Needham Family

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Origins

Needham's of Wormhill and Peak Forest

 

As we have seen the Needhams were a long established family in the Peak District of Derbyshire. The family had been foresters of the Peak in the Middle Ages but had sold out in the Elizabethan period. Little has been written on the Needham's of Wormhill and Peak Forest, although a substantial number of records exist which reflects the importance of the family in north Derbyshire

As we shall see in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century the family had interests in farming, the sale of lead and the manufacture of textiles. The archives at Matlock state that: :''Robert Needham of Perryfoot, Peak Forest (died 1772) and his son Robert were largely responsible for building up the family's estates in Chapel en le Frith, Ashford, Peak Forest and Tideswell' but the family fortune accrued over two generations was largely wasted by Ellis Needham through the failure of his cotton mill at Litton.

Details of the ancestral family line can be found in Wormhill Tree

Early Needham's

Despite the importance of Robert and his son Robert on the family fortunes, the Needham's owned land in this part of Derbyshire 300 years earlier. The earliest records show that in 1410 John Nedham and 6 others acquired land at Wormhill; this was the start of Needham's residency in Wormhill. By 1433 John de Nedham is noted as one of the Gentry of Derbyshire(1). Nearly ten years later in 1442 he is in the Court Rolls, Table 1. In 1446 a record transferring land to a Chaplain, Robert Nedham, shows that John had a brother, Rodger. But by the middle of 1452 John is dead and his wife Agnes transfers John's property to their son Hugh who himself was married to Margaret. So the records show that John had at least one brother Rodger, a wife, Agnes and at least one son, Hugh. The question now is, are there any clues that enable us to link the Needham's of Wormhill to the main Needham line descending from High Needham and that allow us to identify John's parents and descendants?

Table 1 Records in The National Archives for people called John Nedham

Source

Who

Abode

What

When

Where

Relatives

             

OD/963; tan (6)

John Nedham

Wormhill

Henry de Hall son of William de Hall to John Nedham of Wormhull , Gervase son of Robert Woderoue, William Blake, Richard of Glossop, John of Buxton, William son of Thomas Aleynson, William son of John le Wright, John son of Thomas Hopkinson, Robert of Urdesley, John Wafurer, Henry son of John of Medoo, John son of John Hopkinson, and William son of John Alcok. One messuage and 32 acres in Wormhull of which 18 acres and the messuage lie in Mylnfeld and 14 acres in Herdwykwall to hold of the lord of the fee.<Witnesses: Roger of Wormhull , Robert Woderoue, Adam Smyth, Thomas Aleynson, Roger de Peek. At Wormhull Endorsement that on the same day it was agreed between the within named freeholders and all the neighbours Betwene Dalls on the one part and Hogken Johnson of the Mylne Howse on the other that he should occupy Moxdale, part of the common Betwien Dalls paying to the inhabitants and the freeholders

14 Feb 1410

at Wormhill

 

OD/964

John Nedham

Wormhill

John Tunsted. John Thomasson. Richard Brebur and John Hill of Folowe to John Gylbart and Johanna his wife. A garden in Greterakes and 2 acres of land which formerly were conveyed by Thurstan del Bowr to hold of the lord of the fee. Witnesses: Robert Woderowe of Wormehull, John Nedham of the same , Robert Greterakes, Robert Tor and William Wryght of Tunsteddes. At Greterakes feast of St. Barnabas in the first year of Henry VI.

11/06/1423

   

D76/MT/6

John de Nedham

Thoresete

Letters of attorney from William de Dyndeley, vicar of Glossop, to Thomas de Woley to receive from the Steward in the Wapentake Court of the Peak a messuage called le Clyffe in Hayfeld surrendered by John de Nedham of Thornesete to use of Robert de Radclyff of Mellor, and William. At Glossop, Sunday after Feast of St Barnabas the Apostle, [13 Jun]. 1 Hen VI

1423

At Glossop

 

D76/MT/7

John de Nedham

 

Bond in 60s by William Smyth of Buxton, son of Richard Smyth, and John Hethcote of Chelmardon [Chelmorton] to John Nedham . Conception of Mary [8 Dec], 2 Hen VI

1423

   

D76/MT/8

John de Nedham

Nedham

Bond in 10 marks by John de Nedham to William Gudhyne of Hurdelowe [Hurdlow Town], younger. At Nedham, purification of Mary [2 Feb], 6 Hen VI. Endorsed with condition that William should have peaceful possession of messuage and 12 acres at Hurdelowe

1428

At Nedham

 

Glover

Nedham John

Wormhill

Gentry of Derbyshire

1433

   

Court Rolls (5)

Jo. Needham

wormhill

frank pledge

1442

wormhill

 

Court Rolls (5)

John Needham

 

in search of men broke into the church at Tideswell disturbing the peace

1442

Tideswell & whiston

Oakes Deeds; OD/970; tan (6)

John Nedeham; robert nedeham

wormhill

J ohn Nedeham of Wormell to Robert Nedeham, chaplain, and Robert Midelton of Herdwicwall. A tenement with 2 houses on it in Wormell between the tenement of John Bucstones and the common pasture, and received from his brother Roger , to hold of the lord of the fee. Witnesses: Robert Woderove, John Bucstones the younger, and Henry Hall. At Hill the eve of St. Bartholomew in the 24th year of Henry VI.

23/08/1446

at Hill

John brother of Roger

OD/965,971; tan(6)

John Nedham

Wormhill

Thomas Tayleo, vicar of Tyddeswall and John Mason of the same, clerk, to Hugh Nedham , son of John Nedham of Wormehyll and Margare t, his wife. A messuage in Wormehyll and 32 acres of land, an office in le Champayne attached to the messuage with a reversion of a dower which Agnes formerly the wife of John Nedham holds for her life, and a reversion of another dower which Margaret formerly wife of Roger Nedham has for her life, which previously came from the gift of Robert Medylton of Herdewykwall. To hold of the lord of the fee for themselves and the lawfully begotten heirs of Hugh, with remainder to Johanna wife to Robert Medylton and her lawfully begotton heirs, and a final remainder to the right heir of Hugh.Witnesses: John Tunsted of Tunsted, Robert Lytton of Lytton Robert Londesdale of Tyddeswall. At Wormehyll Tuesday after the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in the 30th year of Henry VI.

