The Story of The New

told by The New                  



y story starts some 450 years ago; around 1550. 




Let me tell you something about the world as I remember it then. 


It was a time of religious ‘difficulties’,  the development of great scientific breakthroughs, mass immigration from Europe, new imported foods, the popularisation of media and culture,  wars, exploration and the growth of a major international company. High fashion and beautiful jewellery were only for the wealthy and - the roads and highways were appalling!.  Oh yes.  The government of the day was constantly trying to get farmers to diversify and people who gave money to ‘those on high’ were rewarded with titles and lands.




Edward V1 (1547-53)  had succeeded his father Henry VIII when he was only 10 years old, although only a child his Protestant beliefs contributed significantly to the establishment of Protestantism as the state religion, especially with the publication of the Book of Common Prayer in 1549.  When he died aged 16 he was succeeded by his elder sister Mary Tudor.  She tried to reverse the trend to Protestantism and, after putting down several revolts, began a series of religious persecutions which earned her the name of “Bloody Mary”.  She died childless in 1558 and the throne passed to her Protestant sister Elizabeth 1.


A Time of Change


During Elizabeth’s 45 year reign there was a flowering of culture, amazing technical discoveries and inventions, the defeat of the Spanish Armada and exciting global exploration.  It was the time of the early microscope, thermometer and water closet, tobacco arrived;  Spenser wrote the Faerie Queen, Marlowe wrote Dr Faustus, Shakespeare was producing his plays, the Globe Theatre was built, Drake started his voyage round the world and the East India Company was formed.  In 1599, the English were so incensed over the fact that pepper had gone up from 15p per pound to 40p that eighty London merchants met to establish the East India Company to get round the Portuguese monopoly and of course, unwittingly, the British Indian Empire.


Spices and sugar were being imported and started to impact on the nations’ foods and cooking. The discovery of the New World did not provide the expected spices but it did contribute to the diet of the Old World with several new foodstuffs which were to become very important.  Potatoes became a useful source of Vitamin C, chocolate, peanuts, vanilla, tomato, pineapple, French beans, red peppers, green peppers, tapioca and the turkey.


Do not think that these changes only affected the citizens of London and the South, it had an impact on the whole of the country, including Hollinsclough or Holesclough as it was usually called then.  London was a long way away but we all survived through trade and trade meant travel, by foot, horse or packhorse. 


Think of Hardwick Hall, it was begun in 1591 by Elizabeth, Countess of  Shrewsbury (Bess of Hardwick) and the building was completed within 3 years, the house was decorated and furnished and ready for occupation by 1597.   Building that house in 3 years – eat your heart out Wembley!!!  We would be hard pressed to do that now, guess there would be all sorts of Health & Safety issues to stop it happening. 

Bess of Hardwick was the great great grandmother of the first Duke of Devonshire and Chatsworth was built to a building designed by Bess. 


There was a bit of gossip round here about that lot down at Haddon Hall. (Just south of Bakewell, one of the seats of the Dukes of Rutland and about 2 hours ride away)  In 1588, John Manners eloped with Dorothy Vernon.  If that wasn’t gossip enough, what made it even more talked about was that they actually eloped during her sister’s wedding party.  Some news can travel fast!  (Below is the Long Gallery built in the Tudor period where Dorothy is said to have eloped from. – ((glorious set of Chippendale chairs are there now and super keyboards))

In Ashbourne, Sir John Cockayne founded the grammar school in 1585, not for the likes of us of course.


Sir John Harpur of Swarkeston was Sheriff of Derbyshire (1580) and Sir Henry Harpur of Normanton, 1st Bart of Calke Abbey (1579-1658) were around and of course the Harpurs, and then the Harpur Crewe’s, had a huge impact on everyone in this area.




What did people eat and what implements did they use?  I’m sure you’re dying to know!!  I will not disappoint you……..


The poor man’s meal consisted of dark bread made from rye, barley or maslin - sometimes with pea or bean flour mixed in - and a companicum from the stockpot with some cheese or a bowl of curds to round the meal off.  Servants in a large country house were better off and they might have beef or goose as well as bread, pease pudding, salt herring, dried cod, cheese and ale brewed on the estate.


The middle levels of society had several courses of a somewhat haphazard assortment but the wealthy had what you would consider to be sumptuous banquets.  It was around the 16th century that courses as you would recognise them started to evolve.


