Glossop Heritage Trust

Theo Walter Ellison's Glossop Dale Reminiscences.


The Ownership and Development of the Glossop Dale Estates by the Dukes of Norfolk (published 21 December 1934).
Note - This transcript contains a correction to the original text which was pointed out at the end of the following week's instalment.

During the greater part, if not all, of the first half of the last century, the Dukes of Norfolk were the owners of the Glossop Dale Estates (including the Manor of Glossop) and during that period the Estates were considerably developed.

Although the two ducal owners at that period were members of the Howard family, they ceased to be styled ‘Howard’ on succeeding to the Dukedom, and took the titles of the premier Duke and premier Earl of England, who ranks in precedence immediately after the Princes of the Blood Royal, and is Earl Marshal and hereditary Marshal of England. The title Deeds and Acts of Parliament relative to the Estates supply the most reliable information, but the Deeds are private property. The principal Deeds relating to the Freehold Estates and the manorial rights were in the possession of the Noble Dukes. It was the custom to grant leases for 99 years only, and before or after these leases expired, to grant new leases for 999 years, and the old leases and deeds are retained by them. The Acts of Parliament are referred to later.

Then we have the papers and correspondence of the agents and surveyors of the Dukes. The agents for the Glossop and Sheffield Estates were: Matthew Ellison, who came here in 1797 and lived at Glossop Hall (a less pretentious house then and the property of the Duke) and died in 1834, a hundred years ago; and his two sons, Michael Ellison (the eldest), who died in 1861, and Thomas Ellison (the youngest), my grandfather, who died in 1859; and Michael Joseph Ellison (son of Michael Ellison), who succeeded his father for the Sheffield estates and died in 1898. Thomas Michael Ellison, my father, who was born at Glossop Hall in 1823, was the solicitor for the first and second Lord Howard of Glossop for over 30 years to his death in 1896.

In 1815 the first lease of part of Wren Nest Mills was granted by ‘Bernard Howard’ to Matthew Ellison. From 1829 to 1839 the leases were granted to Francis Sumner by ‘Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk, Earl Marshal and Hereditary Marshal of England’ and in 1847-1851 by ‘Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk’. Being myself one of the executors of the will of Mr F(rancis) J(ohn) Sumner (died 1907), whose father was heir-in-law and administrator of the estate of Francis James Sumner 1807-84 (the Francis Sumner named in the leases), I have these particulars at hand.

Amongst the title deeds in my possession at ‘Easton’ (formerly known as ‘East View) is a lease for 99 years of the original house and site in 1829 by Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk, also a licence (sic) (to assign the lease) given in 1839 by Thomas Ellison, agent to Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk; in 1842 an assignment with the privity, approbation and consent of Michael Ellison of Sheffield as the Agent duly authorised of the said Duke of Norfolk; and again in 1845; whilst later in 1855 Michael Ellison joins in an assignment as agent to Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk. Then there was a lease in 1857 of the stables and coachhouse by the Rt. Hon. Edward George Fitzalan Howard to Francis Sumner. I may add that Francis Sumner lived at East View (now Easton) from 1857 until his death in 1884. First having rebuilt the house. Then Edward Partington (afterwards Lord Doverdale) purchased the property and changed the name to ‘Easton’, and the leases were surrendered by his son, the present Lord Doverdale, to Mr. Todd, and the freehold property purchased by me at the sale by auction of the Glossop Dale Estates in 1925.

The title deeds which I have mentioned show that the Glossop Dale estates were held by the Dukes of Norfolk with the Sheffield estates, and managed by the same agents during the periods I have mentioned.

The Glossop Reservoirs Act was obtained in 1837 to enable millowners to construct reservoirs on the three streams, the Glossop Brook, the Hurst Brook and the Chunal Brook, to supply water for the motive power at the mills, only one, namely the Hurst Reservoir, being constructed. Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk is stated to be Lord of the Manor and he conveyed the land at the Hurst to the Glossop Reservoir Commissioners.

The Glossop Market Act of 1844 recited that the inhabitants of the Town of Glossop were greatly inconvenienced by the want of a Market for the sale of provisions, agricultural produce and other articles and things, and that The Most Noble Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk was the Lord of the Manor of Glossop, and that he had erected at his own expense a commodious building adapted for the purpose of a ‘Town Hall’ with a Market House’. And the Act provided for the carrying on of the Market; conferred powers as to weights and measures and the holding of fairs; and prescribed the tolls and charges. The Glossop Corporation are now the owners of this property and the rights under that Act.

The Glossop Water Act of 1865 states that Edward George Fitzalan Howard, commonly called Lord Edward Howard was the tenant for life. The Glossop Dale Estates were ‘settled’ in March 1841, by a Deed to which Bernard Edward Duke of Norfolk, Henry Charles Howard (who afterwards became Duke), Edward George Howard (who afterwards became Lord Howard of Glossop), the Rt. Hon. John Charles Howard and Philip Henry Howard were parties; and in accordance with the prevailing practice a re-settlement was made in 1851 by a deed to which Henry Charles Duke of Norfolk, Lord Edward George Fitzalan Howard and several others were parties.

Edward George Fitzalan Howard was created Lord Howard of Glossop in 1843 and Baron Howard in 1869. He died on 1st December 1883, and was succeeded by his son, Francis Edward Lord Howard, Baron Howard of Glossop, who died in 1924, and was succeeded by the present Lord Howard of Glossop, by whom the entire estates were sold to Mr. John Todd and others in 1925.