26 Jun 1452

at Wormhill

Agnes w John Nedham; Son Hugh; wife Hugh Margery

OD/972; tan (6)

John Nedeham

Wormhill

Agnes, formerly wife of John Nedham  of Wormehyll to Hugh Nedham, her son, and Margery his wife. All right and title in lands and tenements in Wormehyll formerly belonging to her husband and since his death part of her dower. Witnesses: Thomas Teyleoa, vicar of Tyddyswall, John Mason, clerk, and Hugh Wylson. At Wormehyll, after the Nativity of John the Baptist in the 30th year of Henry VI

27 jun 1452

at Wormhill

Agnes w John Nedham; Son Hugh; wife Hugh Margery

Court Rolls (5)

Johe. Needham

 

payment

1452

Ffayrefielde

 

Court Rolls (5)

Johem Needham

?

1452

Tunsted

 

Court Rolls (5)

Johis Needham

 

payment

1452

Hardwickwall

 

Court Rolls (5)

Johis Needham

 

?

1452

Tunsted

 

Court Rolls (5)

Jo. Needham

 

payment

1452

Ffayrefielde

 

D76/MT/9

John son of John de Nedham

 

Letters of attorney from James de Legh lately of Berd [Beard Hall, New Mills] to Ralph de Bredbury of Thorpe and William de Boudon to give seisin to Thomas de Boudon of lands with which he was enfeoffed jointly with Reginald de Legh and Thomas son of John de Honfort, knights, by grant of John son of John de Nedham in Lytelhayfeld in vill of Bouden [Little Hayfield in Bowden Middlecale]. Monday after Feast of St Peter ad Vincula, [6 Aug] 31 Hen VI

1453

Little Hayfield

John son John

Oakes Deeds; OD/979.

john nedeham

wormhill

Robert Urdesley of Gretrakus to Thomas Tunstyd, Randulph Medulton, Robert Nedeham , John Woderoue, Roger Blake, Thomas Buxstones, John Hopkynson, John Hyll, John Wryght, John Gylbarte and William Vrdesley. A messuage and 32 acres of land in Wormhull of which 18 acres and the messuage are in Mylnefeld, and 14 acres in Herdwykwall, which he had from Henry Hall together with John Nedeham of Wormhull , Gervase, son of Robert Woderoue, William Blake, Richard of Glossope, John of Buxstones, William son of Thomas Alynson, William son of John de Wryght, John son of Thomas Hopkynson, John Wafurere, Henry son of John de Medowe, John son of John Hopekynson, and William son of John Alcoke deceased, to hold of the lords of the fees. Witnesses: John Tunstyd, Hugh Nedeham and Richard Hyll. At Wormehull, feast of St. Dunstan in the 16th year of Edward IV.

19/05/1476

at Wormhill

 

Court Rolls(5)

Johe Nedham

Thornsett

 

1472

Ffernelee Kinder & Hayfield Magna

 

OD/978,977

John Nedeham

of Wormhill

Gervase Woderoffe of Wormell to John Tunstyd, Rodulf Medulton, John Woderoff, Robert Nedham, John Hopkynson, John Hyll, John Gylbard and William Urdesley. All the lands and tenements in le Medow which he had from Roger of Wormell to hold of the lord of the fee. Witnesses: Hugh Nedham, Robert Benet, and William Palfreymon. At Wormell, feast of St. Barnabas in the 17th year of Edward IV.Letters of attorney of even date for livery of seisin.

19 May 1476

   

 

Land records show that a John Nedham of Thornsett was involved in land transactions on a messuage at Little Hayfield, a village close to Thornsett, in 1423, Table 1. In 1453 a John son of John de Nedham was involved in land transactions again in Little Hayfield, and in the same year a John Nedham of Thornsett was in the Court Rolls sitting in Fairfield, Tunstead and Hardwick Wall. Further, there is a John Nedham of Thornsett mentioned in Court Rolls at Fernlee, Kinder and Hayfield Magna in 1472; again all these places are near Thornsett. So there would appear to be a John Needham of Thornsett alive in 1423 but probably dead in 1453 who had a son John of Thornsett who was alive in 1453 and in 1476.

To complicate things further a John Nedham of Wormhill is involved in property transactions in Wormhill and Hardwick Wall in 1476 and a John Nedham is in the Court Rolls of 1453 sitting in Hardwick Wall, Table 1.

Assuming there are two family lines, then there are a lot of parallels between the two families. Both have John's who are mentioned in Court Rolls, who bought and sold land and who died around 1452/3. Both had son's called John who, like their fathers sat, on Court Roll and brought and sold land in the 1470's. Although there are clear synergies the differences are residency, Wormhill and Thornsett, John from Wormhill has a brother Rodger, a son Hugh and is married. None of these relations are identified for John from Thornsett.

As we have seen, John had a brother, Roger who was married to Margaret. He bought land in Wormhill and was an officer in le Champeyne. Roger died around 1449 and appears to have left his estate to Margaret

Table2 References to Roger Nedeham

Reference

Person

Abode

Issue

Year

Court Rolls(5)

Roger Needham

Tideswell & whiston

in search of men broke into the church at Tideswell disturbing the peace

1442

Oakes Deeds. and some Peak Forest deeds).; OD/970; tan (6)

John Nedeham; robert Nedeham

wormhill

J ohn Nedeham of Wormell to Robert Nedeham, chaplain, and Robert Midelton of Herdwicwall. A tenement with 2 houses on it in Wormell between the tenement of John Bucstones and the common pasture, and received from his brother Roger , to hold of the lord of the fee. Witnesses: Robert Woderove, John Bucstones the younger, and Henry Hall. At Hill the eve of St. Bartholomew in the 24th year of Henry VI.

