Monday, 14 March 2016

(209) Ashton of Stoney Middleton Hall, Whiteley Wood Hall and Hathersage Hall

Ashton of Stoney Middleton
There were Ashtons (spelt variously Assheton, Asheton and Ashton) in various parts of Lancashire in the early modern period. One important branch of the family were yeomen at Shepley on the eastern edge of Ashton-under-Lyne parish from 1450 or earlier down to 1713, and a scion of this lineage, Robert Ashton (c.1576-c.1636), whom for convenience I will call Robert Ashton I, crossed the Pennines to marry a Derbyshire woman and settle at Stoney Middleton, probably in the first decade of the 17th century. It seems likely that Robert I was responsible for building Stoney Middleton Hall, although its present appearance is largely due to his son and heir, Robert Ashton II (c.1610-87), who remodelled it about the time that he was High Sheriff of Derbyshire in 1664-65. Robert II seems to have steered a cautious course through the difficult years of the Civil War and Commonwealth. There is no record of his participating in the Civil War on either side, but he does seem to have purchased the property of dispossessed Royalists to augment his estate, so he was probably a moderate Parliamentarian. At the Restoration he was able to adapt again to changed circumstances, and was sufficiently in favour to be chosen as sheriff in 1664. He was married three times, and when he died in 1687 he left a will which distributed his property in north Derbyshire and south Yorkshire among his surviving children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. From them descended three distinct branches of the family, traced below.

He left his eldest son, Robert Ashton III (c.1631-1717) his property at Dore, Totley and Norton, then all in Derbyshire although they are now suburbs of Sheffield in Yorkshire. Robert III settled at Bradway in Norton, perhaps at Bradway House which appears on 19th century Ordnance Survey maps but which has now been replaced by the Bradway Bank housing estate. He married in 1654 Dorothy, the daughter of Robert Wood of Monk Bretton, and they lived together for sixty-three years and had twelve children. His eldest son, Robert Ashton IV (1656-1710) acquired property at Scotter (Lincs) through his marriage, but died before both his father and his father-in-law. His property at Scotter seems to have passed to his son, Charles Ashton (b. 1699), who presumably sold it. It is not clear what happened to Bradway when Robert III died in 1717, but it too seems to have left the family's hands in the early 18th century. It may have been left to his younger surviving sons, Charles Ashton (1665-1752) and Joseph Ashton (1670-1758). Charles was Master of Jesus College, Cambridge for half a century (and briefly Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University in 1702-03) and Joseph was a lawyer in London; neither of them would have had much use for a Derbyshire estate.

Alexander Ashton (c.1633-82) was the second son of Robert Ashton II (c.1610-87). He married the heiress to Whiteley Wood Hall in Eccleshall (Yorks) and built a new house there that was completed in 1663. He predeceased his father but his son Robert Ashton V (1666-c.1717) inherited the manor of Bamford in Hathersage from his grandfather in addition to the Whiteley Wood estate. Robert V left an only daughter, Sarah Ashton (1688-1722), who married Robert Alsibrook (d. 1742) of Hollins, Crich (Derbys). Robert Alsibrook made the house over to his son in about 1740 and the younger Robert sold it in about 1742. It belonged later to Thomas Boulsover, the inventor of Sheffield plate, but was unroofed in the 1930s and demolished in 1959.

Robert III (c.1631-1717) and Alexander (c.1633-82) Ashton were the children of Robert II and his first wife, Joan Sharp. His second marriage produced no sons, but by his third marriage, to Alice Kirk, he had several more, two of whom seem to have survived their father. These were Samuel Ashton (1652-88), who received Stoney Middleton Hall under his father's will but died the following year, and his brother Benjamin Ashton (1650-1717), who inherited Hathersage Hall from his father and Stoney Middleton when Samuel died. Either he or his son Benjamin Ashton (1684-1725) probably sold Stoney Middleton, which had passed into the hands of the Fynney family by the late 18th century. Hathersage Hall remained in the family, passing on the younger Benjamin's death to his sister Christiana Ashton (c.1687-1737) and her husband William Spencer (1691-1756), from whose daughter Christiana Spencer (1717-81) and her husband William Shuttleworth descend the later owners. The Shuttleworths will be the subject of a future post.

