Michael Jessop

Crich solicitor

Michael JESSOP as Crich solicitor was frequently recorded in newspaper reports. He was also one of those professional residents who was a benefactor and supporter of the community.

1841 Census: Street, Alfreton
Michael JESSOP, Solicitor , aged 30
Eliza JESSOP , aged 25
Eliza JESSOP, aged 1
Mary JESSOP, aged 2 months
[HO197 193 2 9 12]

1851 Census: Alfreton
Michael JESSOP, Head, Solicitor & Assisant Clerk of County Court, aged 41, of Belper
Eliza JESSOP, Wife, aged 36, of Belper
Jane TOWSON, Visitor, Milliner, aged 22 of Heanor
Hannah DAYWILL, Servant, aged 18, of Alfreton
[HO107 2145 349 9 ]

Michael's wife Eliza died in January 1852 and he later married widow Mary Radford Richardson LEE on 27 May 1852 at Crich; she was the daughter of John SAXTON.

1861 Census: The Mount, Crich
Michael JESSOP, Head, Solicitor, aged 51, at Belper
Mary R R JESSOP, Wife, aged 75, at Chesterfield
Eliza MariaJESSOP, Daughter, aged 21, at Alfreton
Louida Theodicia LEE. Visitor, aged 25, at Crich
Ann Elizabeth WRAGG, Niece, aged 6, at Ilkeston
Sarah SPENCER, Cook, aged 36, at Morton
Ellen BULLOCK, Housemaid, aged 17, at Alfreton
William HARRISON, Groom, aged 17, at Crich
Mary SIMS, Visitor, Dressmaker, aged 46, at Blidworth, Notts
[RG9 2512 67 7]

The Mount, Crich

The Mount, home of Michael Jesson and family


During 1864 there was a very famous court case called "The Great Matlock Will Case" in which Michael JESSOP was an Attorney for the Defendants. This legal conflict was over a will and its disputed codicils. This was widely reported at length in the newspapers of the time. Eventually it ended up being decided in House of Lords. There were at least two books written about the case.
The case centered on the validity of alledged codicils to the will of George NUTALL, of Matlock, who died on 7 March 1856 . His will left most of his real estate to a John NUTALL, who died soon after him. Then, over the following 18 months, at different times and in different circumstances three codicils to the will were found. The effect of these codils was to give most of the real estate previously bestowed on John NUTALL and his children to John ELSE and Catherine MARSDEN. The validity of these codicils was then hotly disputed giving rise to the several subsequent court cases. The first case was heard in 1859 at the Derby Summer Assizes. The beneficiaries under the original will claimed that the codicils were forgeries and should be set aside. However, the jury found in favour of the validity of the codicils. The Master of the Rolls was not satisfied with this judgement and directed a second trial before the Lord Chief Baron at the Derby Spring Assizes of 1860. This jury were of the opinion that the codicils were not valid and that the original will should be actioned. The Master of the Rolls was satsfield with this verdict and refused a new trial. Then there was an appeal to the Lords Justices, who were equally divided. The next appeal was to the House of Lords who decided in favour of a new trial in London before the Lord Chief Justice of England. After an eight-day trial the jury upheld that the codicils were not vald and that the terms of the original will be unheld. It was reported that the jury were out for half-an-hour and their verdict was met with applause and the cordial approval of the great body of those who had heard the case.
Michael JESSON as the successful attorney was highly feted and returned to Crich as a "conquering hero." His hero's return was recorded at length in the newspapers:

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal 11 March 1864
[the following report of the “Great Matlock Will Case” made many references to Crich area personalities]

Matlock Great Will Case 1864

More about the Great Matlock Will Case VIEW

1871 Census: The Mount, Crich
Michael JESSOP, Head, Attorney, Solicitor, aged 61, born 1810, at Belper
Mary Radford Richards JESSOP, Wife, aged 75, born 1796, at Duffield
Mary JESSOP, Daughter, aged 30, born 1841, at Duffield
Ann Eliz WRAGG, Niece, aged16, born 1855, at Alfreton
Emmas WHEELDON, Servant, aged 19 born 1852, at Ilkeston
Charles NEWTON, Servant, aged 20 , born 1851, at Mansfield
[RG10 3587 68 7]


Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 3 August 1872

Crich Fete 1872

[This was held in the grounds of Michael JESSOP]

Landowners in Crich 1873: The New Doomsday Book
Name, extent of lands and gross estimated rental
JESSOP, Michael, Crich, 63A 3R 28P; £195 15s
[A R P were Acres, Roods and Perches; There were 4 Roods to an Acre and 40 Perches to a Rood]

Derby Mercury 2 July 1873
June 25, at Crich, Michael JESSOP, Esq, solicitor, aged 64.

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 5 July 1873
We regretted to record in our obituary last week the death of an amiable and kindly gentleman whose face was familiar to many of our readers, and who was widely respected. We refer to the late Michael JESSOP Esq, of Crich, solicitor.

Derbyshire Times and Chesterfield Herald 21 November 1874
Notice is hereby given, that all creditors and other persons having any claims or demands against the Estate of Michael JESSOP, late of Crich, in the county of Derby, gentlemen, (who died on the 25th day of June, 1873, and whose will was proved on the sixth day of January, 1874, by Samuel LEECH, one of the executors therein named). Are required on all before the first day of December next to send in particulars of such claims and demands to the said Samuel LEECH …

Sydney Morning Herald Saturday October 20th 1888
JESSOP. October 17, 1888, at the Coast Hospital, Mary, youngest daughter of the late Michael Jessop, Solicitor, Crich, Derbyshire.