23/08/1446

D258/3/8/22

Margaret nedham; widow Roger Nedham

Wormhill

Power of attorney by Margaret, widow of Roger Nedham of Wormhill, to Robert Lytton of Lytton, to receive seisin of lands in Kerston from Ralf Jell. Sunday after St Hilary, 28 Hen. VI [18 Jan]

01/01/1449

OD/965,971; tan(6)

Robert Nedham

Wormhill

Thomas Tayleo, vicar of Tyddeswall and John Mason of the same, clerk, to Hugh Nedham , son of John Nedham of Wormehyll and Margare t, his wife. A messuage in Wormehyll and 32 acres of land, an office in le Champayne attached to the messuage with a reversion of a dower which Agnes formerly the wife of John Nedham holds for her life, and a reversion of another dower which Margaret formerly wife of Roger Nedham has for her life, which previously came from the gift of Robert Medylton of Herdewykwall. To hold of the lord of the fee for themselves and the lawfully begotten heirs of Hugh, with remainder to Johanna wife to Robert Medylton and her lawfully begotton heirs, and a final remainder to the right heir of Hugh.Witnesses: John Tunsted of Tunsted, Robert Lytton of Lytton Robert Londesdale of Tyddeswall. At Wormehyll Tuesday after the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in the 30th year of Henry VI.

26 Jun 1452

What of John Nedham's descendants. Hugh, his son, took ownership of his lands in Wormhill after John's death in 1452. Between then and 1490 Hugh was recorded as being involved in a number of issues involving property including the witnessing of such deals, so he must have been a trusted and respected man, Table 3. Hugh continued to buy land in Wormhill and as far away as Castleton. He also bought property at Herdwykwall (Hargatewall).

Table 3 Records for Hugh Nedham of Wormhill

Reference

Person

Abode

Issue

Year

OD/965, 971

Hugh nedham son John Nedham

Wormhill

Thomas Tayleo, vicar of Tyddeswall and John Mason of the same, clerk, to Hugh Nedham , son of John Nedha m of Wormehyll and Margaret, his wife. A messuage in Wormehyll and 32 acres of land, an office in le Champayne attached to the messuage with a reversion of a dower which Agnes formerly the wife of John Nedham holds for her life, and a reversion of another dower which Margaret formerly wife of Roger Nedham has for her life, which previously came from the gift of Robert Medylton of Herdewykwall. To hold of the lord of the fee for themselves and the lawfully begotten heirs of Hugh, with remainder to Johanna wife to Robert Medylton and her lawfully begotton heirs, and a final remainder to the right heir of Hugh. Witnesses: John Tunsted of Tunsted, Robert Lytton of Lytton Robert Londesdale of Tyddeswall. At Wormehyll Tuesday after the Nativity of St. John the Baptist in the 30th year of Henry VI.

26/06/1452

1451

Hugh Needham

wormhill

Release of Dower from Ages wife John Needham to Hugh Needham her son to all lands which her dead husband owned in Wormhill

1451

OD/972; tan (6)

John Nedeham

Wormhill

Agnes, formerly wife of John Nedham  of Wormehyll to Hugh Nedham, her son, and Margery his wife. All right and title in lands and tenements in Wormehyll formerly belonging to her husband and since his death part of her dower. Witnesses: Thomas Teyleoa, vicar of Tyddyswall, John Mason, clerk, and Hugh Wylson. At Wormehyll, after the Nativity of John the Baptist in the 30th year of Henry VI

27 jun 1452

OD/974 SCA

Hugh Nedeham/Nedam

Witness to title of Land in Wormhill

5 Jun 1459

OD/975 SCA

Hugh Nedeham

Sale of Land in Wormhill

31 Dec 1462

OD/975

Hugh Nedeham

Land in Wormhill

31 Dec 1462

tan; Oakes deeds

Hugh Needham

Exchange of land from Hugh Needham to Gervase Wooderoffe of 2 acres3roods & half of land lying on the Hayes & side roods in Wormhill

1462

Oakes Deeds; OD/979;OD/978,977

Hugh Nedeham

wormhill

Robert Urdesley of Gretrakus to Thomas Tunstyd, Randulph Medulton, Robert Nedeham , John Woderoue, Roger Blake, Thomas Buxstones, John Hopkynson, John Hyll, John Wryght, John Gylbarte and William Vrdesley. A messuage and 32 acres of land in Wormhull of which 18 acres and the messuage are in Mylnefeld, and 14 acres in Herdwykwall, which he had from Henry Hall together with John Nedeham of Wormhull , Gervase, son of Robert Woderoue, William Blake, Richard of Glossope, John of Buxstones, William son of Thomas Alynson, William son of John de Wryght, John son of Thomas Hopkynson, John Wafurere, Henry son of John de Medowe, John son of John Hopekynson, and William son of John Alcoke deceased, to hold of the lords of the fees. Witnesses: John Tunstyd, Hugh Nedeham and Richard Hyll. At Wormehull, feast of St. Dunstan in the 16th year of Edward IV.

19 May 1476

OD/979

Hugh Nedeham

Witness: Land in Wormhill, Mylnefeld & Herdwykwall

19 May 1476

OD/978,977

Hugh Nedham

Gervase Woderoffe of Wormell to John Tunstyd, Rodulf Medulton, John Woderoff, Robert Nedham , John Hopkynson, John Hyll, John Gylbard and William Urdesley. All the lands and tenements in le Medow which he had from Roger of Wormell to hold of the lord of the fee. Witnesses: Hugh Nedham , Robert Benet, and William Palfreymon. At Wormell, feast of St. Barnabas in the 17th year of Edward IV. Letters of attorney of even date for livery of seisin.

11 Jun 1477

Derbyshire Charters - Jeaye

Hugh Nedham

Land in Redseats, Castleton, Bradwell, Herdikwall & Sterndale

1483

OD/981

Hugh Nedham

Wormhill

William Blake son of Roger Blake and Cecilia Blake, unmarried daughter of Roger, to Robert Tunstid, John Wodroffe, Robert Nedham , John Hill, Ralph Medelton, John Gylbert the younger, William Urdesley, Robert Hopkynson, John Wright and Nicholas Palfreyman. All right and title in a messuage with 2 houses standing on it, with a croft, in Wormehill, and in 3 acres of land, and in all reversions which William Blake, chaplain, formerly had. Witnesses: Hugh Nedham , Nicholas Hill, Peter Bagshawe, and Robert Willesson. At Wormehill, Sunday before Ascension day in the 5th year of Henry VII

16 May 1490

No more is heard of a Hugh until 1536 when a Hugh Nedham was involved with an issue about a ditch and hedge. He subsequently exchanged land in 1565, bought land in Tideswell in 1595 and leased a house in 1603. This cannot have been John's son and as the custom of the time was frequently to name the eldest son after the father then these Hugh's were probably Hugh's son and grandson.