Stoney Middleton Hall, Derbyshire
Stoney Middleton Hall: the original entrance front

An H-shaped Jacobean house, probably begun around 1600 for Robert Ashton I, but owing many of its current features to a remodelling for his son, Robert Ashton II in the 1660s, perhaps at the time when he was High Sheriff, in 1664-65. The house has a pair of straight coped gables either side of a recessed centre, and in its present form is symmetrical. The regular fenestration must date from the 1660s and consists of pairs of six light mullioned and transomed windows on the ground and first floors of both wings (all renewed c.1980). The centre has a doorcase with a segmental pediment and an armorial panel above and one window to either side on each floor, but was altered in the 1820s. Tax was paid on seven hearths in 1670.

Stoney Middleton Hall: rear elevation altered in the 1820s. Image: Stoney Middleton Heritage
Stoney Middleton Hall: the present main entrance is in the side of the building.

In the early 19th century the house served for some years as the village parsonage, but when Thomas Denman (1779-1854), 1st Baron Denman, inherited it from his uncle in the late 1820s he 'altered the road and very much improved and beautified the house and grounds and considerably extended his park'. He also built a fine stable block and reordered the interior. The rear and side elevations of the house show more evidence of Denman's alterations than the entrance front, including the two single-storey bay windows at the back and the sash windows above them.  The main entrance is now in one of the side elevations and this must be a 19th or 20th century arrangement; the large grid window lighting the entrance hall looks 20th century. The house remained in the Denman family until 1953, when it was sold, and after standing empty for some 25 years, the house was in very poor condition. Large 19th century additions are said to have been demolished in 1978 and the remaining part was restored from a derelict condition from 1979. The interior therefore dates large from c.1980. 

Descent: Robert Ashton I (c.1576-1636); to son, Robert Ashton II (1610-87); to son, Samuel Ashton (1652-88); to brother, Benjamin Ashton (1650-1717)... Richard Fynney (d. c.1790); to daughter, wife of Joseph Denman; to nephew, Thomas Denman (1779-1854), 1st Baron Denman; to Thomas Aitchison-Denman (1805-94), 2nd Baron Denman; to Thomas Denman (1874-1954), 3rd Baron Denman, who sold 1953 to a steel fabrication company which left the property unoccupied; sold 1977 to George William Glossop (b. 1943) and restored; sold 2015.

Whiteley Wood Hall, Ecclesall, Yorkshire
Whiteley Wood Hall, c.1900

The house was built in 1659-63 for Alexander Ashton, who married one of the co-heiresses of Thomas Dale, who had a smaller house on the site. At this time it may have been a fairly plain three-storey double pile house with a central projecting porch and mullioned and transomed windows to either side. It would seem to have been updated in the 18th century and given a pedimented doorcase and the pedimental gable over the porch. In 1779 the house consisted of a hall, dining room, two parlours and a large kitchen on the ground floor, five bedrooms on the first floor, and five garret rooms above that.

Whiteley Wood Hall in 1885. Image: Sheffield City Council.

In the mid 19th century, perhaps in the 1840s, to judge by style, the house was considerably enlarged at the rear; the back wall of the original house was brought forward and given new Tudor fenestration; and a new L-shaped additional block, also with Tudor windows and a prominent oriel, was built onto one corner of it. These additions were perhaps made for Benjamin Blonk Silcock, who was declared a lunatic in 1852 and died in 1861.

Whiteley Wood Hall from the OS 6" map surveyed in 1850.

The house fell into disrepair when unoccupied in the 1920s and 1930s, partly as a result of vandalism, and after it was bought by the Girl Guides Association in 1935 it was unroofed because the weight of the roof was pushing the walls out of true. Demolition of the building commenced in May 1959. The old date stone and gateway were preserved to be incorporated into a memorial which took the form of a flag-staff and saluting base to be used by the Guides. Some of the stone and mullion windows were used to build a bungalow at Hathersage and the rest was disposed of down a disused mineshaft. The stable block was retained and is now used by the Girl Guides Association as an outdoor activities centre.

Descent: Thomas Dale; to daughter, Alice, wife of Alexander Ashton (c.1633-82); to son, Robert Ashton V (1666-c.1717); to daughter, Sarah (b. 1688), wife of Robert Alsebrook of Hollings (Derbys); sold 1741 to Strelley Pegge of Beauchief Hall who let it and in 1757 sold it to Thomas Boulsover (1704-88); to son-in-law, William Hutton (d. 1818); to sister, Barbara Silcock; in 1831 to Pheobe Silcock; to Benjamin Blonk Silcock (d. 1861); rented from 1864 to Samuel Plimsoll MP, from 1872 to Thomas Robert Gainsford, and from 1893 to Arnold Muir Wilson; sold 1896 to Sheffield City Council who rented to Wilson until 1909 and then to William Clark, 1911-26; sold 1935 to Sheffield Girl Guides Association, which demolished the main house in 1959.

