Earlier Fretwell family
history researchers had an abiding interest in primogeniture, and thus
concentrated their efforts on recording and validating the references of
the main Fretwell lineage. I suspect, too, that they were searching for
proof of an irrefutable link with nobility. This is understandable given
that the Fretwells hold a family crest, the design of which intriguingly
replicates that of the Frecheville family. Lacking any proven familial
credentials, there is no entitlement to claim the right of armiger.
In recognition of this
particular interest, and to record the information that these researchers
had collected, and to which I have been able to contribute some additional
material, before moving on to the start of the ‘Fretwells proper’, I have
included a section on the Frechevilles.
“....A short while ago I was sent a copy of the Parish
Register of Almondbury, Volume I, which covers the years 1557-1598. In it
there appears the marriage of Peter Fretchvile to Margaret Wodrofe on the 26th January 1573/74, and on the 26th October 1579 Margaret
Fretchwell, probably the same as above, is a witness at a baptism. In
December 1591 Margaret Fretchvill is buried..."
From such snippets of
information is much research generated!
The Frecheville family came to England
with William the Conqueror, but it was not until about 1200 that any definite
reference to their establishment in the Staveley region is confirmed. At this
time, by marrying into the Musard family, which at that time owned most of the
Staveley lands, they became heirs to the property, established themselves and
here built their ancestral home.
In 1301 Sir Ralph Frescheville of Staveley of Derby, Devonshire,
and Nottinghamshire, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron. (29 Edward I).
The Visitation of Derbyshire 1662-1664 recorded the
pedigree for the Frescheville family. This is reproduced below in the
Ex Rotulis Pipae
De Placitis Foreste
Eustachij de Freschevill. r’. c. de dim’ Marcor
Norfolc. et Sudfolc
Et in terris datis Cardeni de Freschenvill
121i. 18s. 6d. blanc. In Heningham de dim’ Anni.
RADULPHUS DE FRESCHEVILLE Justic’ ad gaolam
deliberand’ a° 1200. Registr’ de Welbecke Pag: 1
ANKERUS DE FRESCHEVILLE mortuus a°
3°.Hen: 3. Claus: Hen: 3 M. 14 mar. Juliana
filia et heres Huberti filij Radulphi Baronis de Criche. Carta penes Comit’ de
Kingston and had issue
DNUS RADULPHUS DE FRESCHEVILLE miles mortuus
a° 45°.Hen: 3. Esceat’ a°
53°.Hen: 3 Derb. had issue
ANKERUS DE FRESCHEVILLE Baro de Criche.
Esceat’ a° 12°.Ed: 1 n°
14 Derb. obijt eodum anno. Esc: de a° 53°.Hen: 3 n°
20 Derb. mar. Amicia filia primogenita Radulphi Dni Musard et coheres Nicholai
Dni Musard fratis sui. Orig’: de 29° Ed: 1 Derb. and had issue
RADULPHUS DE FRESCHEVILLE miles summ’: inter
alios Barones ad Parliam’ apud Sarum a° 25° Ed: 1. M. 25 mar. Margareta filia
et heres Johnannis Beaufoy de Parke militis. Ex Archivis Johannis Dni
Frescheville. and had issue
RADULPHUS DE FRESCHEVILLE miles obijt a°
23° Ed: 3 had issue
ANKERUS FRESCHEVILLE filus et heres. Fines
Michaelis de a° 36° Ed: 3 mar. Agnes relicta Willelmi
Favell et heres Amphiliciae matris suae uxoris Johannis de Glapton. Fin’
Mich’ de a°
36° Ed: 3 and had issue
RADULPHUS DE FRESCHEVILLE miles obijt a°
4° Hen: 5. Carta penes Johannem Dnum
Frescheville. mar Johanna a° 42° Ed: 3. Carta penes Johannem Dnum
Frescheville. and had issue
FRESCHEVILLE filius et
haeres. ex Peticione Exhibita Regnaldo Bray mil: Canc’ Ducat’ Lanc: temp H. 7.
mar. Margareta. Ex Archivis Johannis Dni Frescheville. and had issue
PETRUS FRESCHEVILLE Arm’ filius et haeres
obijt a° 19° H: 7. Tumulus in Ecclesiâ de
Staveley. mar. Matilda filia Thomae Wortley de Wortley in Com: Ebor:. Tumulus
est in Ecclesiâ de Stavely. and had issue
JOHANNES FRESCHEVILLE arm’ filius et heres
obijt a° 24° H: 7. Tumulus in Ecclesiâ de
Staveley. mar. Elizabeth filia Henrici Sothill arm’ et
her’ matris suae Eliz’ filiae et her’ Thom’ Nuthill arm’. Ex Archivis Johannis
Dni Frescheville. and had issue
JOHANNES FRESCHEVILLE ar’ filius et heres
obijt a° 10° H: 8. Esc: de a°
28° H: 8 n° 1° Derb. mar. Elizabetha filia
Johannis Sutton in Com
Derby arm’. Ex Fenestris Ecclesiae de
Staveley. and had issue
PETRUS FRESCHEVILLE miles filius et heres.
Hollinshed in vita Ed: 6 mar. Elizabetha filia Richardi Tempest militis and had
PETRUS FRESCHEVILLE arm’ filius et heres.