Table 4 references to Hugh Needham's in 16th Century

Source

Who

Abode

What

Year

tan (6)

Hugh Needham

Wormhill

Award of Richard Alleyance and others touching a difference between Hugh Needham of Wormhill & Robert Bagshaw about a quickset Hedge & a ditch

1537

tan (6)

Hugh Needham

Exchange of land in Wormhill betwixt Hugh Needham & Thomas Bagshaw

1556

tan (6)

HughNeedham

Award of Richard Alleyne & others touching a difference between John Bagshaw & Hugh Needham

Jan 11 1594

OD/999,1000

Hughe Nedham

Wormhill

Bargian & Sale : Messuage Hill in parish Tyddeswall

20 May 1594

OD/997

Hugh Needham

Wormhill

Edward Allen of Wheston, gentleman, James Sleigh of Haddon, yoman, Robert Myllnes of Wormhill, and Thomas Holme of Mylnehouse Dale, yeoman, arbitrators in a dispute between John Bagshawe, Christopher Bagshawe, Humfrey Bagshawe, and William Gretracks against HughNeedham of Wormhill, yoman, about a right of way across Fawstrie feild over land of Hugh. A sufficient way for a wayne to pass is to be opened up, as was ordered in a previous arbitration and its route is described

11 Jan 1595

OD/1005,1006; tan (6)

Hughe Needam

wormhill

Hughe Needham of Wormehill, yeoman, to Edward Chapman of the same, husbandman. A house called the Longe Coate with the little yard adjoining and 6 acres of land in Wormehill (described). For a term of 21 years at a yearly rent of 6d. For £40.</p><p>Bond for performance of even date

2 Nov 1603

But the early records show there were other Needham's:.

  • In the 16th century the Dakeyn collection identifies a William Nedham a yeoman of Wormhill who had a son Hugh. Records in the National archives show there was a William Nedham of Wormhill who bought land in Wormhill in 1525 and 1572. However, nothing is known about his relatives or if he had a family

Table 5 References to William Needham

Source

Who

Abode

What

Year

tan (6)

William Needham

Bargain & Sale of 4 acres of land on Knotlow in Wormhill from William Needham to Thomas Holme

25 May 1525

OD/993

William Nedham

Wormhill

William Nedham of Wormhill , yeoman, to Thomas Holme of the Mylnehowses, fuller. One acre of arable land on the south side of Knollowe, a piece of land adjoining, a balk on the north of a hey weye from Wormhill to Wormhill Brydge, a half-acre in a close which is the inheritance of Sampson Menell, esquire, and a half acre lying at the head of the same close, all in Wormhill. For £11

20 May 1572

  • Matters become somewhat difficult in the 17th century until the Parish Records come into play. Records in The National Archives appear to identify up to three Robert Needhams, although they could all be the same person. In 1622 a Robert Needham, yeoman, of Wormhill is involved in pasture in Greene Fairfield (Buxton). It's unclear whether this is the same Robert Needham who dies in 1649 and whose will states he's a husbandman from Peak Forest with a wife Mary and son and heir Robert; a second son Elias had died 3 years earlier. What is certain is that Robert and Mary's son Robert establishes the Needham dynasty in the district who become wealthy and major landowners in the area; but more of that later
  • The second Robert Needham is a yeoman living at Hanson Grange (see tree Sheen 7) with his wife Grace and son and heir Hugh Needham. Hanson Grange is at the top of Dovedale, Figure 1 & Table 6.
  • This Robert purchases a messuage and land in Wormhill in 1652. By 1659 Hugh is living in Salford but he and his father are still purchasing land in 1669. By 1676 it would appear that Robert is dead and in 1682 Hugh, gent from Salford, and his son Cornelius are now dealing in property. So, it would appear that Robert and Grace of Hanson Grange have at least four children and Hugh carried on the dynasty. One interesting point is why two of Robert and Grace's children are buried in Alstonefield and one baptised there yet they live some distance away, in Wormhill. I can only think that Robert came from Alstonefield.

    What happened to Hugh and Cornelius has now become clearer as more records have become available. Hugh must have been well off and respected. He was a Salford juror (1668) and witnessed a number of transactions. He married Martha Wharton in Camden in1665. It might appear I'm having a brainstorm to think Hugh married in London. But Cornelius, his heir, named his first son Wharton Needham..

  • Hugh Needham, it would appear as brought up at Hanson Grange. After his marriage to Martha they had four children: Cornelius b bef 1658, Grace b 1660. Charles b 1663 and John who died in 1667. I'm unsure where Cornelius was born but Grace and Charles were baptised at Tideswell, Derbyshire with Hugh and Martha living nearby in Wormhill in 1660. However, by 1666 the family had moved to Salford where first Martha died (1689) and then Hugh (1692). Hugh was buried in Manchester Cornelius, his heir, married Elizabeth in Chester and they had three sons and a daughter, all bar William were baptised in Manchester. The exception, William, was born and died in London. You might ask why the family moved to London; I don't know. After this Cornelius' trail dry's up although a Cornelius Needham died in New Windsor in 1710. The sons all died young so this Needham line dies with it. Hugh had two other sons, Charles and John but I haven't found anything out about them yet.

