Saturday, 27 June 2015

Bretton Plague Graves

These are the Plague Graves in Bretton in Derbyshire. Bretton may have been part of Eyam or was in the parish of Eyam at the time of the Plague so some people in Bretton died from it.

These are the Plague graves of Ann Morton, Peter Morton, Peter Hall, Sarah Blackwell and Ann Townsend.
The bigger round grave is in Bretton Clough and the 4 small graves are in a field near the Youth Hostel Building.
Photographs and information kindly supplied by Charlotte Rebecca Dallinson

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Curbar Plague Graves

Curbar Plague Graves
Curbar Plague Graves in Derbyshire.

Curbar had a Plague in 1632. These are the Plague Graves of Thomas and Ada Cundy and their children Thomas, Nellie and Ottiwell Cundy.

They are buried in a field in Curbar below Baslow Edge.

People will probably pass the footpath to this field on your right if you are going towards Curbar Edge from Calver, Stoney Middleton or Eyam.

Some of the Curbar Plague Victims are buried below the Wesleyan Reform Chapel in The Hillock in Curbar Village.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Lost Plague Graves and Burials - by William Wood 1842

The following are extracts from William Wood's Antiquities and History of Eyam dated 1842:

It has been observed by some writers that Riley, or Riley-graves, was the general burial place of the victims of the plague; this is, however, a mistake: none was buried there but the Talbots and Hancocks.

Lost Graves
One hundred and seventy-six years have now transpired since this dreadful visitation; and many of the stones which told of the calamities of Eyam, have been destroyed. In order that the future inhabitants of Eyam may be enabled to point out most of the places where the ashes of the sufferers repose, I shall describe all the places where stones have been known to exist; where bones and bodies have been found; and where the still existing few memorials may be seen.

In the Cossy-dell there were, about fifty years ago, two or three grave-stones to the memory of a portion, or the whole, of a family of the name of  Ragge; and the Register mentions four persons of that name who died of the plague. These stones have either been broken or carried away.

At the Shepherds-Flat some stones existed until very lately, to the memories of the Mortins and Kempes; two families who perished by the plague, with the solitary exception of one individual.  These memorials, after having marked for more than a century and a half, the precise places where the mortal remains of the sufferers of Shepherds-Flat were deposited, have been destroyed by some late barbarian occupants of that secluded place.

Bretton, about a mile north of Eyam, was visited by the plague ; and a many grave-stones once recorded the names of those who died. A few still remain. The victims were of the families of Mortin, Hall, and Townsend.  One of these sufferers was buried in Bretton-Clough, and a round stone still covers the grave, but without any inscription.

In Eyam-edge some gravestones were once seen near to the house now belonging to Mr. I. Palfreyman; but they have disappeared long ago.

Behind, or rather at the westend of some dwellings, now recognised as the Poorhouses, one or two of these stones which are said to have recorded the deaths of some persons of the name of Whitely, have been of late demolished.

In a field adjoining the back part of the house occupied by Mr. J. Rippon, Eyam, one of these "melancholy tablets of mortality" once existed.

That part of Eyam called the Townend was, about eighty years ago, bestrewed with these calamitous memoranda. Some have served for the flooring of houses and barns; while others have been broken up for numerous purposes.

The house and barn contiguous to the Miners' Arms Inn was built on a small plot of ground which contained the unconsecrated graves of a whole family at least. The stones which commemorated the untimely fate of these sufferers were sacrilegiously broken when the present building was erected.

A piece of waste land at the east end of the village, now forming a part of Slinn's Croft, must, from the number of monumental stones it once contained, have been the general place of interment for a many families. Some of these humble tablets were inscribed with a single H; probably the initial of Heald: the name of a family of whom a many perished. This brief and simple inscription is, however, equally as applicable to two other families of the names of Halksworth and Hadfield, who might inter their deceased members in this place. One of these stones, still existing, is to the memory of a woman of the name of Talbot; and others were commemorative of many other persons of various names.

Remaining Graves in 1842:—
Besides Mrs. Mompesson's tomb there is another in the church-yard, but the inscription is now obliterated; yet I believe it was erected to the memory of a person of the name of Rowland, who died of the plague.

In a field behind the church, known as Blackwells Edge-field, there are two stones with the following inscriptions :—" Margaret Teyler, 1656;" (1666?) "Alies Teyler, 1666."

