The Roes of the Peak District




by
Glynn Roe
November 2006

My ancestors lived in what is now known as the Peak District National Park and in particular, the southern part known as the White Peak. The White Peak takes its name from its predominantly limestone outcrops.

Parwich in Derbyshire is the ‘ancestral village' of the Roes. All the Roes mentioned in this document have a link to Parwich. Parwich is a picturesque village with a peaceful atmosphere and some fine old buildings set amidst rolling hills on the southern fringes of the White Peak. In the Domesday Book the village is named as Pevrewic', which means `the dairy farm on the Pevre'. Pevre is possibly the name of the brook running through the village. The village dates from Saxon times, though at nearby Roystone Grange the remains of a Roman farm have been discovered.

A century before the survey, Pevrewic was a royal manor and was held by the Duchy of Lancaster until Tudor times.

 


 

Some personal comments

My association with Derbyshire began well before my knowledge of the Roe ancestry when I worked for Rolls-Royce
at Derby starting in 1969 following my degree in Mathematics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich
.

I began my family research in August 1985 at Crewe, the birthplace of Albert Henry Roe, my grandfather.

The number of relatives I have identified is much greater than is contained in this document.
At the time of writing I have found over 20,000  relatives who have lived during the last 400 years.

I have found descendants of families in Parwich in many parts of the world from Australia and New Zealand
 to Canada and the United States of America

More information about our family tree can be found on this website:

http://www.ROEgenealogy.co.uk 
or these
websites:
Rootsweb.com, Ancestry.com or GenesReunited.

 Kathleen Evans' first book about James Brindley is out of print but she has produced a second edition in  2007 and contains many references to my early ancestors.


 

Acknowledgements

 This short summary of my ancestors and family is based on research done over twenty years starting in July 1985.
There are many branches of the family and this document can only offer a ‘flavour' of my past.

I would like to thank Christopher Tongue and Kathleen Evans, both relatives and fellow family historians, for their considerable help with the earlier members of the family, enabling us to have knowledge of our ancestors in Tudor times.

Christopher is a professional archivist (retired) and Kathleen is the author of a book about James Brindley
(another relative). Where I have copied Kathleen' s own words I have used italics.

I am grateful to Peter Trewitt of the Parwich and Local District History Society for his help with Parwich families and not least for bringing Christopher Tongue and I together.


 

Origin of the Roe surname

Norwegian:  habitational name from any of several farmsteads named Roe or Røe, from Old Norse ruð ‘clearing'.

 
   

 

Introduction


The ‘ancestral home of my Roes of the Peak District is the village of Parwich where they had lived for over 300 years.

The village is one of the most attractive villages in the southern part of the Peak District and is remotely situated amongst high hills in Derbyshire and the Peak District National Park. The stone cottages are home to just over 500 villagers.

The hills that rise above Parwich to over 1000 feet form a rough uneven plateau where a considerable number of pre-historic remains have been found. There is evidence of some medieval lead mining in the locality, but the village was spared the worst ravages of the lead mining boom. Farming has been very important to the village's prosperity. High on one of these hills, north of Parwich, is the farm of Thomas and Elizabeth Roe at Upper Gotham Granges. Thomas and Elizabeth had nine children and they are my 3x great grandparents. I am descended from their son Francis born in 1818.

           We don't know what Francis Roe, my great great grandfather, was thinking one day in the late 1830s as he boarded the train at the end of the track to his father's farm at Gotham near Parwich . A young man just turned 21, he would have been excited that he was about to make his own way in the world but apprehensive that he was leaving his family and the farm. His eldest brother, John had made a similar journey many years before and Francis would be joining him in Manchester.

The Cromford and High Peak railway line had been  opened nearly 10 years earlier in 1830 to link the Cromford Canal with the Peak Forest Canal at Whaley Bridge. It was one of the earliest railways in the country. Cromford Mill was the site of the first water powered cotton mill  and important in the Industrial revolution. The Mill, built by Sir Richard Arkwright, is now a World Heritage Site. The wagons would have been pulled by horses in the early days with stationary steam powered engines pulling the wagons up steep sections of the track. Gotham curve 
Gotham curve

                  The point where the farm track meets the railway line is known as the Gotham Curve, later to become the sharpest curve on the British Rail network. In fact the line turns through a total angle of 80 degrees. Thomas Roe's farm is on the left of the picture.

 Francis would have known that the journey would not be a particularly comfortable one, the train was not a passenger train, but he knew that he could reach Whaley Bridge where he would find a connection to Manchester and work. This journey would have been typical of the move of young people from country to city. Francis left behind work on his father's farm but knew that a younger brother, Sampson, was at home to help his father and, using the transport system at the end of his father's farm track, found his way to the prosperous, industrial city of Manchester.

Gotham curve today

     

 

             Contents

1.    

The Roes of Parwich

     2.    

The  Roes of Manchester

3.    

The Clerical line

4.    

The Forger
5.     The murders
6.     The Roes of Bakewell
7.     The Roes of Ellastone
8.     The Roes of Snelston
9.     Places

 

1.    The Roes of Parwich

The ROE Ancestral  Line

 

John Roe was born about 1625, the son of George and Ann Roe of Parwich. John was a yeoman who had tenancy rights at Roystone Grange in Ballidon near to Parwich.

Roystone Grange was one of the most important granges in the Peak. It was developed into a 400-acre (160-hectare) sheep ranch belonging to the Cistercian Abbey of Garendon in Leicester. Granges and hospitals were taken out of monastic ownership in the reign of Henry VIII.

The Roes purchased land early in the 17th century and held both tenancies and freehold land.

 I am descended from one of John and Anne's sons, Sampson Roe, named after Anne's grandfather, Sampson Stubbes, a prominent  and respected member of the Butterton community in Staffordshire.


John and Anne's youngest son, Richard travelled from England either as an emigrant or on business.

Sampson Roe, my five times great grandfather, was born about 1655 and is John and Anne's second son.
    Altogether they had eight children. Their eldest son, George led to the clerical side of the family.

Sampson married Anne Ball about 1691. Anne was born at Tissington in 1666 and was one of five children born to Thomas and Jane Ball. At one time, Thomas Ball was the church warden at St Peter's Church, Parwich. Thomas and Jane are your six times great grandparents.

 St Mary's, Tissington

Sampson and Anne had ten children.