Figure 1 Hanson Grange

 

Table 6 References to Hugh Needham in 17th Century

Source Who Abode What When

OD/1029,1027,1028,tan(6)

Hugh Needham

James Sarieant of Uttoxator (co. Stafford), gentleman, to Robert Needham of Hanson Graunge , yeoman, Grace, his wife, and Hugh Needham, his son. The remainder of a term of 16 years in a messuage and lands in Wormehill in the occupation of Robert Needham which was leased for a term of 16 years by Robert, Grace, and Hugh Needham to James Sarieant by a deed of 20th April last. At a yearly rent of £40 for 8 years, and then a yearly rent of one peppercorn. A pair of final concords. English. James Sarieant, plaintiff, v. Robert Needham and Grace, his wife, and Hugh Needham, deforciants. One messuage, 40 acres of land, 10 acres of meadow, 40 acres of pasture, etc. in Wormehill. For £100 sterling. In one month from Easter, 1652

1 May 1652

tan (6)

Hugh Needham

Defeasance of bargain & sale formerly made to him from Richard Dale to Robert & Hugh Needham of messuages lands mentioned in Wormhill

March 12 1654

Bag C/1986

Hugh Needham, gentleman

Wormhill

Robert Needham of Wormhill, yeoman, Hugh Needham of the same, gentleman, Roger Redfearne of Wormhill yeoman and Jane Alsopp, widow, to Robert Daken of Prestcliffe, yeoman, Messuage house in Wormhill where William Creswell lives and closes (named

7 Feb 1663

OD/353

Hugh Needham

Wormhill

Hugh Needham of Wormhill to John Conaway of Alstonfield. Messuage, barn, etc., Leadyateston Close, Midle furlong and a pingle at its north corner; for 21 years at £9 10s rate.

14 Sept 1662

Bag C/1987

Hugh Needham son & heir

Wormhill

Robert Needham of Wormhill, Hugh Needham his son and heir, and Roger Redfearne, to Rowland Eyre of Hassop. Closes named as in 1986.

9 Feb 1666

OD /354; tan (6)

Hugh Needham s Robert

Salford

Conveyance ; Robert Needham of Wormhill and Hugh Needham of Salford , his son, to Adam Bagshawe of Ford (par. of Chapel-en-le-Frith), Capital messuage at Wormhill and the Creswell, the Three Half Acres Shulebroad

06 Oct 1669

OD/355

Hugh Needham

Salford

Bond for £80

6 Oct 1669

OD/354

Hugh Needham

Salford

Robert Needham of Wormhill and Hugh Needham of Salford, his son, to Adam Bagshawe of Ford (par. of Chapel-en-le-Frith), Capital messuage at Wormhill and the Creswell, the Three Half Acres Shulebroad, Two Horse Closes, Kinges Flatt, Towne Side Close and other property specified; for £200.

6 Oct 1669

OD/355

Hugh Needham

Salford

Bond . Robert Needham of Wormhill and Hugh Needham of Salford to Adam Bagshawe of Ford; in £80 for performance. (cancelled).

6 Oct 1669

tan (6)

Hugh Needham

Mortgage by Feoffment & defeasance from Hugh & Robert Needham to Adam Bagshaw of the premises Creswell Croft & F? Field

Oct 6 1669

tan (6)

Hugh Needham

Feoffment from Hugh Needham to Wm Wright of croft or backside called Creswell Croft & 2 acres of land in Fostrey Field in Wormhill

Sept 29 1670

QSJ/8/1/110

Hugh Needham

Salford; gent

Sacreement Certificates:Sacrament certificates. BUNDLE 1. Eccles. John Walker, Minister of Didsbury. Witnesses. Thomas Ellison of Ashton-under-Lyne, Clerk., and Hugh Needham of Salford , gent.

6 July 1673

tan(6)

Hugh Needham

Feoffment of premises mentioned above from Adam Bagshawe to Hugh Needham

Sept 28 1676

tan(6) ; OD/356

Hugh Needham

Salford

Hugh Nedham of Salford to William Wright, yeoman, of Ashford. Creswell Croft in the Fostry Field in Wormhill; for £2

sept 29 1676

OD/357

Hugh Needham

Salford

William Wright, yeoman, of Ashford with Hugh Nedham of Salford . New mansion house at Wormhill, Hallow Croft, Three half Acres; Shewbroad; Two Horse Closes; etc., conveyed by Needham to Wright as security for a debt of £30 and for £223, the grant to be void if Needham pays £4 16s. 8d. each year for five years and £223 in 1681 at the Chapel in Wormhill.</

29 Sept 1676

OD/358

Hugh Needham

Salford

Hugh Nedham of Salford with the consent of William Wright, yeoman, of Ashford with Adam Bagshaw of Wormhill. A messuage in Wormhill in which Grace Nedham, his mother and Roger Redfearne, his Uncle now live; a plot of ground on which the kitchen stood, the orchard, Creswell Croft, Hollow Croft, two acres in the Fostrie Field and the claims of two acres in the overend of Greenefairefeld, etc., to be conveyed for £20 already paid and £315 balance remaining.</p>

12 Apr 1682

tan (6)

Hugh Needham

Lease for 6 months & release in reversion & inheritance of Hugh Needham, Cornelius Needham & Wm Wright to Richard Torr of all that the capital messuages in Wormhill & a barn stable orchard & fold & toft or plot & several parcels of land vizt Cresswell Flatt, 2 horses Closes, The town side close, 3 parcels of land in Foster field & others. A parcel of land in a close or Robert Needham of Perry

May 1&2 1682

OD/359-60

Hugh Needham

Salford

Hugh Needham  of Salford, CorneliusNeedham , his son, William Wright, yeoman, of Ashford to Richard Torr of Castleton. Capital messuage in Wormhill, a toft on which a kitchen stood; Creswell Croft, Hollow Croft, Three Half Acres, Should Broad, Kings Flatt and other named property, for £225.

01/02 May 1682

OD/3631

Hugh Needham

Salford

Acquittance: Hugh Needham of Salford and Cornelius Needham, his son to Richard Torr of Castleton; for £51 12s.

2 May 1682

OD/362

Hugh Needham

Salford

Bargain & Sale: Hugh Nedham  of Salford to Adam Bagshaw of Wormhill. Creswell House and garden, barn and shippon and three yards of land, Creswell yard and Bleaching Place croft; for £20. With receipt and bond

1 Feb 1685

Descendants of Robert and Mary Needham

As we have seen Robert and Mary have two sons, Elias, who dies young and Robert. Note every family appears to have a Robert, Ellis/Elias and Samuel. It makes things very difficult to understand but I think I have got it about right now. Unless you know otherwise.

By the time Robert marries he is living at Perry. The Tideswell Parish register records Robert of Perry marrying Joan Longden of Wormhill in 1662. 20 years later he dies and his will of 1683 shows that Robert, a yeoman of Perry in Peak Forest, has three sons, Robert, Ellis, and Thomas and two daughters Mary and Margaret. Thomas dies in 1707 a bachelor and leaves his estate to his nephews Robert and Thomas. Similarly, Robert dies in 1694 and would also appear to be a bachelor. But Elias, although he is the first of the brothers to die, marries Mary Kirk and has three children, Robert, Mary and Grace. It is Robert born in 1697 who is recognised as starting the Needham dynasty at Perryfoot.

