas Brailsford and Penelope Claye were married 6 August, 1601. Parish Register.
His son, Robert Claye, married Emma, daughter of Simon Wood, of Burton, Notts. They had two children, John, of this monument, and his sister, Elizabeth, also mentioned in the inscription. The daughters, Susanna and Mary, commemorated on the tomb, married respectively Robert Clarke, of Mansfield, and Timothy Pusey, of Selston.* Elizabeth, youngest of the three daughters, and co-heir of Timothy Pusey, married William Willoughby, and their daughter, Mary Willoughby, married Beaumont Dixie ; hence arose the previously mentioned claim of Sir Wolston Dixie to the advowson of Crich vicarage, and also the claim of Sir Edward Wilmot, as having purchased from Dixie.
This tomb of John Claye has always been in the chancel and on the north side, though it used to stand close to the chancel screen, and the present west end was to the east. He had a right to this situation, having purchased the great tithes of Crich from Anthony Babington in 1584.
Against the north wall of the chancel is fixed a board, with the following lines painted on it in black letter ; this board used to be fastened to the upper part of the rude screen on the chancel side :
" Soules they are made of Heavenly Spirit :
From whence they come ye heavens inherite
Did know that bodyes made of Claye :
Death will devoure by night or daye
Tett is he as hee was I saye :
He living and dead remainth Claye.
His verye name that nature gave :
Is nowe as shal be in his Grave
Tymes doth teache, experience tryes :
That claye to duste the winde up dryes.
Then this a wonder coumpt we must :
That want of winde should make claye dust." ✝
In the south-east angle of the chancel is an altar tomb of alabaster, on which is the incised effigy of a man La plate armour. Bound the margin is :
* Harl. MSS. 1093, f. 121; 5809, f. 47; Egerton MSS. 996, f. 42. In the Egertou MSS. the issue of John Claye by his first wife, Maria, widow of Nicholas Charuell, is by a mistake transposed to the credit of his second wife, Margaret.
✝ " 6 March 1778. A ceiled bedstead formerly belonging to John Claye of Crich in Co. Derby, gent, was exposed to sale this day at John Ludlams, in Shirland. On the middle pannel of the head thereof was inlaid in wood of proper colours his arms and crest. The arms being Or, a chevron ingrailed, between three trefoils slipt, Sable. Crest, on a wreath a pr of wings conjoined and elevated (which by some Heralds is called a Vole). And on that on the dexter side is his arms impaling a Saltire between 4 cross crossletts. Sinister. His arms again impaling Varey, Argt. and Sable. Being the respective coats of his 2 wives." Add. MSS., 6,705, f. 23. This is a small 4 to MS., in Reynolds' clear autograph.
" Hie jacet Godfridus Beresford gen' os* dudu' familiaris s'vic's Georgii honorandissimi
Comitis Salop ac filius et heres appare's Adini Beresford de Fenny bentley.
Qui obiit vicesimo nono die mensis Nove' bri A dni Mill d xiij."
On the stone is a nearly effaced coat that has borne Beresford and Hassall quarterly. Aden Beresford was the eldest son of Thomas Beresford and Agnes Hassall. By his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Roger Eyre, of Holme, he had Godfrey of this monument, and George, who succeeded him on his brother dying childless.*
On the floor of the centre aisle of the nave is a brass plate, bearing this inscription in black letter :
" Here under this stone the Bodies do lye
Of Robert Marshall and Margaret his wyfe.
Whiche in this town lyved quietlye
Above fyfty yearis withowt debate or stryfe.
x children they hade betwix theym in their lyfe
iij of theym doghters and sonnes were sevyn
God graunt all theyr soules reste & joy in Hevyn."
There is no date, but the style of lettering seems to be of the third quarter of the fifteenth century. In the same aisle is another small brass plate, with the following in Roman capitals :
" John Kirkeland, Yeaoman,
Whose ansesrs and hee
Lived in Weatcrost above five hundred yeare,
Till gentle death did end their dayes,
Yet wee will give our God the praies.
The family of Kirkland is said to have originally come from Cumberland. They were certainly in Derbyshire as early as the reign of Henry III. John Kirkland, by his will dated 22 July, 1650, devised unto Godfrey Clarke, of Somersall, his " dear and nearest kinsman," all his lands, etc., in Wheatcroft, Plaistow, Crich, "Winfield, Morewood, Hognaston, and elsewhere, reserving a rent charge of 40s. a year, out of his capital messuage at Wheatcroft, for the poor of Crich. ✝
Upon a very small brass plate affixed to the north wall of the chancel, with an infant wrapped in grave clothes at the base, is inscribed :
* See the account of the Beresfords under Fenny Bentley church, Churches of Derbyshire, vol. ii., pp. 463-9 ; also Harl. MSS., 5,809, f. 7 ; and 1,093, f. 49.
