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Hope Historical Society
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HOPE HISTORICAL SOCIETY

RESEARCH GROUP MEETINGS

The next evening meeting of the group will be on Tuesday 4th April at 7.30 at Daggers House, Market Place, Hope at 7.30pm

We are also planning a series of fortnightly meetings on the first and third Fridays in the month during the winter. The first of these “drop in” sessions will be on Friday 17th February at 55 Eccles Close from 10.00 until 12.00am. If you have topics that you would like to investigate do join us to explore Hope’s history

For more details contact Ann Price 621642

The group are currently researching two farm account books, one from the 1870’s and the other from the 1950’s. They will make an interesting comparative study. World War 1 still occupies our minds as we record the events of 1917 concerning local serving men. This will be displayed in Wakes week in St Peter’s church as part of our ongoing commitment to charting events from 1914 – 1918.

One member is transcribing documents and has just completed the marathon task of looking at deeds from the Loxley Hall Trustees. Another is looking at local maps. We have some interesting work to do on the Oddfellows Lily of the Valley Lodge.as we have recently acquired the honours board of the Lodge which had been stored by Castleton Historical Society. Together with a minute book from the later years of the lodge there should be some interesting things to find.

 hhs a list of past grands

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STORIES FROM THE ARCHIVES

INTRODUCTION

It has been a great privilege in the last year to have been able to examine the wills and inventories from the Lichfield Cathedral archives, and some from the National Archive, as part of the Lottery funded study of mediaeval life in Hope and Castleton. Although the documents begin only in 1547 in Castleton and as late as 1620 in Hope, and are therefore from an early modern period, they are revealing about rural life at a time of great political, economic and social change. I hope it will be interesting to read some of the insights and stories that have emerged.

The wills were written in a standard format, always making a pious dedication at the outset and then the most important bequest of all: the testator’s soul to Almighty God. It is only after this that they dealt with the nitty-gritty of their possessions. Wills and inventories were required by canon, that is church, law. The were concerned only with goods, chattels and “cattels”, or animals. Houses and land were a matter for the civil law and were governed by the rules of primogeniture so that the eldest son inherited all this property.

By and large, testators left their property to family members, usually following the same rules of primogeniture. Nevertheless, there are some insights into family relationships from the Hope documents.

Henry Bocking, who died in 1608, had no children but had many nieces, nephews, in-laws and godchildren, as well as other beneficiaries. Plainly he was most fond of his nephew Ralph, even though he was an unruly youth. He left him £20 on condition that he gave up gaming within four years after which “my Executors shalbe discharged of that payment.”

Testators went to great lengths to ensure their remaining relatives were housed safely after their death. Usually this was a simple matter of settling their wives and children but Nicholas Hadfield , who died in 1636, declared that his wife Margret and nephew John should live together. One hopes this was a happy outcome.

Ottiwell Smith , who died in 1638, mentioned neither a wife nor children in his will, but left £30 to Marie Gibson his servant and a sheep each to unnamed “servantmen”. The implication seems clear.

These glimpses into history stimulate lively speculation about the lives of our ancestors.

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HOPE HISTORICAL SOCIETY PUBLICATIONS

 

DISCOVER HOPE
First Edition 1996
2nd Edition 2004

 

HOPE WITH ASTON PARISH COUNCIL MINUTES – Edwin Chapman and Joe Dalton 2003

 

RE-DISCOVERING HOPE. - Research Group Reports.
2011
2012
2015 – 1st World War edition

 

CALENDARS – Photographs from the Society’s archives
2011
2014

 

JOINTLY WITH CASTLETON HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Booklet – Lives of the Medieval Common People in Castleton and Hope
Leaflet – Castleton and Hope Medieval Landscape.  Self-guided Trail
Research Group Reports on the lives of Common people in Castleton and Hope (These are on the Society’s website).  Copies are held by Peak Park and the Derbyshire Record Office.

 

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Hope Historical Society Research Group Meetings. Historical Research in the Hope Valley

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