CRICH (Crice), a market-town, lies about 5 m. eastwardly from Wirksworth, and about 4 m. from Alfreton, which is the post town, and 12 m. from Derby. The parish is chiefly in the hundred of Morleston and Litchurch, but extends partly into Scarsdale and Wirksworth hundreds. The parish of Crich includes the townships of Crich, Wessington and Tansley.
Crich is a township comprising the villages of Fritchley, Dark Lane, Edge Moor, Codington, Wheatcroft, and Plaistow, part of Upper and Nether Holloway, and Wakebridge, which form one constablewick. In 1821, this township contained 392 houses, 394 families, and 2024 inhabitants. Of the families, 117 were chiefly employed in agriculture, 165 in trade or handicraft, and 112 variously ; the greater part of the latter were miners. There are now 420 houses and 2300 inhabitants. There was formerly a market at Crich, and although there are no records of its grant, it appears to have been of considerable antiquity. It was attempted to be revived about the middle of the last century, at which period it had long been discontinued. In 1810, it was again opened, and still continues to be held on Thursdays, for provisions, &c. but is not much resorted to. There are two fairs held on the 6th of April, and the 11th of October, for horses, cows, sheep, pigs, pedlars' wares, &c. On Crich cliff, the greatest elevation in the neighbourhood, and about half a mile north of the church, Francis Hurt, esq. grandfather of the present Francis Hurt, of Alderwasley, esq. erected an obelisk, called Crich stand, which commands a very extensive view over the surrounding country, particularly towards the east and south, and was one of the stations chosen by Colonel Mudge when he made his general survey of the kingdom. The circular tower serves as a land mark amongst the hills of Derbyshire. It is ascended from within, and from the top of it a view is obtained of a wide extent of country, intersected with roads, rivers and canal, studded with villages and houses, vales and eminences - in some places dark with masses of intervening woods, in others enlivened with cultivated fields ; the whole presenting to the eye of the spectator an immense panorama of interesting objects.
"The hills in this part of Derbyshire, on both sides of the Derwent, rise majestically from the valley. They present a pleasing variety of outline, and their steep sides are adorned with some of the most beautiful woods that ever waved their branches to the winds. The river, with here and there a bridge thrown across the stream, courses through the depths of the vale, and its margin is enriched with almost, every object that can delight in landscape scenery.
"The road from Crich to Cromford is carried along the side of a steep hill by a gradual descent. It first passes the Holloways along a kind of mountain terrace that overlooks a long series of miles of beautiful country : it then sinks rapidly amongst the thick woods that border Lea mill. Every step along this road varies the prospect, and the traveller is sometimes delighted with the beauty, and at others elevated by the magnificence of the views it presents."
The town of Crich is built on a considerable elevation, and its church and stand are very conspicuous objects from a distance of several miles round. The village occupies the summit of an immense limestone hill, that overlooks all the eminences around it. The inhabitants are chiefly supported by working the lead mines (some of which are very rich) in the getting and burning of limestone (which is excellently adapted for agricultural and building purposes) the manufacture of stockings and agriculture.
The following is the Custom of the Lead Mines, within the manor and liberty of Crich
1.The steward of the court leet and court baron within the manor and liberty of Crich, shall be the steward for deciding such differences wherein a steward shall be thought necessary to be called upon, pursuant to the following Articles.
2. The lords, with the rest who are concerned for lot and cope, are to choose an honest man to be barmaster, and the steward to give him his oath, which oath is, "That he shall be just between lord and miner, and between miner and miner and burner, to the best of his knowledge and good conscience."
3. For a new rake or vein, the miner is to give one dish of the first ore therein gotten to the bar-master, for which the bar-master is to measure him out two meers of ground, containing thirty yards apiece, viz. from the middle of the spindle at either end a meer of ground, and then the lords are to have at either end half a meer, containing fifteen yards apiece, and then the miner is to have every meer of ground as far as he is possessed of paying to the lords every ninth dish of ore therein gotten, and freeing the same from taker meer to taker meer, as far as he is possessed of.
4. For an old rake or vein for one dish of ore to the bar-master, the miner is to have from the middle of the spindle at either end fifteen yards, which maketh a whole meer of thirty yards, and the lords no half meer, the miner freeing every taker meer of ground.