I am descended from their eldest child, Sampson. Two other sons, John and George led to other branches of the Roe family in Bakewell and Ellastone respectively. More of this later.

Sampson Roe, my four times great grandfather was baptized at St Peter's Church, Parwich on 16th January 1693. He married Thomasin Swindell on 23rd March 1718 at Derby and they had six children. Thomasin's mother is Grace Allsop, my five times great grandmother and she was born in 1661.

 

Sampson and Thomasin Roe's eldest son, Sampson married Catherine Spencer in 1740 at Parwich and they had ten children. One of their sons, Sampson made his way to Macclesfield where he married three times, two of his wives were sisters, Hannah and Mary Nixon. Their children had families in Macclesfield.

 

Sampson and Thomasin's second son, Thomas was a gentleman. He married Mary Watson at Parwich in 1740 and they had six children.

 

Their eldest child, Thomasin married a James Williamson in Mapleton and had a five children.

 

A daughter of Sampson and Thomasin, Millicent married her cousin Samuel Roe in 1744 at Ashbourne.

 

This was  the first of  Samuel's three marriages, and their only child, Joseph married and had eleven children.

 

I am descended from Sampson and Thomasin's son, Francis Roe born in 1725 at Parwich.

 

Francis is my four times great grandfather and he married Perry Grinder on 10th May 1748 at St Oswald's Church, Ashbourne, Derbyshire. They had eight children.

 

The baptism of Thomas Roe (c1762), my great-great grandfather, is not recorded in the parish register of St Peter's Church, Parwich.

 One daughter, Elizabeth married Joseph Cope and they had children in Parwich.

 

 Another daughter of Francis and Peregrina, Syth Roe had an illegitimate son, Joseph Roe who later married Elizabeth Lees of Parwich in Ashbourne and they had five children.

One of their sons, George Roe married Mary Horabin in 1830 at Parwich and they later moved to Manchester after the birth of the second of their five children.

George was a brewer in Manchester and his son Joseph, a butcher, married Mary Ann Clarke who was from Kendal in what was then Westmorland. Annie their eldest daughter married Alfred Hatton at the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel in Moss Side, Manchester and they later emigrated to Sascatchewan, Canada.

Francis and Peregrina's youngest daughter, Margaret married John Cope at Alstonfield in 1784 and they had six children. Kathleen Evans is descended from their second son, John Cope who married Dorothy Greenhough in 1821 at Alstonfield.

 

Ann, a daughter of George and Mary also married in Manchester and had a family. Francis, another son of George and Mary Roe was a blacksmith and married Louisa Headon in 1861 at Manchester Cathedral. They had children at Bradford cum Beswick, Manchester. One child, Emily born in 1873 was a school teacher in 1901.

 

I am descended from Thomas Roe, a son of Francis and Peregrina Roe who was born in 1762. Thomas was the farmer at Gotham. He married Elizabeth Titterton at Tissington on 15th May 1797 and he died in 1844.

 

Elizabeth Titterton, my great great grandmother, was born in 1776 at Grindon, Staffordshire. Her parents, William Titterton and Jane Chadwick were married on 29th August 1774 at All Saints Church, Grindon.
The Tittertons are a long established family in Grindon.

 

Thomas and Elizabeth are buried in the churchyard sat Parwich, Elizabeth living for another 13 years after Thomas' death. Thomas and Elizabeth's gravestone is on the left of the picture.

Roe gravestones at Parwich

Francis and Peregrina Roe had a son, Francis born in 1754. Francis married Ellen Bagshaw and they had ten children.

 

Christopher Ellis Tongue lives in Abington, Northamptonshire and is descended from their daughter Elizabeth who married John Ellis in 1812 at Ashbourne. The Ellises and the Roes are neighbours in the Church graveyard at Parwich.

 

 

 

2.   The  Roes of Manchester

Francis Roe, my great-great grandfather, ended his journey from Derbyshire at Newton Heath near the centre of Manchester where he found work in the brewery trade. John Roe, Francis' eldest brother had made the journey to Newton Heath over 15 years earlier. John had met Hannah Cheesebrough and they married on 7th June 1825 at Manchester. By 1839, when Francis arrived in Manchester, John and Hannah had five children.

 


In 1846, following the death of Hannah, John remarried a widow, Elizabeth Barber (maiden name – Watson) and they settled in Droylsden where they had two children, John born in 1846 and Thomas born in 1848 named after John himself and his father Thomas who had died in 1844.

Jane Roe (1832) married George Brocklehurst on 11th September 1862 at Manchester Cathedral and they had two children in the Manchester area both of whom married, one John Henry Brocklehurst had two daughters in the 1890s in the Altrincham area.

Elizabeth Roe (1838) married Robert Hughes Gregory in 1864 at Manchester and they had a son, Robert Ernest Gregory.

Martha Roe married James Hancock Kay at St John's Church, Droylsden on 5th February 1849. They had four children in Hulme before emigrating to Australia. They sailed on the “Mermaid” leaving on 21st September 1858 arriving in December at Melbourne. They settled  at Kew near Melbourne where they had ten other children many of whom married and had families themselves.

John Roe, a son of John Roe from his second marriage married Frances Smethurst.

In 1844, Joseph Roe, youngest brother of John and Francis married Sarah Herrick in Marston upon Dove, Derbyshire. After the birth of their first child, Joseph and his wife joined his brothers in Newton Heath, Manchester where they had other children.

 

Joseph Roe 1860 married Jane Hemmings in 1881 and they had five children.

      Joseph Roe 1883 married Alice Hulme and they had three children, Alice, Mary and Frank Roe. Clive Anthony Roe, Frank's son, was born in Leeds, has three children and lives in Derbyshire.

  A sister of John, Francis and Joseph, Sarah Roe married Joseph Ardon    in about 1848. They too settled in Manchester having a son Thomas W Ardon in 1849 at Manchester. Sarah is our great-great aunt. When her brother Francis died in 1870 following the death is his wife Mary Ann in 1867, she took in his two surviving sons, William and John our great grandfather. She was living at 7 Blackburn Sreet, Hulme, Manchester.        

.           Francis, my great-great-grandfather met Mary Ann Walker soon after moving to Manchester and they married on 29th April 1844 at Manchester Cathedral. Mary Ann came from the village of Middlewich in Cheshire, one of seven children (one boy and six girls) born to James Walker and Martha Sproston.

