Old Photograph of Grindleford - Leam Hall (1900s)

Old Photograph of Leam Hall (1900s) (Grindleford)

“Amid the lovely scenery of Woodland Eyam, on an upland, with the Derwent gliding beneath its walls, is Leam Hall. From the possession of the estate we get at one of the wrinkles of who's who among the Derbyshire families. The homestead was with the Middletons, whose line (so far as male heirs were concerned) became extinct by the death of Robert in 1736, when the heiress married Jonathan Oxley, of Sheffield”.

So says Joseph Tilley, in his description of Leam, Foolow and Eyam Halls[1]. By way of verification, an entry in Eyam parish register records the burial or Mr. Robert MIDDLETON, of Leam, on 10th April 1736.

The Lysons, in Magna Britannia, Vol 5 (Derbyshire, 1817), are more explicit. Under the entry for "Middleton, of Leam, in Eyam", they state that Robert's daughter married Jonathan OXLEY. And indeed, a “Community Contributed” entry in the IGI tells us that a Rebecca MIDDLETON married a Jonathan OXLEY at Sheffield (no Church specified) on 21st Jun 1715.

Robert's known children, by his wife Elizabeth, were Deborah (1698), Elizabeth (1701), Mary (1704-1705), Thomas (1706), and Martha (1711), so did he, or did he not have a daughter named Rebecca? Or was she the daughter of Robert's brother William, as another source suggests? Unfortunately, at present I do not know; nor indeed for certain whether the marriage recorded above actually took place.

Another entry in Eyam parish register tells us that Mrs. (Mistress) Elizabeth Middleton married a Thomas ALLEN of Sheffield on 2nd July 1733, and here we are on firmer ground, as later that century, property at Leam was in the hands of the Rev. John CARVER (1740-1807), Rector of Whiston and Treeton near Rotherham. Rev. CARVER had married Sarah, daughter of Thomas ALLEN, of Chapeltown-in-Ecclesfield (Sheffield), who was, according to Rev. CARVER's entry in Alumni Cantabrigienses[2], sole heiress of her mother, Elizabeth MIDDLETON. It would appear therefore that by then, she was the only surviving daughter of the family.

British Listed Buildings website suggests Leam Hall is late 18th century, which may indicate that the Rev. CARVER was responsible for its erection, as he was recorded in a list of Freeholders in Woodland Eyam in 1791 as a major proprietor.[3]

On Rev. CARVER's death in 1807, the estate was inherited by his son, Marmaduke Middleton CARVER (1771-1848). However, just over 10 years earlier, in 1795, Marmaduke Middleton Carver, of Leam had assumed the surname of MIDDLETON, pursuant to the Will of his Relation Jonathan Oxley, late of Leam aforesaid, a notice to this effect being published in The London Gazette of 7th April 1795 (p.319).

So once again, Jonathan OXLEY appears, and in a more reliable source; and indeed one of that name, probably the son of the Jonathan who was married in 1715, was living at Leam in 1749, as he is mentioned in the Will of William MARSDEN[4], of Grindleford Bridge, in relation to establishing a school in village.

History again repeated itself, as on Marmaduke's death, the estate passed into the hands of his wife's family, the ATHORPEs, who retained the estate until the death of Colonel Robert ATHORPE in 1912. Thereafter the estate was inherited by Col. ATHORPE's younger daughter, who married Geoffrey Gregory ROSE-INNES.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

[1] Old Halls, Manors and Families of Derbyshire, Volume I: Leam, Foolow and Eyam Halls.
[2] Venn, J. & J.A - Alumni Cantabrigienses - A biographical list of all known students, graduates, and holders of office at the University of Cambridge, from the earliest times to 1900.
[3] Sheffield Archives: Bagshawe Collection [Bag C/3361A - Bag C/310]
[4] Wills of Derbyshire - William Marsden, 1762 (made 1749).

Image contributed by Alan Jacques on 17th February 2011.
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