5. If the miner be possessed of twenty or thirty meers of ground, being more or less and lawfully taken and stoced, and given away by the bar-master, and booked and kept in lawful possession, it is not the custom within the manor of Crich for any man to take such meers until such time as the bar-master shall think fit to give the same away : and the person or persons to whom they are given shall pay the bar-master four pence for every meer of ground for booking.
6. The buyer or burner is to pay six pence a load to the lords for cope for every load of nine dishes of ore, for which the buyer is to have regress and freegress.
7. If any partner having a share or part of a mine within the manor and liberty of Crich, refusing to pay his part or share of the charges, his partners making three lawful reckonings, two weeks to a reckoning that they will swear to, and complaining to the bar-master, who shall then show or send to him the reckoning (if he can conveniently) and if he doth not pay or cause to be paid the same in ten days after such notice, the bar-master may lawfully give his part away for non-payment.
8. Hillock ore, or forested ore, the bar-master may allow what he pleases after the first washing or ore found in old hillocks, the buyer paying six pence a load cope.
9. It is not custom for the miner to go into a fresh close of ground to dig or delve for lead ore without the tenant's consent, unless the miner can bring in a vein along with him off the common, and then he may, or if there hath been mines or old works the bar-master may set the miner on, the tenant having a third part, or a sixth part, if he will maintain the same, or else not.
10. lf any difference shall arise between miner and miner, the party grieved complaining to the bar-master, and giving him four pence to make an arrest, the steward (having proper notice thereof) with the bailiff, bar-master, and those interested in the lot and cope, and then present, shall, within ten days after such arrest, examine witnesses on oath, and determine the same without any jury or twenty-four men, the plaintiff putting into the bar-master's hands a pawn of eighteen shillings and four pence, within four days after such arrest, and the defendant the same sum, the winner having his pawn again, but the loser not. Ten shillings of the said eighteen shillings and four pence going to the steward, and the remaining eight shillings and four pence to be then laid out in entertaining the steward, bailiff, bar-master, and those concerned in the lot and cope, who shall then attend upon this article.
11. lf it happen that there be two founders in one vein, and there fall odd ground under fifteen yards, it falls to the lords ; it is not serviceable to the miner, but is called a Prim Gap.
12. lf there happen to be odd yards of ground adjoining to this liberty, and another under fifteen yards, it is not serviceable to the miner, but it falleth to the lords, but if above, it is the miner's, according to his taking.
13. lf it happen that the miner neglecteth to work his mine, and lets it stand unwrought six weeks together, the bar-master may nick it three weeks together, and in four days after the last nick, he may give the same away for want of workmanship lawfully.
14. It is not custom within the manor of Crich, for the miner to set on any old work without the barmaster, or any freed meer of ground, crosses and holes stand but for three days without stoces.
15. lt is custom within the manor of Crich, that the first finder of a vein shall go away with it, and not the first freer, if it happen to be all one and the same vein.
16. If any difference shall arise between miner and miner, the bar-master and bailiff may put an end to it, unless there shall be occasion to examine witnesses on oath on both sides. Then the steward is to decide such difference, and award satisfaction as the right shall appear.
17. The bar-master may arrest the ore for wages, or any materials to the mines, as timber, smith work, candles, powder, or bread and cheese and ale, but ale without bread and cheese he cannot. And when the ore is measured, the bar-master takes the money and pays the debt, and returns the remainder to the owner thereof.
18. No miner is to bring any unlawful weapon to the mines; and if it chance that a miner (or any other person whomsoever) quarrels upon the mine and fights and draws blood on the mine, he shall pay the sum of 3s. 4d. before the sun set, otherwise the bar-master may set a fine upon him off 6s. 8d. and arrest his ore for the same.
19. lf any miner conveys ore besides the bar-master's dish, the bar-master may set a fine of £2. upon him besides the ore, and the buyer as much, and arrest for the same.
20. The bar-master may go down into any man's mines or grooves, or put any man down to search for any stolen things belonging to the mines.
21. The bar-master may dial any miner's ground, or mine, to see whether he hath two veins or but one, and to see if he doth not trespass upon another miner or drive out of his length. The miner is to drive his ground to his stool and to his ground's end, and to give his neighbour insight that the mine be not neglected.