         Francis and Mary Ann had a son, Thomas, named after Francis' father, the year after their marriage. Living at Newton Heath, they had a further eight children though not all of them survived infancy.

 

My great grandfather, John Roe was born at Newton Heath, Manchester in 1853.

Newton Heath will always be linked to Manchester United where they were formed by the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway organization in 1878. Alas, this was eight years after Francis' death but I feel that Francis would have been one of United's earliest supporters had he been alive in 1878!

There is a strong railway connection in the family. John Roe, my great grandfather born in 1853 at Newton Heath, a son of Francis and Mary Ann Roe, found employment as a railway worker and after marrying Dinah Yeomans at Manchester Cathedral in 1875, moved to Crewe where he and his wife settled down and had thirteen children, the last one being born in 1894.

John and Dinah's eldest child, Francis (Frank) married Kate Conquest in 1875 at Manchester Cathedral and they had seven children between 1900 and 1909 all born at Crewe. Kate's family came from Buckinghamshire.

Elsie Roe married Frederick W Cooper in 1918 at St Barnabas' Church, Crewe. William Roe married May Waring in 1929 at St Barnabas' Church, Crewe.

Gertrude Roe, born in 1909 married Henry Shaw in 1930 at St Paul's Church in Macclesfield.

One of the youngest of John and Dinah's children is my grandfather, Albert Henry Roe born in 1889 at Coppenhull, Crewe. Like his father before him, on reaching working age, Albert found work on the railway, the major employer in Crewe. His work took him on regular journeys to Manchester and he met Ellen Hamnett, in Manchester where she worked as a maid in South Manchester.  Albert  wooed Ellen by throwing coal over the hedge backing onto the railway where she worked.

My grandmother, Ellen Hamnett was born in Withington, Manchester on 19th February 1894. One of eleven children she lived in Ladybarn, South Manchester. The Hamnetts were originally from Northenden, a village which at the time was in Cheshire.

 

Albert and Ellen married in 1913 and settled in Withington, South Manchester and had nine children, including three sets of twins. Sadly only Marjorie of all the twins survived the traumas of birth. The surviving children were Albert Arthur, Marjorie, Dorothy and Geoffrey.

My father, Albert Arthur Roe married my mother, Joan Fleming on 31 Aug 1946 at Platt Chapel, Manchester. They had two children, Glynn and Hazel Roe.

Platt Chapel

Platt Chapel

Marjorie Roe married Cyril Roberts and they had two children, Marjorie and Christopher Roberts.

Geoffrey Roe married Pamela Jones and they have five children, Ian, Andrew, Alistair, Gillian and Gareth.

 

 

3.   The Clerical line

John and Anne Roe of Roystone Grange, Ballidon had a son George born about 1654. George married Elizabeth Dakin in about 1680.

 

Thomas Roe, a son of George Roe of Ballidon, ran a  successful ironmongery, perhaps at Roystone Grange and with further stores in Winster.

An elder brother of Thomas Roe is Samuel Roe born in 1687 at Bradbourne near Parwich. He was a ‘gentleman' and with his wife Hannah Sterndale who he married at Parwich in 1725 they had a large family.

Samuel and Hannah's third son, Hugh, married Ann Beardah in 1762 and they had four children at Darley Dale, Derbyshire. One daughter of Hugh and Ann, Elizabeth, married George Chadwin and they had children at Blidworth, Nottinghamshire.

Hugh later married Mary and they had two sons, Thomas born about 1776 and John. Thomas was a farm bailiff and he and his wife, Sarah had children in Turvey, Bedfordshire.

One son, Hugh married three times, had seven children.   

George Roe married Elizabeth Horn at Turvey on 6th November 1854.

Thomas Roe married Sara and they had three daughters, Florence, May and Rose.

 

Arthur Roe married Mary and they had three sons, Arthur, John and William in Eccles, Lancashire.

 

Alfred Roe married and had a son John Arthur Roe, Kathleen Roe is a descendant of Alfred and was born in Blackpool in 1939 and now lives in the Isle of Man with her husband.

Two of Samuel and Hannah's sons, George and Thomas, were educated for the Church. The Rev Thomas Roe (1731-1803), a bachelor, matriculated at St Edmund's Hall, Oxford, in 1751 and spent the whole of his forty nine year ministry as curate and then vicar of Bradboume, which included Roystone Grange.

The Rev George Roe (1736-1816), his brother, had a large family and held curacies in Carsington, Ashboume and Hayfield before returning to Parwich and, finally, the appointment as Rector of Fenny Bentley. The Rev Thomas Roe had a housekeeper and books, whereas his brother left almost £4000 (about £250 000 in today's money), school books, sermons and papers, but also dogs and ‘the implements for Sporting'.

His widow, nee Mary Bennett, had property in Macclesfield. The clerical brothers were buried in St Peter's churchyard at Parwich, where a group of Roes lie under a horse chestnut tree.

Reverend George Roe and Mary Bennett married on 30th September 1766 at Glossop, Derbyshire and they had twelve children.

 

Their eldest son, George, died in 1785 aged 15 years. Their next son, Thomas was born in 1772 at Hayfield, Derbyshire and in about 1799 married Catharine Sarah Elphinstone, the daughter of  Admiral John Elphinstone, Commander of the Fleet of Catherine the Great at the Battle of Tchesme. Thomas, one time a rector of the church at Kirkby on Bain in Lincolnshire,  and Catharine had nine children

 

Their last child, James Roe was born in 1818 at Kirkby on Bain and is of particular interest. More of the Reverend James Roe shortly.

A daughter of Thomas and Catharine, Georgiana was born in 1803 at Kirkby on Bain. In 1829 she married Thomas Denman who was the Second Baron Denman of Dovedale, Derbyshire. Thomas Denman's father, the first Baron was the Lord Chief Justice, Thomas Denman of Dovedale, who had defended Queen Caroline in the unusual case when King George IV accused his wife of adultery. In the previous century Lord Denman's relative, Joseph Denman, had witnessed the will of Richard Roe of Bakewell. The childless Georgiana became Lady Georgiana in 1854, when her Eton educated husband succeeded to the title as second baron.

A sister of Georgiana, Catharine Amelia Roe married John Moore in 1834 at Rugby in Warwickshire and they had seven children in Lincoln.

Another son of Reverend George and Mary Roe, George was born in Parwich in 1787. He married Eliza Hyne of Paignton, Devon in 1808 at Paignton. Their eldest son was George Hartwell Roe, born at Paignton in 1812.