Needham's of Perryfoot

Robert Needham (1697-1772)

The archives at Matlock state that the dynasty of Needham's at Perryfoot starts with Robert Needham born in 1697 although we have seen that Robert's father, Robert, is living at Perry as early as 1663. Robert b 1697, marries Hannah Fryth, the daughter of a tallow chandler from Tideswell in 1718. Robert buys land and property locally over his lifetime, Table 7. In 1739 he is described as a yeoman from Peak Forest but a year later his status has been upgraded to gentleman and his address is Perryfoot

Table7 References to Robert Needham b 1697

Source

What

Year

Who

D2575/M/12

Hundred of High Peak: Admission of Robert Needham, on the death of his father, Elias Needham, of a close in the valley of Stainford called the Oldfield Croft (3 acres) with barn. 13 Apr

1703

Elias d 1702; son Robert b 1697

D2575/T/36-37

Two copies of assignment of the mortgage at T/28 by Thomas Waterhouse, gentleman of Castleton, administrator of the will of the late Edmund Water, to Robert Needham, yeoman of Peak Forest £753.11s 10d is paid to Thomas Waterhouse and there is a further charge of £146.8s 2d. T36 recites T/28, T/32 and T/35. 1 May

1739

Robert b 1697

D2575/T/7-9

Lease and release by Godfrey Heathcote, gentleman of Chesterfield to Robert Needham, yeoman of Peak Forest of a moiety of the property at D2575/T/1. Consideration of £585. With the bond of Godfrey Heathcote in £1170, 30-31 May

1740

Robert b 1697

D2575/T/12

Sub-Bundle (/1-9) containing: 12/1; Bond of Robert Fanshaw, yeoman of Brough, pa. Hope in £300 to Robert Needham, gentleman of Perryfoot, Peak Forest, 4 Nov 1742. 12/2; Memorandum of marriage settlement between Robert Needham, junior of Perryfoot and Margaret Bocking of Hope, c1751 (see also D2575/T/13-18). 12/3; Copy of survey of Mr Clarke's land at Shatton with acreages comprising the land at D2575/T/1, scale: approx 30 chains to 2 in, made Apr 1731. 12/4-8; Rent receipts of Robert Needham to the Duke of Devonshire, 1759-1781. 12/9; Part of a letter from Jo Stafford concerning the case of...

1731-1781

Robert b 1697; son Robert b 1724

D2575/T/10-11

Lease and release by Thomas Stacey, gentleman of Ballifield, p. Handsworth, co Yorks and Mary, his wife to Robert Needham, yeoman of Peak Forest of a moiety of the property at D2575/T/1. Consideration of £605. Recites fine at D2575/T4, 3-4 Oct

1740

Robert b 1697

D2575/E/8

Assignment of the residue of a lease for 21 years by Samuel Shirt, innkeeper of Sheffield, son and surviving executor of the late William Shirt, husbandman of Peak Forest (surviving lessee of the late Alice Wright, widow of Perry Houses, Peak Forest) to Robert Needham, husbandman of Peak Forest of the messuage and barn; the closes called the Meadow Divided and the two Elder end closes (17 acres) in Peak Forest. Recites a lease (3 Nov 1726) by the Duke of Devonshire to Alice Wright and William Shirt. Annual rent of £6. 15 Aug

1744

Robert b 1697

D2575/E/12

Lease for 20 years by Elizabeth Davenport, spinster only daughter and heir of Sir Peter Davenport, late of Macclesfield, co Cheshire to Robert Needham, yeoman of Perryfoot, Peak Forest of an encroachment and ruined cottage at Jack Bank near Bradwell. Annual rent of 2s 6d 27 Sep

1750

Robert b 1697

D2575/T/13-18

Two copies of the marriage settlement (by way of lease and release) for the marriage of Robert Needham, junior of Perryfoot, second son of Robert Needham, senior, yeoman of Perryfoot and Margaret Bocking, spinster of Hope. Robert Needham senior, conveys a moiety of the property at D2575/T/1 to his son Robert, charged with an annuity of £20 to his son's wife Margaret during her lifetime. Margaret Bocking, one of the two granddaughters and heirs at law of Ralph Bocking, senior, yeoman, deceased, of Hope conveys a moiety of the freehold and copyhold property at Hope, as inherited by her from...

1751

Robert b 1697 son Robert b 1724

D2575/T/167

Settlement for the marriage of Elias Needham, gentleman of Peak Forest and Sarah Fern, spinster of Meadow, p. Tideswell. Elias Needham conveys Town End Farm, Chapel en le Frith with the New Close; the further and nearer Broad Doles; the Great and Little Stackhills; the Well field or the Ten Acres; the Upper and Lower Wett Fields; the Great and Little Meadows; Bagshaw Meadow; the Bothans; the Upper and Lower Owlers, the Calf Croft and the Orchard. Sarah Fern conveys two messuage houses in Fairfield, p. Hope with two Townside closes (1 acre), the Dow Knowles (1 acre); Bow Stone (1 acre 2...

1763

Robert b 1697, son Elias b 1719

D2575/T/19-20

Lease and release by Robert Needham, senior, yeoman of Perryfoot, Peak Forest to his son Robert Needham, junior, yeoman of Rowdale in the lordship of Hassop of the remaining moiety of the property at D2575/T/1, in consideration of his love for his son, 13-14 Apr

1769

Robert b 1697 son Robert b 1724

Robert and Hannah had four sons: Elias, Robert, Samuel and John and two daughters: Mary and Martha. Robert, Samuel and John were ambitious and successful enough to call themselves gentlemen

Elias Needham son of Robert (1719-1775) and his descendants

Elias, the eldest of the brothers, was born in 1719 and inherited a large part of his fathers estate when he died in 1772. He married Sarah Fern in June 1763 at the age of 44; this was quite old even for these times. . In so doing he acquired property in Meadow and Monyash. They had four boys: Robert, Elias, William and Jasper - see later. He purchased Townend farm, Sitch and half an acre.

