The Staffords of Eyam

by C. E. B. BOWLES, M.A.

This article was published originally in the Derbyshire Archaeological Society Journal, vol. 30, 1908; pp261-295.

This transcription by Rosemary Lockie © 2000-1


X. - HUMPHREY STAFFORD was certainly in possession of the ancestral estates eventually, but he seems to have been forced to take legal proceedings to obtain the Ryley estate, so often mentioned in this history, probably the same land granted in 1445 by Nicholas Martyn to Robert Stafford, for in 11 Henry VIII. (1520)[92] Richard Sutton and John Porte, Esquires, were appointed as arbitrators in a dispute between Humphrey Stafford, Esquire, and Ralph Martyn, of Wynster, respecting the right to a messuage, two oxgangs, and one rood of land called Rylye, in Eyam, with the result that Humphrey Stafford was judged to be the rightful owner, and Ralph Martyn was ordered not only to deliver up to Humphrey all the evidences and muniments which [Page 288] concerned the land in dispute, but also, at his own expense, to provide the necessary legal documents to establish the right of Humphrey and his heirs to the land in dispute.

The following is eighteen years later, when Humphrey appears in the light of a family man: a release and quitclaim[93] by Thomas Bagshaw, of Eyam, and Humphry, his son and heir, to Humphry Stafford, of Eyam, armiger, and his three sons, Humphry Stafford, Roland, and Anthony Stafford, of all rights, etc. It is dated 22nd October, 30 Henry VIII. (1538). Four years later, namely, 1 March, 33 Henry VIII. (1542)[94], a lease was granted by him to one Hew Sheldon of a messuage and lands in Monyash, which would be undoubtedly a portion of his inheritance from the Lynfords. His great grandfather, the first Stafford who inherited the Lynford estate, had endowed St. Mary's Chantry in this place with certain lands[95], and this is the reason, doubtless, why Humphry is part patron, as is shown in the Chantry Roll drawn up in the reign of Henry VIII., which mentions a chantry founded at Monyash by Nicholas and John Congson, of which the Earl of Shrewsbury and Humphrey Stafford, Esquier, were then patrons.[96]

In 2 Edward VI. (1548)[97], Humphry Stafford, Esquier, senior, of Eyam, made a provision for “his younger son Roland Stafford” by a grant of certain lands in Roland. Rent a red rose. Not ten years later both he and his eldest son Humphry were dead.[98] He married Anne, whose identity has not been discovered. She died in 1560, as will be seen below, having had issue:-

  1. Humphry, died before 1556-7.
  2. Roland, died 1556-7.
  3. Anthony, probably died young.
  4. Dorothy, married[99] Ralph Blackwall.

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