Knives and Forks


Forks had been used as cooking implements for centuries but not for eating with.  Most people carried a knife of the old general purpose dagger shape and spoons were not uncommon but the dinner fork was an oddity in most of Europe until the 18th century.  Most people used their fingers.  Even as late as 1897, sailors in the British Navy were forbidden the use of knives and forks – because they were regarded as ‘being prejudicial to discipline and manliness’.




Usually only men of the highest rank had their own dishes, plates and drinking cups.  Other people ate in pairs, one cover meaning a serving for two.  Each diner had his own trencher which was originally a thick slice of stale, unleavened bread measuring about 6 inches by 4.  This acted as an absorbent plate; sometimes the diner ate his trencher at the end of a meal; sometimes it would be given to the poor; sometimes to the dogs.  However when I was built, the trencher was gradually being superseded by a square of wood with a circular depression in the middle. 


Because everyone was using their fingers, the cleanliness of ones fellow diners was of some concern and, in public, people were urged to wash their hands  A number of ’courtesy books’ were written urging people not to blow their noses with their fingers and not to scratch part of their anatomy referred to as codware.  Lice and fleas were omnipresent  - I won’t elaborate.  The one thing that has always been unacceptable when eating has been the breaking of digestive wind.  The three most common vegetables synonymous with wind, beans, cabbage and onions did not help.  People knew that despite the odds they must “always beware of their hinder parts from guns blasting”.


Before closing on the subject, did you know that Dr O Medary developed the Fartometer?   


Now I will tell you my story.

A Brief Chronicle of the People who Lived and Died at The New


I have been called a variety of names, The Newe, New, The New Farm.  You may well wonder, “Why The New?”   Because the land had been ‘newly’ cleared and I was built on this newly cleared land.  Although I am about 1300 feet above sea level, I am in a sheltered dip and I was built just by a spring.


I do recall a birth here as far back as 1565 and then, sadly, a death in 1573. 



August 13 1565    Jane, d of John Oldefeild of the Newe bap



Nov 21 Gervase s of John Oldfielde bur



Dec 4 1573          Gervase, s of John Oldefield of The Newe  buried


These were wild and dangerous times. 

A burial occurred on March 4th 1571 for Ellen Hyne, wid being perished in the drystones neire unto the marestone, upon Sonday, being the XX1111th of Febr above said.

On June 15 1576 there was the burial of Thurston Gybbe, son of Eliz. Gybbe, a bastarde, slayne in falling out of a wayne by a blowe of a piece of woode called a somer. 

Another burial on December 19 1588, Joane Gylmon, wid. which was slayne in a certain grounde called Bynneley, with a piece of woode.

On January 19 1589, John Balle, of the Fernie Forde, robbed and slayne in the nighte with thieves.   


1582 Calendar changes in parts of Europe (not here – we’re British)

Julian calendar seriously out of sync with the seasons and, more to the point, Easter slipping into summer.  Pope Gregory X111 issued a Papal Bull where 10 days (compromise between 9 and 12 days) were omitted from the calendar.  (Ten very useful because you just add an X, cynical? Never – just practical)  It was decreed that the day following Thursday October 4th 1582 would thenceforth be known as Friday October 15th 1582.    


Somewhere between 1573 and 1601, John Oldefield left The New and Thomas & Elizabeth Slack moved in, they were the first of many Slacks to live with me.  Thomas Slacke had married Elizabeth Crycheloe on July 27 1596. 

(1596 Dec 26 Thos s Hugh Slack bur)




In 1601 there was a great sadness here, Thomas and Elizabeth had a little boy, they called him Thomas too but, sadly, he died.

May 6 1601  Thos, s of Thos and Eliz. Slacke, of Newe, laborer  bap   

May 27 1601 Thos., s of Thos & Eliz. Slacke of The Newe    buried


On May 27 1612, exactly eleven years to the day, Elizabeth was buried.






I remember this year well, it started so badly because the weather was dreadful.

According to the parish records:

January 20 1614  “The great snow began to fall, and so continued increasing the most dayes until the 12 of march



In 1625, there were two very nasty ‘incidents’ which resulted in the burials of a certain Ellen Smith and Francis Roulston.

On April 11 Ellen, wife of Richard Smith; stroken sore a day or 2 before by him the said Ric., and for which he was exe(cuted).

On July 11 Francis Roulston; murdered by one Bagnold, John Hill and Henry Bayly.