 

George Hartwell Roe became a jeweller with a shop in Cambridge. More of George H shortly.

Of the other children of Rev George, Edward and Joseph are of particular interest.

Edward was a grocer in Sutton near Macclesfield and died on 1st January 1859.

Edward's brother Joseph who had died in 1854 at Macclesfield, married Ann Orme in 1809 at Prestbury, near Macclesfield, and they had three children. One of their children was John Orme Roe, born in 1811 at St Michael's Church, Macclesfield.

Anna Roe married a chemist, John Wylde, in Macclesfield and they had  five children in Manchester.

James Roe, the youngest child of Thomas and Catharine Roe  and a clergyman, was involved in a criminal act. This is explained in the next section.

 


 

 4.   The Forger 

When Edward Roe, son of Reverend George and Mary Roe  died in 1859, he left a will bequeathing £30,000 (about £500,000 in today's terms) in varying amounts to members of his family (he was not married).  Among those benefiting were John Orme Roe, his nephew in Macclesfield, the son of his brother Joseph and his wife Anne Orme. Another beneficiary of the will was the Reverend James Roe, a son of another brother, Rev Thomas Roe and his wife Catharine Elphinstone.

James Roe (pictured) forged a letter, supposed to be from his dying cousin, Edward leaving him more money at the expense of John Orme Roe. He forged a letter to himself supposedly written by the dying Edward and he even forged the stamp on the letter. A court case in London found him guilty of : ‘Feloniously forging and uttering a warrant and order for the payment of £6,000. with intent to defraud.'

The Reverend James was sent to the cells at Bow Street Police Station and at a later date was transported to Australia. In Australia he became a teacher and journalist. His daughter, Helen Emily Roe married a businessman, Patrick Stone in Geraldton, Western Australia where they had six children many of whom went on to have families of their own.

A transcript of James Roe's trial can be found on this website: click here

 A copy of a letter James sent to a brother, probably Elphinstone Roe, about his experience under arrest and subsequent trial and deportation can be found here..

John Orme Roe's sister, Anna got married in 1845 to a chemist in Macclesfield, John Wylde and some of their children married and settled in Manchester.

John Orme Wylde married Emily Talbot in 1882 at Market Drayton, Shropshire and they had four children in Stockport.

 

5.   The murders

 
Another son of Samuel and Hannah Roe is John, brother of the clerical brothers, George and Thomas. John married Sarah Toplis in 1771 at nearby Brassington and they had six children, three boys and three girls. One daughter, Elizabeth married Thomas Dakin of Parwich. Mary Roe, sister to Elizabeth never married.

The two sisters, Elizabeth Dakin and Mary Roe, died on the same day the 21st February 1807—murdered by poisoning. A Parwich man, William Webster was tried for the murder and after a trial lasting 13 hours, he was found guilty. He also poisoned Tom Dakin, Jane Fearn and four other people.  He owed Tom Dakin a large sum of money and intending to poison Tom, he put arsenic in the family teapot. Up to the day of his execution he pleaded his innocence. The morning he was due to be hung he acknowledged that he had administered the  arsenic with  intent to poison Mr Dakin, Elizabeth's husband and that he, and only he, caused the death of the two women. On being asked, at the place of execution, if he had anything to say to the people, he replied no, I cannot speak, I AM GUILTY”.

Angela Mills is a descendant of Thomas and Elizabeth Dakin and  with her husband David, visited Derby Gaol in November 2006 and relates the following:

  On Wednesday David and I went to Derby and found the gaol including the Condemned Cell next to the debtors Cell where Webster was held prisoner.  There was a list of executions at the gaol and William Webster's name was there.  I asked the young man on duty if there was anything else to see concerning this man and he took us to a big display board with the article below.  He called the article a Penny,  possibly a Penny Dreadful – Newspaper articles about hangings & floggings; gory and violent with graphic illustrations!

The young man told us that it is possible that next year, 200 years later, the Derby Ghost walk people may do a re-enactment of William Webster's murders

and to look on  www.derbyghostwalks.com

I am grateful to Angela for sending me the following article:

An Account of the Life, Trial & Behaviour of

William Webster

Who was executed on Derby Gallows, on Friday March 20th 1807

At the Assizes for the County of Derby, which commenced on Monday 16th March 1807. William Webster the unfortunate Sufferer, age 34 was charged on the oath of Thomas Dakin and others, on a violent suspicion of having on the 11th day of February last, infused and mixed a mineral poison in ale, drank by Thomas Dakin, at the house of John Sims, of the parish of Hartington, Inn Holder, with intent to poison the said Thomas Dakin. And also on a violent suspicion of having on Monday February 16th infused, and mixed mineral poison in the tea drank by Elizabeth Dakin, Mary Roe, Jane Fern, Thomas Dakin, and four of the children of the said Thomas Dakin, in consequence of which mixture the said Elizabeth Dakin, and Mary roe died on the 17th February and the said Thomas Dakin, Jane Fern and the four children were taken extremely ill and in grave danger of losing their lives.

It appeared in Court that Mr Dakin (the prosecutor) had advanced several sums of money to the prisoner for which he had no security and the prisoner had promised to pay him from time to time and to satisfy the prosecutor that he had money owing him, he procured letters to be written in other persons names, signifying that he had money owing him, which should be paid to the prosecutor whenever he received it. – The prisoner thought as Mr Dakin had no security for his money, if he died he could not be obliged to pay it. He therefore, on the 11th February, put into some ale the prosecutor was drinking, some corrosive sublimate, but which made the ale so nauseous the prosecutor did not drink it. Being disappointed in this he introduced the next day a poison into some posset which was provided for the prisoner after eating a part he mixed arsenic with the remainder, and put it on the table where the family were at breakfast, all of whom partook of it.

He then on the 16th February following, put some arsenic into the tea kettle belonging to Mr. Dakin's family, by which Mrs. Dakin and Miss Roe, (her sister) died, and Mr. Dakin, and four of his children, and servant, were made extremely ill.  -  It appeared during the trial he had told many gross falsehoods, especially to Mr. Dakin, from whom under false pretences he obtained about £660.00  -From the evidence being so connected and everything so clear against him, after a trial which lasted 11 hours the jury pronounced their Verdict, GUILTY.

The learned Judge then pronounced the sentence of the law against the prisoner, that he be hanged by the neck until he was dead, and his body afterwards given to the surgeons for dissection, which sentence he heard with indifference and composure.