22. If any miner drives into another miner's ground and gets his ore, the bar-master may go down and take three or four honest miners along with him and value the trespass, and cause him to pay as much ore back, or the value of it in money, as they think it worth.
23. If any miner be damped or killed in the mines within this liberty, the barmaster is instead of a coroner.
The township contains 3413 acres of limestone and gritstone land (principally tithe free) which is chiefly pasture, and divided into small farms at an average rental of 25s. an acre. The estimated annual value of the land and buildings is £4262. 8s. 7d. In the year 1786, the commons and waste lands were enclosed, containing 450 acres. The principal freeholders are John and Thomas Alsop, Lord Almond, Richard Arkwright, esq. Edward Bacon, Joseph Bent, Joseph Barlow, William and Elizabeth Barnes, Lot Beardsley, Isaac Bestwick, Samuel, William, Benjamin, Thomas, and the Executors of Joseph Bowmer, George Brough, the Butterley Company, James and Henry Buxton, Joseph Cartledge, Mary Cawood, Daniel Cooper, John and Thomas Curson, the Cromford Canal Company, George Cowlishaw, Thomas Cheetham, Francis Clay Cabourn, John Dawes, the Duke of Devonshire, George Else, George Elliott, Thomas Frost, John and James, sen. and jun. Fritchley, John Gaunt, John and William Goodale, Miss Gifford, Benjamin and William Greatorex, Edward Greenhough, Anthony Grundy, William Glossop, William Haslam, Isaac and James Harrison, George and Elijah Hall, Francis and Charles Hurt, esqrs. Thomas and Ann Hill, Thomas Hogg, Mrs. Hepworth, Rev. Mr. Hughes, John and Samuel Haynes, Robert Hay, Samuel Henstock, John Hunt, John Hartshorn, Robert Jackson, John Johnson, M'c Kenzie, Thomas Kirk, Samuel and William Leam, John Lowe, J. Lomas, John and George Limb, Joseph Lynam, George and James Marshall, William Marsden, John Mould, Samuel Morrell, Samuel Martin, Rev. Mr. Mason, Thomas Nadin, William Naylor, Joseph Noble, William Edward Nightingale, esq. Job and James Nightingale, Peter Pearson, Williain Piggin, Thomas, Isaac and Israel Poyser, Jacob Redfern, William Rolley, Widow Rowe, William, Thomas and George Smith, Mr. Simpson, John Saxton, G. B. Strutt, esq. Samuel Stocks, J. Sadler, Lord Scarsdale, Anthony, Jonathan, John, George and Phoebe Storer, John and Mary Silvester, Samuel and John Spencer, John Sims, William Shepstone, George Swindell, John Strange, the Summercote's Company, Moses Stoppard, Samuel and Thomas Travis, William, Thomas and James Taylor, John Tomlinson, the Vicar of Crich, George Vallance, William and George Wilson, James and Thomas Wetton, Nathaniel, German and Thomas Wheatcroft, John Wright, Widow Wragg, Joseph Wild, William White, John and George Walker, Sir Robert Wilmot, bart. William Wood, and George Young. The average annual amount of the last 7 years parochial expenses is £875. 14s. 3d. There is a workhouse here, to which several other townships subscribe and send their poor, and several friendly societies. These societies hold their festival at Whitsuntide.
About eighty years ago a collection of ancient coins was found near Crich, some of which were stamped in the reigns of Domitian, Adrian, and Dioclesian.
In Crice and Soketorp Leuric and Levenot had four ox-gangs of land to be taxed. Land to one plough. There are three acres of meadow. Wood pasture three miles lond and one broad. And one lead mine. Value in king Edward's time 40s. now 30s. Ralph holds it. D. B. 318.