In 1625 there was an agreement whereby Sir John Harpur handed over rents of some of his properties to Gervas Watts for 21 years.  Until 1646 rent from the properties in Hollesclough were paid to Gervas Watts.  Research shows that this was due to a non-nuptial agreement ie a marriage which did not happen.  Despite looking at a number of documents, research to date has not revealed any further information.  This agreement does not appear to be known by anyone, one of the documents which I got the evidence from had never been opened for many many years.  I had to ask the curator to unglue it and also undo the stitching.  Part of this document was damaged, obviously the bit that would reveal all!  I have traced Gervas Watts and transcribed a copy of his will.  Apart from having a serious glove fetish, he worked for the Cavendish (Chatsworth) family. 

This non-nuptial agreement involved a serious amount of money.  Examining the accounts for the Harpur estate at this time, the average rental per property was 3s 4d (6 rentals per £1)

Alstonfield rents paid to Gervas Watts £252 02 05

                                             (excluding  £34 12 04)

Total                                                      £217 10 01

Therefore 217.5 x 6 = 1305 properties, say 1300 properties

SO the rents for approximately 1300 properties were relinquished for 21 years for the non-nuptial agreement.  Some potential bride (or groom?) must have been seriously upset!


Mid 1630’s

In the mid 1630’s the accounts show that the rents for Hollesclough were


The rentals for Alstonfield were £252 02 05 paid to Gervas Watts as above excluding Alstonfield Hays £3 06 08 and Shipplebothams acreages £31 05 08 which were paid to Lady Harpur.


Some people didn’t pay their rents for example:

Gervas Sleigh refused to pay his ½ year rent for Fawfield hill £5 0 0

Roger Wood refused to pay his ½ year rent for Fawfield hill £9 0 0



Accounts show that;

for gunpowder for mangie dogges 1s 0d


Gunpowder – oldest known explosive, a mixture of:

Saltpetre KNO3  - additive E252 - is an excellent preservative eg bacon, ham, salt beef and it is used to brighten meat colours.



Ellen Slacke (was she the daughter of Thomas & Elizabeth ?) lived here then and she had to pay 2s  10d rent and 4d tithe money for The New according to document dated March 15th 1646.  This money was collected on behalf of William Wardle for land rented in High and Low Friths.  (Rents due 1646 document) Then of course 4d was called a groat which was a silver coin used from 1279-1888.  In 1646 she was late paying her tithe money.

 In 1651-54 she was still paying 4d tithe. (1651-4 Tenants Hollescloughe Hamlette)

(Indenture  1681 found in the Church chest

John s of Richard Crytchlow appr to Mrs Ellen Slack widow to teach him the art and skill of husbandry and provide meals drink lodgings linen and shower washing in return for willing ability, honesty and obedience.  Is this the Ellen Slack of The New???)


 What did 4 pence buy?  Well, here are some examples – August 21st 1625 Southampton Market:

Remember 12 pennies in 1 shilling and 20 shillings in one pound (240 pennies in a pound).

A couple of capons                       2s

A fat pig                                     1s  4d

A fat goose                                  1s

A couple of second rabbits                8d

A cwt of good sweet hay                   10d


( In 1646/47? there was the murder at Fawfield Head put this in an Appendix also, check with Sue about the riot at Longnor Wood)




The vicar told us about a dreadful fire that had taken place in Marlborough.  I don’t really know where it is, a long way away in the south I think.  But, he said that a lot of people had lost their homes, their goods, all their possessions and their businesses.  He wanted us to have a collection for them.


1653 Comment in Parish Register (burials) between Aug 24 and Sep 3:

“Collected in this parish towards the releife of Marlborrough, for their great losse by fyre, one pound fifteen shillings and five pence.”


Note: On Thursday 25th April 1653 the Great fire of Marlborough burnt around 250 houses/businesses to the ground – a great deal of devastation.  Fire swept through the town again in 1679 and 1690.  This time an Act of Parliament was passed “To prohibit the covering of houses and other buildings with thatch in the town of Marlborough”  See


Why, Why Why?

Why did they have a collection for Marlborough, presumably very few people would have known where Marlborough was/is.  BUT, what is more to the point, why did they have a collection for Marlborough but there was absolutely no mention of The Black Death/Plague in London?

In 1665 the plague hit London and by the end of the year it is estimated that around 100,000 people had died in the city.  There is absolutely no mention in any local parish records.  Records in Staffordshire, Cheshire and part of Yorkshire have been looked at and there is no mention about the London plague.   Was there a political cover-up??



Christmas 1658 was a sad time for the Baylie family.  Widow Baylie, a poor woman of Sheen, who coming from Lee Hall on Xmas Day in the forenoon was drowned in Dove, in foard at the Load End; shee ryding behind her daughter, the watter being verie bigge, her head swaed and fell backward in the watter and was carried down neare to the Milne befor shee was taken out.