How hardening is sin!  Murder is a crime at which human nature shudders; but we know not to what we may be brought if we give way to sin.  This unhappy man appears to have indulged himself in cruelty and wickedness till the blackest crimes were easy to him.  Disappointed more than once in his deadly designs, yet he still pursued the object of his hatred, till justice prevented him from going further.  -  One murder is dreadful, but he seemed not to care how many of his fellow creatures he could destroy to obtain his end.

                                                                                       Wilkins, Printer, Derby.

 

Webster was hung on 20 March 1807 and afterwards his body given to the surgeons for dissection.

           Mary Roe and her sister Elizabeth were buried on the same day in the churchyard at St Peters, Parwich over two weeks after their murder.

Close to the west door of St Peter's Church in Parwich is a gravestone bearing the inscription:

IN MEMORY OF

………

Elizabeth wife of Thomas Dakeyne and daughter of John and Sarah Roe
she departed this life February 17th 1807 in the 23rd year of her age.

                               Under the chestnut tree at the east of the church is another gravestone that reads:

IN MEMORY OF

John Roe who departed this life 7th February 1801 aged 67 years

Also Sarah his wife who died September 7th 1823 aged 80 years

Likewise Mary their daughter who died 17th February 1807 in the 31st year of her  age.

                                      At the time of her death in 1807, Elizabeth Dakin had four children.                                      

All four children married and had families of their own.  George married Mary Ann Mart and they had three children. Elizabeth married Thurston Dale. Sarah married Thomas Mart and they had a daughter. Lastly, Hannah Dakin married William Barker and they had six children.

All the children of Thomas and Elizabeth were baptised at Bradbourne except William.

William Dale married Elizabeth Spencer Kirkham in 1849 at Ashbourne.

One of William and Elizabeth's children, George Dale married twice and lived at Prestbury, Cheshire with his second wife, Alice Brown. Descendants of George and Alice and also children from George's first marriage to Susannah Bunting still live in East Cheshire.

 I am grateful to Angela Jean Mills (maiden name Dale) who is descended from Annie Dale, a daughter of George and Alice, who has given me information on this branch of the family.


 6.   The Roes of Bakewell

Sampson and Ann Roe had a second son, John born in 1695 at Parwich.  John married Dorothy Woodhouse at South Wingfield, Derbyshire on 2nd January  1721 and they settled in Bakewell. They had two sons, Samuel and John Roe.



John, was born in 1729 and was the younger of the two boys. He married Bridget and had a son Jesse who went on to marry Ruth Taylor and they had ten children in Bakewell.


Jesse Roe, one of Jesse and Ruth's children, married Mary Hartley in Bradford, Yorkshire and had four children. One of their children, Hannah Roe married George Foulds at Bingley, Yorkshire in 1833 and they had two children.

Millicent Roe, his sister, married Thomas Wheatley and had five children.

One of Millicent's grandchildren, Mary Wheatley married George Whitworth and they emigrated to Utah in America where they had 14 children.

John and Dorothy Roe's first son, Samuel was born in 1722 at Bakewell. He married three times. His first wife, Millicent Roe was a cousin, the daughter of Sampson and Thomasin Roe of Parwich, our five times great grandparents. Their only child, Joseph went on to marry Catherine Norman of Wingerworth and settled down there having eleven children, including a Jeffrey Roe in 1776.

Millicent Roe married George Barber and Elizabeth Roe married Richard Frost. Samuel Roe married Anne Turner and they had five children in Wingerworth.

Samuel Roe's second marriage to Dorothy Slack led to three more children.

Mary Roe married Matthew Browne, an upholsterer in 1772 at York and they had nine children in York.

John Roe married Mary Person in 1785 and they had six children. One child, John Roe married Catharine Ball and they had eight children in South Normanton, Derbyshire.

Samuel's third marriage in 1755 produced thirteen children. Most led to marriages in Bakewell and children, some of whom moved to Manchester.

Samuel and Sarah's eldest son, George Roe married Mary Charlesworth at Bakewell in 1783 and they had nine children in Bakewell.

Samuel and Sarah's eldest daughter, Dorothy Roe married George Chritchlow and they had five children leading to descendants in Salford.

Ann Roe, another daughter of Samuel and Sarah married Francis Ball and their daughter, Catherine Ball married John Roe, a grandson of Samuel and his second wife's son, also called John and already mentioned earlier.

John and Catherine had seven children in South Normanton, Derbyshire.

Another son from Samuel Roe's third marriage, Philip, two years younger than David, married Sarah Wildgoose. Like his father, Philip was Parish clerk at Bakewell church.

Philip and his father, Samuel Roe served as Parish clerks for many years and are buried in the churchyard of Bakewell Parish Church where their graves are marked by headstones. The inscriptions on the headstones are shown at the end of this section.

David Roe, a son from Samuel's third marriage married Elizabeth Garratt at Bakewell in 1785. One of their sons, Francis Roe became the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Bakewell and was in charge of the 1851 census there.

David and Elizabeth's daughter, Mary Roe married John Wain in 1821 at Bakewell and they had four children. One son, Francis Roe Wain married Harriet Boswell and their daughter, Fanny Wain married a Manchester man Thomas Hayes Wharton. They had three children in Withington, Manchester. Another son of Thomas and Fanny Wharton, Luke Wain married and had three children in Bolton, Lancashire.

David and Elizabeth's son Francis Roe married Hannah Storer and they had twelve children.

At the time of the 1841 census, Francis Roe was the Deputy Registrar for Births, Marriages and Deaths in Bakewell. By 1851 he was the Registrar.

Francis and Hannah's eldest child, Sampson married Elizabeth Liversidge in 1849 and they had three children in Bakewell. Sampson was a plumber and glazier.

Another son, George married Hannah Maria Gregory in Bakewell and they had two children in Sheffield, Yorkshire.

Francis and Hannah's son William Roe married Rachel Andrew and they had three children. The eldest, Thomas Frederick Roe married Emerelia Wilson in 1885 at Chorlton on Medlock, Manchester and they had six children in Gorton.

Francis Roe, Francis and Hannah's fourth son, married Ellen and they had three children.

Samuel's gravestone in the grounds of Bakewell Parish Church:

SAMUEL ROE

Clerk
Of the Parish Church of Bakewell,
Which office
He filled thirty-five years

With credit to himself
And satisfaction to the Inhabitants,
In clearness, Strength, and Sweetness
Were altogether unequalled.
He died October 31st, 1793,
Aged 70 years.