The first Lord Howard of Glossop resided at Glossop Hall, which was enlarged and improved for the purpose, and Mr Thomas Ellison removed. Lord Howard’s son continued in residence there until his death. Their agents were the late Mr Francis Hawke and Mr C.A. Abraham.

The foregoing information may be usefully supplemented by extracts from papers and correspondence of the agents and surveyors in the employ of the Dukes of Norfolk on the Glossop and Sheffield estates, both at one time developed simultaneously. These have been supplied to me whilst I have been compiling the pedigree of the family from Mr Matthew Ellison to the present generation, extending over 200 years (1797-1920) – a work completed this year, which has involved much voluntary labour, time, and some expense, several ladies and gentlemen having assisted. I must here make my acknowledgements to: Mr Alfred J Ellison, barrister-at-law, London, the late Mr P.K. Wake solicitor, Sheffield, the late Mrs E.M. Couban, Rose Bank, Hollingworth, Mr Francis Reynolds, his sister Mrs Lynch, the trustees of the estates of Mr F.J. Sumner (deceased), and Mr Charles M.E. Hadfield, surveyor, Sheffield and Glossop.

The following was supplied by Mr Hadfield: ‘Henry Howard of Glossop died at Heath Hall Wakefield on 11th November 1787, and was presumptive heir to the Duke of Norfolk, and he was buried in the vault of Gilbert Earl of Shrewsbury in Sheffield Parish church, the chief mourners being his two sons. The Duke of Norfolk and others were bearers. This Duke was the celebrated Duke Charles, the associate of George IV when Prince of Wales, Henry Howard was succeeded by his son Bernard Edward, described as ‘now of Glossop’ who was born at Darnall Hall Sheffield, where his father lived’.

The following is an extract from a biography of Matthew Ellison, supplied by Mr A.J. Ellison, who has traced the ancestors of Matthew back to 1613, a family in Durham County, other members of which were land agents for various estates. In the Parish Register of Bishop Middleham is the entry ‘1751 Sept 21, notice of ye birth of Mattw. Son of Michl, and Hannah Ellison’. In 1797 he became agent for the Duke of Norfolk’s Derbyshire estates, having for some years previously acted in the same capacity at Breewood in Staffordshire, on behalf of Thomas Gifford. He took up his residence at Glossop Hall, near Manchester, and under his superintendence the property greatly increased in value and the condition of the tenantry considerably improved. ‘When he succeeded to the management of the estate, Glossop was a little village situated in one of the remotest valleys in the County, when he died it was largely as a result of his efforts, a well-populated and flourishing district’. (From Sheffield newspapers in 1834).

In 1815 Matthew Ellison gave an interesting description of his life to his cousin, William Ellison of Sizergh, from which the following is extracted: ‘You must probably know that I am resident agent at Glossop, about fifteen miles east of Manchester, where I have been stationary for the last eighteen years of my life and most completely happy, for my employer, Mr Howard is a most amiable man and treats me more as a friend than a servant… In my own family, Mrs Ellison, seven daughters and two sons are all living, the youngest, a son of nearly twenty two years of age, two daughters are married to respectable men of good property, one of them, Mary Hadfield, lives about a mile from us and has at present two sons and five daughters all fine children. My other married daughter, Barbara Sumner, lives about two miles from Coventry, and has not yet any family. My eldest son, Michael, is about twenty eight, has been upwards of a year agent of the Honble Edward Petre at Stapleton Park, near Ferrybridge, Yorks. He has been married about three months to a very amiable woman and there is every prospect of their being happy and comfortable, as he promises to be a clever man in the employments he has engaged in ... I have lately built a factory on Mr Howard’s estate upon a lease of 99 years, and my sons have taken it for five years and have begun trade as cotton-spinners, my eldest as a sleeping partner, my youngest (who has been brought up in the business) managing the concern, he is at present a bachelor and resides with me. I think you have a son of your brother Luke’s with you, let me know of him: Luke was my school fellow at Trimdon'’.

Matthew Ellison was also clerk to the trustees of the Turnpike Roads from Glossop to Marple Bridge, and from Chapel-en-le-Frith to Enterclough Bridge, in the County of Derby. Two notices appear in the first issue of the Manchester Guardian on 5th May 1821 (of which I have a facsimile produced in 1921) which were signed by Matthew Ellison, clerk to the said trustees, Glossop Hall, 16th April 1821, that the letting by auction of the tolls from the Toll Gates or Bars for one year would be at the house of Mr John Wagstaffe in Glossop. The tolls amounted (to) from £90 to £260 from each of ten toll bars. Michael Ellison, and afterwards Michael Joseph Ellison succeeded as clerk to the trustees until the abolition of the Turnpikes in 1881-2.

When the Earl of Surrey succeeded to the Sheffield estates in 1855, Mr Michael Ellison in a letter to the Earl, mentions that the Earl’s father and grandfather seldom visited the estates, and he supplied a very full and most interesting report of the development of the estates, including the construction of the road from Sheffield to Glossop, and the railway from Sheffield to Manchester, from which I may give some extracts of public interest.

Note – In future articles Mr Ellison will give particulars of the family of Hadfield, of Lees Hall, and an account of the connection of that Family with the Vicars of Mellor and Knutsford, with some interesting and humorous items, and later hopes to touch upon the industrial development of Glossop.


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