Vic’ Com Derb a° 12° Eliz.
a° 12° Eliz. mar. Elizabetha filia
Gervasij Clifton de Clifton milit’ uxor prima. Tumulus in
Ecclesiâ de Clifton (no issue) and Margareta filia Arthuri Key de Woodsam in
Com Ebor’ arm’ Uxor altera by whom he had issue
PETRUS FRESCHEVILLE miles filius et heres
Temp: Eliz’ Jac’: & Car’ primi mar. Jocasa filia Thomae Fleetwood de Vache
in Com. Buck Arm’ relicta … Osburne obijt Apr: 1619 uxor prima and … uxor
secunda ob: s. prole and had issue
JOHANNES DNUS FRESCHEVILLE Baro de Staveley
superstes a° 1668 a°
Car’ 2di, 20 hearths in 1670; d.
31 Mar. 1682; mar. 1stly Bruce, d. of Francis Nicholls of
Ampthill. co. Bedford,
who d. s.p. 2ndly Sara filia et heres Johannis Harington
milit’ by whom he had issue
Caroli (Powlett) Dni St John obijt sine prole
Phi: Warwicke arm’ superstes a° 1668
and 3rdly Anna
Charlotte filia Henr’ de Vic militus c.
7 June 1666
Glovers Directory of 1831 makes reference to the earliest
Freschevilles as follows:
In Crice and Soketorp Leuric and Levenot had
four ox-gangs of land to be taxed. Land to one plough. There are three acres of
meadow. Wood pasture three miles long and one broad. And one lead mine. Value
in King Edward’s time 40s now 30s. Ralph holds it.
To this Ralph succeeded his son, Ralph Fitz Rauf, the first Baron of
Crich, in king Stephen’s time, who, in the time of Henry I gave certain lands
in Hartshorne to the Knights Templars. To him succeeded Hubert Fitz Ralf, Baron
of Crich, who was a great benefactor to Darley Abbey,
and gave to the King 30 marks’ fine
to make his woods in Crich a free chase, and to have hounds and deer of his own
there, and dying 9 Henry III. Ralph de Freschevile, his next heir, son of
Juliana, his daughter, succeeded him in the barony of Crich. His son Anker de
Freschevile, left it to his sone Ralfe, who was summoned to Parliament as Baron
of Crich, 25 Henry III.; who left it to another Ralfe, who, in 19 Edward II,
alienated the manor of Crich to Roger Belers and his heirs. He died seised of
it in 1325.
Glover cites the Harleian Manuscripts as follows:
Crech, in the High Peake, the tenure
of that noble family of Musarde. Hasculphus Musarde, the 20th of the
Conqueror, did hould Crech and Staveley, in the countie of Darbie – who had
issue Richard Musard, Baron of Staveley, who had issue Hascelphus Musard, Baron
of Staveley, who had issue Rauff, who had issue Rauffe (6 Richard I.) who had
issue A Musard, married to….Freshvyle, who had Crech and Stavely in his wyves
A little more is known of some of the others mentioned in
Margaret, wife of Peter Frecheville I, and
grandmother of Lord John Frecheville, Baron of Staveley, has been given credit
for her work for education, and in particular for her interest in the
co-founding of the Netherthorpe Grammar School. The School records cast doubt
on her credentials.
The old school at Netherthorpe 1812
The following information was obtained from a
Yorksgen correspondent, and is taken from the booklet “A History of
Netherthorpe School”, written by a former teacher at the school.
Of pre-Reformation Grammer [sic]
Schools Derbyshire possesses but few, and Staveley cannot claim to be one of
them, though it is definitely of Tudor times and one of some ten in Derbyshire
which still exist from this early date. Officially it dates back from 1572,
though it must be confessed that there is no documentary evidence of a reliable
nature to indicate this particular year. It is therefore, an ancient
endowment, as distinct from the modern secondary school.
One has to remember that the word
‘Grammer’ in the title refers not to the English but to the Latin language. It
was a free grammer school, the word ‘free’ probably meaning just what it says.
It must not be thought that Staveley was a school for paupers or the indigent.
The founders certainly intended it for the use of the parish and district; not
for the poor alone, but for all those who desired a Latin education. The
numbers of actual ‘poor’ would be very few; poverty would of itself ensure an
early contact with remunerative employment. The fact is that Elizabethan boys
would be the sons of farmers, artisans, tradesmen and the lower professional
classes, and they would nearly all live in or near Staveley. Obviously their
parents had to be sufficiently well off as to be able to keep them as school
until about fourteen years of age when they might proceed either to university,
instead of putting them to work. [Latin was taught free of charge, but
additional subjects had to be paid for, a custom which continued until almost
reference was made to the date 1572 as the date of foundation, and to the
absence of any confirmatory evidence. This appears to be an error. The
statement seem to rest on the word of the two Lysons in Volume V of their Magna
Britannia 1817, but an application to the original manuscripts of these authors
shows that they left no authority to which their statement might be referred.