Philip Roe died in 1815.  He had succeeded his father, Samuel as parish clerk of Bakewell having acted as his deputy for some time. The following unusual inscription appears on his gravestone:

Erected
IN REMEMBERANCE OF
PHILIP ROE
who died 12th September 1815
AGED 52 YEARS

The vocal Powers here let us mark
Of PHILIP our late Parish Clerk
In Church none ever heard a Layman
With a clearer Voice say “Amen”!
Who now with Hallelujahs Sound
Like Him can make the Roofs rebound?
The Choir lament his Choral tones
The Town—so soon Here lies his Bones.
“Sleep undisturb'd within thy peaceful Shrine
Till Angels wake thee with such notes as Thine.

At the time George Roe, my oldest Roe ancestor, was living in Parwich, there was a Richard Roe in the village. Richard is almost certainly a relative of George and probably his brother.

Richard Roe senior had three children (his wife's name is unknown). His son, Richard Roe married Elizabeth Berisford in 1642 at Parwich and they had six children.

Thomasin Roe married Edmund Buxton, a yeoman and they had two children, Jane and Elizabeth Buxton at Tissington, Derbyshire. Elizabeth Buxton married Richard Goodwin in 1707 at Tissington and they had many descendants born in the Tissington and Hartington areas of Derbyshire. Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth Buxton married Francis Berisford in about 1735. The ancestors of Francis Berisford of Alstonfield, Staffordshire have been traced back to the 15th century

 

Francis Roe married Margaret Nadin at Hartington in 1687 and they had eleven children.



7.   The Roes of Ellastone

 



My six times great grandparents, Sampson Roe and Anne Ball had a son, George Roe born about 1700.
George married Ruth and had four children at Youlgreave, Derbyshire.

Youlgreave Church



George and Thomas Roe both married and settled in Ellastone where they had families. George Roe married Ellen Ratcliffe at Alton in 1757 and Thomas married Elizabeth Barnet in 1758 at Ellastone.

Elizabeth Roe, George and Ellen's second daughter married Richard Hall at Waterfall, Staffordshire in 1786 and they had four children at Grindon.

St Bartholomews, Waterfall             

 

One son of Richard and Elizabeth, Richard married and had seven children in Grindon leading to a branch of the family in Leicestershire.

               

 A daughter, Susanna Hall married William Beardmore at Leek and they had children in Waterfall and Grindon.



George and Ellen Roe's son, Sampson married Mary Hope at Manchester Cathedral in 1793 and they had a son George. In 1819, this son, George Roe married Mary Ann Dean at the Cathedral in Manchester and they had a daughter, Elizabeth Jane Roe at Newton Heath, Manchester in 1820.

 George and Ellen's youngest son, Thomas married Elizabeth and they had a son William Roe in 1820.

Jane the youngest daughter of George and Ellen, married Daniel Warrington at Ellastone in 1799 and they had nine children leading to branches of the family in Swinton, Manchester and Salford.





Sutton Church

The eldest son of Thomas and Elizabeth, Thomas Roe married Edith Gilbert at Waterfall in 1786 and they had a son Thomas Roe. Thomas married Elizabeth Beresford in 1809 at Rocester, Staffordshire.

St Peters, Ellastone

Thomas and Elizabeth's eldest son, Thomas Roe married Hannah and they had four children.

Thomas and Hannah's son, Francis married Sarah Toogood and they had three children all born at Tutbury, Staffordshire.

Francis and Sarah's son, Thomas Henry Roe married Sarah Arme in 1888 at Burton upon Trent and they had two children, a son Francis and a daughter Nellie both born at Tutbury.

Eliza, a daughter of Francis and Sarah Roe married Arthur Mason and they had three children, Frank, Arthur and Kathleen Mason were born in Widnes, Lancashire.

It is interesting that Arthur Mason senior is possibly a descendant of Francis Roe and Margaret Naden through their daughter, Thomasin Roe and her husband Joseph Bridden.

St Marys, Tutbury

 


 

8.   The Roes of Snelston

Samuel Roe was born in Parwich the son of Francis Roe and Margaret Nadin.

Samuel Roe married Mary Bill in 1732 at Bradbourne.


Mary Roe married Henry Wigley and they had several children at Bonsall, Derbyshire

      

      St Peters, Snelston

John Roe married Ellen Robinson on 8 June 1756 at Snelston, Derbyshire and they had twelve children.

Joseph Roe 1775, one of the youngest children of John and Ellen married Elizabeth and they had four children.

Mary, John and Ellen's eldest daughter married William Evans at Snelston in 1781 and they had four children. One, Mary Ann Evans married Sampson Stubbs in 1826 at Hanley, Staffordshire. Sampson is possibly related to my ancestor, Sampson Stubbes since Sampson the younger was also from Butterton. Sampson and Mary had four children.

Thomas Roe 1768, a son of John and Ellen Roe  married Margaret Stubbs  on 4 February 1789 at Snelston.

Another son of John and Ellen, William Roe 1759 married Frances Milner on 2 July 1789 at Snelston and they had seven children.

John Roe 1794 married Margaret Finney at Ellastone in 1815.

William 1799 married Elizabeth Goodhall in 1825 at Bradley and they had two daughters at Bradley, Emma Roe 1829 and Sebra Roe in 1832.

Maria Roe married Michael Coxon in 1822 at Norbury and Roston and they had four children. One child, William Coxon married Julia Oliver and they had four children in Birmingham.

Thomas Roe 1806 married Elizabeth Kirkland at Ashbourne in 1825 and they had five children.

George Roe 1825 married Harriet Storer on 10 November 1861 at Mickleover, Derbyshire and they had five children.

One son, Thomas born c1869 married Emily who was from Dudley and they had two children in Whitehaven, Cumberland,

Thomas was a grocer. Another son of George and Harriet, William Arthur Roe 1870, married and in 1901 was a gas fitter in Bristol.

            The youngest child of William Roe and Francis Milner, George was born in 1810 at Snelston. George married Hannah Dakin on 18 February 1830 at Snelston and they had nine children.

Hannah Roe married James Renshaw in 1864 at Snelston and they had three children.

       Frances Roe had two children, Noah Roe in 1865 and Abraham Roe in 1875.