✝ Reliquary, vol. xiii., pp. 219-223.
" Noe sooner bloomed but blasted
Yet to revive with Thine
At the refreshing, Ephraim Shelmerdine.
March 1 1637."
This was an infant son of Thomas Shelmerdine, the Presbyterian, who held this living during the Commonwealth, but removed to Matlock rectory in 1656, whence he was ejected in 1662.* His son, Daniel, as we have already seen, held the living of Barrow-on-Trent.
In Reynolds' notes (1758) occurs the following notice of a monument that has now quite disappeared : " About the middle of this chantry (being as now it is in the alley going down the north aisle) is a small grey marble stone, whereon is fixed two brass plates, one of which has the portrait of a man in a long loose garment drawn upon it, but the head is now taken away ; and the other has the following inscription in antique letters, but without date :
' Presbiter hie clausus Wodrof requiesco Will'm's
Qui cantarie custos vocor istius ante.
Ecce q'd esca paror pro o'mibus atque cadaver
Ut sum quisquis erit, nil manet, omne perit,
Corpus mane meum licet hie cub carne putrescat,
Attamen ora deum spiritus loca alma cupescat,
Cui des introitum deus ad tua regna refund!
Visurum salvatorem, michi spes erit ista.' "✝
William Woderowe, Wodrof, or Woodruffe, was instituted to the chantry of SS. Nicholas and Katharine in 1459, and died 1490. In the outer north wall of this aisle, near the west end, is a sepulchral arched recess, with bold foliation. In Bassano's time (1710) upon the lid of the coffined receptacle within it was incised a chalice. We have little doubt that this was designed for and occupied by the first priest of the chantry Richard Davy, who died in 1370. In the eighteenth century this receptacle was coolly reappropriated for the remains of one of the vicars of Crich, the coffin lid reversed, and inscribed with the name of Thomas England, who died Feb. 7th, 1730.
* Thomas Shelmerdine was of Lancashire birth and educated at Christ College, Cambridge. " He was a diligent Preacher at Criche divers years ; where he was encompassed with many good old Puritans, that liv'd in that Parish and about it, who streugthen'd his Hands much in his Work. He was a Man very cheerful in Converse. A kind Husband to an Holy but very Melancholy Wife. From Crich he remov'd to Matlock .... He remov'd thence when he was Silenc'd to a dwelling at Wirksworth, where he did not long survive "Calamy's Ejected Ministers, vol. ii., p. 166. He was frequently Moderator of the Presbyterian Classis at Wirksworth, as we learn from their MS. minute book.
✝ This is copied verbatim from Reynolds ; there are obviously several mistakes in his transcription.
Bassano also mentions that there was then a north porch, as well as one on the south side.
In Wryley's copy (1592) of the Visitation of 1569 occur the following notes respecting Crich, and the glass then extant in the windows, the monuments, etc. :– *
"Crech in the high peake, the tenure of that noble familie of Musard, Hasculphus Musard the 20 of the conqueroure did hould Creche and Staveley in the countie of Darbie, whoe had yssue Bitchard Musard Baron of Staveley, whoe had yssue Hasculphus Musard Baron of Staveley, whoe had yssue Rauffe, whoe had yssue Raffe (6 R : 1), who had yssue A[micia] M. married to [Anker] Fretsvyle whoe held Crech and Staveley in his wyves richt. It now is in the possession of the Earles of Srewesburie, and as it wear an appendix to their honor of winkfeild, it enioyeth once in the year a fayer and som priviliges, it is now the habitacion of John Cleay Gentleman, my verie good frend and kinsman. It is seated on a hill, fertile and well stored both for wood and cole near the ryver Darwen. In the church thes Armes."
1. Party per pale, gu. and sab., a lion rampant, arg. (Beler).
2. Az., two chevrons, or. (Fitz Ealph).✝
3. England, with a label of three points, each charged with two fleurs-de-lis.
4. Bary of six, arg. and az. (Grey of Codnor).
5. Do. do. a label of three points, gu.
6. Arg., a fesse, gu., between six lozenges, sab. (Wakebridge).
7. Az., a fesse, gu., between six lozenges, sab. (The more usual coat of Wakebridge).
8. Az., a bend between six escallops, arg. (Frecheville).
9. Arg., a chevron between three crescents, gu. (Pole).
10. Quarterly, Pole and Wakebridge.
11. Pole and Wakebridge impaling Erm., on a chief, gu., three bezants (Okeover).❢
12. Pole and Wakebridge impaling Babington.
13. Pole and Wakebridge impaling Ferrers.
"These three escochions (speaking of the three last) belonged to the younger famelie of the Poles, who married the daughter and heyr of Wakburge, of the mannor of Wakeburge in the parrishe, build by Sir William Wakeburge, one of the Justices of the Banche, § and was a great benefactor to the Church of Creech as by his Armes soe often sett up in the Church. He also builded a fyne chapell at Wakeburg, garnishing with! orgayne and other costly devises."