Table 8 references to Elias Needham

Source

Who

Abode

What

Year

OD/1032

Elias Needham

Exemplification of recovery:John Bagshaw, esquire v. John Hood, gentleman. 4 messuages, 8 gardens, 9 acres of land, 6 acres of meadow, 4 acres of pasture and common etc. in Wormehill. Elias Needham vouched to warranty and vouches Jacob Moreland

1740

D4395/3

Elias Needham,

yeoman

Meadow, Wormhill

Assignment of remainder of a term of 900 year lease on land in in the parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith. By Joseph Higinbotham, yeoman,of Lanehead, in the parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith, and Henry Tomason of Tunstead, in the parish of Chapel-en-le-Frith, the executors and residuary legatees of the late William Higinbotham to Elias Needham, yeoman, of Meadow, Wormhill, in the parish of Tideswell.

10 Oct 1768

D2575/e/6

Elias Needham, yeoman

Perryfoot

Lease for 12 years by Elias Needham yeoman of Perryfoot to James Wylde, farmer of Fernilee of Lydgate Farm in Chapel en le Frith and all the lands leased by Lady Massareen, under certain specified conditions. Annual rent of £95

20 Jan 1775

D2575/T/125-126

Samuel Needham; Elias Needham;

w Sarah

Two copies of the final concord between Samuel Needham, plaintiff and Elias Needham and his wife Sarah, deforciants for property in Hope, Bakewell and Tideswell. Dated within three weeks of Holy Trinity

29 May 1774

D2575/T/145

Elias Needham, gentleman

Perryfoot, Peak Forest

Deed to lead to the uses of a fine by Elias Needham, gentleman of Perryfoot, p Peak Forest and Sarah his wife (one of the two daughters and coheirs of the late William Ferne of Meadow, p. Tideswell) to Samuel Needham, yeoman of Castleton of two messuages with a barn, cowhouse, two gardens and a moiety of the Fold, Fairfield with various named Closes in Fairfield and Green Fairfield; a moiety of a messuage and lands in Monyash and a moiety of a messuage and lands in Monyash and a moiety of a messuage and lands in Meadow, p. Tideswell; to the use of Elias Needham and his wife Sarah, for their...

1774

Sarah and Elias had four children, all sons: Robert, Elias, William and Jasper

•  Robert the eldest son was born in 1809, he married Mary Beresford at Ilam in Staffordshire when he was 42. He and Mary had two sons Robert and Samuel. Robert married and had children but Samuel was a farmer who lived at Rushop House in Chapel en le Frith. He die d a bachelor without issue.

•  Elias the second son was born in 1765 in Wormhill. In 1788 he married Mary Sand ford in Eccles. They had six children in Eccles before Mary died in 1802. Elias remarried in 1805 to Elizabeth Toft and they had four children. More will be written on the Needham's of Eccles later

•  William and Jasper were born in 1767 and 1769 respectively. Both died bachelors in within 8 months of each other in 1835 at Rushop. The brothers were Fustian manufacturers who set up a cotton mill in Castleton in the late 1790's. The mill was built on land owned by their Uncle Samuel who also financed the project. But by 1818 the brothers tried to sell the business because it was losing money. Jasper inherited a large part of his uncle Samuel's estate when he died in 1801

Robert Needham son of Robert (1724-1803)

Robert continued where his father left off, purchasing and leasing land. He moved to Ashford in the Water, living at Thornbridge Hall.

Table 9 References to Robert Needham

Source

What

Year

Who

D2575/T/19-20

Lease and release by Robert Needham, senior, yeoman of Perryfoot, Peak Forest to his son Robert Needham, junior, yeoman of Rowdale in the lordship of Hassop of the remaining moiety of the property at D2575/T/1, in consideration of his love for his son, 13-14 Apr

1769

Robert b 1697 son Robert b 1724

D2575/T/75

Agreement for sale by John Haslam, yeoman of Jumble Hole, Brampton to Robert Needham, junior, gentleman of Ashford of the Shoe Broad (4 acres 21 perches), the Green Gate (5 acres), Fin Pasture (2 acres 3 roods 6 perches) and the common land (3 acres 3 roods 9 perches), at Ashford. Consideration of £605. 3 Mar

1790

Robert b1724

D2575/T/77

Mortgage by Robert Needham junior, gentleman of Ashford, pa Bakewell to John Haslam, carpenter of Jumble-hole, Brampton of the property at D2575/T/75 to secure £400. 5 Apr

1790

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/78

Bond of Robert Needham to John Haslam in £800 re D2575/T/77. 5 Apr

1790

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/79-90

Two copies of a schedule of title deeds belonging to Robert Needham, junior, mortgaged to John Haslam.

[c1790]

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/107

Bond of Robert Needham, junior, gentleman of Ashford to George Barker, gentleman of Ashford in £400 with interest of 4% 25 May

1792

Robert b 1724

D2575/E/1

Copy lease for 42 years by Robert Needham, yeoman of Perryfoot, Peak Forest to Peter Kirk, blacksmith of Townend, Chapel en le Frith of a piece of land in Townend on which to erect a forge of the value of £150, including the waterwheel. Annual rent of £12.12s. 5 Apr 1794

[18th cent]

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/38

Memorandum that Thamas Mellor has sold all his estate except the Stich Croft and half acre to Robert Needham and the mortgage is to be assigned to Samuel Frith of Peak Forest.

[18th cent]

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/46-47

Lease and release by Joseph Lowe, yeoman of Kettleshulme, co Cheshire to Robert Needham, gentleman of Perryfoot, Peak Forest,of the property at T41-42. Consideration of £120. 18-19 Jun

1795

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/99

Agreement by William Longsdon, gentleman of Eyam for sale to Robert Needham, junior, gentleman of Ashford of a field divided into two called the Finn Closes at Ashford. Consideration of £300 24 Sep

1796

Robert b 1724

D2575/T/100

Letter from William Longsdon, Eyam to Robert Needham, Ashford acknowledging receipt of a payment of £150 5 Nov

1796

Robert b 1724

 

In 1751 he married Margaret Bocking and they had seven children including two sons, Elias and Robert. Elias died in infancy. Robert b 1756, the elder, son inherited a part share in the Blue John mine and other property when his father died in 1803 but he appears not to have married or have children. So this family line died out

 

Samuel Needham son of Robert (1726-1801)

Samuel (1726-1801) was a farmer, who invested his wealth in estates in the Peak District. At the end of the 18 th century he built Rushup Hall below Rushup Edge. Samuel was a bachelor and when he died in 1802 he left most of his wealth to William and Jasper Needham, his nephews. As we shall see Samuel, during his life, helped William and Jasper financially with their cotton mill in Castleton and Ellis Needham, a nephew whose father was Samuel's brother John Needham, with his Mill in Litton.