Roger Naden of Leeke carrier imprisoned for horse-stealing 1676

QSP/446/10 Lancs County half sessions)



A truly frightening event happened in the sky, I had never seen anything like it before.


Kirch’s comet 1680 is referred to in the parish records as follows:


A very strange and fiery Meteor in form like a sword appeared North-west by West in December 1680 and continued about 6 weeks, after which ensued a tedious and long Drought which began Aprill the 10th, 1681, and continued till June the 20th of the same year, which (as the wisest thought) procured many pestilentious diseases, as agues, strong ffeavours, smallpox, cum multis aliis, of which many died in ye countrey, chiefly in great cities and towns corporate.


Cribbed from NASA:

The Great Comet of 1680, formally known as C/1680 V1 or Kirch's Comet, has the distinction of being the first comet discovered by telescope.  Discovered by Gottfried Kirch on November 14 1680, it became one of the brightest comets of the 17th century - reputedly visible even in daytime- and was noted for its spectacularly long tail.   Passing only 0.4 AUs from Earth on November 30, it sped around an incredibly close perihelion of .006 AU (898,000 km) on  December 18 1680, reaching its peak brightness on December 29 as it rushed outward again.  It was last observed on March 19 1681.



In 1692 “the parish of Alstonfield had to pay tithes amounting to 2 ancient Church Lunes and a half “ and also “Dutchie (or Dutchey) Rent, Head Silver or Seraphield The summe charged being 40 shillings”

                                    Lunes or Levies         Dutchey                         

Hollesclough                       8s 4d                     2s 6d

One Church Lune, Lay or Levy = £3

Dated Feb 27 1692


The 1700’s


During the 1700’s I changed from being a ‘one up one down’ little house to a more substantial house with farm buildings.  When I was first built, I had two wonderful features;  not only did I have probably the most beautiful view in the whole Peak District but I was built next to a well.  When I was extended to become a much bigger house, they built over the well and that is in my little vaulted cellar.  The well has never run dry and whilst other houses nearby had to either carry water or, later, have it pumped from streams I always had fresh clean water and it didn’t freeze.


The first part of my growth was to double in size and I became a ‘two up two down’ house, plus cellar of course.  In addition to the well I also have a pig chute and salting stone.  My only door was blocked up but I was given two new doors, one at the front and one at the back.  Noone had to go outside for water any more, they just went from the house room, down the stairs and into the cellar.   Later on I had another extension and became a ‘three up three down’  and a stone barn was built and a few stone outbuildings.  I had a double privy at the end of the barn.  After that, well even my barn was extended, they added a shippon at the house end and a pig cote at the other.  I nearly forgot to say, I had three chimneys and fireplaces in all my rooms upstairs as well.


I think that my stone came from the little quarry by the big rake going into Hollinsclough.   Immediately after they dug out the stone, they could cut it with a saw but if they left it any length of time then they couldn’t do that.  Someone told me the other day that my mortar was made from slaked lime and coal ash but I really didn’t pay much attention to such matters then.


Moses Chapell arrives:


Moses Chapell and his family live with me.

1720 July 10 Bapt then Moses the Son of Moses Chapell and Sarah his wife of Holesclough

1722 June 23 Bapt then Mary the daughter of Moses Chapel and Sarah his wife of the New

1724 April 147 bapt then Jane the Daughter of Moses Chapel and Sarah his wife of The Nue

1726 April 14 Bapt then Jane the daughter of Moses Chapel and Sarah his wife of the Nue

1729 April 22  Bapt then Elizabeth the Daughter of Moses Chapel and Sarah his Wife of The Nue infra Holesclough

1730 March 5  Buried then Eliz the Daughter of Moses Chapel and his Wife of Holesclough


Moses Chapell was still living in Holesclough in 1769 but not with me.




In 1733 I heard that it cost 6 shillings and 10 pence to make a new pair of stocks at Hollinsclough, they lasted quite well because, although they were moved  in 1770/71 and a new lock was added at a total cost of 3 shillings and 8 pence, they didn’t have any other major work done to them until 1779/80 when they were repaired for 5 shillings. ( Constables’ records)

(These stocks replaced those made by Tho Naden in 1715 who, according to the Hayesgate Court they “lay a pain on Tho Naden to make a good pair of stocks for Holesclough”


1745 Bonnie Prince Charlie


In December I heard for the first time in my life the sounds of bagpipes.  It was Bonnie Prince Charlie and his army marching towards Leek where he met other troops marching from Macclesfield.  He stayed overnight in Leek and then marched to Swarkestone about 9 miles south of Derby where his troops retreated.  The Bonnie Prince came back through Leek and rumour had it that he stayed at what then was named Royal Cottage (just by Bare Leg Hill) on the Leek to Buxton road.  Charles’ army of 5,000 men was subsequently destroyed by the Duke of Cumberlands’ army of 8,000 in half an hour at the Battle of Culloden.