In 1820 the same date is given in Gentlemen’s Magazine
again without confirming authority. The error appears to originate
in a document, a copy of which is preserved in a Guard book of the Jackson
Collection at Sheffield Public Library, in a collection towards
the history of the Frecheville family. The document states:
“By deed of 6th Sept., 14
Elizabeth, between Margaret Frecheville,
widow of Peter Frecheville bequest…”
and beneath is added the date 1572.
However, although 14 Elizabeth might fall in 1572 this is an obvious error, for in 1572 Margaret
Frecheville was not a widow at all. Peter, her husband, did not die until 1582,
and the correct date of her endowment is not 14 Elizabeth, but 33 Elizabeth, or
1591, the date 6th September being identical. It was, no doubt, the
original of this document in the Jackson Collection which led to the date 1572
being adopted by the brothers Lyson; it is however, an error and they were
The Frecheville bequest was made by
Margaret Frecheville and embodied in a deed bearing the date:
“…sixth day of September in the three
and thirtieth year of her Majesty’s Reign, between Margaret Frecheville Widdow,
late wife of Peter Frecheville of Staveley in the said County of Derby Esqr.
deceas’d, on the one part; and Edmund Stephenson, William Margerison and James
Osborn on the other part.”
secured to these three persons certain lands and tenements in Staveley,
Westwood, Nether Handley and Middle Handley, to the use of herself and her
heirs for ever, with the proviso that her son Peter and his heirs:
yearly for ever and from and after the decease of the said Margaret
Frecheville, for and during all such times as there shall be a learned
Schoolmaster provided, had and employ’d for, and in, teaching and instructing
the Children of the Inhabitants of the said parish of Staveley, for the time
being at the new erected Schoolhouse at Staveley Netherthorpe aforesaid or in
any other convenient place within the said parish give, pay and bestow the sum
of eight pounds of good and lawfull mony of England for and towards the finding
of such a schoolmaster as aforesaid. And they further Present that the said
Margaret Frecheville died about the nine and twentieth of November in the four
and thirtieth year of her Majestie’s Reign.”
bequest has been put first because it embodies the disputed date. It was not,
however, the earliest bequest.
family of Frecheville was, in part, descended from Ralph Fitzhubert, one of the
principal Derbyshire landowners mentioned in the Domesday Book. His descendant,
Juliana Fitzralph, heiress of the barony of Crick, married Anker de
Frecheville, and a subsequent Anker married a co-heiress of Baron Musard of
Staveley, which began the connection with Staveley. The line became extinct
with Lord John Frecheville, the famous Royalist, in 1682. Margaret Frecheville
was the daughter of Arthur Key of Almondbury,
Yorkshire and her first husband was Francis
Woodrove. She subsequently married Peter Frecheville.
original bequest was that of Judge Francis Rodes, who appears to have been
unjustly deprived of the honour by the error of the dates in the Frecheville
bequest. Rodes’ bequest stated:
his Will and Testament in writing, bearing the date the seventh day of June in
the 29th year of her Majesty’s Reign  did Will and Devise the
yearly Rent charge of fifteen pounds per annum, which he, the said Francis, had
to him and his heirs assur’d forth of his Manor at Elmeton in the whole pr.
annum Twenty pounds, to be employed for ever for the maintenance of the new
erected Grammer School at Staveley Netherthorpe, the finding of two scholarships
in St. John’s [College] in Cambridge, and the relief of the poor hurt and
maimed soldiers which shall be sent to Warrs out of the townships of Staveley,
Barlebrough and Elmeton in the County of Derby; That is eight pounds by the
year tow’rds the said School, other eight pounds pr. Annum for the said
Scollarships and four pounds yearly for the Relief and Succour of the said
What I know of Peter Frecheville II comes from
the discovery by WEF of a coat of arms above the
Coat of Arms - Staveley Town
This was followed up by WEF’s wife, Sylvia, and
in response to her letter she received not only the following information, but
also a photograph.
“Research into the history of the
Hall also states with regard to the shield :
‘It is not know when building began,
but Sir Peter De Frescheville II placed above the door of the enlarged Hall a
slab inscribed with his name, achievement of arms, and the date 1604. This
still stands (though now incorporated into a porch of much later date). The
Shield of Arms is interesting and enigmatic, in that it depicts the paternal
coat of Frescheville impaling that of Margaret Kaye, sir Peter’s mother. To
those who understand the rules and conventions of heraldry, this poses a
considerable problem, since one would expect the coat of Frescheville alone.
As the arms stand, they represent the
marriage of Margaret Kaye to Sir Peter’s father. The answer might well be that
Lady Frescheville had intended to rebuild the Hall, but had died before
completing her aim. Her son had fulfilled this, and had perpetuated her memory
by representing her arms above his name.’
I hope this of help to you.”
is also named as providing for a hospital, which was erected at Woodthorpe
(just outside Staveley) in 1632, to accommodate four aged persons of each sex,
and he assigned £4 per inmate per annum.
John, Baron Frescheville of Staveley
John was created Baron Frescheville of Staveley,
in 1665, and was regarded as something of a notable figure in the Civil War,
earning a mention in the account of The Siege of York 1644:
letter dated 16th May 1644, John Frechville, a Royalist writing to Lord Loughborough, said
‘…according to the best intelligence
we have from York it is not so distressed’.