To this Ralph succeeded his son, Ralph Fitz Rauf, the first Baron of Crich, in king Stephen's time, who, in the time of Henry I. gave certain lands in Hartshorne to the Knights Templars. To him succeeded Hubert Fitz Ralf, Baron of Crich, who was a great benefactor to Darley abbey, and gave to the king 30 marks' fine to make his woods in Crich a free chase, and to have hounds and deer of his own there, and dying 9 Henry III. Ralph de Freschevile, his next heir, son of Juliana, his daughter, succeeded him in the barony of Crich. His son, Anker de Freschevile, left it to his son Ralfe, who was summoned to parliament as Baron of Crich, 25 Henry III. ; who left it to another Ralfe, who, in 19 Edward II. alienated the manor of Crich to Roger Belers and his heirs. He died seised of it in 1325. Sir Roger Belers, who died in 1380, left two daughters, who possessed this manor in moieties, but the whole devolved eventually to the descendants of Sir Robert de Swillington, who married the elder. From the Swillingtons the manor passed by inheritance to Ralph, Lord Cromwell, who, in the reign of Henry VI. sold the reversion to John Talbot, the second Earl of Shrewsbury. Upon the death of Gilbert, Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1616, it was divided amongst his three daughters and co-heiresses, the Countesses of Pembroke, Kent, and Arundel. The Countess of Pembroke's share passed through the Saviles to an ancestor of the Earl of Thanet, who is the present proprietor. The Countess of Kent conveyed her share to her uncle Edward, Earl of Shrewsbury. The Earl of Shrewsbury, in 1710, sold the lands, which were soon after divided into parcels : and, in 1711, conveyed his third of the manor or barony to William Sudbury and four other persons. The remaining third was sold in 1660 for £3270. by the Honourable Henry Howard, to Anthony Bennet and Ralph Smith. A short abstract of which deed, and two others relating to this manor, here follows :
" By Indenture of feoffment, dated 7th April, 1660. The Honourable Henry Howard (second son of the late Right Honourable Henry, Earl of Arundel and Surrey) and the Right Honourable Lady Anne, his wife. In consideration of £3270. did grant, release, enfeoffe and confirm unto Thomas Wright, of Fritchley, gent. Anthony Bennett, of Brackenfield, gent. Ralph Smith, of Hognaston, yeoman, Richard Verdon, of Fritchley, yeoman, John Oates and John Wellon, of Wheatcroft, yeomen, and William Wood, of Crich, yeoman, all that the third part of the manor or lordship of Crich, with the rights, members and appurtenances thereof, in the county of Derby, and the third part of the chase of Crych aforesaid, and of Culland park, in Crych aforesaid, and the third part of a limestone quarry and limeing, with the appurtenances, and the third part of the red lead mill and the water corn mill, in Crych aforesaid, and the third part of all and singular the messuages, lands, tenements, hereditaments and premises in Crych, Lea and Tansley, to the said manor belonging, and the third part of all and singular other houses, edifices, buildings, lodges, barns, stables, courts, yards, orchards, gardens, lofts, crofts, closes, enclosed grounds, lands, tenements, meadows, pastures, feedings, mines, and quarries of stone, coal and ironstone, woods, underwoods, trees, with the ground and soil thereof, commons, common of pasture, common grounds, wastes, heaths, moors, marshes, mills, wears, waters, streams, watercourses, ways, easements, passages, rents, chief rent, rent secke, and all other rents and services, courts, court leet and court baron, view of frank pledge, perquisites and profits of courts, fines, amerciaments, waifs, estrays, tolls, customs, duties, rights, royalties, liberties, privileges, immunities, franchises, profits, commodities, emoluments and hereditaments whatsoever to the said manor or lordship of Crych, or other the premises belonging, &c. situate, lying, and being in the parishes, fields and precincts of Crych, Lea, Tansley, Crych chase, Culland, park, Fritchley, Wheatcroft, Over Holloway, Nether Holloway, Coddington, or Lindey lane, every or any of them, in the said county of Derby, and the reversion, &c. and all and singular deeds, &c. to be delivered up on or before 20th September then next, &c. to hold to the said Smith and Bennett, their heirs and assigns, for ever. To whom the grantor warrants the said third part, and covenants with them to levy a fine to ensure to them in fee, in order that a common recovery might be thereof suffered, which should ultimately be to the use of Wright, Verdon, and the others. Grantor covenants that for and notwithstanding any act, &c. by him, or by Thomas, then Earl of Arundel and Surrey, Henry, late Earl of Arundel and Surrey, his father, Thomas, Earl of Arundel and Surrey, his grandfather, and the Lady Alathea, his wife, Countess of Arundel and Surrey, Elizabeth, Countess of Kent, sister of the said Alathea, or Gilbert (then) late Earl of Shrewsbury, father of the said Alathea and Elizabeth, &c. for the title, &c. and that free and clearly, &c. except one lease, dated April, 1658, made by the said Henry Howard and others, Lords of the said manor of Crych for thirty-one years, unto James Wright, John Newton, gent. and others, their partners for the carrying on the great sough and grooves within the said manor, and that within seven years he would do any other for further assurance, &c."