(Bonnie Prince Charlie, George 11, James 11 and Charles 11 all died as a consequence of syphilis.)


1752 What’s the Date?

We always used to think that the year number changed on Lady Day, 25th March. This was changed to the modern system when 1751 was cut short by three months and ended on 31 December. This change from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar had already taken place in the rest of Europe in 1582 when the ten days between 4 October and 15 October were removed.  The error had gradually accumulated because the Julian calendar allowed century years to be leap years, whereas Gregorian calendar century years can only be leap years if they are divisible by 400. By 1751 we were eleven days behind European dates, 10 days, (above) plus, we had an extra day in 1700 (29 February ) that the rest of Europe didn't have because 1700 isn't divisible by 400.

Not only did 1752 start on 1 January, but 11 days between the 2 and 14 September were removed from the calendar, (i.e.: 3 to 13 September missing). This is why the financial year starts on the 5 April (6 days from March + 5 days from April) and why many references to old documents give the year as, eg. 14 Feb. 1750/51. To labour the point, 25 March 1752 was the day after 24 March 1751. Any disbelievers go and look at the parish registers!

It didn’t really affect us much to start with.

1769 ish

Let me tell you about one of my heroines Elizabeth Raffald.  She lived not far away and she makes a lot of you women nowadays look ….,  well, words fail me!  Working class background, 15 daughters, full time job, wrote one of the most important cookery books of the century, ran pubs, started a newspaper etc. 

The Nadins come here 1764-1878

There were a lot of Nadins in Hollinsclough!, at least two Isaac Nadins followed by a Samuel Nadin lived here with me.  (An Isaac Nadin was baptised on April 22nd 1737, he was the son of Sam and Ann Naden of Barrow Moor, could this be Isaac 1?)  Also, 1752 Samuel Naden was Headborough, he had a disagreement with Sarah Clowes about a fence between them in a place called “the Carrs.”


Isaac Nadin married Esther Proctor on 22nd May 1760.

1767 Isaac (1)  and Esther Nadin living here

1769 Isaac (1) and Esther Nadin living here                                                        

(Appendix 4 Inhabitants of Hollinsclough 1769)

1771 Dec 9 Bap Isaac (2) son of Isaac (1) Nadin of New

1776 May? 17 Bapd Mary Dr of Isaac (1) Nadin of New

1797 Feb 21 Isaac (2) Naden m Mary Brindley.  In pres of Sam. Naden & Sam Strines.  Mary was pregnant at the time of her marriage because:


1797 Jun 11th Bap Betty d of Isaac (2) Naden New

1799 July 28 Baptized John son of Isaac (2) Nadin New


1786 14 August Bap Samuel Naden (record damaged and rest missing)

1808 Feb 23 Sam. Naden and Sarah Redfern by lic.  In presence of Mary Harrison and Abel Gilman

1811 May 10th Bap Elizabeth d of Samuel & Sarah Naden New


1806 Dec 6th Bur Esther w of Isaac (1) Naden New



Rentals for Sir Henry Harpur yr ending Lady Day

Holesclough            ½ yr ending                  ½ yr ending

Tenants name          Michaelmas 1791         Lady Day 1792

Nadin, Isaac           £1 15 00                       £1 15 00

(including a cottage

in Fawfield head



In 1800 Isaac (2) was still here because the tenancy was in his name.  The land and rents are described in a terrier, no map available.


1800 Terrier (No map)

Land measurement in a.r.p

Nadin Isaac (2)(of New) No 73

19 Old Low Crofts         1  2  38

20 New Low Crofts           1  30

21 House & Croft          6  0   7

Intake                           1  0   0

                                    9      35                   £2 10s Rent

(Appendix 5 includes a range of old weights and measures)



Records show a birth

James s Sarah Belfield The New may 21st 1817

Servant or visitor??