Hathersage Hall, Derbyshire
Hathersage Hall: the entrance front of 1820, photographed in 2015.

The first impression of the house, given by the low but rather charming five bay two storey hip-roofed entrance range with an off-centre doorcase, is of an early 19th century building. This range was indeed built (or perhaps remodelled) in 1820, but it stands in front of, and perhaps partly replaced, an earlier house consisting of a much taller three-storey 17th century block or tower, apparent on the side elevation, and an adjoining lower 18th century range. 

Hathersage Hall: the taller and older house at the rear of the 1820 block is visible from the side elevation.

The tower was perhaps built for John Eyre in the 1630s, although the first house on the site is said to have been built in 1496 by John, the youngest son of Sir Robert Eyre of Padley, and there is a datestone of that year on the tower. Neither this nor most of the other details of the 17th century range can be trusted, however, although the hood moulds to the windows and the free-floating hood mould in the gable end are likely to be original. Inside, there is also a 17th century dog-leg staircase, and the first floor room in the tower has a moulded plaster ceiling with details said to be reminiscent of contemporary work at Renishaw Hall.

Hathersage Hall: the dog-leg staircase of c.1630

Hathersage Hall: 17th century ceiling on the first floor of the tower

In the 1840s, the Shuttleworth family abandoned the house for Hathersage Nether Hall, newly-built in 1838-40 to the designs of William Flockton of Sheffield, and the older Hall was let. Subsequent generations of the family lived sometimes in one and sometimes in the other.

Descent: Thomas Eyre (fl. 1616); to John Eyre (fl. 1630); sold to Robert Ashton (1610-87); to son, Benjamin Ashton (1650-1716); to son, Robert Ashton (1677-1717); to brother, Benjamin Ashton (1684-1725); to sister, Christiana, wife of William Spencer of Cannon Hall; to daughter, Christiana (d. 1781), wife of William Shuttleworth (1710-80); to son, Ashton Ashton Shuttleworth (1754-1830); to second son, John Spencer Shuttleworth (1817-94); to daughter, Isabella Ashton Shuttleworth (d. 1929), wife of her cousin, Ashton John Shuttleworth (1840-1912); to son, Ashton Ashton Shuttleworth (1878-1956); to son, John Ashton Shuttleworth (1918-83); sold after his death, 1983; sold 2015.

Ashton family of Stoney Middleton Hall etc.

Ashton, Robert I (c.1576-1636). Said to be son (but more probably grandson) of George Ashton (c.1505-85) of Shepley in Ashton-under-Lyne (Lancs) and his wife Margaret (or Mary), daughter of John Turner of Mottram (Cheshire), born about 1576. He married Elizabeth, daughter of [forename unknown] Teales of Totley (Derbys) and had issue including:
(1) Robert Ashton (c.1610-87) (q.v.);
(2) Margaret Ashton (d. 1660); married Thomas White (fl. 1684) of Stoney Middleton; buried at Bakewell, 8 November 1660.
He purchased the manor of Stoney Middleton and may have built the earliest surviving part of the Hall there.
He died in about 1636, aged 60.

Ashton, Robert II (c.1610-87). Only recorded son of Robert Ashton (c.1576-1636) of Stoney Middleton Hall, and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of [forename unknown] Teales of Totley (Derbys), born about 1610. High Sheriff of Derbyshire, 1664-65. He married 1st, Joan, daughter of Francis Sharp; 2nd, 13 May 1635 at Hartington (Derbys), Frances, daughter of John Fearn of Hartington; and 3rd, 24 September 1640 at Bakewell (Derbys), Alice, daughter of Godfrey Kirk of Bradwall (Derbys), and had issue:
(1.1) Robert Ashton (c.1631-1717) (q.v.);
(1.2) Alexander Ashton (c.1633-82) (q.v.);
(2.1) Anne Ashton, born between 1635 and 1640; probably died before 1683;
(3.1) Joseph Ashton (1646-67); married Ann (d. 1667), daughter of Tobias Hopkinson of Bonsall (Derbys) and had issue a son; died in the lifetime of his father, aged 21, in 1667;
(3.2) Sarah Ashton (d. 1718); inherited Nether Padley and £800 from her father in 1687 and £1,000 from her brother Samuel in 1688; married, 18 April 1689 at Hathersage, Edward Downes (1662-1747) of Shrigley Hall, Pott Shrigley (Cheshire) and had issue one son and two daughters; buried at Prestbury (Cheshire), 27 August 1718;
(3.3) Benjamin Ashton (1650-1717) (q.v.);
(3.4) Samuel Ashton (1652-88) of Stoney Middleton, born 15 April and baptised at Hathersage, 2 May 1652; died unmarried; letters of administration granted to his brother Benjamin (the residuary legatee) for the execution of a nuncupative will, 6 July 1689;
(3.5) Cornelius Ashton (b. 1654), baptised at Hathersage, 1654; probably died young.
He inherited the Stoney Middleton Hall estate from his father in 1636. He later purchased the Hathersage Hall estate and other property. By his will he left his property at Dore, Totley and Norton to his son Robert III; Bamford in Hathersage to Robert V, son of Alexander; Hathersage Hall to his son Benjamin; Stony Middleton to his son Samuel; Over Padley to Robert son of Joseph; and Nether Padley to his daughter Sarah.
He was buried at Hathersage, 27 June 1687. His first wife died before 1635. His second wife died before 1640. His third wife's date of death is unknown, but she was presumably dead by 1683 as she is not mentioned in her husband's will.