Admittedly Frechville had his tongue
in cheek as he was trying to persuade
Prince Rupert to
‘take in’ Derby in his sweep into Lancashire but this opinion about conditions agrees with others forthcoming at
John had strongly fortified his mansion, had
raised a battery of twelve pieces of cannon, and held out against the
Parliamentarian forces for a considerable time before, in August 1644, he was
obliged to surrender by capitulation.
A further reference is made to John in a 1932
in respect of the disbursements of Chris. Foster, Constable for the
time being 1644
“Paid to Capton Fressell Commannder
and overseer of the mill for groundings of corn aboute procuringes of St. John
del Picke (Pike) parish to conterebute and pay the ffulle halffe pay for one
horse everey daye which was wholy charged uppon our parish at the raite of 16d
(pence) per day to the bakers that grounded at Georger Blaids mill for Generall
Kinge his regiment.”
John Frescheville is mentioned in the Thorpe
Salvin parish register, which records a minor skirmish involving troops under
1645. There were five men buried in the beginninge of October being
slayne in a fight on Thorpe More betweene ye garrison of Welbeck on the Kings
part & Captaine Rodes on the Parliament part. The manner of which scurmige
was thus: A partie of welbeck horse was drawne out under the com'and of John
Jametz, major of Colonell ffretchwell to discrie a partie of the Parlaments
wch. had give an Alaru' to the welbeckians at worksopp where they had killed
two of the Kings partie, Jametz drew up his partie in the hollins on the more
meeting wth the forlorne hope of the enimies, who fled unto theyr bodie
com'anded by Captain Rodes of Steetly, which was devided into 3 companies to
the number of 200. Jametz had advanced but with 18 men, and his forlorne hope
beinge some threescore flyinge, the Parlamenters pursued kild five men, &
tooke fortie the most of which they wounded after quarter was give, one of them
escaped which was Thomas Battersbie whose hand they cutt of which was buried in
ye churchyard of Thorpe Salvin.
11 September 1676, Lord Frescheville writes to Sir John Hotham, advising that he is
sending a soldier to appear before the magistrates.
A correspondent of WEF alluded to the purported
Frecheville/Fretwell link when he posed the question:
“Do you know if the Lord John
Fretwell was derived from Lord ffretchwell, as I have found two entries
relating to this name as follows:
St Martin’s (York) Register 1557-1812:
1670 Bapts, Ann, the Daughter of Jude
Lee, gent. under the Command of Lord ffretchwell, the 6th. day of
1676 The sonn to Jon Mortis by
Margaret his wife, the 3rd day of October, my Lord ffretchwell
Trumpeter, a ffrenchman.
Burials 1673. An infant of Mr. Jude
Lee, a Trooper under Lord ffretchwell, was Buried 27th.September in
Midd Alley. St. Martins, York”
The Pedigree, supported by the Visitation of
Derbyshire 1662-1664, and the stained glass window in the Frecheville Chantry,
which according to Samuel Lewis was presented by Lord Frecheville in 1676, indicates that John was thrice married.
He had no children by his first and third
wives, the mother of his three children being Sara Harrington. The daughters,
and their husbands were:
Christiana, married to Charles, Duke of Bolton
married (1st) Philip Warwick, Esq, and (2nd) Conyers D’Arcy, second Earl of
(1638-1698) married Colonel Thomas Colepepper
However, he had no male heirs, and according to
the Parish Church records his ‘heritage’ passed to the Ramsden family of Yorkshire. A second reference
to the Ramsden/Frecheville links is found in an account of the history
Barwick-in-Elmet, the one-time home of Robert Fretwell who features in the
Second Generation of Cawthorne
As an aside, there is an intriguing letter
written by Lady Frescheville to her daughter-in-law Mrs Colepeper :
“I have desired the bearer, one of
our good neighbours, Mr Burlye, to deliver you an eagle stone, which I believe
is right, and good as any. I wish you have no occasion to use it; but if you
have, I pray that it may do you good.”
I have consulted various dictionaries and other
sources to find out what an eagle stone was, and to what purpose it would be
put, with no conclusive answer. According to one source (Brewer’s Dictionary of
Phrase and Fable) eagle stones (aetites) are yellow clay ironstones, supposed
to have sanative and magical virtues. They are so called because they are found
in eagles’ nests, and it is said that without these stones, eagles cannot hatch
their eggs. Another theory is that the stones were used for “scrying” (seeing)
and were known as ‘seer stones’. Yet another property ascribed to an eagle
stone is that it was supposed to be able to detect theft.
From the legend of the Frecheville window we
can deduce that Sir John Ramsden was a brother-in-law to Baron John, who had at
least one sibling, Margaret, and a nephew, William. From this we also see that
the Pedigree deals almost exclusively with primogeniture, and it is not
unreasonable to speculate therefore that there may have been male siblings to
perpetuate the family name, a thesis supported by the Frescheville Memorials.
This hypothesis gains some credence from an
1899 publication entitled The Old Halls, Manors and Families of Derbyshire, Vol
3 of which deals with the Scarsdale Hundred.
The Appendix is headed Table of Reference for Names of past or present Lords of
the Manors of the Scarsdale Hundred. The listing for the Parish of Scarcliffe is
divided into two sections, one for Palterton Manor and one for Scarcliffe Manor.
