The Wolley Manuscripts

References to Stafford Families in Derbyshire

Contributed by Anthony Stafford, © 2001


These notes are based on Anthony Stafford's research on the Wolley Manuscripts. William [Ed: Adam?] Wolley of Matlock collected in his lifetime a multitude of facts, from many sources and contributors, for a projected History of Derbyshire, which were contained in 53 Manuscripts. The Mss 6666-6718 were then bequeathed to the Britsh Museum in 1828, after his death. They are now held in the new British Library.

Further abstracts from The Wolley Manuscripts, Derbyshire, and The Wolley Manuscripts, Matlock and Matlock Bath have been compiled by Ann Andrews.

The Manuscripts

Mss 6671 p.117 Pedigree of the Stafford's of Eyam, and smaller pedigree on the Stafford's of Botham Hall.

Mss 6671 p.120 Letter from Dr Dakeyne linking Boland and Stafford's of Eyam families.
[Tr: I took no notes of these]

Mss 6672 p.42 Extract of Agreement between the heirs of Robert de Stafford of Eyam relative to the terms of presentation to the Church of Egginton.

Mss 6672 p.89 Pedigree of Sir Humphrey Stafford.

Mss 6672 p.90 Pedigree of the first Baron Stafford determined by the Garter King of Arms 1545 36 Hen. VIII.

Mss 6672 p91 The title of Humprey, Earl of Buckingham.

Mss 6672 p.93 Descent of Baron Stafford.
[Tr: I took no notes of these]

Mss 6674 Derbyshire Terra Regis. [see below]

It is probable that the Manor of Eyam remained a part of the Royal Demesnes until King Henry I gave it along with his other manors in the Peak, under the description of dominus suum de Pecco to William Peverell (Dugdale nonart. Tom.3, fol. 261), and that it was given by the same William Peverell, or his son, to the family of the Thorsteins which (as it appears from Dr Thorston's list of Wills fo.220) held several considerable estates in that County of William Peverell in the reign of Hen I (1100-1135). If it was not granted to the Thorstein's by William Peverell, or his son, but which I believe it to have been, we may then suppose it to have been granted by John, Earl of Mortaigne, who had a grant of Lordship of the High Peak the year on or after his own accession to the Crown. But certain it is that it was part of the estate of Eustace Thorstein who was living 9 Ric 7 John (1198- 1206), who died on or before 7 Hen III (1223) from whom it descended to his son Eustace, from him to William de Thorstein his son who died 12 Ed I (1284), was succeeded by his nephew, from him to Roger de Thorstein, who in the same year obtained a charter of free warren for his several other manors. But at the latter end of the reign of Elizabeth or the beginning of the succeeding reign he sold by Deed, sans date, but probably made in the latter end of the reign of Hen III (c.1272), or the beginning of Ed I, Richard de Stafford (the son) gave to Roger his son all the land, which he then held of the gift of Sir Eustace de Thorstein in the town and territory of Eyam, to be held by the said Roger and his heirs by the same service as the said Richard de Stafford used to do, viz. a lamp burning before the altar of St Elen the Virgin in the church of Eyam by the year, whilst these should be done service in the said church.
Witness Roger le Archer.
Eustace de Mortaigne, Lord of the Manor of Eyam, who died in or before 7 Hen 3 (1223) gave to Richard de Stafford for his homage and service within the apps. of the town of Eyam, viz. one oxgang, which Richard father of the said Richard had held.
[Tr: Thereafter follows an eight generation pedigree of the Stafford's of Eyam, which differs in detail from that given by C E B B in DAJ Vol. XXX. I tend to accept the argument that Richard de Stafford of Eyam could be a younger son of Hervey Bagot, who married an heiress of the Stafford's and whose posterity assumed the name of Stafford]

Mss 6675. Letter to Mr Stafford at P M Carey's Esq., Taunton, Somerset.

Your letters of 26 May and 26 July at last came to hand, they should have received an earlier answer, if my health had permitted to attend to the subject of them, which however unfortunately for myself has not been the case. It appears from ancient documents and copies of Visitation books now in my possession that there have been several different branches of the Stafford family resident in different parts of this County, but I have not been able to trace any relationship between them. The Staffords of Eyam were settled in that place at a very early period soon after the Conquest, then minated (?) in the reign of Henry IV in form docus (?) and coheirs married into the families of [illegible}, Savage, Eyre, Bradshaw. There were several cadets and app[urtenances ?] of the Eyam family settled at Tidewell and other places. But I cannot trace any connection between them and the Stafford's of Botham Hall, neither did they bear the same arms. The Stafford's of Eyam bore "Ermine, on a bend gules, 3 plates" but those of Botham bore the "Chevron between three Martlets", which you are aware are the same arms as were born by the Stafford's, Lord Stafford Duke of Buckingham.

I have many different copies of pedigrees of the Stafford's of Botham Hall, but none of the branch which you state have been settled at Shaw & Strinds and therefore am unable to lend you any assistance with the pedigree of that branch from John Stafford (Will 1588), who is stated to have been the younger brother of Lawrence Stafford (Will 1594) of Bothams Hall to yourself and your nephew, but in a Derbyshire Visitation book (that of Sir John Dugdale 1662-1664) now in my possession the descendants of this Lawrence are stated to have been as follows, namely[*] [Robert Stafford, Tristram Stafford, Thomas Stafford, Tristram Stafford etc.] and it appeared from some deeds now in the possession of Samuel Oldknow Esq. of Mellor that on the 24 January 1704 Thomas Stafford Esq. of Stockport & Tristram Stafford of the same place, in consequence of the sum of £1625 sold and conveyanced a capital messuage called Bothams Hall in Mellor and several lands there, to James Cheetham of Mellor, gentleman, in which family they continued until 1787, when they were sold by Thomas Cheetham Esq. of Highgate, London to Mr Oldknow of Mellor, a cotton manufacturer.

In 30 Hen III (1246) Sir William de Stafford married Ermintrude, daughter of Robert Fitzwalklin, Lord of Egginton, by whom he had a son called Sir Robert Stafford, who left 5 daughters and cohabitants. I am in possession of several ancient deeds relating to this branch of the family but I never met with any document to prove from what family Sir William was descended, neither can I inform you what arms the Staffords of Egginton bore. There was another branch of the family that some time in or about the reign of Henry IV married a co-heiress of the Fulneys of Newton Sulney, near Egginton, in fact it seems formerly to have been a family of great opulence and disposed in various parts of Derbyshire. I wish I had it in my power to give you a more satisfactory answer to your several queries, which I really have not. I must therefore conclude by assuring you that I remain with best to your more completesuccess in any further enquiries you may make on the subject.
Your most obedient servant, William Wolley, Matlock 5 August 1820

Mss. 6675 also contained details drawn from the Deed of Partition of the Manor of Mellor about 1380, on the death of Roger de Mellor. The estate was divided between his three daughters, Emma, Margreta, and Ellen. William de Stafford, who was married to Margreta, inherited through his wife the estates of Botham Hall. (This was also the source of the information quoted from in later works.)


[*] C E B Bowles in DAJ Vol. XXXIX I suspect drew on Dugdale's Visitation for his statement of the descent of the Stafford family of Botham Hall. Unfortunately the information was passed to Dugdale by Tristram Stafford, whose father was killed in the Civil war, when he was aged about 11 years. Tristram clearly did not have accurate information on his forefathers]

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