Between 1800 and 1830ish the tenancy passed from Isaac Nadin to Samuel Nadin.  Around the mid 1830’s Sir Geo Crewe Bart’s Estate in Hollinsclough, collected account Tenants and Parcels shows that Samuel was the tenant and had the following fields and buildings:

Field No       Field name    Quantities (A.r.p)

637             Lower Croft   2 10

639             Far Croft     1 0 30

640             Lower Croft 2 0 22

641              Lower Croft   2 33

642             Near Croft     2 15

645             Barn Field      3  3

646             House           2 2  3      (This says House Outbuildings & Old Pasture)

652             Little Field   1 3 20

653             Old Croft     1 2 13

                                      11 3 29



My fields look down on Hollinsclough and so of course I know what is going on even though they probably don’t realise it.  So, I saw that a new road was laid out going from Hollinsclough, past Moss Carr to Longnor.  It will certainly make the trip to Longnor quicker as it is a more direct route.


Sunday 7th June 1841

In 1841 the census ages were rounded up or down, this census shows Samuel, his wife Sarah and daughter were living at The New.


Samuel Naden 60 Farmer Born Staffs

Sarah Naden 60 Born Staffs

Frances Naden 20 Born Staffs

(There were two other daughters alive at the time, Eliza and Sarah Ann)

Sarah, Samuel’s wife, died in 1848 she was buried on December 5th 1848 aged 68.  Samuel was buried on March 15th 1851 aged 76.


Samuel had been a hawker in 1814 (did he work for Lomas?) and he left a will dated 4th May 1850 leaving his estate to his three daughters.  

£100 pounds to Eliza (Plant) “who now resides in America”

To Sarah Ann Naden, the Horse Shoe* (see below) in Longnor plus 2 stables, pig house, dung yard and privy and two parcels of land known as Watsons Croft and the Pringle

To Frances - possession of the New (subject to Sir John Harpur Crewe’s consent) and the blacksmiths shop in Longnor and adjoining shed and land behind the Methodist Chapel


Elizabeth married Moses Plant 3 September 1831 and I believe they had 8 children.  (Moses Plant b 1811, Longnor)  Their first child was Julia Frances Plant b 5 August 1832 at Rushton Spencer in Staffs, England, I think the others were born in Ontario.  Julia married Elias Gates, Ontario, Canada and they had 4 or more children – Eliza, Henry, Mary, Helen and Seymour(?)


*The Horse Shoe

A previous owner of land/outbuildings/smithy adjoining The Horse Shoe had all the old documents referring to these properties.  He said that it was the only property in Longnor which was not owned by the Harpurs.


30th March 1851

The census shows that on this Sunday, at The New, there were the following three women.


Francis Naden                 U       Head            33

Jane Findlow                   U       Servant        16

Harriet Brunt visitor       U       Dressmaker  45

(There were Findlows and Brunts living in Hollinsclough then so it is likely that both Jane and Harriet were local people)

Although Francis was unmarried at the time of the census, this was about to change.


The Logans (briefly 1851-1877/78)


A few weeks after the census, Frances Naden married Antony Logan.  They had a daughter Mary who was born in 1852 and, at the age of 45, Frances died on August 18th 1859.  (Their daughter Mary died two years later, aged 9 in 1861.)


Antony Logan didn’t waste much time finding another wife, because in 1860 he married Ann Hind.  (No one was at The New at the time of the 1861 census but Antony and his family were living here in 1871.)  In 1862, Antony and Ann had a son whom they called John and in 1864, they had a son called Gilbert.  In 1865, Anthony William was born, Ann died and was buried on March 3rd 1865, she was 34 years old. 


In 1868 Antony married again to Mary Ellen Hine, they had a daughter, Sarah Ann in 1870 and a son, Robert who was born and died in 1871.  Mary Ellen outlived her husband because Antony died and was buried 24th July 1876 at the age of 51.


Mary Ellen and her family moved out of The New between August 1876 and April 6th 1878.  She died in 1912, aged 72 in Leek.


All records documented as follows:


Documented evidence


1851 June Antony  Logan (from Ayrshire) married Frances Naden @ Alstonefield, St Peters

1859 Aug 18 Frances Logan died aged 45

1860 Antony Logan married Ann Hand @ Alstonefield, St Peters

April 7th 1861 Census

New entry is crossed out & it says Family rehoused?   ???? 1861 to ???? House, uninhabited (Honeymoon??!!)

1865 Mar 3 Ann Logan buried aged 34

1868 December Antony Logan married Mary Ellen Hine @ Meerbrook, St Martins

1876 July 24 Antony Logan buried aged 51


April 2nd 1871 Census

Antony Logan Head Married Age 41 Farmer of 11 acres b Ayrshire

Mary Ellen Logan Wife Married Age 28 b Leek

John Logan Son Age 9 b Hollinsclough

Gilbert Logan Son Age 7 b Hollinsclough

Sarah Ann Logan Dau Age 9 months b Hollinsclough


In 1856 30,000 people watched Palmers hanging in Stafford.