Margaret Roe had a son Robert Roe in 1866. Robert went on to marry Hannah Wibberley at Ashbourne in 1888 and they had five children in Ashbourne. Margaret married Moses Grindey and they had nine children.

 William Roe, George and Hannah's eldest son married Elizabeth Fearn and they had five children.

George Roe and Hannah's second son, George married Elizabeth Hampson in 1854 at Snelston and they had four children at Snelston.

        John Roe, George and Hannah's third son married Sarah Fearn the sister of William's wife and they had three children.

Going back to John and Ellen Roe at the top of the Snelston Roes, they had a son, Edward baptised at Snelston on 23 March 1768. Edward married Sarah Redfern on 20 November 1787 at Norbury and Roscoe. They had seven children

Samuel Roe 1797 married Elizabeth and they had two children, Mariah and Charles. Charles later married and had two children of his own, Arthur Herbert Roe in 1870 at Branstone, Staffordshire and Charles Henry Roe in 1876 at Burton under Needwood, Staffordshire.

   Fanny Roe had a son, Jesse born at Snelston. Jesse married Elizabeth and they had five children, Jesse W, Henry, Joseph A, Lizzie and Arthur. All were born at Marchington, Staffordshire. Joseph married Florence Reeve in 1896 at Burton upon Trent and they had two children, Arthur and Florence.

        James Roe, Edward and Sarah's youngest son married Ann and they had eight children in Snelston.

Ann 1827 had a son, Ralph Roe in 1850 at Snelston.

James 1829 married Sarah Bowen and they had a daughter, Agnes Alice Roe in 1851 at Ashbourne.

      Samuel Roe 1835 married Catherine who was born in Ireland and they had six children at Snelston, Ann, Elizabeth, Catherine, Jane, Sarah and Rosey.

      Henry Roe 1839, married Mary Ann Taylor and they had ten children at Snelston.

Some of these children married and had families including a Henry Roe 1873 who married Mary from Liverpool at Sheffield in 1896, had a daughter, Violet Mary Roe in 1898 at Sheffield and then the family emigrated to America sometime after 1901 when they were living at Hoylake on the Wirral.

      Going back to Edward Roe and Sarah Redfern, they had a son Edward Roe born in 1793 at Snelston. Edward married Hannah Wybberley on 23 December 1813 at Snelston and they had five children.

      Anthony Roe 1832 married Elizabeth Swinger on 24 June 1878 at the Church of St Edmund with Marshall, Caistor, Norfolk and they had a daughter, Jane Roe.

Edward Roe 1826 married Harriet Smith in 1849 at Doveridge, Derbyshire.

 Ralph married Louisa Hall and they had a daughter, Isabella Roe in about 1870 at Oakamoor, Staffordshire.

Ambrose married Sarah and they had six children in Derby.

Enoch Roe 1816 married Elizabeth Adams on 21 May 1836 at Ashbourne and they had seven children.

Thomas James Roe c1841 married Rebecca Shaw in 1864 at Snelston and they had six children.

Louisa, who was born in 1875 at Wyaston, married Joseph Frederick Spencer in 1896 at Derby and they had four children. I have been in contact with Brian Wilson, born in 1937 at Ashbourne who is descended from one of Louisa and Joseph's children, Amy Spencer.

Julia Roe 1848 had a son Thomas Archer Roe in 1867 at Alton Towers, Staffordshire. Julia later married John Warrington in 1870 at Alton and Thomas was brought up by John as his own. They had five other children at Farley, Staffordshire.

Thomas Archer Roe 1867 married Mary Ann Ufton at Shardlow, Derbyshire in 1892. They had five children.

family tree

I would like to thank Judith Stubley (pictured below, pink scarf), a grand-daughter of Thomas Archer Roe who gave me information on this branch of the family including correcting some of my mistakes. Judith is standing outside the cottage at Cackle Hill, Snelston believed to be where Enoch Roe and his wife lived. Judith is talking to Susan Parsons, the owner.


9.   Places

Alsop-en-le-Dale is a tiny Derbyshire village situated 5 miles north of Ashbourne It is only a mile from Parwich and about a mile from Dovedale. The village consists of a church, a hall, a few farms and cottages. The main Ashbourne to Buxton road once passed through Alsop, but was diverted to save coaches the climb down into the valley and then back up again.

Alstonfield or Alstonefield is a village, a township, and a parish on the NE border of Staffordshire, near to Derbyshire. The village stands on the river Dove. It is situated in the Peak District National Park, is an attractive, closely knit village, situated on a limestone plateau 900 feet above sea level. Alstonefield has many stone buildings dating from the 18th century or earlier. It was a thriving market centre in the middle ages having been granted its own market charter in 1308 but lost much of its status with the growth of towns like Ashbourne. Alstonefield continued with annual cattle sales right up until the beginning of the 20th century. Many of the footpaths and lanes in the area date back to those prosperous times.

Bakewell is an ancient town in the centre of the Peak District National Park, founded in Saxon times. It is the home of the famous Bakewell Pudding. The Domesday Book entry calls the town 'Badequella', meaning Bath-well. The town was built on the Wye at a spot where it was fordable and in 924 Edward the Elder ordered a fortified borough to be built here. Bakewell has one of the oldest markets in the area, dating from at least 1300. The first recorded fair was held in 1254. Markets are still held every Monday and there is a thriving livestock market.

Ballidon is a tiny White Peak hamlet in an isolated location, somewhat overshadowed by its' limestone quarry. There are just a few farms and scattered cottages in the hamlet, which is all that remains of a larger medieval settlement.

Bradbourne in Derbyshire is an ancient village situated 4 miles north east of Ashbourne and stands high on a ridge between the valleys of Bradbourne Brook and Havenhill Dale, enjoying some fine views. It was recorded in Domesday as Bradeburne, meaning broad stream, and having a church and a priest

At domesday it belonged to Henry de Ferres. A corn mill once stood in Bradbourne, built into the hillside in 1726. It lies crumbling and forgotten on a sharp bend on the B5056. Today Bradbourne is known for it's ancient church, Elizabethan Hall and the old Parsonage.

Brassington in the Peak District National Park, is a largish, attractive if somewhat greyish, limestone village perched on a hillside, some 800 feet above sea level and known to the locals as `Brass`n`. It was once a thriving centre at the heart of lead mining country, but things are much quieter now. Brassington has many cottages that date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, with the `TUDOR HOUSE`, built in 1615, being one of the oldest.