Ashton, Robert III (c.1631-1717). Elder son of Robert Ashton (c.1610-87) of Stoney Middleton Hall and his first wife Joan, daughter of Francis Sharp, born about 1631. He married, 4 February 1653/4 at Royston (Yorks WR), Dorothy (c.1635-1722), daughter of Robert Wood of Monk Bretton (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Jane I Ashton* (c.1654-1745); married, 10 July 1674 at Royston (Yorks), Robert Wainwright of Middlewood Hall, Darfield, and had issue; said to have been buried 31 March 1745;
(2) Robert Ashton (1656-1706) (q.v.);
(3) Rachel Ashton (1658-1718), baptised at Norton, 1 November 1658; married, 2 May 1689 at Norton, John Newham (c.1664-1739) of Whittington and Staveley, gent., son of William Newham of Elvaston and Inkersal, and had issue five sons and seven daughters; died 4 July 1718;
(4) George Ashton (b. 1661), born 1 February and baptised at Norton (Derbys), 21 February 1660/1; probably died young;
(5) John Ashton (b. 1663), baptised 7 May 1663; educated at Dronfield and St. John's College, Cambridge (admitted 1680; BA 1683/4); perhaps died young;
(6) Rev. Charles Ashton (1665-1752), baptised at Norton, 25 May 1665; educated at Queens College, Cambridge (admitted 1682; BA 1685/6) and Jesus College (MA 1689; BD 1697; Fellow, 1687; Master, 1701-52; DD 1702); a Classical and theological scholar; Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge University, 1702-03; ordained deacon and priest, 1688; rector of Quy (Cambs), 1692-99, Rattendon (Essex), 1699; chaplain to Chelsea Royal Hospital, 1699-1701; prebendary of Ely Cathedral, 1701-52; died unmarried, 26 March 1752 and was buried in Jesus College chapel;
(7) Dorothy Ashton (1667-1731), baptised at Norton, 31 October 1667; married, 1694, Henry Bright of Whirlow Hall, Sheffield, and had issue one son and five daughters; her husband's excessive fondness for hunting and drinking is said to have resulted in the sale of the estate and the destitution of the family; buried at Darfield, 17 September 1731;
(8) Joseph Ashton (1670-1758), baptised at Norton, 22 September 1670; lawyer of Surrey Street in the Strand, London; married, 6 May 1713 at St Martin-in-the-Fields, London, Elizabeth Eaton, and had issue a daughter; will proved 1 July 1758;
(9) Benjamin Ashton (b. 1672), baptised at Norton, 16 September 1672; perhaps died young;
(10) Cornelius Ashton (b. 1675), baptised at Norton, 11 March 1674/5; perhaps died young;
(11) Alexander Ashton (1677-95), baptised at Norton, 22 May 1677; died unmarried of smallpox and was buried at Staveley, 29 January 1694/5;
(12) Jane II Ashton* (b. 1681/2), baptised at Norton, 17 March 1681/2; probably died young.
He settled at Bradway in Norton on the Derbyshire/Yorkshire border.
He died 9 February 1716/7 and was buried at Darfield (Yorks). His widow died 21 March 1721/2 and was also buried at Darfield, where their exceptionally long and fecund marriage is commemorated by an inscription.
* It seems probable that there were two daughters of this marriage called Jane. The will of Robert Ashton (1610-87), made in 1683, leaves £50 'to every child of my grandchild Jane Wainwright', and the marriage of Robert Wainwright and Jane Ashton was in 1674, putting this Jane's birth around the mid-1650s at the latest. The baptism of Jane Ashton in 1681/2 gives the names of both her parents, so must be of a child of this marriage. The monument to Robert and Dorothy Ashton at Darfield refers to their having twelve children.