Bennett and Smith disposed of the above purchased third part of the manor in severalties, as is partly evident by the following short abstract :
"14th February, 14 Charles II. (1660) Anthony Bennett, of Brackenfield, gent. and Ralph Smith, of Hognaston, yeoman, granted two-thirds of the mineral duties of the lot and cope of Crich to John Newton, of Okerthorpe, gent. Anthony Wood, of Wakebridge, yeoman, Robert Sage, of Wirksworth, yeoman, and Francis Alleyn, of the Lea, yeoman."
"30th December, 19 Charles II. (1667) By a deed of four parts, made between the said Anthony Wood of the first part, the said Francis Alleyn of the second part, William Newton, of Okerthorpe, gent. son of the said John Newton (then late deceased) of the third part, and George Hopkinson, of Ible, gent. (executor of the said Robert Sage, then late deceased) of the fourth part. After reciting the former deed of 1660, and the deaths of Newton and Sage, the shares of each party are declared and granted to each other : viz. one-eighth of two-thirds of one-third of the manor, viz. one-thirty-sixth of the whole lot and cope to William Newton, in fee ; one-eighth of two-thirds of one-third, or three-thirty-sixths, or one-twelfth of the whole to Anthony Wood, in fee ; three-eighth parts of the said two parts of the said one-third, being three-thirty-sixths, or one-twelfth of the whole to George Hopkinson ; and one-eighth part of two-thirds of the same one-third, being one-thirty-sixth of the whole to Francis Alleyn, in fee."
The manor is now in many shares, and the lords are owners of the mineral duties of lot and cope ; and John Charge, of Chesterfield, esq. the steward of the manor, is the sole judge and arbiter of all mineral causes arising within the manor.
The manor of Wakebridge belonged at an early period to a family whose ancestor took his name from the place. Peter, son of Ralph de Wakebrugge, married a daughter of Hubert Fitz Ralph, Lord of Crich, in the reign of king John. Sir William de Wakebridge distinguished himself in the wars of France, and is spoken of by Wyrley in his Use of Arms, as being a valiant knight, though he bore colour upon colour in his arms ; he died without issue, in the reign of Edward III. Cecilia, his sister and heiress, brought his estate to her husband, John Pole, of Newborough, in the county of Stafford, by whom she had three sons ; Peter, ancestor of Pole, of Radhome, Edmund, and Ralph whose posterity continued here till the death of his descendant, John Pole, esq. in 1724, when it passed to his great nephew, Garalt Morphy, whose brother and heir, Edward, sold it in 1771 to Peter Nightingale, of Lea, esq. by his bequest this manor passed to his great nephew, William Edward Shore, esq. who has taken the name of Nightingale, and is the present proprietor. The old mansion was taken down about the year 1771, but there are still some remains of a chapel.
" Wakeburge, or Wakebridge, was built by Sir William Wakeburge, who was a great benefactor to the church of Crich, as appears by his arms so often set up within the church. He also built a fine chapel at Wakeburge, which he garnished with an organ and other costly devises." Harleian Manuscripts.