Wyrley also makes mention of memorial windows and of a tomb
*Harl. MSS.,6592, f. 88.
✝ In Nichols' Collectanea these arms are here assigned to Fitz Ralph. They are those usually given to Musard, but it is there stated (vol. i., p. 51) that no early instance has yet been met with of the right of Musard to those arms.
❢ John Pole, of Hartington, who died 1524, married Jane, daughter of Humphrey Okeover.
§ So that if the effigy is in legal costume, it may still be claimed for Sir William de Wakebridge.
to John Clay and his two wives, which was an earlier one than that now extant in the chancel : –
" Tow fayr monimentes in the glasse wroughte in their vestimentes with the Armes of Fretsvile, wrytten under thus ' Gervase .... is Aneure .... pri et Dur Armedel' .... Also on a monument: ' Hic jacent corpora Johanis Clay et Maries primes uxoris quondam uxor Nicholai Charnels de Suarston, et Marias qua relictce Germani Pole de Wakburge, filia Edwardi Ferrers de Tamworth.'"
Some notes taken about 1780 show that the only coats then remaining were No. 7 in the middle window of the north aisle, No. 2 in the east window of the south aisle, and No 8 in the east chancel window. No. 2 is the solitary coat now remaining, but there are a few fragments of old glass in the tracery of the fourth chancel window, a small crowned head being distinguishable. In the time of Bassano and also of Reynolds, there were some remains of a parclose or screen, shutting off the east end of the north aisle. The rood screen, of Perpendicular date, across the chancel arch, was ruthlessly turned out, together with some well carved spandrels of the roof, at the injudicious "restoration" of 1861. Fortunately the Rev. W. Hope, vicar of S. Peter's, Derby, caught sight of this fine screen in a timber merchant's yard, and rescued it from demolition, and most happily set it up as a screen across the chancel arch of S. Peter's, where it may now be seen. In the vestry is a beam, removed from the old roof, on which are recorded the names of :–
" Thomas Shelmerdine, minister, 1640.
There is also in the vestry an old oak seat, handsomely carved, and of the Perpendicular period. The ends, of considerable elevation, terminate in "poppy-heads," on both sides of which are carved human faces. Unless we are wrongly informed, one if not more of these fine old church seats found their way to the house at Chase Cliff, during the "restoration." If this is the case, we venture to hope that they may be restored to God's House.
There is a ring of fine bells in the tower :
I. "John Dod, John Feepound C: Wardens, MDCCXXI."
II. "Feare God honor the King, 1671," and the bell mark of George Oldfield.
III. " I. Saxton, G. Silvester, Churchwardens. I. Goddard, Minister, 1771."
IV. " Hec Campana sacra fiat Trinitate beata, 1616," in Lombardic capitals, highly decorated.*
V. "All men that heare my mornfull sound
Repent before you lye in ground. 1626."
There is also above these a small bell, that goes by the name of the parson's bell There is no inscription or date upon it, and it may possibly be the old sanctus bell that used to hang over the east gable of the nave.
From some further notes of Reynolds, we learn that the 3rd bell (or, as he says, the 4th), which was broken and sent to Rotherham to be recast, on Saturday, March 30th, 1771, formerly bore " Jesus be oure spede B. E. B. W.," the founder's mark of Henry Oldfield, and the date 1583 circumscribed within a small circle. He also states, in a note dated 1770, that there were only four bells in the steeple up to 1721, when the first one was cast.✝
The same antiquary tells us, in another place, that :
" The weathercock upon Crich Church Spire was bought of one Birds of Mansfield in the year 1692 by John Beardah senr and Thomas Booner, churchwardens. It cost 28 shillings and 12 shillings guilding, so that it lay the parish in 40 shillings. A.D. 1769, this weathercock was taken down and fresh gilt by David Woodhouse and George Bacon junr, churchwardens. The steeple and spire were also pointed at the same time. The old custom at Crich church of ringing the sermon bell after chiming all the bells was disused in 1769, and the method of ringing the sermon bell first, then chiming all the bells, and lastly ringing the small bell called the Ting-Tang (which last had been dumb, viz. had no clapper in it for 70 years) was introduced. At the time were John Walker, vicar, Joseph Goddard, curate, and the above named Woodhouse and Bacon, churchwardens. The inside of the church was whitewashed at the same time."❢
Some further notes relative to this church, included in the Wolley MSS., and taken about the beginning of the century, mention that " the pillars continue to be hung with garlands in honor of young maidens who died unmarried, § " so that Crich may be added to the list of those Derbyshire churches where this interesting custom used to prevail. ✦
In the letters from the incumbents in 1831,** on which the Parliamentary Return as to parochial registers is based, we find that the communication from Crich states that the earliest register,
* For illustrations of the lettering, etc., of this bell, see the Reliquary, vol. xiii., p. 231.