Ashton, Robert IV (1656-1706). Eldest son of Robert Ashton (c.1631-1716) and his wife Dorothy, daughter of Robert Wood of Monk Bretton (Yorks WR), baptised 18 January 1656/7. Educated at Middle Temple (called to bar, 1688). Barrister-at-law, but probably did not practice. He married, 9 September 1687 at Brampton (Derbys), Sarah (1664-1739), daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Williamson of Scotter (Lincs), and had issue:
(1) Sarah Ashton (b. 1688), baptised at Sheffield (Yorks WR), 13 December 1688; married [forename unknown] Johnson;
(2) Thomas Ashton (b. 1689), born 30 October and baptised at Darfield (Yorks), 11 November 1689; married and had issue a daughter (Ann Ashton, d. 1787);
(3) Robert Ashton (b. 1693), baptised at Snaith (Yorks), 23 January 1693; died without issue;
(4) Dorothy Ashton (1698-1719), baptised 30 January 1698/9; died unmarried and was buried with her father, 24 September 1719, aged 21.
(5) Charles Ashton (b. 1699) of Scotter, baptised 9 January 1699/1700; married, 23 August 1733 at St Peter, Leeds (Yorks WR), Elizabeth Woodhead of Headingley and Thornhill and had issue a son (Charles Ashton, b. 1735);
(6) Salmon Ashton (1703-85) of Doncaster (Yorks WR), baptised at Scotter (Lincs), 30 April 1703; apprenticed to Robert Peart of Lincoln, attorney-at-law, 1720; practised as a solicitor at Doncaster; married 1st, 29 April 1732 at Doncaster, Catherine Holliday (1700-57) and had issue two daughters; married 2nd, 22 July 1767 at Selby, Elizabeth Sneyd (1730-85) but had no further issue; died 4 October 1785 and was buried at Doncaster, where he was commemorated by a monument.
He acquired property at Scotter (Lincs) through his marriage.
He died in his father's lifetime, 2 July 1706 and was buried at Norton. His widow died 26 March 1739 and was buried at Scotter where she was commemorated by a monument.

Ashton, Alexander (c.1633-82). Second  son of Robert Ashton (1610-87) of Stoney Middleton Hall and his first wife Joan, daughter of Francis Sharp, born about 1633. He married, 18 May 1659 at Bradfield (Yorks WR), Alice (d. 1696?), daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Dale of Whiteley Wood, Ecclesall Bierlow (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Ashton (1660-1713?), baptised at Sheffield, 19 April 1660; married, 23 December 1681 at Sheffield, John (1660-1723?), son of Thomas Bright of Graystones, and had issue two sons and one daughter; possibly the person of this name buried at Sheffield, 23 January 1712/3;
(2) Rebecca Ashton (b. 1661; fl. 1688), baptised at Sheffield, 16 April 1661; unmarried in 1688;
(3) Robert Ashton (1666-c.1717) (q.v.);
(4) Thomas Ashton (1670-71), baptised 22 May 1670; died in infancy and was buried 6 July 1671;
(5) Alice Ashton (b. 1671), baptised at Sheffield, 17 August 1671; married 1st, 13 September 1688 at Hope (Derbys), Lawrence Trickett (d. 1719) and had issue four sons; married 2nd, 11 April 1726, Emanuel Hall (d. 1737).
He inherited Whiteley Wood Hall in right of his wife and built a new house there in 1659-63. 
He was buried at Sheffield (Yorks), 18 May 1682. His wife is said to have been buried 14 October 1696.

Ashton, Robert V (1666-c.1717). Elder son of Alexander Ashton (d. 1682) of Whiteley Wood Hall (Yorks WR) and his wife Ann, daughter and co-heiress of Thomas Dale(y) of Whiteley Wood Hall, baptised at Sheffield (Yorks), 19 April 1666. He married Mary (1667-1725), daughter of Robert Hall of Stumperlow Hall and had issue:

(1) Sarah Ashton (1688-1722) (q.v.);
(2) Elizabeth Ashton (1691-94), baptised 15 December 1691; died young and was buried in the middle aisle of Sheffield church, 26 December 1694, where she is commemorated by a monument.
He inherited Whiteley Wood Hall from his father in 1682, and was lord of the manor of Bamford in Hathersage in 1688.
He died in or before 1717. His widow was buried at Sheffield, 27 October 1725.