Palterton Manor we find : Henry III Frechevilles (a Junior Branch)
And under Scarcliffe Manor is recorded :
Forfeited by Ankere de Frecheville.
Given to the Priory of Newstead.
Some food for thought!
The close connection of the family with
Staveley is commemorated in two Memorials in the Parish Church of St. John
Baptist—the Frecheville altar tomb and the Frecheville Chantry (The Jesus
Chantry). The earliest of the Frecheville monuments are the two brasses
attached to the present tomb, both in memory of Peter Frecheville who died on
25th March, 1503. This tomb is also notable for its small brass emblem of the Trinity
inlaid above the scrolls. The brass seems to have been made and installed
before Peter died, for the date of his death was left blank to be filled in
later. However, it seems that on his decease the second brass was inscribed and
the old one left blank.
The Frechevilles had a further connection with
the Parish Church of St. John Baptist Church. At the time of Peter’s death
another member of the family, Richard Frecheville, was Rector, a position he held
from 1494 to 1528.
Jesus Chapel (Frecheville Chantry)
The Frecheville Window
The first brass depicts Peter in his armour
with his feet resting on a greyhound. His family coat-of-arms is on his tabard
(the tunic worn over his armour). Unfortunately at some time the head and
shoulders of the brass have been torn away, although oddly enough, the two
scrolls issuing from the head are still intact. They read:
"Sta Trinitas unus Deus Miserere
"Holy Trinity, one God, have
mercy upon us"
"Deus picius esro mihi peccatori"
"God be merciful unto me, a
The second one depicts him and his wife Matilda
kneeling at desks facing each other. Kneeling behind Peter are eight sons, and
behind his wife seven daughters. Under the figures of the second brass is an
inscription which reads:
"Here under fote lieth the bodys of Peyrs Freychwell and Maud
his wyf, and some tyme squier unto
the noble and excellent prince Henry VI, and Lord and patron of this churche.
Peyrs deceasyd the XXV day of March, the yere of Our Lord MDIII. On whose
soullys, Jhu have mercy, Amen".
If this brass is factually accurate, Peter and
Matilda had 8 sons and 7 daughters—a brood of 15 in all. There is no references
to the age at death of Peter, nor any dates for the birth, marriage and death
of Matilda. But taking account of the number of children, and assuming a
(perhaps too young?) age of 21 at marriage, a birth date for Peter of around
1467, and a marriage date of around 1488 might be suggested. It may be that,
taking the brass as a true representation of the full sum of their issue, not
all the children may have lived to maturity. However, some of the children must
have proceeded to adulthood, as later references bear testimony.
The death of Peter and Matilda’s son John
Frecheville, six years after his father in 1509, is marked by a fine incised
slab of alabaster to his name which lies slightly raised from the ground on the
opposite side of the chancel to his father's tomb.
Interior of Parish Church of St John the Baptist
The Frecheville Chantry
A chantry was a
private chapel, normally attached to a parish church or a chapel-of-ease, with
an altar for the celebration of mass, usually near a person’s tomb or effigy,
for the soul’s repose in purgatory, of the founder or his or her nominees, or
for the souls of the members of guilds, corporations and fraternities who had
erected such a chapel. Wealthy men invested heavily - for example, Cardinal
Beaufort requested 10,000 masses for his soul. Humble villagers grouped
together for an annual obit (memorial mass).
The system began in the 13th century, but
became fashionable in the later Middle Ages, (14th century)
particularly after the Black Death, when the number of endowments to
monasteries declined sharply. By the Reformation there was a total of 3,000
chantries, most cathedrals had up to two dozen (in 1366 St.
Paul’s had 74) and large churches had several.
Chantry chapels were built at the end of the aisles of the
nave, extending along the side walls of the chancel or within the transepts of
cruciform churches. They were dedicated to the saints nominated by the
founders. Some of the chantry chapels founded by the nobility are major works
of architecture, with fan-vaults, carved and gilded woodwork, and stained glass
The endowment of a chantry chapel allowed for the
employment of a priest who received either a money payment or land to farm or
rent. Many chantry priests were employed specifically for this function, and,
as they had no pastoral duties, founders often provided for the mass-priest to
teach in school.
Ostensibly to rid the Church of superstitious
practices, but incidentally increasing government revenue, chantries
were confiscated and dissolved under Edward VI in 1547.
The Frecheville Chantry or Jesus Chapel dates from the 14th
century, being an extension of the south aisle added then. It is separated from
the Chancel by an octagonal pillar supporting two arches dating from the same
period. Peter, great-great-grandson of the Peter Frecheville referred to earlier,
is here commemorated by a wall plaque, modest for a man so renowned and in
comparison with the grand tombs of his ancestors. As noted, his wife was
connected with the Netherthorpe Grammar
School, and he himself began the extensive
building of Staveley Hall which still bears his name and arms over the door,
and which was completed by his son, another Peter.
His son John, the last and most famous of the
Frecheville line, has three memorials to himself in this Chapel, and one to his
daughter. His finest memorial in the Chapel is the heraldic window erected to commemorate his peerage and
painted by the famous York glass-painter Henry Gyles. In the two supporting lights of the window we see the four coats
of arms of:
Frecheville impaling Nicholls (his first marriage)
Frecheville, bottom left
Frecheville with an inescutcheon of Harrington
(his second marriage) bottom right, and
Frecheville impaling De Vick (his third
marriage) top right.