✝ Add. MSS., 6,670, ff. 411, 412.
❢ Add. MSS., 6,707, f. 18.
§ Add. MSS. 6668, f. 449.
✦ On the subject of Funeral Garlands, see the accounts of the churches of South Winfield, Ashford, and Matlock, in vols. i. and ii. of Churches of Derbyshire.
** Add. MSS , 9,355.
from 1617 to 1640, is "totally useless and illegible." Though this is far too sweeping a statement, still it must be owned that the volume is much damaged, badly written, and in a few places quite illegible. There are defects in the subsequent registers from June 7th, 1708, to March 20th, 1712, and again from March 4th, 1768, to September loth, 1764. Reynolds' notes (1757) make mention of an earlier register book than the one beginning in 1617, and it was our good fortune, in the summer of 1877, to be instrumental in its recovery, after an absence from the parish of about a century. Mr. Hoveden, a gentleman resident at Croydon, purchased at a London auction, in a lot of old papers, a portion of a parochial register. It is a quarto paper book, extending from 1564 to 1593, with several leaves missing at the commencement, and no name of parish or minister by which to identify. The cover is of parchment, and has been part of an old Breviary. Suspecting it to be of Derbyshire origin, Mr. Hoveden placed it in our hands for identification, and the following entries, inter alia, convincing us that it pertained to Crich, the owner was good enough, in the true antiquarian spirit, to restore it to the parish chest :
" Marmeduke Babington sepultus fuit decimo septo Januarii, 1587."
" Germanus Poole de Wakebridge sepultus fuit vicessimo sexto die Aprilis, 1588."
"Theophilus Claye sepiiltus fuit secundo die Marcii, 1590."
Petrus Poole sepultus fuit vicessimo die Septembris, 1590."
In the previous account of Crich we have chronicled the fact that Sir William de Wakebridge built a chapel at his manor house at WAKEBRIDGE, garnished with an "orgayne and other costly devises." We are also able to give an inventory of the goods of this chapel, as given in the Crich Chartulary, under date 1368 :–
"Memorandum de ornamentis capelle de Wakebrugge. In primis j haire, Et ij alterclothez cum frontellis bonis, Et j tapeta ad pendeudum ante altare, Et ij peria de Ridel* cum apparat', Et ij vestimenta festivales, Et j vestimeiitum feriale, Et j calix, Et j missale, Et alind missale vetus, Et j portiforium, Et j psalterium, Et iij coporalia cum cases, Et j tabula depicta, Et j portiforium quo dominus utitur, Et j mauuale de usu Lincolnie."✝
* The Ridels (Fr. rideaux) were the curtains which fenced in the back and sides of the altar.
✝ The " use " or ritual of Lincoln seems to have generally prevailed in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield. There were five distinct uses in England York, Lincoln, Hereford, Bangor, and Salisbury. That of Lincoln prevailed also in many parts of Scotland. The Sarum use was prescribed for the whole province of Canterbury in 1541, hence arose the general adoption of red for altar cloths, as red was the ordinary colour of the Salisbury rite.
On the purchase of this estate by Peter Nightingale in 1771, the fine old mansion, that had been for so many centuries the seat of the families of Wakebridge and Pole, was pulled down. The chapel, which was a detached building, but had long been desecrated for farm purposes, did not then share the fate of the hall. A writer of the year 1818, says : –" The east window still remains in the end of a barn, at the back of the house, which is the only discernible indication of the chapel."* Some thirty years ago, the remains of this chapel were still further modernised, and the window mentioned by Mr. Moore, taken out, and removed to the grounds of Mr. Nightingale's residence at Lea. That portion of the large barn which now stands on the site of the chapel, has no trace of antiquity, or any ecclesiastical feature about it. The extensive foundations of the old manor house, can be traced under the sward, behind the present farm-house. In the kitchen of the house is an old oak door, handsomely panelled with the linen-fold pattern. This is apparently the only relic of the departed grandeur of Wakebridge.
N.B. Since the previous sheet passed through the press, we have found an institution to Crich vicarage in the Lichfield registers, under the year 1629. Owing probably to it being spelt "Croich," it had escaped our previous notice. It is the institution of Thomas Shelmerdine, on the death of Edwin Woolley, and John Claye was then patron. This modifies the statements previously made, with respect to the patronage, in one or two particulars.
* Moore's Picturesque Excursions, p. 70