Ashton, Sarah (1688-1722). Only surviving child of Robert Ashton (1666-c.1717) and his wife Mary, daughter of Robert Hall of Stumperlow Hall (Yorks WR), baptised 13 December 1688 at St Peter, Sheffield. She married, 1709, Robert Alsibrook (1668-1742) of Hollins, Crich (Derbys) (who m2, Lydia Allwood of Temple Normanton but had no further issue), and had issue:
(1) Elizabeth Alsibrook (1710-62), baptised at St Peter, Sheffield, 29 June 1710; married 1st, 5 September 1740 at Mackworth, Gervase Dodd (c.1711-54) and 2nd, 9 August 1757 at South Wingfield (Derbys), Peter Nightingale (c.1707063); died 16 August 1762;
(2) Anne Alsibrook (b. 1711), baptised at Crich (Derbys), 4 December 1711; married, 10 February 1749 at Kedleston (Derbys), Exuperius Turner (b. c.1699);
(3) Robert Alsibrook (b. & d. 1714), baptised 19 February 1713/4; buried 28 March 1714;
(4) Sarah Alsibrook (1715-79?), baptised at Crich, 17 January 1714/5; married, 8 December 1736 at Boylestone (Derbys), James Beard (b. 1711), later of Dalbury (Derbys); she may therefore be the person of this name buried at Dalbury, 24 October 1779;
(5) Lydia Alsibrook (1717-54), baptised at Crich, 22 April 1717; married, 6 November 1739 at Allestree (Derbys), Benjamin Windley (b. 1709), son of Benjamin Windley of Kedleston; buried at Kedleston, 16 August 1754;
(6) Robert Alsibrook (1719-71), baptised at Crich, 28 October 1719; married, 3 April 1742 at Crich, Susannah (1720-1809), daughter of David Woodhouse, and had issue two sons and two daughters; died 24 March 1771 and was buried at Crich, where he is commemorated by a monument
(7) Mary Alsibrook (b. 1722), baptised at Crich, 27 April 1722; married, 23 August 1758 at South Wingfield, Thomas Bland.
She inherited Whiteley Wood Hall from her father and her husband gained possession after her mother's death in 1728. He made it over to their son, who sold it c.1742.
She was buried at Crich, 9 December 1722. Her husband was buried at Crich, 19 April 1742.

Ashton, Benjamin (1650-1717). Second son of Robert Ashton (1610-87) of Stoney Middleton Hall and his third wife, Alice, daughter of Godfrey Kirk of Bradwall, born 1650. He married, about 1675, Christiana (1650-1703), daughter of Christopher Turner of York and had issue:
(1) Robert Ashton (1677-1717), baptised at Stony Middleton, 14 August 1677; educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1694); died unmarried and was buried at Hathersage, 24 August 1717;
(2) Christopher Ashton (c.1679-98); educated at Magdalen Hall, Oxford (matriculated 1694) and Grays Inn (admitted 1697/8); probably the man of that name buried at St Andrew Holborn (Middx), 12 August 1698;
(3) Alicia Maria Ashton (1681-1719), born 4 October and baptised at Hathersage, 20 October 1681; married, 16 January 1704/5 at Hathersage, Charles Bagshawe of the Ridge, Chapel-en-le-Frith (Derbys) and had issue; buried at Bakewell (Derbys), 6 June 1719;
(4) Benjamin Ashton (1684-1725) (q.v.);
(5) Christiana Ashton (c.1687-1737) (q.v.);
(6) Philip Ashton (b. & d. 1690), baptised at Hathersage, 13 January 1689/90; died in infancy and was buried at Hathersage, 20 December 1690;
(7) Philip Ashton (1691-96), baptised at Hathersage, 27 April 1691; died young and was buried at Hathersage, 14 July 1696;
(8) Joseph Ashton (1694-96), baptised at Hathersage, 2 July 1694; died in infancy and was buried at Hathersage, 5 August 1696.
He inherited the Hathersage Hall estate from his father in 1687 and Stoney Middleton Hall from his brother Samuel the following year. Either he or his son probably sold Stoney Middleton.
He was buried at Hathersage, 12 February 1716/7. His wife was buried at Hathersage, 25 June 1703.