In the centre is a
large shield denoting the rising fortunes of the family.
Frecheville Coat of Arms
The Coat of Arms featured in the
described as follows :
Az. a bend betw. Six escallops ar.
Crest - a demi-angel issuing from a wreath ppr. Crined and winged or, on the
head a cross formée of the last, vested in pale, and the arms in armour ppr.
holding in both hands an arrow in bend or, feathered and headed ar. Supporters
- Two angels habited as in the crest, each holding an arrow.
RTF, researching the Coat of Arms, found the
Sir Ralph Frescheville and John,
Baron Frescheville of Staveley
FRESCHEVILLE (Staveley, co,
Derby, Devonshire, and
Nottinghamshire, temp Henry III. Sir
Ralph Frescheville, knt, was summoned to Parliament as a Baron 29 Edward I *;
Lordship left three daus., his co-heirs - Christian, m. to Charles, Duke of Bolton;
m. first to Philip Warwick, esq., and
secondly to Conyers D’Arcy, second Earl of Holderness; and Frances, m. to Colonel Thomas Colepepper). Az. a
bend betw. Six escallops ar.
- a demi-angel issuing from a wreath
ppr. Crined and winged or, on the head a cross formée of the last, vested in
pale, and the arms in armour ppr. holding in both hands an arrow in bend or,
feathered and headed ar. Supporters - Two angels habited as in the crest,
each holding an arrow.
He observed that the Frescheville or Freshwell
families carried the same Arms, and following the trail of this line of
research, identified the the Freshfield family as
alone of the descendants of Baron Frescheville (which RTF strongly believed
included the Fretwells) who are entitled to claim the right of armiger.
Freshfield Coat of Arms
HENRY RAY FRESHFIELD, Esquire, of Kidbrooke Park, in
the county of Sussex, Justice of the Peace, Member of the Court of
Lieutenancy of the City of London. Born
February 2, 1814, being a younger son of the late James William
Freshfield, Member of Parliament, by his wife Mary, daughter of James
Armorial bearings - He bears for Arms : Per bend nebuly or and
azure, two bendlets between six escallops all counterchanged.
Upon the escutcheon is placed a helmet, befitting his degree with a mantling
azure and or; and for his Crest, upon a wreath of the colours, a demi-angel
proper, winged or, vested argent, the arms in chain-mail holding a lance in
bend point downwards also proper, charged on the breast with a cross botony
and on the head a like cross gules. Motto - “Nobilitatis virtus non stemma
Married, October 1,
1840, Jane Quintin, daughter of the
late William Crawford, Member of Parliament of Pipp Brook, Dorking; and has Issue - Douglas William Freshfield,
Gentleman, Master of Arts of the University of Oxford, Barrister-at-Law, born
April 27 1845 (married November 27, 1869, Augusta Charlotte, daughter of
William Ritchie, Esquire, formerly Advocate-General in Bengal, and has had,
Henry Douglas Freshfield, Gentleman, born September 10, 1877, died 1891; and
four daughters). Seat -
East Grinstead, in the
||argent - silver
|crined and winged or
||with golden hair and wings
|vested in Pale
||with straight garment
broad band across the shield
||a little bend which occupies a sixth part of a shield
|per bend nebuly
||stone extending through the thickness of a wall
ornamented with wavy lines
shield with coat of arms
cross which terminates at each end in 3 buds, knots or buttons
Gules - red - symbol of valour
- represented in its natural colour or colours
name given to every English gentleman who has the right of a coat of arms
If proof is needed of the fickleness of
spelling, the list below of the variants on Frescheville and Fretwell will stand as testament.
Staveley—Now and Then
Lewis’s 1848 A Topographical Dictionary of
England rather dryly describes Staveley as
parish in the union of Chesterfield, hundred of Scarsdale, northern division of
the county of Derby, 4¾ miles north-east by east from Chesterfield, containing,
with the chapelry of Barlow, 3,315 inhabitants, of whom 2,688 are in Staveley
parish comprises 6,827 acres. The soil is chiefly a loamy clay, with some earth
of lighter quality in the higher land; the substratum abounds with ironstone
and coal, of the former of which much is smelted. The village is pleasantly
situated on the east bank of the river Rother; the
Chesterfield canal runs through the village,
and several tramroads have been formed in connection with the various
collieries in the parish. The Staveley station of the Midland railway is 3½ miles from the
Chesterfield station, and 2¾ from that of
I am indebted to a DERBYGEN
List correspondent for the following, more animated, extract on Staveley, and
its Frecheville connections.