The ancient gothic spire church (which stands above the town) is dedicated to St. Mary. It is very neat and commodious, and has a centre, two side aisles, and a chancel. Lysons states that in the reign of king Stephen, Robert Ferrers, Earl of Derby, gave this church to Darley abbey, but it is more probable that Ralph Fitz Ralph, first Baron of Crich, in that reign, was the donor. A chantry was founded in this church " for God's service, and maintaining of poor folk," by Sir William de Wakebridge, dedicated to St. Nicholas and St. Catherine: and another, in 1361, was founded by Sir William de Wakebridge, Richard de Chesterfield, and Richard de Tissington, in honour of the Virgin Mary. The income of the former was valued, in 1547, at £12. 4s. 4 1/2d. per annum ; the other, at £6. 3s. 4d. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £10. 12s. and yearly tenths 13s. 1d. The vicarage has been several times augmented ; by a parliamentary grant, in 1813, of £600. ; in 1826, of £600. ; and by subscription and queen Anne's bounty to the amount of £400. Sir Robert Wilmot, of Chaddesden, is the impropriator of the great tithes ; the Rev. Thomas Cornthwaite, vicar ; and Sir Willoughby Wolstan Dixie, bart. is supposed to be patron of the vicarage.
The following document, written between 1766 and 1786, by Mr. John Reynolds, will best illustrate the gift of this church to Darley abbey, and the claim of the Dixie family to the advowson.
"Hubert Fitz Ralph (scilicet Hubertus filius Radulfi) in the year 1175, granted to Albin, abbot of Derley, and the canons there, inter alia, the church of Criche, which his father before time had granted them, with all appurtenances thereto belonging (ut eam ita plenae et libere et quiete teneant ac habeant cicut cam tenuerunt et habuerunt cum possessionibus illes quas habuit eccleriae die purificationis beata Mariae proxime post captionem Willielmi Regis Scotiae.) And from this time to the general dissolution of monasteries, the abbots of Darley, for the time being, continued patrons to this church.
"The monastery of Darley was dissolved by authority of parliament in 1540, being 31 Henry VIII. and all its estates and possessions were thereby given to the king (see Stat. 31 Henry VIII. cap.13.) Hence the right of presentation to the vicarage of Crich, as well as the impropriate rectory became vested in the crown, where, I think [meaning the vicarage] it still remains, for several reasons as will appear hereafter.
" King Henry VIII. (anno regni sui 36) granted to Thomas Babington (inter alia) the tithes of Washington, within the parish of Criche, but nothing is mentioned of the presentation to the vicarage of Crich in this grant. (Tenendas de Rege in capite 36 Henry VIII. p. 51.)
"When, or even to whom, the tithes of the rest of the parish of Crich were granted, namely, Crich, Plaistow, Fritchley, &c. I do not remember ever to have seen, but most likely they were granted to the same Thomas Babington, or else to his son, Sir Henry Babington, or grandson, Anthony Babington, esq. because this Anthony Babington had the tithes of the whole parish of Crich, but whether he had the advowson or fight of presentation, I know not, but that would easily be found by searching the Court of Augmentations. The said Anthony Babington sold to John Claye, of Crich, gent. all his lands and tithes in Cryche alias Cruche, Plaistow, Egge alias Edge, &c. (what were contained in the grant or grants, I have not seen, as before mentioned) excepting two farms therein excepted (and still known) ; and a fine was passed to perfect the title in Trinity term, anno 27 Elizabeth, 1584, between John Claye, gent. and Anthony Babington and Margery, his wife, deforcients, but no mention is made of the presentation to the vicarage in this fine. The said John Claye, 1st October, 10 James I. 1612, settled all his estates in Cryche alias Cruche, upon his three daughters, &c. ; but in this settlement deed no mention is made at all of the presentation aforesaid : hence it does not seem that the right of presentation was ever in Claye ; and if so, neither in Sir Wolstan Dixie, nor Sir Edward Wilmott, as both claim under him. The before mentioned Anthony Babington was afterwards found guilty of high treason, against queen Elizabeth (by siding with Mary, queen of the scots) and executed in September, 1586, and all his estates forfeited to the crown ; so that, if the right of presentation was in him, it reverted back again to the crown, whence it came.
"Sundry estates of this Anthony Babington, in our neighbourhood, were granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, (amongst which were the two farms in Crich, which were excepted in Babington's deed to Claye) both of which Raleigh sold ; others were granted to Henry, Earl of Kent ; some were enjoyed by Francis Babington, of the borough of Leicester, esq. (brother or nephew to the said Anthony) and by him, and the said Earl of Kent, were sold to divers freeholders about the year 1634 but I never heard that any, claiming under these, pretended to have a right to the presentation.