Ashton, Benjamin (1684-1725). Second son of Benjamin Ashton (1650-1716) of Hathersage Hall and his wife Christiana, daughter of Christopher Turner of York, baptised at Hathersage, 9 November 1684. He was unmarried and without issue.
He inherited the Hathersage Hall estate from his father or elder brother in 1717. At his death it passed to his sister, Christiana, and her husband, William Spencer.
He died 25 December and was buried at Hathersage, 29 December 1725; his will was proved in 1726.

Ashton, Christiana (c.1687-1737). Younger daughter of Benjamin Ashton (1650-1716) of Hathersage Hall and his wife Christiana, daughter of Christopher Turner of York, born about 1687. She married, 5 January 1715/6 at Hathersage, William Spencer (1691-1756) of Cannon Hall (Yorks WR) and had issue:
(1) Susanna Spencer (b. & d. 1716); born dead and buried 5 July 1716;
(2) Christiana Spencer (1717-81), baptised at Cawthorne (Yorks WR), 15 August 1717; married, 2 December 1748 at Cawthorne (Yorks), Capt. William Shuttleworth (1710-80) of English Fusiliers and had issue four sons (from whom descend the Shuttleworths of Hathersage Hall, who will be the subject of a future post); buried at Hathersage, 1 June 1781.
(3) John Spencer (1719-75) of Cannon Hall, baptised at Cawthorne, 9 May 1719; educated at University College, Oxford (matriculated 1737) and Middle Temple (called to bar, 1743; bencher 1772); barrister-at-law; a hard-drinking and hard-riding squire, fond of hunting, who introduced deer into the park at Cannon Hall in 1762; died unmarried and without issue, 9 November, and was buried at Cawthorne, 17 November 1775;
(4) Ann Spencer (1721-95), born 6 April and baptised at Cawthorne, 27 April 1721; married, 1748/9, as his second wife, Walter Stanhope (d. 1759) and had issue including a son, Walter Spencer Stanhope (1749-1821) (from whom descended the Spencer-Stanhope family of Cannon Hall); buried at Guiseley (Yorks), 19 November 1795;
(5) Alicia Maria (k/a Almery) Spencer (1722-1812), born and privately baptised 1st April 1722; married, 21 June 1756 at Borthwick (Yorks), John Greame (1709-98) of Sewerby Hall (Yorks ER) but had no issue; died 19 January 1812, aged 89, and was buried at Bridlington Priory (Yorks ER) with her husband;
(6) Dorothy Spencer (1724-25), born 15 April and privately baptised at Cawthorne, 17 April 1724; died in infancy and was buried at Cawthorne, 26 February 1724/5;
(7) twin, Benjamin Spencer (1725-59), born and privately baptised at Cawthorne, 17 July 1725; engaged unsuccessfully in the triangular Atlantic trade from 1755 and died in debt, 11 June 1759;
(8) twin, William Spencer (1725-59),  born and privately baptised at Cawthorne, 17 July 1725; died unmarried, 1759 (he is said to have drunk himself to death).
She inherited Hathersage Hall from her brother in 1725. Her husband inherited Cannon Hall from his father. At his death, Cannon Hall passed first to his eldest son, John, and then on John's death without issue to his nephew, Walter Spencer Stanhope (1749-1821). Hathersage Hall passed to his elder daughter Christiana and thence to the Shuttleworth family.
She died 20 November and was buried at Cawthorne (Yorks WR), 23 November 1737. Her husband died 30 January 1756.


J.W. Clay (ed.), Familiae Minorum Gentium, vol. 2, Harleian Soc. vol. 38, pp. 460-64; Sir N. Pevsner & E. Williamson, The buildings of England: Derbyshire, 2nd edn, 1978, pp. 241, 330; M. Craven & M. Stanley, The Derbyshire country house, 2001, pp. 278-9, 310.

Location of archives

Ashton family of Hathersage and Stony Middleton: misc deeds and estate papers and family correspondence, 16th-18th cents among the Spencer-Stanhope of Cannon Hall family papers [Sheffield Archives, SpSt]

Coat of arms

Argent, a mullet sable, a crescent for difference. (The colour of the crescent seems not to be specified in the blazon, but it is normally rendered gules).

Can you help?

Here are a few notes about information and images which would help to improve the account above. If you can help with any of these or with other additions or corrections, please use the contact form in the sidebar to get in touch.
  • Does anyone know anything about Bradway House near Upper Bradway in Norton (Derbys, now Yorks), which is shown on the Ordnance Survey 6" plan surveyed in 1875-76 but which has since been replaced by the Bradway Bank housing development? A photograph would be very useful!
  • If anyone is able to provide additional career information or missing genealogical details for this family, I should be very pleased to hear from them.