Manor of Stavelie, which is mentioned in the Domesday Book, belonged to Hacon
the Saxon. After the Norman Conquest it was given to a Norman knight named
Ascuit Musard. Upon the death of Baron Musard, through the marriage of one of
his sisters, a share of the manor came to the Frecheville family. The
Frechevilles also came over to England with William the Conqueror and in
1544, via a circuitous route, a Sir Peter Frecheville acquired the rest of the
manor. Thus Staveley became for many years the chief seat of the Frecheville
family. There are still many reminders of this in Staveley, such as Frecheville
Street and a Frecheville house named for the pupils at what was the Grammar
School which was founded in 1572 by Margaret Frecheville, and many monuments and
a chapel dedicated to the family in the parish church of St John the Baptist By
1681 the Duke of Devonshire had become the principal landowner, having bought
the manor and estate from Lord Frecheville of Staveley, another Peter who had
been created a peer in 1644.
Although predominantly a rural
community, by the early 1800s a variety of small businesses were serving a
population of around 3,000: brush manufacturers Fletcher & Son, boot- and
shoe-makers George Bagshaw and Benjamin Fox, maltsters John Chester at
Norbriggs, James Birkeft the miller at Staveley Mill, tailors Benjamin Furniss
and Thomas Parkin, and of course the wheelwrights and blacksmiths essential for
the care of the horses, wagons and carts. Well endowed with taverns and
beerhouses, and a selection of shops catering to most needs, the
along with the outlying hamlets of Woodthorpe, Marsden Moor, Netherthorpe,
Poolsbrook and Barrow Hill, were quite self-sufficient.
By the mid-1800s this was all
beginning to change. The ironworks and the collieries were slowly transforming
Staveley into an industrial town and by 1900 Staveley was thriving. The railway
and the canal ran through the centre of town, passing very close by the
ironworks, and so distributed the products of these industries to all parts of
the country. By 1950 probably 90 per cent of Staveley's workforce was employed
in the mines or at Staveley Works. The collieries have since been shut down and
demolished, foreign companies have taken over what was the iron and steel
business to produce chemicals, and small industrial units seem to be the shape
of things to come.
During the 1960s the Staveley of old
began to disappear. There were no longer the little short cuts - a quick nip
down Devonshire Street into Duke Street pop up New Street and you cut the long High Street/Market Street comer, down past Buttermilk Row and under the Arches to Railway
Cottages. The little rows that were a feature all around Staveley, such as
Renshaw's Row, Gregory's Row, Netherthorpe Row, Bent Lane, The Poplars,
Prospect Place, all made way for more modern housing and new shopping
facilities. At one time there seemed to be a public house every few yards: the
Crown, where the Staveley Feast was held in the field at the side, the New Inn
in New Street, the Devonshire Arms on High Street, and the Canal Tavern, handy
for the strollers on the canal path, all vying for customers with the ones that
have survived until the present. And do you remember the shops? Frisby's shoe
shop on the Cross, Woodhead's Drapery, Bowmer's the tobacconist the big Co-op
on High Street, all the little sweet shops, wool shops, hat shops, chip shops,
and not forgetting the ironmonger 'Sonky' Sales where anything could be ‘got
for the morrow’.
It’s good to look back occasionally
to how we used to be, when life moved at a slower pace; but perhaps we endow
things with a rosy hue that hides just how hard that life sometimes was. Yet
there were also the good times, the big celebrations, the church and chapel
festivities, the parades and band concerts, the football and the Staveley
To illustrate various aspects of Staveley the
author selected photographs which, which, together with his potted history,
give some idea of the people and places that made Staveley the town it once was.
One of these is a rear view of Staveley Hall, 1906 and is accompanied by the
following short account.
The Hall was
built in 1604 by Peter Frecheville on the site of a previous house, which could
possibly have been the manor house of Ascuit Musard, Lord of the Manor after
the Norman Conquest. In 1644 the Hall was garrisoned against the Parliamentary
troops by John Frecheville (son of Peter), a staunch Royalist but surrendered
to Major General Crawford, who had marched down to Staveley after taking nearby
Bolsover Castle. John was later made a peer for his loyalty to the Crown. In
1681 the house was sold to the Duke of Devonshire. Plans to demolish the Hall
in 1750 were halted by the Reverend James Gisboume, who chose to live there
after its restoration in the 1770s. It was used as the rectory by successive
rectors and curates until a smaller, more manageable,
residence was built in the rectory grounds. The Hall was then taken over by the
Staveley Council for use as offices. The outbuildings and stables have since
been extensively renovated and sports and leisure facilities provided in the
 Extract from letter from WEF to Kirklees Archivist,
Huddersfield Library, 23/2/1975. FPs.
 There is, as with so many family names, some ‘fluidity’ in the
spelling. There are many reasons for this inconsistency, from the spelling (if
literate) of the holders of the name, to the transcribers writing down what
 Formerly the Rectory and now the Staveley Council Offices.
 Much of the information on the Frechevilles is sourced from a
Parish Church of St. John Baptist, Staveley booklet, “Pilgrims Guide Appeal
Year Edition”, 1971, Staveley, based on the 1963 publication, compiled by the
then Rector, the Revd. T.L. Weatherhead. FPs.
 Photocopy in FPs. The Pedigree actually combined two references
sourced over the period 1666-1664. There are some minor discrepancies between
the two sources : variant spellings - Freschvile and Freschville;
one account credits John as having 20 hearths in 1670, the other cites 30
hearths. One version provides information on offspring other than the male
 There is a Sherwood reference to a Gervaise
described as an idiot, and son-in-law of Robert Whytyngton.