In 1865 Cattle Plague (Rinderpest or Murrain) hit England, in Cheshire two thirds of the cows were wiped out and Staffordshire was also badly affected.


1878 The Slacks Come Back

Slack -  origin  of the name means a valley or small shallow dell, from Old Norse , slakki – a shallow valley.


After Mary Ellen Logan left The New, James Slack took over the tenancy on April 6th 1878.  He paid £16/year rent and was said to be a farmer and shoemaker.  My details described in the agreement were:

Parlour – Grate with stonework

House Place – Oven and grate

Kitchen – Grate, Furnace with underwork Cupboard sink stove

Cellar – Benches, Chamber, 1 grate


April 3rd 1881

In 1881 James 45 his wife Martha 44 (nee Wheeldon) had 6 children, Mary 13, Sarah Elizabeth 12, James Henry 10, William 8, Frederick 5 and Frank Ernest 3.  Frank Ernest eventually took over the rental.



The Harpur Crewe papers recorded that there was a “severe agricultural depression so rentals were reduced for 3 years”.


April 5th 1891

At the next census in 1891, all the family were still living with me but 10 yrs older.  William was working as a tailors apprentice in Buxton.  (He later moved into Buxton to live but some time later he became seriously ill.  He moved back home to The New where he died.)   Martha was buried on December 18 1900 aged 63.  James lived to be 87 and was buried May 7th 1923.   James junior later married Hannah Hand, they lived first at Coatestown and then later at The Grattons,


March 31st 1901

James was living here with Frank Ernest, Sarah Elizabeth (daughter) and Harold Alfred b 1899 said to be a grandson.


Frederick had left home and he died in 1908 at the age of 32.


Frank Ernest Slack, always referred to as Frank Ernest, married Elizabeth Wain and they lived here at The New.  The Wain family were from Booth and I think that there were 3 daughters and 1 son, one of the daughters was deaf and dumb.   Frank Ernest had twinkling eyes and was, by all accounts, a man who liked a drink and his pipe.   Frank and Elizabeth had four children Martha, Mary, George and Elizabeth. (When she married, Elizabeth continued to live here.)   Frank Ernest was a farmer and shoemaker and he also worked part of the time as a gamekeeper for the Harpur Crewes.


Money, or the lack of it was a big problem.  In order to feed and clothe her family, Elizabeth used to churn the milk into butter and walk into Buxton every day to sell the butter and eggs. She had a very hard life and died when she was only 42.   Frank Ernest died at The New at the age of 100 and 6 months.  Story has it that some 20 years previously he had gone to bed and said he was never going to get up again.  He didn’t.


Between the Wars

Frank was one of the gamekeepers for the Harpur Crewe estate.  Every year the family would bring a large number of guests (and their servants) for a shooting party, especially on The Glorious 12th.  They would bring hampers of food and gleaming white tablecloths and all the food would be laid out in my parlour – that’s where the nobs eat.  The beaters and retainers would eat in the middle end room.



The Harpur Crewe records show that tenant number 250, Frank Ernest Slack was £7 in arrears with his rent, when the next rental of £8 was due.  He made the following payments:

Nov 7 1928  £3

Dec 13 1928 £6

Mar 6 1929  £6

Jun  27 1929 £4

Jul 25  1929          £4 


 A brother and sister married a brother and sister, 2 Slacks and 2 Prestons, Elizabeth Slack married Edward Preston and they lived at her family home, The New.  Edward was always called Ted and was apparently totally hopeless with anything mechanical.  He milked by hand,  they had no electricity and by all accounts he would never have been able to cope with a generator.  The only mechanical thing they had was a pump in the cellar for the water.


Elizabeth’s brother was a scrap metal dealer in London and everyone in the family thought he was well off, he acquired a scrap tractor and brought it up from London.  Tony and his father Frank Slack got it working and there are a few stories about where the tractor used to end up, such as nearly upright on a gate post and, tractor on one side of a wall and trailer on another.  One day Ted was helping his brother Frank hay tedding.  Ted was driving the tractor when the tedder parted company from it.  Ted didn’t notice and went on driving round the field until – lo and behold - he saw the tedder in front of him.  

Ted and Elizabeth had three children Frank Edward, Mona and Richard.  Some years after her marriage, Mona came back home to look after her family.  She stayed until 1996.


1947 The Winter

It was a really bad winter and its horrors have been well recorded in the parish.