" Mary, one of the three daughters and co-heirs of John Claye, before mentioned, was wife to Timothy Pusey, of Selston, in the county of Nottingham, esq. and carried this estate of her father's to him, and he enjoyed it in 1646 and 1647. Elizabeth, youngest of the three daughters and co-heirs of the said Timothy Pusey and Mary Claye, his wife, married William Willoughby, esq. [son and heir of Sir Rotherham Willoughby, of Muschamp; county of Nottingham] and had a son, Sir William Willoughby, and a daughter, Mary Willoughby, who married Beaumont Dixie, esq. (after the death of his father, Sir Wolstan Dixie) Sir Beaumont Dixie, bart. This Sir William Willoughby had a son, William, who died an infant before his father, and two natural children, but as these could not inherit, the said Mary Dixie enjoyed her brother's estates (at least this at Crich) and was grandmother to the late Sir Wolstan Dixie [son of Sir Wolstan, the third baronet] and great grandmother of the present Sir Wolstan Dixie, fifth bart. This Lady Dixie sold her estate in Crich to one Thomas Morley, a potter. Morley sold several parcels out to divers persons, and the remainder to Mrs. Millicent Fuller, of Nottingham, widow; and she left it to her grandson, Robert Musters, late of Nottingham, aforesaid, esq. ; and this Robert Musters, and Ann, his wife, in or about the year 1747, sold a part of the same to Dewhurst Bilsborough, an officer of excise, and the remainder to Dr. Willmot, physician to the king, now Sir Edward Willmot, bart.
"Mr. Walker, the present vicar of Crich, has frequently told me that it does not appear from the Bishops' registry at Lichfield, that any Clerk had been legally presented, instituted or inducted to the parish church of Crich since the dissolution of the monasteries. One Bradshaw, I think, it was (who was presented thereto by the then abbot of Derley) being the last there upon record before himself ; and he, Mr. Walker, was presented by the Lord Chancellor, who then had the undoubted right (if not de jure, yet pro hac vice) because the living, as I am told, was lapsed.
"From the foregoing account (quam veram esse scio et aflit me) I think the right of presentation to the vicarage of Crich is actually in the crown, either from the dissolution of monasteries, or else from the attainder of Babington (supposing he had it)."
Arms and Inscriptions in the Church.
At the west end of this church, within a pew, is a brass plate to David Woodhouse, who died 27th Feb. 1749, aged 66 years; and Mary, his wife, died 3rd July, 1766, aged 75.
And above the same is a black marble monument to their two daughters. Jane Woodhouse, died 31st December, 1803, aged 73 ; and Dorothy Woodhouse, died 1st May, 1819, aged 91.
ln the chancel, on the south wall, there is a neat white marble monument to the son of the above David and Mary. To the memory of David Woodhouse, gent, who died 26th May, 1804, aged 73. Ann, his wife, died 26th February, 1822, aged 70.
On the door of a pew, in the middle aisle, is a brass plate, inscribed - Robert Alsibrooke, gent. died 20th March, 1771. Susanna, his wife, died 7th December, 1809. Their daughter, Susanna Lawley, died 7th June, 1814.
On the pavement of the middle aisle is a brass plate to John Kirkland, yeoman, buried here, whose ancestors and he lived at Wheatcroft, in the parish of Crich above 500 years.
Till gentle death did end their days;
From a table of donations over the porch door, it appears that this John Kirkland left 40s. a year to the poor of Crich, to be paid from lands at Wheatcroft.
Near to the last brass there is another, in the same aisle, to Robert Marshall, esq. and Margaret, his wyfe, Who in this town lived quietly above fifty years without debate or stryfe.
There are two shields of arms over the arch which divides the chancel from the body of the church; they have been painted, but are hardly visible from the white wash. They appear to be the arms of the Earl of Shrewsbury, and his wife, Elizabeth Hardwick: viz.
The Earl of Shrewsbury had large possessions in Crich, and belonged to the neighbouring manor house and estate of South Wingfield.
On the right hand side of the chancel is an altar tomb with the effigy of a man resting his feet on a dog traced thereon, on the ledge of the slab is a Latin inscription to Godfrey Berresford, esq. son and heir of Adam Berresford, of Bentley, esq. and servant to George, Earl of Shrewsbury. He died 29th Nov. 1513.