Butterton,is situated in Staffordshire and part of the Peak District National Park. It is an isolated but very picturesque village, situated high up on moorland close to the manifold valley. Butterton, as with nearby Grindon, lay on the old packhorse route carrying ore from the copper mines at Ecton.

Crewe originally started out as the village of Coppenhall, but it was when the Grand Junction Railway Company opened their engineering works there in 1843 that the town began to develop. The town was already a major railway junction  linking together Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. The influx of workers meant that Crewe changed from village to town within the space of a few years. Other heavy industries followed.

Cromford in Derbyshire, is a place many people simply pass through on their way to the Matlocks, Bakewell and other northerly places, but Cromford is very definitely worth taking a closer look at, because it is steeped in industrial history and often called the cradle of the industrial revolution. Before 1770, Cromford was little more than a cluster of cottages around an old packhorse bridge and a chapel where travellers gave thanks for a safe journey. All that was soon to change with the arrival of one man, Richard Arkwright. He began to build the worlds first successful water powered cotton spinning mill here in 1771 which soon became so successful that he was able to build other mills including Haarlem mill in nearby Wirksworth and Masson mill in Matlock Bath. Others copied his ideas and soon water powered cotton spinning mills began to spring up in Europe and America. At first he used labour from the local farming and mining community but as production increased he advertised and workers were brought in from other areas. He especially asked for large families to come and join the work force and a whole town was constructed to house them, rows of cottages, a school, a chapel and a hotel. The pattern for later industrial towns had emerged.

Ellastone is a village situated close to the River Dove on the border between Derbyshire and Staffordshire. It dates back to Anglo Saxon times and features in the Domesday Book where it is listed as Edelachestone or Elachestone. The local church of St. Peter's dates back to the sixteenth century with the year 1586  displayed on the tower. Ellastone has literary connections. George Elliot's father lived here in his youth and she use it as settings for some scenes in Adam Bede. Ellastone was Hayslope in the county of Loamshire. Her grandfather's grave is in the churchyard.

Grindon is a peaceful little moorland hill village, standing at over 1000feet above sea level in the Peak District National Park, and over looking the beautiful manifold valley. It lay on the old packhorse route carrying ore from the copper mine  at  Ecton. Grindon has an interesting looking pub called the Cavalier, previously called the Shoulder of Mutton and originally the village smithy. Over 400 years old, the building was possibly renamed in honour of Bonnie Prince Charles who is reputed to have stayed in the village.

Leek is the principal town of the Staffordshire Moorlands and is locally known as 'The Queen of the Moorlands'. It stands on a hill in a large bend in the River Churnet. The town is an ancient market town and was a centre of silk weaving but this industry has now completely disappeared. The old town contains many fine buildings.

Newton Heath takes its name from old English meaning "the new town on the heath". The heath in question stretched originally from Miles Platting to Failsworth, and is bordered by brooks and rivers on all four sides - the River Medlock, Moston Brook, Newton Brook and Shooters Brook. By the beginning of the 19th century, the Rochdale Canal had been constructed and this brought industrialisation to the district, and the former farming settlement was thus hastened into the Industrial Revolution and creeping urbanisation. The 19th century saw the local population increase nearly 20 fold. The railways arrived in the 1840s and the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway (the LYR) laid two main lines across the district which made a significant change to the look of the district.

Northenden has a long history, having been mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, and was at that time a small farming community with a manor house and woodland. A weir existed on the river in the 14th century (now at Mill Lane) and a mill was set up for the grinding of corn. The mill belonged to the Tatton family of Wythenshawe Hall, and it was demolished in the 1960s. Its name means "northern dale or valley", no doubt because of its immediate proximity to the river Mersey. This river once marked the boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire.

Parwich is not on any of the main routes through the area and as a result does not suffer from the effects of traffic, as do other villages. Its neat limestone houses of various shapes and sizes stand in picture postcard fashion along winding lanes and narrow ginnels. In the summer, the cottages with their attractive gardens, window boxes and hanging baskets provide a vivid splash of colour against the green background of the steeply rising hillside. The church of St Peter was rebuilt in 1873 on a much older site possibly going back 800 years. It retains a Norman doorway and chancel arch and contains a fine carved tympanum over the west doorway, showing the lamb of god with a cross, a stag trampling on a serpent, a wolf, and other strange animals.

The Royston Grange Archaeology Trail runs nearby with the remains of a Roman field system, Roman manor house and late medieval buildings.

Snelston is a small, attractive 19th century model village situated 3 miles south west of Ashbourne. Snelston nestles in a valley bounded on it's eastern side by Darley Moor through which the A515 passes, and on its western side by the river Dove, beside which a railway use to run. A small brook, which joins the river Dove, flows through the centre of the village and flooding has occurred in times of torrential rain.

Tissington in Derbyshire, is a well managed estate village which has an ideal blend of duckpond, trees, cottages, church, tearooms and an old hall. To many, Tissington seems to be the model village. Well dressing takes place in Tissington. Tissington Hall is a large and very fine Jacobean mansion and home for theFitzherbert family for over 400 years. The house was built in 1609 for Francis Fitzherbert possibly incorporating parts of an earlier hall. The property had become a seat of the Fitzherberts around 1465. During the Civil War Tissington was garrisoned by Colonel FitzHerbert in support of the King.

Tutbury is a large village of about 3,000 residents surrounded by the   agricultural countryside of Staffordshire and Derbyshire. It is 5 miles north of Burton upon Trent and 20 miles south of the Peak District. Tutbury was a hill fort in the Iron Age, about 2,500 years ago. The village is mentioned in the Domesday Book as Toteberie.

Waterfall is a small Staffordshire village, set on the moors, named after the way that the River Hemp, disappears underground through crevices in the ground.

Wirksworth is a small market town which nestles in the hills to the southern end of the Pennines. The hills to th west are composed of limestone and those to the east are sandstone known locally as millstone grit. These have provided the industry for the town for many years, initially that of lead mining in the limestone and finally the quarrying of both the gritstone and the limestone. The town was once the most important lead mining centre in the country and had been since Roman times. In the Kings Field region just south of Wirksworth, anyone was allowed to search for lead, subject to the laws and customs governed by mining. Lead mining peaked in the 17th and 18th centuries before its steady decline in the 19th century, and many of the Wirksworth's impressive houses and other buildings were built during these prosperous times.