 Whether the correct figure was 20 or 30, this number of hearths
indicated a person of some substance.
 There is some confusion about this Harington—one version of the
Visitation states he married the daughter of Sir William Harington of…in
 According to Glover’s Directory, Ralph Fitz Ralph, first Baron of
Crich donated the ancient gothic spire church, dedicated to St Mary, to the
 Part 11, pp 577-580.
 It might pay to check this collection should the opportunity arise.
The Jackson name appears in a later time, with Ann(e) Jackson marrying a
William Fretwell in 1836.
 Another account names the co-founders as Francis De Rodes and
Robert Sitwell - an article provided by a DERBYGEN List correspondent.
 Letter from J E Prevett, Town Clerk and Treasurer, Staveley Town
Council, to Sylvia Fretwell, 11/2/1977. FPs.
 Samuel Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England, 7th
Edition, 1848, vol 4, p197.
 ‘John, Lord Frecheville of Staveley’, A.C. Wood,
Derby Archaelogical Journal (DAJ) 1iii, 1932.
 Old Yorkshire Magazine, ISSN 1365-8387, Issue No 12, Winter 1999,
Northern Line Design, Otley, p40.
 Miscellaneous Documents for
Hull and The East
Riding from the British Records Association, Ref DDHO/13/2, held in the Hull
University Manuscripts and Archive Database, HUMAD2.
 Letter from Basil Toole-Stott to WEF,
 Are Lord Charles (Powlett)
St John, cited in
the Pedigree, and Charles, Duke of Bolton the same person?
 It may be that this Thomas had family connections with the
unfortunate Thomas de Colepepper, Governor of Leeds Castle in
was hung by the chain of the drawbridge, by order of Edward II because Queen
Isabella was refused admittance during a siege. P H Ditchfield and Fred Roe,
Vanishing England, Senate, 1994, p123.
It would be
interesting to know also if this Thomas was related to Nicholas Culpeper whose
claim to fame was as an apothecary, physician and astrologer. Culpeper’s
treatise The Complete Herbal and English Physician and Family Dispensary,
offered remedies for all ills known to 17th Century society.
of Col Thomas Culpeper is given in the Culpepper Family History Web Site. He
was born on 25th
December 1637, and orphaned 6 years later.
His parents were Sir Thomas Culpeper, knight, lieutenant of
comments above!] and of St Stephen’s, Kent, and Lady Barbara Smythe. He married
Frances Frecheville in 1662. But it was a ‘stolen marriage’ and so displeased
John Frecheville that he refused to make his daughter any settlement apart from
an annuity of £300, which owing to the reduced state of his fortune, was
probably never paid. Frances died on 3 December 1698, and Thomas in
December 1708, without issue.
 The Culpepper Web Site account of Thomas also mentions that his
father-in-law, John Frecheville had, in later life, fallen on bad time. The
reason why the annuity to Frances may not have been paid is that John had been
obliged to sell his manor of Staveley and adjoining lands to the Earl of
Devonshire (William Cavendish) in the October previous to his death (March
1682), for the sum of £2600. This was afterwards made the subject of much
litigation by Culpeper. He used every means in his power to set aside the sale,
and, exasperated by repeated failure, he took occasion to publicly insult his
opponent by striking him within the precincts of the court at
which he was imprisoned and condemned to lose his hand, only pardoned through
the efforts of his wife.
 Joseph Tilley, The Old Halls, Manors, and Families of Derbyshire,
published in four volumes in the 1890s. Vol 3, 1899, p.262.
 The Pilgrim’s Book of the Parish Church of St. John the Baptist,
 According to Church records any monuments erected to the Musards are now lost, unless the anonymous cross-incised
slabs (forming the window sills in the south wall) commemorate members of their
line. There is a further reference dating from 1710, mentioning a tomb bearing the
arms of Frecheville and Musard, but this now seems also to be lost.
 Another earlier rector, incumbent in 1280, was Nicholas Musard, the
last Baron Musard.
 The name Maud is a derivative of Matilda.
 An interesting legend attaches to this Sanctuary. It is said that a
certain nobleman, upon deciding to join Robin Hood's band of outlaws in
neighbouring Sherwood, decided to bury his treasure under the High Altar of
Staveley Church. Romantic though this is, and much as its discovery might ease
the strain of maintaining the Church's fabric in good repair, no trace of the
treasure seems ever to have been found!
 The use of pieces of coloured glass held together with lead strips
did not appear in England until the 12th century, notably at Canterbury. English
glaziers were most prolific in the 14th century. The Reformation
reacted iconoclastically to all religious imagery, with the resultant loss of
much stained glass, through heraldic windows for private houses and some
churches were still produced. Destruction was most rampant during the Civil
War, and contributed to the virtual demise of the art, not to be revived until
the later 19th century. Despite the Reformation destroying the
living of many artists, some, notably Henry Giles of York, found new
patrons amongst the aristocracy and gentry for heraldic glass.
 General Armory, John Burke,
 cf earlier reference to the Ramsden
 Another branch of the Fretwell family was centred around the
Braithwell area for which the FPs hold records going back to the 1485. Yet
another batch of index cards records the Fretwells of the Emley area. Subjects
for future research!!