The Arms at the top are nearly defaced, but were originally meant for the Arms of Berresford and Hassall, viz. 1 and 4, Argent, a Bear rampant, muzzled, collared and chained, Or, Berresford: and 2 and 3 per chevron, Argent and Or, three Pheons' heads, Sable, Hassall
On the wall above the last is Mr. Woodhouse's monument, before described.
On the left side of the chancel there is an altar tomb of alabaster. The inscription, which is almost defaced. is on the slab at the top; but the name of Clay is to be seen in several places; and from the arms thereon, it seems to have been erected to a person of the name of Clay, his two wives, and their five children. There are three shields, the middle one is Parti per pale Baron, and two femees per fesse. 1st, Clay. Argent, a chevron engrailed, between three trefoils, Sable, impaling two coats per fesse, being his two wives; 1st, in chief, Calton, Or, a saltier, engrailed, between four cross crosslets, Sable; 2nd, in base, Ferrers, vaire, Or and Gules.
On the right hand and left of this shield there are two single shields, one of Calton, and the other of Ferrers.
The side and end presented to view have five kneeling figures, being children of the above Clay; over each is inscribed their names, 1st, Susannah; 2nd, Mary; 3rd, Penelope, nupta erat Thomas Brailsford, senior; and on the end William and Theophilus.
This monument to the Clays appears to have been erected to the memory of John Clay, esq. who died in 1632, and Mary, his first wife, daughter of William Calton, of Calton, esq. Chief Cock Matcher and Servant of the Hawks to Henry VIII. and widow of ...... Charnels, of Snareston, esq. she died in 1583: his second wife was the widow of German Pole, esq. and daughter of Edward Ferrers, of Tamworth, esq.
There is a quaint epitaph thereon, in which there is a continual play on the name.
Under a pointed arch, in the north aisle, there is a recumbent effigy of a man in armour, resting his feet on a dog. Neither arms, inscription nor date is visible ; though probably, if the side of the tomb was not hid by a pew, arms might be seen. This part of the church seems probably to have been the burial place of the Wakebridge family, of Wakebridge, in this parish, and of their descendants, the Poles, also of that place.
In some church notes, taken about 1710 by Mr. Bassano, a herald painter of Derby, there is, says Messrs. Lysons, mention made of the monument of Sir William Wakebridge, knt. There appears to be none remaining that answers to this monument, except the one above described.
There is also another monument, mentioned in the same church notes, to German Pole, of Wakebridge, esq. who died April 19, 1588 This monument is probably the blue slab, inlaid with brasses, at the end of the north aisle, but which is nearly covered with a pew.
At the west end of this north aisle is a neat mural monument to the Rev. ......... Mason, .......... vicar of Crich.
In the window, at the east end of the north aisle, there is a shield of arms, Azure, two chevrons, Or, being the arms of the ancient family of Fitz Ralph, Lords of Crich.
There appears to have been arms and other painted glass in the east window, but at this time the only coat visible is, ......... a bend between six roundles; and that but very indistinct.
On the north wall of the chancel is a curious brass, for an infant child of a Rev. ......... Shelmerdine, and on one side the figure of a child in swaddling clothes, with the following inscription :
On the north side of the outside of this church is an altar tomb, under a pointed arch. To the memory of Thomas England, vicar of Crich, who died 7th Feb. 1730.
On the outside of the church, under the east end, is the burial place of the family of Wright. There are several stones against the wall to John Wright, late of Crich, died 6th September, 1777, aged 59 yrs
In the churchyard there are two altar tombs to the Woodhouse family, relations to those interred in the church.
On the east end of the church-yard is a table monument, with brass plate, to Hellen, filia Richard Taylor and uxor Johanis Reynolds, de Plaistow, gent. obiit. 10th January, 1771.
List of Vicars
In the Harleian Manuscripts we find the following document relating to Crich:
Mr. John Reynolds, the eminent antiquary whom we have quoted, resided at Lindley Lane, where he enjoyed a good estate. We shall further notice him under the Biography of the County.
Wakebridge Hall, for many generations the seat of the above distinguished families, is now occupied by Mr. Spendlove, tenant to W.E. Nightingale, esq.
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