In a field adjoining Froggatt's factory, there is an old dilapidated tabular tomb, with H. M. inscribed on one end. These letters are the initials of Humphrey Merril, who was buried there on the 9th of September, 1666.

In the parson's field, in the Lydgate, Eyam Townend, two gravestones are laid nearly parallel to each other, containing the following records :—«* Here lye buried George Darby, who dyed July 4th, 1666;" "Mary, the daughter of George Darby, dyed September 4th, 1666." The house in which this family dwelt is supposed to have been contiguous to their graves.

A stone in the possession of Mr. John Slinn, of the King's Arms Inn, Eyam, has the following inscription: "Briget Talbot, Ano. Dom. 1666".  The stone was found in a small piece of ground, now forming part of Slinn's croft. 

Human Remains
Several human skeletons and other remains of the victims of the plague have been discovered in various parts of the village. In making some alterations in some buildings opposite the school, about twenty years ago, three skulls and other bones were found.

On making the new road from the Dale to the Townend, fifteen years ago, a human skeleton, lying at full length, was found in a garden.
An old house, opposite the Church, was pulled down a few years ago, when a human skeleton was found under the parlour floor. Two or three grave-stones, which had in part paved the same room, were destroyed at the same time. A very many persons can recollect having seen the stones, but all have forgot the particular inscriptions.
In an old house on the Cross, now occupied by J. Wilson, miller, some human bones were found in removing part of the kitchen floor.
There was a grave-stone, if not some part of a human skeleton, once found in a field which is now called Phillip's sitch.
In a cleft of the rocks in the dale side, some bones were found. 
In the Dale, very near the Hanging Fat, some bones have been dug up.

There is no doubt whatever, that the remains of the plague's victims are scattered far and wide in and around the village.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Ring a Ring o' Roses

Plague interpretation (from Wikiedia)

c. N.P.Holmes

Many have associated the poem with the Great Plague which happened in England in 1665, or with earlier outbreaks of the Black Death in EnglandInterpreters of the rhyme before World War II make no mention of this   By 1951, however, it seems to have become well established as an explanation for the form of the rhyme that had become standard in the United Kingdom.  Peter and Iona Opie remark: "The invariable sneezing and falling down in modern English versions have given would-be origin finders the opportunity to say that the rhyme dates back to the Great Plague.  A rosy rash, they allege, was a symptom of the plague, posies of herbs were carried as protection and to ward off the smell of the disease.  Sneezing or coughing was a final fatal symptom, and 'all fall down' was exactly what happened."  The line Ashes, Ashes in alternative versions of the rhyme is claimed to refer variously to cremation of the bodies, the burning of victims' houses, or blackening of their skin, and the theory has been adapted to be applied to other versions of the rhyme.  In its various forms, the interpretation has entered into popular culture and has been used elsewhere to make oblique reference to the plague.

Many folklore scholars regard the theory as baseless for several reasons:
  1. The late appearance of the explanation;
  2. The symptoms described do not fit especially well with the Great Plague;
  3. The great variety of forms makes it unlikely that the modern form is the most ancient one, and the words on which the interpretation are based are not found in many of the earliest records of the rhyme;
  4. European and 19th-century versions of the rhyme suggest that this "fall" was not a literal falling down, but a curtsy or other form of bending movement that was common in other dramatic singing games.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

Books /Leaflets from St Lawrence Church, Eyam

William Mompesson booklet
‘Ring-a-ring of Roses’ leaflet
‘Look at Eyam’ – a children’s guide
Points of interest leaflet for the Church & Churchyard
Some Plague Cures leaflet
Mompesson's letter

History Trail
Map of Eyam
Sundial leaflet
Colour postcards of various features of the Church
Large colour postcards of Plague Window & Register

All of the above are available (PLUS post and packing) from the Parish Administrator. Cheques should be made payable to ‘EYAM P.C.C.’.
A Teacher’s Pack is available (£14.00p including post and packing).
Please note that all the above material is copyright. Please DO NOT photocopy.
Eyam Church website.