Revision and acknowledgements

This post was first published 14 March 2016 and was updated 30 November 2016, 31 March 2018 and 20 December 2020. I am grateful to Roger Jennens, Richard Greaves and Bob Tunnicliffe for additional information about this family.


  1. The genealogy on the site is much appreciated! Here are a few more details relating to Sarah Ashton (1866-1722) Kind Regards,

    Roger Jennens

    *Robert ALSIBROKE bapt. 28-DEC-1668, North Wingfield, m. ca 1709, Sheffield, Sarah ASHTON, bapt. 13-DEC-1688, St Peter’s, Sheffield, (daughter of Robert Ashton and Mary Hall), bur. 9-DEC-1723, Crich. Robert bur. 19-APR-1742, Crich

    **Elizabeth ALSIBROKE bapt. 29-JUN-1710, St Peter’s, Sheffield, m. (1) by licence 5-SEP-1740, Mackworth, Gervase DODD, b. ca 1711, bur. 10-DEC-1754, Crich: Elizabeth m. (2) by licence 9-AUG-1757, South Wingfield, Peter NIGHTINGALE b. ca 1707, ? d. 2-FEB-1763. Elizabeth ? died 16-AUG-1762

    **Anne ALSIBROKE bapt. 4-DEC-1711, Crich, m. by licence 10-FEB-1749, Kedleston, Exuperius TURNER b. ca 1699

    **Robert ALSIBROKE bapt. 19-FEB-1714, Crich, bur. 28-MAR-1714, Crich

    **Sarah ALSIBROKE bapt. 17-JAN-1715, Crich m. m. by licence 8 DEC-1736, Boylestone, James BEARD, bapt. 26-APR-1711, Kirk Ireton, (son of Thomas Beard and Sarah Webster)

    **Lydia ALSIBROKE bapt. 22-APR-1717, Crich m. by licence 6-NOV-1739, Allestree, Benjamin WINDLEY bapt. 12-JAN-1709, Kedleston, (son of Benjamin Windley and Elizabeth Lees), bur. 16-AUG-1754, Kedleston

    **Robert ALSIBROKE bapt. 28-OCT-1719, Crich m. by licence 3-APR-1742, St Mary’s, Nottingham, Susannah WOODHOUSE, bapt. 28-APR-1720, Crich, (daughter of David Woodhouse and Mary Lowe)

    **Mary ALSIBROKE bapt. 17-APR-1722 Crich, m. by licence 23-AUG-1758, South Wingfield, Thomas BLAND

    1. Many thanks for the information, which I will incorporate above!

    2. richard Greaves30 March 2018 at 15:42

      I have Alice Ashton baptised 17.08.1671 daughter of Thomas Dale baptised 19.06.1636 marrying Laurence Trickett on 13.09.1688 in St. Peter's, Hope. Laurence was a weaver, grandson of Laurence a yeoman in Hope. Laurence was a widower. They had the following children, George 14.07.1689 buried 01.04.1759, John 23.04.1691-1691, Aaron 30.11.1695, Enoch 20.08.1697, an infant 04.05.1701. Laurence was buried in 1719. Alice remarried to Emmanuel Hall on 11.04.1726.
      Alice Dale from Whitleywood, the wife of Alexander, was buried 14.10.1696.
      best regards,
      Richard Greaves.

    3. Richard,
      Thanks for sending this info through. However Alice bapt 17/8/1671 was definitely the daughter of Alexander Ashton and Alice Dale, and I think she must be the lady who married Laurence Trickett of 13/9/1688 and had the children you mention. I will check the details and add to the text of the blog.
      Nick Kingsley

    4. richard Greaves1 April 2018 at 14:33

      Hello Nick,
      You are right. I should have reread more closely what I wrote.
      best regards,
      Richard Greaves.

  2. Richard Greaves.6 April 2018 at 17:07

    Hello Nick,
    What is the origin of saying Elizabeth Teales is from Totley?
    I have many ancestors from Dore and Totley which are in Dronfield Parish. The Dronfield parish register is very good and complete from 1560 (as is Sheffield). There is no record of any Teale in Dronfield. There are Elizabeth Teales (different spellings) in the Kirkburton, Elland, Huddersfield area at the appropriate time.
    Do you know where and when Alexander Ashton was baptised.? I can find nothing out about Joan Sharp.
    Can anyone help?
    Richard Greaves.


Please leave a comment if you have any additional information or corrections to offer, or if you are able to help with additional images of the people or buildings in this post.