Padley Chapel, Nether Padley (3)

Recent Photograph of Padley Chapel (3) (Nether Padley)

This is a first view of Padley Chapel approaching from the track past Padley Mill. This building is now all that remains of Padley Hall, a medieval manor house built during the 14th century, c.1350-1400 and occupied by the PADLEYS, and their descendants, the EYRES and FITZHERBERTS. This part of it was formerly the gatehouse, one of the upper chambers then serving as a small chapel.

There were originally 4 upper chambers, separated by wooden partitions. Access to the upper storey was by a flight of exterior wooden stairs; the entrance doorway (at the opposite end to this photograph) is however now blocked up, and filled in with stained glass. On this face can be seen the access holes and stone perches for a former dovecote in the gable apex.

Sidney D Addy, writing in 'The Evolution of the English House' regarded Padley Hall as an ideal mediaeval Manor House. Six acres of manorial grounds were recorded in 1499, with terraced gardens, fishponds and a reservoir. However the estate became impoverished after the traumatic events of Elizabethan times, and was lost to the Fitzherbert family in 1657, being sold to Rowland MOREWOOD of Norton. After about 20 years he sold it to Robert ASHTON of Stoney Middleton, whose granddaughter Christiana married William SPENCER of Barnsley at Hathersage, 5 Jan 1715/6 (ex.IGI). Their daughter Christiana SPENCER married William SHUTTLEWORTH at Cawthorne by Barnsley, 2 Dec 1748 (ex.IGI) and her marriage settlement included the Manors of Padley and Hathersage. During this time, the Hall gradually fell into ruins; although the gatehouse continued to be in use as a haystore and cowshed.The final indignity was when southern and eastern parts of the ruins were removed when the railway was built - although parts of the surrounding stone wall on the north side still survive.

So that is, apparently, how the SHUTTLEWORTHs came to Hathersage. Major Ashton Shuttleworth, lineal descendant of William and Christiana Shuttleworth, sold Padley in 1931 to the Right Reverend Monsignor Charles PAYNE, Vicar-General of St Mary's, Derby. It was restored, following 2 years of excavations, as a memorial to the Padley Martyrs, and reconsecrated in 1934. However, the first organised pilgrimage, which now takes place annually on St Swithun's Day, July 15th, took place earlier than this, in 1898.

The special events which led up to the execution, and subsequent martyrdom of the two Catholic priests who were captured at Padley have been recorded many times, but briefly the main protagonists in the saga were:-

Sir Thomas FITZHERBERT, who married Anne, daughter of Sir Arthur EYRE. Inherited Padley through his marriage to Anne. Lived at Norbury, having handed over the tenancy of Padley to John, his younger brother. A staunch Catholic, he had been imprisoned in 1559 at Derby for his recusancy. Although he was later released, he was ultimately denounced by his nephew, imprisoned again and died in the Tower of London on 2nd October 1591.

John FITZHERBERT, Thomas's brother. Captured by George, Earl of Shrewsbury at Padley on 12th July 1588, with his son Anthony, three of his daughters, Matilda, Jane and Mary (married respectively to - Thomas BARLOW, Thomas EYRE and - DRAYCOTT), and ten serving men from the estate. Jane and Mary were placed in the custody of the Anglican Rectors of Aston, and Weston upon Trent. The others were taken to the county Gaol at Derby. John was reprieved of the death sentence, by an alleged payment of £10,000 in bribes; kept 2 years in Derby Gaol and then sent to Fleet Prison in London where he died on 8th November 1590.

Thomas FITZHERBERT, John's traitorous son, who betrayed his uncle Thomas. Had Norbury estate after his uncle died, but was refused Padley by arch-villain Richard TOPCLIFFE.

Richard TOPCLIFFE, a spy for the Privy Council, who persuaded Thomas to betray his uncle. Sir Thomas made a will whilst he was in the Tower, disinheriting his nephew, but Topcliffe managed to get hold of it, and destroyed it. He obtained Padley for himself after Sir Thomas and John's deaths, but lost it again after 1603 (when Elizabeth I died) to Anthony FITZHERBERT, Thomas's brother (who although captured in 1588 apparently survived!).

Anthony FITZHERBERT, died 1613; succeeded by his only son Sir John, who died at Lichfield on 13th January 1649 while commanding a regiment in the Royalist Army. Padley then passed to his cousin William FITZHERBERT of Swynnerton, great grandson of William, the youngest brother of Sir Thomas.

Roger COLUMBELL, a local magistrate from Darley Dale, who raided North Lees Hall at Hathersage on 2 Feb 1588 in an attempt to capture John FITZHERBERT, and his kinsman Richard FENTEN, living at North Lees. He was successful in capturing only Richard; it is believed John had been forewarned of the raid by Robert EYRE, a relative who was also a magistrate.

Richard FENTEN of North Lees, related by marriage to John FITZHERBERT's wife Catherine. Richard was taken away to Mercaston, and the home of Thomas KNYVETON - who turned out to be an "unwilling host". By 1592 he had somehow managed to escape to his Yorkshire property at Burghwallis; he is last known of in 1599 when his name appears on a list of prisoners held for recusancy in the prison of York Castle.

George TALBOT, Earl of Shrewsbury. After Roger Columbell's expedition failed to find both recusants, he went himself to discover John FITZHERBERT and his retinue, together with two priests, Nicholas GARLICK and Robert LUDLAM, who were found hiding in a chimney. Note that George had been Mary Queen of Scots' gaoler, and is believed to have treated her fairly during her imprisonment, so he wasn't wholly bad! Mary had been executed the previous year.

Nicholas GARLICK, born at Dinting, near Glossop, about 1555; entered Gloucester Hall (now Worcester College), Oxford, 10 Jan 1774/5 aged 20. Trained as a Roman Catholic Priest at Rheims, entering on 22 June 1581, and was formerly a school teacher in Tideswell. Hung, drawn and quartered at Derby on 24th July 1588.

Robert LUDLAM, born according to one source at Whirlow, Sheffield, and according to another at Radbourne near Derby, about 1551; entered St John's College Oxford 1575 aged 24. Also trained at the English College in Rheims, entering there November 1580, and was ordained as a Deacon in 1581. Hung, drawn and quartered at Derby on 24th July 1588.

Richard SIMPSON, another priest who was incarcerated in Derby gaol already when GARLICK and LUDLAM arrived. As Simpson is such a common name, there is some confusion as to who he actually was; however he was ordained in 1577, so could have been born sometime in the mid 1550s. He was also hung, drawn and quartered at Derby on 24th July 1588.

The south wall of Padley chapel has a one-light window in the most easterly bay. It depicts Richard Simpson holding an executioner's knife in his right hand, and the branch of a palm tree (a symbol of martyrdom) in his left. The window has the legend ‘Ven. Richard Sympson’. There are inscriptions also in the Chapel to Richard FENTEN and Monsignor Charles PAYNE, the restorer of Padley Chapel, who died in 1944.

(Information provided by Rosemary Lockie)

Smith, Barbara M - Padley Chapel. A short history of Padley from the 14th century to the present day. Published by Bessacarr Prints Publications, Doncaster. ISBN 0 86384 208 9.
Jacques, Alan - Pilgrimage to Padley. Article published in Peak District Magazine (Dalesman Publications), July 1998, pp39-41.

Image contributed by Peter & Janet Kirk on 8th April 2003.
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