Books on Eyam

Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
History and Antiquities of Eyam: With a Minute Account of the Great Plague Which Desolated the Village in the Year 1666 by William Wood
The Roses of Eyam (Heinemann Plays For 14-16+) by Mr Don Taylor
Eyam Plague: 1665-1666 by John Clifford
The Eyam Book: The Handbook to Eyam Hall and the Historic Plague Village by Nicola Wright and Nick McCann
An Illustrated Account of Eyam Plague, with map showing existing memorials by Clarence Daniel
Look at Eyam: The plague village and church
The Brave Men Of Eyam; Or, A Tale Of The Great Plague Year. by Edward N Hoare
The Desolation of Eyam; The Emigrant: A Tale of the American Woods; And Other Poems (1827) by William and Howitt
A Parcel of Patterns by Jill Paton Walsh
Isolation at Eyam: Play (Acting Edition) by Joyce Dennys
Eyam Parish Church, Derbyshire by John G Clifford
Eyam Hall (Great Houses of Britain) by Nicola Wright
Eyam and the Plague by Carolyn Fooks and Nick McCann
Eyam parish register 1630-1700 (Derbyshire Record Society)
A Sermon Preached at Eyam, Derbyshire, on Thursday the 23d of April, 1789, Being the Day Appointed for a General Thanksgiving for His Majesty's Happ.. by Peter Cunningham
The Eyam Discovery Trail by C. Daniels
The Parish Church of St Lawrence Eyam A Little Guide for Visitors by Ernest M Turner
An Illustrated Account of Eyam Plague ... Third edition by Clarence Daniel
The Plague-Stricken Derbyshire Village, or, What to see in and around Eyam. With illustrations by James Michael John Fletcher
The Reverend William Mompesson 1638-1708, Hero of Eyam, and His Life in Nottinghamshire: a Tribute by Southwell Minster
The Story Of Wells Dressing In Eyam by Clarence Daniel
Ghost Walks in and Around Eyam: Ten Walks That Reveal the Spectral Secrets of Eyam and the Surrounding Area (Ghost Walks of Britain) by Jill Armitage
Eyam Museum, Bugs and Buboes by John Clifford and Les Ives
Eyam and District Guide and Souvenir
Eyam, Plague Village by Jan Carew
Pocketguide: St Lawrence, Eyam 2 by Paula Clifford, Pat Athie and Charles Athie
"A tune on a penny whistle - tales of a Derbyshire childhood" Doris E Coates
The Geology of Eyam. John Beck.
Our Good Brother - The Life and Times of William Mompesson. Derek Walker.
Eyam The Plague And An 1858 Ramble
Children of Winter Berlie Doherty

Eyam - Cucklet Delph Church

c. Peter Barr

During the plague year of 1666 Church services were held in Cucklet Delph just south of Eyam Village, where worship could be conducted by Rev'd William Mompesson in the open air to reduce the chance of infection. 

Eyam - William Wood, Historian

c. Philip Wright

Writer of books and poems.

.A digitized version of William Wood's 'History and Antiquities of Eyam'.

Eyam School

c. Nigel Cox

Eyam School opened in 1777.  Some school snippets of history.

Eyam - War Memorial

c. Leyaya
Located in St Lawrence Churchyard, Eyam.
Eyam on Derbyshire Roll of Honour.

Eyam - Catherine Mompesson's Grave

c. Mickie Collins

Grave of Rev'd Mompesson's wife Catherine, who died of plague.

Eyam - Rev'd William Mompesson

c. Paul Lawrence

William Mompesson's Wikipedia entry.

Eyam - Riley Graves

c. Sam & Ned

From William Wood1842 - Six head-stones and a tabular tomb record the memories of the Hancocks. The site of the graves was originally on the common, on the verge of which was the dwelling of the Hancocks and the stones, which lay horizontally and marked precisely the places of the graves, were placed in an upright position, and somewhat nearer together. Thomas Birds, Esq. caused these memorials to be put in a better state of preservation. He purchased the ground whereon they lay; but, since his death, or just before, it became the property of Thomas Burgoine, Esq. who for the better security of those relics has removed them still nearer each other, and erected a wall round them in the form of a heart. On the top of the tomb there is the following inscription :—
'John Hancock, sen., Buried August 7, 1666
Remember man
As thou goest by,
As tbou art now,
Even once was I;
As I doe now
So must tbou lie,
Remember man
That thou must die."