However, things were not always so positive. Between 1772 and 1775, Robert, the father died in May 1772 at Perryfoot, in November the youngest son, John, died leaving a young family, and in July 1775 Elias died. Both Elias and John left young families.

John Needham son of Robert (1726-1772) and descendants

The youngest of the brothers was John who married Hannah Hague, a yeoman's daughter from Hargate Wall, who inherited a small house in Hargate Wall. John was so successful that he bought Hargatewall Hall and developed it into a complex fitting of a gentleman

John and Hannah had four sons and a daughter Hannah. The second eldest Robert died aged 26 without marrying. Samuel, the third eldest, lived in Hackney Lane Darley Dale, near Matlock and again died young and aged 30 in Dawlish in 1797, without marrying. John, the youngest, married Olive Swinden from Tinsley in Rotherham. They had four daughters, two of whom died young and were buried with their parents and two, Hannah and Martha who became governesses.

John, Olive and two children of their, Ann and Elizabeth, are buried in a tomb in St Margaret's Church graveyard, Wormhill, with the Needham of Thornsett family crest on it – the only surviving crest of the Derbyshire family line I've seen. The question that needs answering is why did he use the coat or arms and why don't we see it elsewhere?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eldest son was Ellis and he deserves a section all to himself.

Ellis Needham (1760-1831), Litton Mill and his descendants

Ellis Needham, who became infamous through his management of Litton Mill, was John Needham's eldest son. An excellent summary of the history of the Needham's and Litton Mill has been written by MH Mackenzie (3). In 1783 he founded the Litton Mill company after taking a lease from Lord Scarsdale for land on the Wye and building a water spinning wheel in partnership with Thomas Firth. In 1784 a weir was built to increase the water power, however, the success of this venture was such that by August 1786 adverts in the Manchester Mercury, Nottingham Journal and Derby Mercury stated the business was for sale. No buyers were found.

In 1786 William Newton (the framesmith and mechanic who had built Arkwright's first mill at Cressbrook in 1783) was offered a junior partnership of 200 pounds if he would overhaul and superintend the machinery thereafter. Newton was also to become partner in the Brough and Castleton cotton mills.  In 1788 Ellis's mother, Hannah, died and left nothing in her will to Ellis; this tells you something about the family relationships. A shortage of local labour pushed Ellis to use parish apprentices shipped in from London to work the mill. The first apprentice house was built near the mill shortly before 1793 and a second was built 2 years later. In 1797 Newton left the partnership to become an innkeeper. After Newton 's departure the history of the Litton Mill acquired notoriety through the Memoirs (published in 1832) of the London orphan apprentice Robert Blincoe who was employed for his term (1803-14) at Litton under Ellis and purported to receive extremely harsh treatment (4). Needham 's apprentices were obligated to work more than the statutory twelve hours every day; they were poorly fed, and were often callously and brutally treated.


Ellis was obviously as inadequate as a mill manager as he was competent and innovative as a farmer. After his financial backer Francis Haywood of Manchester was declared bankrupt in 1798 he began to get into financial difficulties. By 1799 Frith quit and Ellis sold inherited land to increase his stake in the mill. In 1805 his son John was made a partner.

By the 1810s water-powered mills such as the Litton Mill were losing money, struggling to compete with Lancashire 's more efficient steam-powered factories. Ellis started lending money but chose the wrong people and eventually they defaulted. As profits dwindled John and Ellis borrowed money from a Buxton Bank and mortgaged Hargate Wall Hall for £10K. Eventually they defaulted on their repayments and in 1815 Ellis himself was declared bankrupt. At least 80 of his apprentices were left destitute and had to be supported on parish relief; ten died between 1816 and 1818. It is a pathetic and shocking story.

In March 1815 Robert, Ellis's fourth son, tried to revive the family business but he only ran the mill for 21 months before he died in Dec 1816. After his death Lord Scarsdale cancelled Needham 's lease. It was a humbling experience for Ellis as he had by then lost the family home and lands, he had to drop the title esquire and give up his churchwardens roll. He tried to re-enter the cotton trade but he did not succeed and he retired. Because Ellis and his wife had lost Hargate Wall Hall they moved to Cromwell House, Chapel-en-la-Frith where his wife and daughter set up a ‘Seminary for Young Ladies'. Ellis died in 1830 in Chapel en le Frith, with his estate valued at £100. With the failure of the Mill, his eldest son John left Derbyshire and established himself as a pattern maker, according to the Manchester Directory of 1817. He died in Salford in 1866 without marrying.

Ellis and Sarah had eleven children of whom the eldest was John. The second son was Samuel but I cannot find out much about him. The third eldest son was Ellis. He married Ann Bass from Ashbourne and was a wine merchant based in Birmingham. He died in 1833 without children. The fourth eldest son was James and little is known about him.

The youngest son, Frances Haywood Needham, was the only son that we know of to have children. He moved to Worcester and married Elizabeth Layland. Frances was a coal merchant and corn dealer based at Lowesmoor Wharf in Worcester. He had eight children including four sons, but only one of the sons married and carried the Needham family line on a further generation. More will be written on them later.

References

1. The History of the County of Derby; S. Glover

2. See the web page on archives. http://nons.co.uk/Pages/National%20&%20Local%20Archives.htm

3.Cressbrook and Litton Mills 1779-1835; M H Mackenzie; Derbyshire Archaeological Journal 1968, vol LXXXVIII, p1

4. 'The Real Oliver Twist ' J Waller

5. Court Rolls from 'The Feudal History of the County of Derby' YP Yeatman

6. Thomas Ashby Needham papers in John Ryland Library Manchester (tan)

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