The Electoral Rolls show that Edward Preston, Elizabeth Preston (daughter of Frank Ernest Slack) and Frank Ernest Slack were living here.


1951 Sale of Harpur Crewe North Staffordshire Estate  

A letter dated June 15th 1951 from Bagshaws formally notified the tenants that Bagshaws had been instructed by Mr Jenney to dispose of the estate by auction.  Auction Sale Particulars of the estate were sent to all the tenants who were given an option to purchase their property prior to the auction.  Tenants were given the chance to buy their farms at an estimated price of thirty years rent.  The auction was to be held over 3 days Monday 16th July to Wednesday 18th July.  The New was lot 97, coloured mauve on the plan, the tenant was Frank Slack, and the acreage  was 16 acres 0 roods 4 perches.  The annual rent was £19 10s 0d.


The New was bought by Frank Ernest Slack prior to the auction.  Shooting rights were reserved by the Harpur Crewe family.


Mid 1970’s

As Mona, her husband Tim and daughter Lesley moved back here to look after her parents, an extension was built on one end in 1975 and later, 1976, a new porch was built on my front.  (Frank Ernest was also still alive then)  A bathroom had been installed in a partitioned off part of the kitchen.  When the extension was built, the two ‘families’ shared a kitchen and the bathroom.



In 1982 Severn-Trent Water Authority connected me to the mains water supply.   


Rent for The New

1646                   2s 10d and 4d tithe

1800            £2 10s 0d

1928/29      £8 0s 0d

1951            £19 10s 0d


And Finally


For over 450 years I have watched the seasons change, I have seen the curlews arrive at the end of March, watched them swooping and diving with their plaintive calls as they delight in their courtship rituals.  Heard the pheasants with their whooping call and seen the hares with exultant leaps stride over my walls, boxing in the early dawn.  As summer begins the swallows arrive, acrobats of the sky, to build their fragile nests in my stables, the owls coming through their owl holes to raise their young in the safety and shelter of my barn.  The lambs and calves galloping joyfully in the summer lushness of my fields.  The trees bending, sometimes with grace and sometimes with fervour, in the wind, delivering up their golden leaves. 


The hard frosts, damp biting winds and shivering, arctic temperatures which herald hard times ahead.  The fogs and freezing mists, thick ice on the water and the hills glistening with deep snows highlighting their crags and hollows, their glorious shapes and contours.  I have heard the muffled sounds as the snow blankets everything within my sight.  The poverty, the harshness of simply existing, the pain and suffering, I have seen and felt it all.


When the harsh crackle of ice thaws to a slush of despondency, when the cold hard winter seems never ending, then, hope arrives once more with all the vibrancy and electricity of spring.


It is all so beautiful and I will protect everyone within my strong stone walls as I always have.  I have seen them come, I have seen them go.  The Oldfields, the Slacks, the Nadens.  I have listened to all their words, their secrets and known their dreams, but, I can assure you, they have never owned me, I have always owned them because I am The New.


But, before I leave you, I will tell you a secret. 


Somewhere deep inside my stone walls, a letter is hidden.  On the envelope it says;  “To the finder, please open”.  It was written in 1976 by Edward and Elizabeth Preston and this is what it says:


April 25th 1976                                               The New Farm

Longnor 301                                                 Longnor

(STD. 029 883)                                           Buxton



This extension was built to the above address by Ken Renshaw of Thorpe nr Ashbourne with the joinery and windows done by Ken Stephens of Sheffield House Longnor for Edward and Elizabeth Preston who are the daughter and son-in-law of Frank Ernest Slack who at this moment of time is in his 99 years of this life having been born at the above address on the year of Our Lord 1877 and by the Grace of God still lives here.  Edward and Elizabeth have three children Frank Edward, Mona, Richard who are all married with families of their own and it is our desire that they carry on the same tradition that has been our way of life for the past 49 years of our happy married life.  We have known sadness and sorrow.  Tinged with poverty, but the joys of living at this little remote spot next to nature and all that it stands for, the sun rising in the morning and watching it set in the evening, the silence that is apt to bring solitude only broken by the birds and the wild life of the countryside is something that only us as country lovers can understand.

I will end by quoting this passage from a poem by Marie Louise Hackins _

  I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year

“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown”

He replied

“Go out into the darkness and put your Hand into the Hand of God, that shall be to you better than a light and safer than an unknown way”


May that Almighty Hand guide and uphold us all.

(May the hinges of friendship never rust or the wings of love never lose a feather)


Elizabeth Preston

Edward E Preston