On the four sides of the tomb are the words— Horam, Nescitis, Orate, Vigilate.
On the headstones the inscriptions are as follows :—
Elizabeth Hancock, Buried Aug. 3, 1666.
John Hancock, Buried Aug. 3, 1666.
Oner Hancock, Buried Aug. 7, 1666.
William Hancock, Buried Aug. 7, 1666.
Alice Hancock, Buried Aug. 9, 1666.
Ann Hancock, Buried Aug. 10, 1666.

Eyam - Mompesson's Well

c. Alan Heardman

Wellhead. C17. Gritstone. Grade 11 Listed.
Stone trough, covered to west by rectangular slab crossed by humped ribs. Surrounded by C20 iron railings. Listed for historical association with the Eyam plague of 1666.
From Listed Biuildings website.

Named after Rev'd William Mompesson who made villagers leave money at various places (1666) around the village (here at the well and at Boundary Stones) rather than have them leave the village to buy goods and so spread the disease. 

Eyam Boundary Stone

c. Longplay

Eyam Lydgate Graves

c. Philip Wright

Lydgate Graves and Enclosing Wall
Grade II
Pair of plague gravestones in enclosure. 1666 and early C20. Gritstone and limestone rubble. Pair of gravestones, that to south inscribed
that to north inscribed
Rubble enclosing wall with rubble copings.
From Listed Buildings website.

Eyam Plague Houses

c. Dr Neil Clifton

Eyam Celtic Cross

c. Alsn Heardman

Churchyard cross, 6 metres E of Church Porch (Grade I listed)

Cross. Early C9. Stone. Square stone base with tapering shaft, topped by Celtic cross. East face of shaft decorated with foliage scrolls, north and south faces with interlace. West side of shaft has circular interlace to base with two figurative scenes over, the Virgin and Christ above, below angel with trumpet. Over, head of cross decorated with carved angels in panels. Section of shaft missing at top, otherwise cross is unusually completes. The Cross is also a Scheduled Ancient Monument.
From Listed Buildings website.

Eyam St Lawrence Church

c. Alan Fleming

Books from Eyam Museum

c. Rob Wilcox
Museum website.

Eyam Museum mail order list

Eyam / Plague History.

Teachers' Pack. Indispensable for teachers planning a visit to Eyam and its Museum. Including a comprehensive set of 23 Museum Worksheets with many ideas for classroom activities, comparative pictures of the village, the will of George Darby, plague cures, background to the Plague, list of victims, maps etc. £5.95 (+ £1.60 p/p)
The Eyam Plague. John Clifford. Thoroughly researched: the most recent study. Revised 2003 (41 pages). £3.50 (+ 80p p/p).
Eyam, Plague Village. Jan Carew. An account of the Eyam plague especially for younger readers. 2006 (32 pages). £4.99 (+80p p/p).
Our Good Brother - The Life and Times of William Mompesson. Derek Walker. Mompesson was the rector of Eyam During the plague. A new biography. 2009 (129 pages). £4.95 (+ £1.20 p/p).
Bugs and Buboes. John Clifford. An exciting look at the story of the plague in Eyam, with pictures to colour and activities to do. (22 pages). £2.50 (+ 80p p/p).
Bugs and Buboes activity sheet. An A4 size four page activity sheet to complete both in the museum and at home. 50p (+ 50p p/p).
Postcards. Eight assorted postcards relating to the Eyam Plague story, and taken from illustrations in the Museum. 20p each or £1.40 for a set of 8 cards (+ 50p p/p).
A Miniature History of Eyam. A 4 page leaflet. 30p (+ 35p p/p).
400 years of Water Supply. An 8 page leaflet. 35p (+ 35p p/p).
A Calendar of a Peakland Village Customs & Traditions. An 8 page leaflet. 35p (+ 35p p/p).
Eyam Bull Ring. A 4 page leaflet. 15p (+ 35p p/p).
Eyam Village Map. A superb full colour panoramic map of the village, showing all roads and buildings. Includes information about places of interest, industrial sites, the church, social history, farming, flora, geology etc. Size approx 100cm x 72cm. £2.50 (+ 80p p/p).

Local Geology

The Geology of Eyam. John Beck. Local geology illustrated with cross sections and a geological map, with selected walks. (28 pages). £2.25 (+ 80p p/p).